Jul 17, 2013

My New Yard

Are you ready for some pictures? I have a whole bunch of photos of our new yard to share with you today.

  To refresh your memory, we had a huge tree removed from our backyard and a new sprinkler system installed last spring. 

 This is the sad before photo after the tree was removed. The heavy equipment trashed almost everything. 

Some background:

By the time the destruction faze was finished and the sprinklers were in, it was really too hot to replant, but I just couldn't live with this barren landscape until fall. So we replanted our big grasses, transplanted our hostas, and bought some small perennials that we thought would have a fair chance of surviving the summer. Then we mulched the heck out of everything to help hold in the moisture and cool the roots. 

The temperature hit 112 degrees on the day I had planned to shop for annuals to fill in the bare spots, and it hasn't eased up much since then, so I gave up on that. Instead, I've been enjoying our new sprinklers (supplemented with some deep watering on the hottest days), and imagining how it will all look next year full of flowering perennials.

Enjoy the tour!

 The new grass in the front yard. Oh my, is that green or what?

 Other than widening some flower beds in the front, the only new plants are these large Emerald Green Arborvitae planted to screen our neighbor's yard.  We'll be finishing the front yard this fall.

 Behind the front gate is a little side yard. This is the view looking towards the backyard.

This is the view standing at the back gate looking towards the front gate. You can see how narrow this area is.

 We fit a lot into this little space, including three sunny 4' x 7' raised vegetable beds. They're empty this year because the sprinklers weren't done in time to plant.  :(

 Against the fence in this little narrow yard is the only shade I have left now.

 I transplanted all my hostas over here, and they didn't seem to mind at all.

 I added a new white ball hydrangea.

 Next year I'll tuck some dainty little flowering perennials and impatiens among the hostas.


 I never appreciated a shade garden so much until I had so little shade.

 There's even some room over in this side yard for a homemade potting bench.

 On the other side of this little gate sits the barbecue on a concrete platform. We planted the non-invasive clumping bamboo for privacy on the deck. It's appropriately called green screen. 

 blue fescue grass

 Between the barbecue and back alley gate is a new Eastern Redbud tree and the birdbath.

 We planted new city lot-appropriate sized trees for privacy screens as well as future shade.

 Becky shasta daisies will multiply and spread out in this corner, filling it with a drift of white.

 Evergreen euonymus japonicus will grow 2' - 3' tall and maintain a round shape with little pruning. They also won't sunburn like boxwood's will, but look very similar.

 Following the back fence past the alley gate you'll find our Karl Foerster Grasses.

 The beautiful waving plumes will open in the fall and last all winter.

 Beneath the tall grass we planted Hidcote English Lavender. 

 I researched lavender quite a bit for one that can take the desert sun and will reflower in the fall when cut back. This variety gets about two feet tall with dark purple flowers.

 In the other corner of the yard by the shed we planted for symmetry and repeated the eastern redbud tree, the daisies and the euonymous.

 By next year, this little tree will screen the house behind us.

 Turn around, and here are two small beds in front of the deck with Stella de Oro' daylilies. 

 They're just starting to be visible from inside the house peaking over the edge of the deck.

 The deck is behind those little flower beds off the family room. (That small window to the right is my craft room.) We bought a new dining set and two huge umbrellas to shade the entire deck. The sun goes behind the house by 3:00 in the afternoon, though, so we don't feel the need of a permanent trellis which would block the view and stars at night.  

 I'm learning which sun loving annuals do well in my deck pots after twenty-five years of growing impatiens. Dainty pink and white impatiens were pretty in the old shady yard, but I think these tropical colors stand up better to the new bright sunlight.

 This is the view from the family room just after a summer thunder shower yesterday. Our new little plants are holding their own in the desert sun so far, and we're loving the new view and sunlight.

Thanks for checking out my new yard today!

Stay cool out there! 

I'm heading over to the July Garden Party at 
Elizabeth & Co. Come and share your garden, too!

Elizabeth & Co.

Join me also at  these great parties.



  1. I enjoyed your backyard tour Laurel! It will be fun to see all the changes a year from now. Sitting in your family room with that view outside must really feel great, especially when the weather is as warm as you say it is. Stay cool and enjoy your summer!

  2. Laurel ~ you've done great!!! Did you hit up Edwards? I'm really feeling the lack due to my foot surgery this spring ~ there is always next year!!

  3. OMG Laurel - it's absolutely GORGEOUS - I've gone back and looked at each photo 2000 times - I'm going to be going pin crazy here, just so you know!

  4. What a hugs change and great impact. I love the plants that you have chosen. Especially the lavender!!!


  5. Gosh Laurel, I hardly know where to start! First of all, that lush green grass is gorgeous. You must just love the new sprinkler system. You know my heart beats a little faster every time I see the front of your sweet yellow home! One day I dream of living in a yellow house - it just says happy! ... Now about the new yard, first of all, I love the care you took to choose and plan so carefully! Everything has a place and it's there for a reason. The side yard takes full advantage of the shade and I'm so glad you could keep your hosta and your darling potting bench. The grasses and the new perennials will just get better and better with age. And the redbud will be gorgeous in the spring. And how smart to carefully chose trees appropriate for your space! Your deck looks like such a wonderful gathering spot and the umbrellas provide just enough shade to keep you comfortable! I always love the view from the inside looking out! And how fun to try some bold new pops of color in your pots. All in all, it's just am amazing transformation. You should be so very pleased! It will be great to watch it change through the seasons and just keep getting better. I know you will enjoy it all for many years to come!

  6. Oh my where to begin I love it all... The grasses, lavender, the potting bench just love it all. Happy weekend hugs, Cherry

  7. Hey, Laurel! Your yard is amazing. It's absolutely beautiful! Our yard is so sad. We've been so busy with Olivia. The weeds are ridiculous, we don't have any outdoor furniture etc...I feel bad as the people that had the house before us did such an amazing job. :( Not that I would be able to do anything like your yard, I barely know the names of any flowers or plants, :) but it's all very inspiring what you've done. Anyway, hope you're having a great Summer! Love, Jamie

  8. That grass is indeed green. Love the fresh look you have on your outdoors space. You did a great job! Wishing you a great weekend.


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