the backyard

We have suffered from serious drought for the past ten years. Serious drought. As in everything died. We lost grass, trees, plants, you name it. Unfortunately, the weeds survived.

This year we have had an abundance of blessed rain, so we (and by me, I mean Chris) planted a mulit-trunk burr oak, Cleveland pear trees, and a red maple. We re-seeded the part of the backyard with grass, and we planted bulbs and live plants to get our backyard in shape. We are looking for Bradford pears and a blue spruce for the front yard. We also need to replace a piece of wood over the front door, and then I’ll post pictures of the front yard. With our new metal roof. Eek!

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I can’t begin to describe what the yard looked like before, but we were lucky to have a few things survive, including vines and lilies. This is the street side of the backyard, and the fence is covered in grapevine and trumpet vine. It was already overgrown when we bought our house in 1998, and we thought it might damage the fence to tear it down, so we left it. It looks amazing!

back yard 039We had almost no grass back here, and within a month, it has grown into lush, deep green grass. The soft kind. Where you want to walk barefoot.

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This is our gorgeous smoke bush that was only supposed to grow to about six feet.

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In the spring, it blooms with feathery balls of brownish red fluff. It’s quite lovely in bloom.

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We have a continuous blooming rose-bush that made it through the drought. Behind it is our little apple tree that is loaded with apples.

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Another view of the back corner. I just love the trumpet vine on the fence. Next year, we are going to build a new gate. On this side of the fence, you can see nothing except gate, and I’ve been rounding up ideas for a new one as it faces the street and would look so elegant instead of the standard cedar gate.

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We have a shop on the back of our property that is a great wood shop for building. This vine grows over the shop, and you can see the fence in the background.

back yard 015As we transition over to the other side of the yard, you can see the effects of the drought. This part of our yard was covered in gorgeous hostas, and we had to replant all of them. You can see a little tree in the corner that is alive, but damaged. In this part of Texas, you give trees every benefit of the doubt before you take one out. They do not grow naturally around here, except mesquite, so trees are precious, and we left this little one in hopes of recovery.

back yard 013Along the back of the house, we did have some lilies survive and some vine. We planted elephant ears in the big pot on the patio. It took a while for them to peek out because this summer has been cooler than usual, but once they did, they grew like wildfire and have gotten nice and big.

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Another view of the elephant ears – see how big they are?

I love looking out the French doors and seeing the big leaves. We had a window here when we bought out house, and Chris put in the doors to open the den up more. It is one of my favorite things about our house now. In the winter when it’s snowy outside, it is such a delight to watch the snow gather in the yard while we sit inside all cozy and warm.

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Our mulberry tree is gigantic and shades most of the backyard. In this back corner, we will probably plant hostas next year, but we put caladiums in pots to give some color and then mulched.

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This area with the bench is Holly’s garden. She was my beagle and was the dog of my life. We have cats, but I haven’t been able to think about another dog. She is buried back here under the mulberry along with one of our cats. These three rocks came from Mom and Dad’s house. They are lava, flint, and quartz and were along the driveway. I also took a jar of dirt from their front flower bed and integrated it into the garden when we planted the bulbs. It is so peaceful to sit back here and know that I have a piece of my childhood. Holly loved going to Nanny and Poppy’s house, too, so I know she is happy to have these rocks.

back yard 045Here is the big mulberry. It was trimmed significantly last summer because it was so heavy and potentially damaging our roof. This picture doesn’t do it justice. You can see it way over the top of our two-story house, and it provides shade for the largest part of the back yard. If we ever lose it, we will have to rethink the whole landscape back here!

In the picture below, you can see the path. It is paved with native rocks we collected from a canyon behind one of my co-worker’s house. She let us take as many stones as we wanted, and Chris built a path with multiple division through the yard. It is really nice to be able to walk on the path and not disturb the plants. It is a little muddy from all the rain right now.

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I thought I would end with a couple of pictures of our day lilies blooming. The orange lilies glow at dusk, and it is magical to see. The bottom lily is an unusual combination with the buttery yellow and deep purple bloom.

I love walking through the yard and watching things grow. It is an incredible blessing to have had so much rain this summer, and the ten-day forecast has rain chances in eight of those days. We really don’t know what to do with all this water!

Have a great day!

Shannon

2 thoughts on “the backyard

  1. I absolutely covet those walkway pavers! You must have a green thumb, one would never know your area suffered a drought. I’ve never heard of a smoke bush. Every growing thing in your yard is beautiful, but the caladiums are my favorite – they are so colorful!

    • The green thumb is my husband’s, but I do appreciate all of his hard work. The stones are natural to our area, which makes them cheap and appropriate for our yard!

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