Create Your Backyard Paradise

– Well the backyard is coming along fantastically. Thought I would share how I went about planning my backyard paradise.


After my husband finished the wood fence, the cement boarder, and the pergola, I took three different shots of my backyard (see above). The photographs were printed out on 8 x 10 paper. I taped the two pictures on the above left together (see below) and started creating my backyard. I used this technique before when planning the landscaping for a small area in the front yard. I started drawing in the plants as I had done before, but this just was not turning out the way I had envisioned.  I was in a quandary, what should I do? Then it hit me, why not use the catalogs from the flower companies. Cutting out the colors and sizes I wanted, I pasted them into correct place in the picture. This was a perfect rough draft for the layout of my garden!

The picture below the two taped pictures is the right side of the yard where the raised vegetable garden is going. Can you see the green blob on the right side of the picture? That’s the vegetable garden

After the plan looked exactly the way I wanted the garden, I pinned it up on the kitchen wall. My husband looked at it and thought I was nuts. He said, “Just tell me where to dig the holes.” Once the plants were in he understood what I was trying to do with the pictures. There was a method to my madness! 😎


What do you think? Cool or what. It is going to take a while for the plants to grow, and I still have some smaller plants to put in. I can add them anytime. Note: No grass. We will be putting that in when it gets cooler which is usually the end of September or October. You can see the outline of where the grass will be. We used drip line to water and put plastic down then wood chips on top. We are still creating the walk up to the pergola.



I planted succulents around the pergola and drought tolerant plants along the small fence area. The first picture is the ground cover around the pergola. The raised garden is in the works. Stay tuned. 😎

And, How Does Your Garden Grow?

Well, today did not turn out at all how I envisioned it would be; dyeing, knitting, and eating bonbons while watching Tom Selleck!  Sigh….. Instead the day was: fix the car’s brakes, do the banking, run other small chores, go to Walmart, etc.  That was the day, left around 9:30 and finally got home around 5.  Did have a small 1/2 hour break when I can home for a breather!  What a day.  It did help immensely that it is another beautiful day; sunny and warm.    I won’t be posting any fabulous knitting items today.  Sorry.

Instead, the small amount of time I was home, I went outside to enjoy the flowers.  My sweet freesias have all bloomed out.  Sadness.  The darn dog ate quite a few of my other favorite plants.  However, I still have enough flowers left to post pictures.  The violet is one of my favorites.  My grandmother adored violets and had violet perfume.  Whenever my violets bloom I feel my grandmother smiling!  My grandparents yard was always a riot of color! My big violets are out front where there is more sun and haven’t bloomed yet, these are my small, “shy” violets!

A surprise visitor to my garden this winter was this cactus!  I don’t have any in my yard, but this popped up in my pea plants.  Thanks to a bird I suppose.  I always have different feeders out for the birds so I get quite a bit of traffic.


I LOVE spinners and have them all over the back yard.  Sad to say one wooden spinner that I got in Okinawa was eaten by the dog.  Dang puppy!  The flower with the spinner is the largest monkey flower I have ever seen!  I grow them every year and none have EVER grown this large.

I love the uniqueness of this flower!  It is growing over the back retaining wall.  Grandma always called it Cat’s Claws.  The nursery sells it as Parrot’s Beak.  I’m going with Cat’s Claws, grandma was born in 1896 and gardened for a heck of a long time, she died at age 94, I think she’s right.  The colors are stunning and I want to dye some yarn in this colorway.  Can’t you just visualize the gradient?

I love having birds and butterflies in the yard, so most of the plants are planted to attract them. I don’t put out hummingbird feeders since I have so much salvia and other plants hummingbirds love.  We have a permanent Anna’s Hummingbird who has actually come to drink from the hose while I was holding it.  If I’m out gardening, he’s always close by.  I love it!  Just get rid of the crows who have scared away a lot of my birds.  I’m hoping to do  some natural dyeing this summer when my garden is in full bloom!