June 14, 2011

Backyard Gardening

I've shared this photo a dozen of times already, but I never get tired of a good before and after.  When we moved into our house two and a half years ago, our backyard looked like this:


Empty, with just one sad lone tree in the distance.  Since then, we've added a fence, patio, a crape myrtle tree, and a couple of evergreens.  But the back of yard was still looking lonely and empty.  Not to mention not very private, with neighbors' windows in view of our yard.  We've wanted to get tree for they very back of our yard for quite some time, but kept missing the fall and spring planting windows.  This year we finally got on the ball and planted trees a few weeks ago in early May.

We looked around several local nurseries (and even a certain home improvement store) but all of the trees had pretty hefty price tags of $175 - $250.  As much as we wanted trees for our yard, there are a lot of other things I'd rather spend $500 on!  But luckily Lowes had some smaller trees for a much more reasonable price tag of about $20 each.  Granted these aren't as large as the ones we had seen the nurseries, but the other ones weren't very big either and these are only 1/10 of the price!


Since privacy is one of our main concerns we chose the fastest growing trees for our area.  On the left is a semi-dwarf peach tree.  It's a fast growing tree and will actually grow little peaches!  Everyone told me to avoid the mess of fruit bearing trees, but I couldn't resist the thought of eating freshly picked peaches and had to give it a try.  In the spring, it will also bloom with pink flowers.  On the right is a Cleveland flowering pear tree.  They are one of they fastest growing trees and get pretty white flowers in the spring, but don't actually bear fruit.


The trees looked good, but we decided to add some more dimension to our backyard by creating a small garden around them (and get rid of the terrible "grass" we had back there).  Luckily, since we recently landscaped our front yard, we had the scalloped concrete border that we removed left over.  I probably wouldn't have chosen this look myself, but since we already had the border pavers (read: they were free), we went with it.


We created a small garden bed in the back of our yard and filled it with lots and lots of dirt (probably 25-30 bags) and then topped it with some mulch.  In addition to looking nice, it also created a nice garden area where I planted 3 different kinds of peppers:


And another strawberry plant:


I'm planning on adding some more plants and flowers, but I'm already liking how our garden looks.  Now, if only those trees would hurry up and grow to be 25 feet tall!


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