Saturday, July 5, 2014

Yard Project: Under Tree Shade Gardens

Here at the Homestead, we are very lucky to have a nice outdoor space. We have a side yard where we have our veggie garden area, and then we have a patio which overlooks our back yard. While we really love our yard, it is not without it's challenges. First of all, it's VERY shady most of the day, which makes it hard to grow much, and it has a downward slope, so when it rains everything washes down to the bottom of the yard, making a muddy mess. We also have had a lot of erosion over the years, which was particularly noticeable around the base of our two maple trees. We tried filling in the area with more soil and mulching it, but that didn't do much. When it rained, all the mulch just washed down the yard, making a huge mess. Not pretty, and not really good for the trees, either.

So we came up with another idea... we decided to try to plant some shade-loving plants around the trees, to hold the soil in place. We picked out a few shade plants, and set to work.

BEFORE (sort of... more "during" actually) 

AFTER: The hostas we just moved from other parts of our property, and the
other plants we picked up at Home Depot. I'm hoping these plants will fill out a bit
more, but it's a good start! We also re-seeded the grass again, and pruned up the trees
 to let in just a bit more sun, to help things grow and to brighten up the yard a little. 
AFTER: The view looking in the other direction, to our other tree, which also
has a new shade garden. Still working on the grass, which is still a bit patchy.

This is just one of many outdoor projects we've been working on this season. Last year we were busy renovating our kitchen, so the outside of the house got totally neglected. We're trying to make up for that this summer! So far we've stained and sealed the porch, made a new seating area on the patio, and spruced up all our garden areas. There is still room for improvement, though we are really enjoying the results of our efforts so far.

Next post, I will be sharing a delicious summer time recipe to enjoy while sitting in the yard... Dairy-free, all-natural strawberry-banana "ice cream."

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