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 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
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.