Gardening Days

I can’t tell you the number of times I have walked outside this past six months and felt grateful for my backyard. It’s far from perfect but just to have a private green space has lifted my spirits more than I can say. Today I thought we could walk around the garden and I can show you how we use the separate spaces.

There’s just something restorative about nature isn’t there? I’m one of those people who has always enjoyed puttering around in a garden so this is not news to me. My garden has always been my refuge. Not that you have to be a gardener to enjoy nature. Just walking in a park or on a trail can bring the same solace and peace. And how perfect is it that one of the safest places we can be is outside?

Back in March Mr. Bee and I took a closer look at our backyard, which has its challenges, as you will see.

Our initial project was to renovate a back corner of our yard, a project detailed here. For very little money, for the new furniture, a retreat was created. Any hour of the day or evening you will find one of us lounging around here. It’s somewhere “to go” when you can’t really go anywhere. Luckily, we have had a fairly mild summer in our part of Virginia. We also found mosquito coils that are quite good for controlling those little pests. In the past the mosquitoes and the humidity had caused us to avoid prolonged backyard time. We found that we can deal with those small annoyances.

There is more work to be done here. I think we need more large shrubbery and plan to install them when the weather cools. This area has brought us into our yard more than ever before.

Our next project was to purchase two more raised beds, to augment the existing bed.

We have the space for the raised beds on a large parking pad in the backyard. It’s one of those areas we could not settle on a solution to make it less ugly. Of all the options (decorative pavers, gravel, grass) the beds are the most cost effective and they are functional.

You can see what I’m talking about, can’t you? I would dearly love to jackhammer the whole thing up. But what then? I’ve gotten estimates for pavers and it’s in the tens of thousands of dollars. Yikes! For now, we are letting moss grow on the asphalt and enjoying our raised beds.

An herb garden and dahlias have been on my wish list for the longest time. Both require lots of direct sun which is in short supply in my yard, except right here. The beds have been a great solution. The herbs are in the bed closest to the camera, on the left side. As you can see they have spread into each other and really flourished. The dahlias are on the right side, where the big white blooms are thrusting upward. The dahlias were an experiment since I wasn’t sure if they would bloom in a raised bed.

Would I prefer having them as part of my landscaping? Yes I would. I love seeing my plants in the garden setting. But, since that really isn’t possible with such a shady yard, the raised beds are the next best thing. And dahlias are beautiful cut flowers for arrangements.

Honestly these little upgrades could have been made at any time. We are just so distracted by other activities we didn’t take the time to focus and make a decision.

With more time at home, Mr. Bee has been keeping the birdfeeders full and these guys love it. We have tried to identify the species with some new bird identifying books.

As I read over this post, I think how minor these projects seem. But sometimes that is all it takes to make a big difference.

Have you made any home improvements during the last six months?

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”

Rachel Carson

3 thoughts on “Gardening Days

  1. Must be lovely to have such a green and abundant yard! It’s so dry where I live it’s hard to keep anything green. I really like your hangout corner.

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