Landscaping the yard is one of the things my husband has expressed very little interest in. He just does not understand why we dump money into making the yard something other than what it already is. With a river behind our home he feels it is our duty to let nature take over and protect itself. Let the land lie as it will is his yard maintenance motto.
I however, do not feel the same way. As he tackled the inside of our home when we moved in I went to work on the outside. The first thing I did was remove the ant infested railroad tie border that was a make shift flower bed and pull everything that was planted out. The people before us had tiny “gardens” all over the yard. It was easy for me to remove them. I knew it needed an updated badly and I was the girl for the job.
The river bank was full of overgrown seedling trees and nastiness. In cleaning the area up by the river bank my main goal was to utilize what existed as much as we could. I wanted to keep the larger scale trees and new tree growth in place. A natural environment is one that will protect the bank area from eroding better than any man made wall plus it look one hundred percent better. In managing the erosion that will naturally take place we began taking boulders that were about the yard and placing them on the edge of the river. In doing this they are molding the ground around them and holding it in place.
The house had a lot of areas of blandness. The garage lacked any sort of bushes or shrubs to balance and hide the brick that formed the foundation. In order to create spaces that are visually interesting and had balance I choose to plant alternating green and purple flowering bushes. They really made the garage blend into the house and not look so separate.
Now that the garage and river banks were taken care of we had to think about the front and back yard landscaping. I was sure I wanted items in the garden that were irregular and not formed in shape. I like a bit of the fantasy, flowing look when it comes to plants and shrubs. I immediately gravitated towards a border that incorporated multi-leveled logs standing vertically. This really ties into the natural element of the river. I then choose some large landscape boulders and place them in various places within the bed to tie in with the river side of the house. Shrubs were planted that were free forming and daisies were added for color and ground cover for filler and the garden was completed.
The back yard was simple. I took the rock element and carried it into a fire pit arena. It turned out beautifully and allowed us to do away with the three flower beds that basically eliminated any space for the kids to play within the boundaries of the yard. I added several benches made from wood around by the river and fire pit as accents. It is a very cozy landscaped space.
To add some fun and flair to the landscaping I place tiki torches around the deck area in the summer and solar ground lights in the path to the fire pit. It adds a bit of metal into the landscape design breaking up the green around us. It has grown on my husband as the summer’s progress and he has even taken to a bit of landscaping on his own with the installation of a boat ramp that blends naturally into the river. That is truly is only contribution as I still find myself mowing and weeding the yard every weekend as he tends a fire and jumps in the boat for some river time.