May 12, 2013

Backyard Landscaping: As Good as it Gets Spring 2013

After dividing and transplanting perennials like crazy and spreading fifteen cubic yards of bark, the backyard is about as good as it's going to get this spring.  Here is the view from the west side of the front yard through the gate into the back.  Come take a tour of the newly completed (well, mostly) project.

First we'll see a couple of views from the upper floor windows.  For before-the-project photos of this view, see my previous post here.  This shot shows the northwest corner of the backyard.  It still needs six more 'Invincibelle Spirit' hydrangeas and a bunch of beautiful blue hostas.  I should be able to find and plant the hydrangeas soon, but the hostas will have to wait until the trees fill out and provide more shade.

Here is a view of the northeast corner with my daughter enjoying the new swing set.  You can swing really high.  The structure dwarfs my little honey locust trees, but it will look better in a few years when the trees outgrow it and the surrounding shrubs fill in.

Here is the view from just inside the west gate looking north. 

If you pivot to the right a little, you can see the northeast corner from ground level.  That corner looks very empty because I still need to buy and plant six 'Little Lime' hydrangeas over there.  The contorted filbert in the center of the photo will eventually grow to obscure the view.  This will provide a sense of mystery because you won't be able to see everything at once.  Supposedly that will make you want to keep walking . . . .

Here is the view if you walk to the northwest corner and look east.  Lots of little shrubs and perennials waiting to fill in. 

If you get to the northeast corner behind the swing set and turn back, here is the view of the northwest corner. 

And here is the view from the northeast corner looking south. 

If you take a few steps toward the south and then turn right, here is another view of the northwest corner and the main sunny garden. 

A few steps farther and a glance backward will show you this view.  Eventually the 'Shasta' doublefile viburnum should fill the entire corner. 

Here is the view of the path that extends down the east side of the home.  The white garden surrounds the intersection of the two paths.  The Adirondack chairs have the best view of the main sunny garden.

If you sit in one of the chairs, here is the view.  Not very impressive until the perennials and shrubs fill in.  I'm unsure if my 'William Shakespeare 2000' english roses - planted smack dab in the center - are ever going to recover from transplant shock and put out any more leaves.  Thankfully you can't see their sickly stickly forms clearly from this far away.

Walking down the east path gives this view.  The columnar 'Green Tower' boxwood marks the transition between the white garden and the true blue/lavender/mauve/lime garden.  Can you tell I love these GT shrubs? 

Here is the view if you walk all the way south to the southeast corner of the fence and turn back.  There are lots of perennials that should fill in eventually so that little to no bark is visible.  In a couple of years, of course.

And here's one last view from the patio looking toward the east.  The fountain is empty because my toddler likes to dump it over and I've given up on refilling it this summer.  My urns on the patio are still waiting to be planted, and I haven't even started planting bits of groundcover into the cracks between the flagstone.  All in good time.  Even though there is plenty of planting and growing still to do, it's fun to see the big changes that have been accomplished within the past month.  Check out the past few posts to see the process.


  1. Hi VW,

    How lovely! Most jealous and can't wait to see it mature over the coming years!

  2. Wow! I love it! I love that you found a way to include a garden path throughout your backyard while still leaving room for a lawn. Such a great compromise. And your plants are going to grow like crazy for a couple of years until it is filled out so well! Can't wait to see it!

  3. You've certainly accomplished a lot this spring... I wish I could say the same! I think your huge project is well on the road to being marvelous! Larry

  4. Your landscaping project is looking fantastic as you fill in the planting. Of course the expensive and worrying part is all of that preparation that had to be done before planting. The paths look great, and the width will make it easier to get around. Plus, the will look so pretty when you put the little perennials to spill at their edges. You were so busy with putting in the shrubs and perennials, It's great to have help with the hole digging, but even the planting is very time consuming. Soon you might even have time to sit in those chairs and enjoy the view as it fills in.

  5. Wow Valynn, that is just amazing! I do like the walkway through the garden. Can't wait to see the later summer views as everything grows and fills in. It looks so lush already.

  6. Have just encountered your page and I guess you should be complimented for this piece. More power to you!

  7. Wow, that was a big project! And it looks great. It will be fun to take photos from the same vantage points in a couple of years when these plantings have matured. -Jean

  8. I just found your blog, and am STUNNED. Such a beautiful home, and so much knowledge! We live in Spokane as well, and I came across your blog while googling around for the best compost/manure/bark delivery, as we are tackling a large landscaping project. If you have any insights into that area, I would appreciate your input, but am subscribing and hoping to gleam a bit of your knowledge.

    1. Thanks ivymae! I don't seem to get a lot of visitors from Spokane, so it's really nice to hear from you. We have ordered bark from Wittkopf. I really like their 'dark bark fines', but they have other sizes as well. Free delivery with $150 order, which is about 5 yards of the dark bark fines. You might find another place with cheaper prices - I just haven't looked - but we've always been happy with Wittkopf. In coming years I hope to spread more compost and less bark, so I'm going to visit in person to see if I like the looks of their compost. I'll also check out compost from Gibson's Nursery since they're close. Hope this helps!

    2. Beautiful! Where did you find the swing? Would love to do the same thing for our daughter...

  9. Hi VW... I was just revisiting you big landscaping project... it's wonderfull! Larry

  10. Someone asked where we bought the swing set. Here is the link: It was expensive but very sturdy and compact.


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