I have had a very productive weekend of gardening! I was so happy to finally have gotten started on the backyard gardens, and we had the most beautiful weekend to do that :)
I started off earlier in the week in an effort to move my composting box from one side of the yard to the other. Over the past few years, our lilac bush was swallowing up the back corner of the yard and the compost was no longer in full sun, but full shade, and it was taking a long time for the yard waste I threw in there to compost. I didn't take any 'before' pictures, but under the lilac was the compost box, long uncut grass, a huge pile of dirt in front of the compost (from my son's pond expansion last summer), and masses of weeds growing happily on top of the dirt pile!
Here's the corner and the lilac now (the yard is full of the scent of this beautiful lilac!)
And underneath the lilac, my lovely remade corner garden ... this is where all the mess was. But I dug out all the dirt, weeds and even emptied the compost box (no mean feat!) so that the ground was all nice and level again.
I emptied six (!) bags of "bark nuggets" all around the lilac ...
I replanted the hostas (which grow like weeds in my somewhat shady gardens), and transplanted some young ferns into the back corner, and then tossed the rocks I dug up into a little pile, and tossed a log in for good measure. I love ferns. Where I grew up there were ferns growing wild in the woods below our house alongside the creek. They were as tall as your shoulders and smelled so wonderful. And the dappled sunlight from the trees down by the creek was so pretty on all those ferns ... magical!
I took away as many ferns from my mom's house as I could manage, and last year my son and I created a fern garden in his pond area. This is how it looks this year ...
We're both glad that the ferns like this spot and are doing so well. They've sprouted up all sorts of tiny fronds, and it was from here that I had extras to transplant in the back corner. The stepping stones were some that I gave my parents over the years, and then brought back to my house. This small area was fixed up last year by my son and I. It's just beside our patio and quite shady. Nothing really grew well under the bush (which none of us know the name of, but the flowers stink, so we have referred to it always as the "Stinky Bush"), so we lay bark nuggets down in this area and lined the edge with rocks we'd collected over the summer.
This is my son's pond, which he drained of stagnant water today and will now clean the liner, fill with clean water and two shebunkin fish (all that the great blue heron left last year), and get the pump running again. He's had a pond for about five years now, this is the second pond (just larger than the first), and he added a waterfall last year too. My son recently had a birthday, so we bought what I'm sure every 15-year old would love ... a wooden garden bench :) He was very happy with it and laid some leftover stones down for the bench to sit on ... it completes his pond garden very nicely.
My husband very kindly set in the black edging all around the back garden and alongside the lilac bush. As you can see I need to repair some bald spots in the yard, but I have a plan for that too.
A small ring of found rocks I placed around our pine tree. I tidied up this little area too, raking all the pine needles off the lawn and back under the tree.
My sleepy helper ...
My bleeding hearts, which grow as well as the hostas. Can you believe that I transplanted these bleeding hearts just last summer, and look how huge they are this spring! This garden got tidied up as well, with the edge along the grass sharpened and weeds pulled.
The iris from my mom ... and I'm happy to say that there are quite a few buds amongst those green leaves! This garden gets hidden by our pool in the summertime, but right now it's looking pretty good. Can't wait for the iris to bloom ... maybe this week or next!
And this is where I moved the compost box ... into full sun again. It doesn't look like much here, but the amount of work that went into digging the compost out of the box was a lot of work, and I had to spread it around all the gardens one shovel-full at a time. Even the box was set deep into the ground (as you can tell from the dirt marks around the bottom), and it took a fair bit of work to get it dislodged again.
Now all that dirt that you see surrounding the box, and the 2x4s leaning against the fence used to be where we had one massive pile of firewood. I had to first move two stacks of firewood from against the fence before I could put the compost box here. It took forever, but now the wood is stacked here ...
and I've listed it on Kijiji for free to the first person who wants it. I have blisters on my hands from moving all this wood. My son helped me move the last of it this morning, but it was only about one-quarter of the entire stack. I was so tired of these wood piles looking awful in the backyard and they were attracting wasps and who knows what else. In fact I even found a tiny black bat hidden under the top logs having a snooze yesterday. It startled me at first because I thought it was a mouse, but when I saw how slowly it was moving I realized it had wings!! Cool! I removed the rest of the logs very carefully after that.
So after three days of intensive gardening, I'm exhausted and ready for a well-deserved cup of tea. Here's a couple of photos of the entire backyard (using my fancy 'panoramic' photo feature). First looking towards the house from the back fence (leftover edging there, and the weedy circle on the right is where our pool will be, also why there is a fence running through the middle of our yard) ...
And then looking towards the back fence from the house ...
I hope you all had a wonderful Victoria Day Weekend ... not long now before we'll hear the explosion of fireworks in the neighbourhood!!
Happy Victoria Day to my fellow Canadians,
and thanks so much for stopping by!