Disclaimer: I am not a landscaper, but I was definitely born to be one. I come from a long line of ‘ladies from the prairies’ who have made landscaping or ‘fixing up the yard’ a way of life. They did this with a pile of kids underfoot (my Grandma had 13 kids! She must look at me struggling with my four and just laugh at me), 6 loaves of bread in the oven, and possibly while in a constant state of pregnancy. Given this legacy, I have no reason not to fulfill my landscaping destiny other than being completely lazy.
Landscaping ideas for backyards
When I was 16, I didn’t even want to put my hands near a pile of dirt, and I definitely didn’t want to help my Mom when she dug up the entire backyard and turned it into a garden. Looking back, I have to admire her for that now, even though she only planted potatoes. Seriously.
I’ve lived in this house for 9 years, and I have never tackled the backyard short of putting sod down and installing a large playground. I’ve always looked at the fence line and thought there must be an easy landscape trick I could pull to make it look nicer, but of course I could never quite figure it out. Until one day, a few months ago, I just picked up a shovel and started digging. The result is in that photo right there, and it wasn’t even that hard. Here’s how I did some easy landscaping in the backyard:
- Dug a straight line along the fence line, going around the apple tree. I removed all of the clumps of grass straight into the corner and put them in yard bags (which were nasty to try to pull out to the curb).
- I bought flats of pansies and begonias, moved some of my little trees I had carelessly dropped here and there, replanted a sad fern and hosta that were literally hiding in a shady spot and not growing.
- I bought three small wooden climbers from the dollar store and put them up with honeysuckle vine and orange black-eyed susans.
- Once I was finished planting, I brought in red bark mulch and covered all the dirt.
- Don’t forget to decorate your fence! I hung little garden buckets from the dollar store and filled them with flowers. I also put up a ton of inexpensive solar patio lights.
I used to have a garden too. It was in a corner, small and neglected, and it was only a spot for strawberries to grow should the sun even actually hit them. When I saw that the local cats had taken it over as their litter pan, I decided enough was enough and got rid of it. Before I mulched it up, I took out all of the strawberry plants and put them up here:
As you can see, all of my plants are now hanging on the fence, with the exception of the carrots. I’m currently growing peas, lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries, and I’ve just planted a butternut squash.
Tune in next time for more landscaping ideas, as I continue to dig along the fence and explore the mysterious world of shade plants (which, let’s face it, should be required reading for someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest.)