Saturday, April 9, 2011

Setting up my garden design

This has been an interesting time: our family has had three surgeries in the past two months, and now that my sixteen year old is convalescing from his oral surgery I finally feel like I can make some proper plans for my landscaping.

Not that I haven't been thinking about it (because I have!) but I've felt a bit distracted with everything going on.

So today I thought I'd make a list of what needs changing and what I want to keep. I'm going to start with the front yard, mainly because we've done some work on the front already.

This is my house from across the street. By the mailbox I have daffodils on each side in spring, and tiger lilies in the summer. I like them, so I'll probably keep them ... I may add to these areas later.

Behind that on either side are apple trees ... the one on the left looks like it might have died over the winter, so I may have to replace it.

Close to the house I have (from left to right) an ornamental pear (which I'll keep), some edible plantings I put in along the porch a few years ago, the front door with steps and a walkway, a small magnolia tree (I'll probably keep this too, haven't decided yet), my pond, some random plants the original landscapers put in (including three crape myrtle bushes RIGHT NEXT TO THE HOUSE which are coming out), and a strange tree (we call it the "crazy tree") that no one seems to know what it is that my kids like so I'll keep that too.

The right hand plantings are infested with Virginia creeper, tend to be weed magnets, and seem sort of random to me. I added some lavender in front of the magnolia tree, but other than that not much there is edible.

So for that I need some sturdy edible ground cover as well as some edible shrubbery under the windows. I'm considering blueberries or perhaps serviceberries for the latter, which grow better in Oklahoma and look pretty similar.

Here's the pond, which we had put in a few years ago. The original pond had been put in by the original owners and was a mess, so we ripped it out (along with a huge pampas grass that again was RIGHT NEXT to the house) and put in this. We were having a bit of an algae problem when this photo was taken which is fixed now. I had koi in there until some egrets came by and ate them all; right now all that live there are some frogs. I'll be restocking the pond later on, possibly with catfish (edible!).

The problems I'm having with this space are that it's hard to access, only gets sun for part of the day, and weeds love it back there. I added some dwarf cattails (the straight stuff to the right of the photo) which are nice in the summer as well as edible.

I want to put in some taro on the waterfall area, some step-stones for access, and some sort of perennial edible ground cover there. Until I figure out which one, I plan to plant purple-eyed peas, which make lovely vines all over and should choke out any weeds that emerge.

In front is some wild onion that I got from a friend. I sort of like it: it comes up early, grows in a tuft-like shape, and stays green for a long time. I may move it to the left side there and get some tufts going in a "pond grass" fashion.

Right now I'm redoing the garden plot around the "crazy tree" (I didn't get a "before" photo or I'd show it to you) and have some "Wine Delight" daylilies to go there.

Here's what they are supposed to look like. Since the "crazy tree" gets these chartreuse buds in the spring and dark green leaves the rest of the year, this should go well with it.

Anyways, those are my ideas so far. My garden layout is taking shape, which makes me very happy :)

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