Adventures in Landscaping, Part 2

The snow has melted, the temperatures are rising, and it’s finally time to get back out in the garden and do some work!

If you were around last year, we planted some grass and some flowers, and moved an awful lot of rocks. Oh, and killed some spiders, too. Yuck.

So far this year, the grass has come back with a spectacular green flourish! Our lawn is still the best looking on the block, and that’s not an exaggeration — our neighbors that got sod last year are dealing with an incredibly sad, brown lawn this spring.

I may have been skeptical at first, but now I am a true believer in hand-sown grass seed — slow and steady always wins! There are a few spots that need reseeding, but for a lawn that is not even a year old, it looks damn good, if I do say so myself.

The sweet alyssum that I planted near the front porch last year was only good for a season, so the dead plants needed to be removed. Here’s what the front garden looked like for most of last year:


I spent quite a bit of time rearranging some rocks and planting some boxwoods in place of the annuals. When I finished on Saturday, it looked like this:

The next day I came back and did some weeding and more rock rearranging so the border of the lawn didn’t look so messy.

I had wanted to plant boxwoods last year, but they were too pricey, even towards the end of the season. I went with the alyssum as a placeholder until I decided what I wanted to put there. Lo and behold, this spring I found boxwoods at Costco for $18 a piece! I love a good deal.

On the other side of the garage, I had planted a hydrangea bush near the end of the summer. For some reason I didn’t bother to make the bed look very nice, and here’s how it was left last year.

This year, I removed all of the rocks from the bed and leveled out the soil. I kept a few large rocks to mark the perimeter, but I’m still not sure what kind of ground cover I want to do underneath.

There are already so many buds on the hydrangea! I’m excited to watch it really take off this year.

I still have to do a bit of weeding and I need to move some more rocks, both of which are on the agenda for this upcoming weekend. Just a few more to go!

Also this weekend, I hope to get started on our veggie garden beds! We’re building some raised beds into the hill behind the garage, which is otherwise unusable space, but gets tons of great sunlight.

My little seedlings are already doing so well indoors, I can’t wait to get them in the ground and watch them really take off.

The plan for the veggie beds is kind of an experiment — plant a little of everything and see what does well. I mapped out where everything will be planted based on the plants that do well near each other (color coding FTW).

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I have nearly all of these plants growing in the starter pods right now and I’ll purchase the rest once the beds are built.

I’m so glad the weather is starting to make a turn for the better and we can finally be outside again! What plans do you have for your yard this year?

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2 thoughts on “Adventures in Landscaping, Part 2

  1. Your lawn really does look amazing! (And so glad to hear paying for sod isn’t all that worth it!) The plan is to start composting this summer so that once the fence is built and we have a better idea of what the backyard will look like I can start a garden next spring. We shall see!

  2. Your lawn looks great! We closed in February and are patiently awaiting our landscaping. The lots in our sub are over 1 acre, ours is 1.5 acres and we just don’t have the time or resources to clear the entire lot so we are having someone do it. We are hydro seeding so I hope it will look as nice as yours.

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