29 May 2013

The Garden Tour

Calling what I am about to show you a garden tour is actually sort of comical.  You have to promise not to laugh though, ok?  There is a reason I haven't shown you much of the backyard (or the front yard for that matter) over the lifespan of this blog.  It's a mess.  Greenery is not our forte.  BUT, remember my post where I said I wasn't going to put stress on myself to be perfect?  This is a pretty darn good example.  My old self might not have even shown this to you, but my new non-perfect self is going to share away.  If nothing else, in hopes that in a few months it will look a bazillion times better.

Before I get started with the 'tour', I have a confession.  We love to DIY around here, but we also know when to hire out.  This year we hired a lawn company and a dog poop company.  Yes, we actually did it, we hired someone to pick up the poop.  And let me tell you, it is the best $10 a week we have ever spent.  We also hired a company to come and do lawn fertilizer, re-seeding, etc.  This is why....

Back yard.

See those giant dead spots?  That is what a Great Dane does to your yard when you don't watch him each and every time he goes outside.  Basically we got lazy over the winter....and this is the result.  Our postage stamp of a yard needs major help.  The company assures us that they can fix it for us, so we bit the bullet and signed up for a whole summer package.  I look forward to showing you nice lush grass in a few months (cross your fingers for us please!).

So, let's just forget about the uglyness and move onto the flowers, shall we?

If you saw The Week's End post on Sunday then you saw that we had a little family planting session last week.  Planting flowers with a toddler is an experience I won't soon forget.  Keeping things organized and in one place just didn't happen.  I embraced the dirt (sort of...).  Many flower heads were pulled off and many rocks were re-positioned, but in the end we managed to get everything in the ground (and have lots of fun while doing it!).

kid was here
A kid was here!
I added a few pots to the umbrella base that I showed you last week.

Ikea umbrella base with lavender plants

The green and white pots are filled with lavender.  It has the most amazing smell, I love having those plants right next to the table so I can smell it while sitting out on the deck.  

I also filled an old Ikea watering can with some flowers.

watering can planter

The pots going down the stairs received some purple petunias.  Petunias = easy to keep alive!

purple pentunias

The little orange watering can is Fin's.  She is in charge of watering all of the pots in the back yard and she takes her job very seriously.

Along the fence we have a lilac tree on standard (for those of you who, like me, who didn't know what that means - on standard means it's on a trunk. Or in our case, on a twig).

lilac on standard

This poor little tree has been through the war year after year, but this year so far it's looking good.  The blooms are about to pop.

purple lilac tree

Underneath the lilac we have 4 Day Lilly plants.

day lilly under lilac

Last year Mr. Swell got a little too aggressive with the weed whacker one day and chopped 3 of them right down to the ground (total accident).  Those are the 3 little ones.  The one in the back wasn't chopped, and it's really going gung-ho this spring.  I think this little area needs a small fence around it to prevent further whacking incidents. Another thing to add to the ever-growing list.

We also have a couple of garden plots in the back yard.  One year we were quite ambitious and actually planted veggies.  The last 2 years they have been weed gardens.  This year we decided to try planting some wild flower seed.  It won't be veggies, but at least it won't be weeds.  Apparently they take 4 weeks to germinate, so we are still waiting to see what's going to pop up.  (There are little green sprouts right now, but I am not convinced they are actually flowers, I think it might be clover invading the garden.)

Moving onto the front yard....

Last year I planted all purple flowers in the front, but this year I decided to change it up and went with red and white. (Very patriotic of me!)

window boxes

The flowers are called Nicotiana, which I have never planted before, but they are quite pretty.

Front of House at www.aswellplacetodwell.com

I am hoping that they are are going to spread out and fill up the window boxes and the little flower bed beside the sidewalk.  (I also hope that cedar tree is going to come back to life!!).

hanging wicker basket

In the flower bed under the front windows I planted 3 new red poppy plants.  About 2 days after planting them they were looking a little worse for wear, but I have been babying them and I think they are slowly coming back to life. 

front planter

I also added a row of chicks & hens along the front and hope that they will spread out and cover up some of the ugly dirt.   We did think about adding mulch (and still might), but for now the dirt will stay exposed.  (My fur helper was quite good at photo bombing, wasn't he?).

I also did up a little pot of chicks & hens for the front step.

hens & chicks in planter

I think painting those front steps is going to have to be moved up to the top of the to-do list!

Garden 'tour' complete!  I hope that with a little rain and sun our pathetic 'garden' will look much more robust in a month or so.

How about you? Any planting going on?  Any tips for me?  Please tell me I am not the only one who has paid someone to pick up dog poop....please....

We are off to see the rental house AGAIN this weekend.  Things are super close to being done, and it's taking some effort to make sure that everything is up to our standards.  I can't wait to show you the finished house...it's come a long way from its sad flooded state.


  1. Cant wait to see the rental house.
    Love that lilac tree. I didnt even know there were trees, just always thought about lilac bushes.
    And agree, planting flowers with little kids is a challenge ;)

  2. Youre off to a good start. Be sure all of the pots have drainage holes or you will drown the plants. Good luck!

    1. You bet - that is one gardening thing that I actually know! most of them have a layer of rocks in the bottom and drainage holes drilled. Thanks so much for the comment.

  3. Flowers and plants make everything look better!

  4. Ive been planting like crazy but mine is NOT even one half as cute as yours. I have a nagging suspicion Im doing everything wrong. I love your beautiful house and that amazing front door color!

    1. As if! I dont believe you...I look forward to your garden tour! Thanks so much...I love our front door too.


  5. I really like your garden.hoping to have that cute flowers in my garden.

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  6. I so wish I would have thought about starting a poop picking up company! I know so many people that pay for this...its awesome. ;) We made the big decision to finally pay someone to cut our yard every week and it has been SO wonderful. Your tour was perfect and I love the plants in the pails along the stairs. So cute! Jesse @ Scout & Nimble

    1. I know what you mean. A poop company sounds ok in theory, until you realize it means you have to pick up poop all day. The guy that does our house manages to do it in about 1 minute - he is clearly skills and all things poop. If we had more than 2 square feet of grass I am sure we would hire out yard services too! Thanks for the comment.

  7. Every time Im in the middle of a comment my computer clears out the screen! I dont know whats going on but let me try again. =] I think your flowers looks great and hopefully they will grow to big and pretty! We finally did our flowerbed around our mailbox and I love it! You can check it out on my blog if you want to see it. =] We still need to do the area around our porch but we just found out we are having a baby!!! Needless to say the stuff we need to do on the inside of our house for baby got moved to the top of the list! =] OH, I finally started my Weeks End posts and I definitely referenced you!! Thanks for letting me copy your idea!!! You can check out that post on my blog too! =]

  8. Looking good! Im excited to see the wildflowers come up--fun!


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