our gardens

backyard facelift: part one

The oak trees around our house drop leaves year round. There is always some form of debris to sweep off the porch and sticks to pick up in the yard. I must confess, we tend to let it pile up on us during the fall and start taking action around January.


It’s during this time we start prepping new compost piles and get things tidy for spring. With an absurd amount of leaves to work with, it’s the best time for us to make a push and get things breaking down for when we will need the “farmer’s gold” for fresh planted garden beds.

I had neatly raked countless piles in the backyard for Ryan and I to team up and move to the front yard where the compost is located. When Ellie came along, my piles were no more. (They were sacrificed for the overflowing joy of a freshly adopted cutie-pie.) From there, a new plan was conceived to help us jump start gardens in the backyard and spruce it up for the pup.


Thanks to Ellie we got the push we needed to take focus off our gardens for half a second and make a push to give our backyard a mini facelift. There is a lot we would love to to beautify around our property, but the fact we rent has left us feeling like we have our hands tied or that it could windup being a waste of finances. So while the deck secretly drives us crazy will most likely be left untouched, we have plans of purchasing grass seed and ferns (that we will take with us when we move) to make the space a bit more desirable and Ellie friendly. Goodbye muddy feet.


Last year, we (and by we, I mean Ryan) dug privet up that was growing randomly throughout the property and transplanted it to create a hedge along the front of the property. The Northern Sea Oats, planted closest to the road,  were transplanted from Ryan’s folks. Making the best of what we have, that’s how we roll. It doesn’t look like much yet, but it will fill in quick. We have similar plans to plant hedgerows along the fence lines in the backyard, but that’s going to be more like part two.


In the meantime, we are clearing and cleaning. Aside from wrangling leaves with a new strategy, we are finally taking on the mass amount of sticks. No hugelkulture bed plans here, just fire, and a little wattle fencing. Like I said, there is no shortage of fallen limbs around here, so we took the opportunity to play with flames. (I think I might be a closet pyro.) While sorting through the debris already sprawled around the house, we made a pile for sticks and limbs going to wattle fencing and the rest went to the fire pit.

Below are our weekend before and after photos of us taking on debris piles that we’ve let linger for far too long.




So we only got through 85% of the stick madness and 60% of the leaves, but it was good enough for us. We got as much done as we could before the rain hit. There is still much work ahead to make this place ‘shine’.

It’s a little dull and dreary now, but after we get more garden beds installed and new plant life adding splashes of color, we are hoping for a great outdoor space for all. One thing you can count on, is us keeping you up-to-date on all the happenings.

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