Before and After Pinterest Inspired Garden Tour
So, I’ve hinted here and there about all the yardwork and gardening I have been doing this year… and I promised an update that I am finally able to deliver!
Let me start out with a little background: I have a special talent for killing plants. And neglecting my yard. I’m really, really good at those two things. We’ve lived in this house for 6 and a half years and our yard has been the embarrassment of the neighborhood for pretty much the entire time. But something snapped this year – I just couldn’t take how ugly the yard was for one more summer. Part of it is all the pretty garden things I find on Pinterest. I wanted that kind of pretty in my real life. In fact, I’d say this pin right here was the one that got into my head like a brain parasite and wouldn’t leave me alone until I did something about it:
Part of it was also the fact that a couple summers ago, I accidentally planted some pumpkins in my yard. Accidentally, meaning, I tried to plant some, promptly killed them off, and then a month later found a massive pumpkin patch in my burn pile where I had tossed the extra seedlings that I hadn’t planted. But when October came and I had FIVE pumpkins that I had actually somehow not destroyed, I really, really wanted to learn how to do it right.
So, anyway, I know you are getting impatient for my before and after shots. I’ll warn you – they aren’t quite up to par for Better Homes & Gardens. But compared to what my yard used to look like, I’m pretty darn pleased with myself.
I have to admit I really don’t know how much I spent on this part of the new yard. The granite boulders alone were about $375. I ordered a load of compost/topsoil for another $175. I got the six rose bushes on sale at Menards for $8 each. But most everything else I bought at the beginning of the planting season, pretty much ensuring I paid full price for it. I’ve been working on it since the start of April, so every few weeks I’d buy a few more flowers and plant them. I think if I totaled it all up I’d be mortified, so I’m allowing myself to be blissfully unaware of the final cost. But the plants are 85% shrubs/perennials, so I won’t have this expense again – at least, I’m sure that I won’t kill ALL of these flowers, so if I have to replace some of them, it won’t cost me too much in the future.
As for the vegetable garden, I was more than able to balance out the flower garden cost, because my expenses here were next to nothing. I’d heard that planting beds were the way to go for a veggie garden, and once again BHG was able to deliver a pin on Pinterest to inspire me some more:
I first had to clear a space in the yard to get enough sun for a garden. That meant taking down a few trees.
I was able to build four planting beds out of cedar fence pickets for less than $30. But then I found that my two dogs really, really liked the planting beds. As in, they literally spent most of the day in them. That would be these two trouble makers:
So a garden fence was in order. I really didn’t want to spend much money on a fence though. But with six freshly fallen trees, I had MORE than enough branches to build a twig fence. I promise a separate post later on how I built that and the twig arbor – but suffice it to say that my beautiful masterpiece of a fence became a project in utter failure. A squirrel enticed Niko to jump over it, and a wayward fetching stick enticed Bear to crawl under it. I was almost in tears… (The fence took DAYS AND DAYS to build!!). Ultimately, though, we just ended up moving our existing electric fence around the garden.
So the fence is a pretty addition that was not necessary in any way, shape or form. I guess I’m glad we built it, though, because it sure is purty, isn’t it? By the way, that’s a twig trellis holding up my cucumbers. I should really build some twig tomato cages as well, but I’m a little over the whole twig-building-thing at this point. I’ll probably just buy some wire tomato cages and give my carpal tunnel syndrome a break from screwing together broken branches.
I had found (another BHG) tutorial on how to build a twig arbor…
But ultimately found out what I think most twig-building people find out – you really kind of need to make it up as you go along. Again, more on that in another post.
Lastly, the people who built the house only had one real planting area that had become a showcase for the tallest weeds on the block. This ‘before’ shot was taken in spring – but come September I was the proudest tall-weed grower in the Midwest!
I have a tendency to buy and plant flowers that look pretty while I’m looking at them in the store. That meant that most of the flowers I had been planting were all spring-bloomers. I actually did some thinking ahead this time, and forced myself out of my instant-gratification-gardener syndrome. Growing in this bed are mostly gladioli, which will bloom in the late summer/early fall.
I had really wanted to wait to post this until the yard was perfect… until I finally faced the fact that it will never, ever be perfect. So look for a few more posts as the garden starts providing our produce for the summer and like I said earlier, I promise a post on how to build the twig fence and arbor. And maybe at that point I can stage my photos a little better so that you don’t have to look at a bottle of charcoal lighter fluid sitting on my porch.
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