Tuesday, January 25, 2011
My Eyes Turn to the Back Yard
The time has come...I've been putting it off and putting it off. The backyard is in need of love. Honestly, can you even call it a backyard right now? It's a pile of dirt and weeds. Before we moved in, we had the tiny garage that sat in the area. It was leaning badly and in addition to being ugly, was an insurance risk, so we had it removed as part of our closing. The ground it sat on is, as you can imagine, not the greatest! The area in question is relatively small by Portland standards...and positively TINY by all other standards...around 10' x 30'.
Below you can see the current plan. It's actually flipped, so the top is south, it's just how I think of the space :-) We would really like to do the hardscape portion first, as most designers will recommend. The main factors are funds and skill...namely a lack of both!
As far as the pavers go, I'm actually thinking it might be more realistic to plant things this year and follow-up with the hardscape next year or the year after. Hopefully by then, we'll have saved up a bit of $$$ and will have a better idea of what we really want.
Honestly, I'm not looking forward to digging up the ground...it's such a mess back there. There is heavy clay and concrete debris from where the old garage was, lots of sod from previous gardening projects, and lots of sand filling in the huge hole where the oil tank was. I'm thinking we might rent a rototiller...or even "GASP" hire someone to till it for us. I know...it's crazy...I've never paid someone to do something I could (technically) do myself.
Anyway...that's the boring part...now for the good stuff...the plants!!! Below is the large version of the plan, showing all the plants. I actually bought all of the Agastaches last fall in a fit of passion (and probably a sale) at High Country Garden's website. At the time, I was intending on doing our parking strips before the back yard, and figured they'd be perfect for a hot, dry spot that might not get as much irrigation as the rest of the garden. After realizing the backyard was more of a priority, I started on plans for it. Since the Agastache are already purchased, everything else was chosen around them. Nothing else is truly set in stone, and I've been exploring many different varieties of plants. I also realize I likely won't be able to afford to plant everything all at once, so will probably plant a bunch of annuals from seed to fill in the gap, I'm guessing things like Cosmos, Gomphrena and Nasturtium.
So there it is...my future plans all summed up in one little drawing...what do you think? Do you have any recommendations...do you see any obvious problems? I'm pretty excited to get started, but totally overwhelmed by it all. I know once the ground is tilled up and it comes to planting, I'll be in the zone...it's the getting there that worries me ;-)