Backyard Update 2013

I haven’t posted in a long time about our backyard, which is a never-ending project in itself. Sometimes we feel annoyed by it, just the mowing and weeding, and how the plants never stop growing and wood never stops rotting, and its constant maintenance, it can be a bit much. In reality though we love our backyard so so so much. Its our own private (we are so lucky that neither of our neighbors looks into our backyard!) oasis. Our little peaceful nook of beauty that we have worked so hard on. I wouldn’t say either Mr. Gaunt and I are huge gardeners, or outdoor people, but we have put in honest work to our backyard, and we are proud.

Before and Afters are always fun, so I take you back to when we very first moved in, two years ago:


And to this year, June 2013:

yard june 2013

Now obviously the difference between March and June is pretty substantial here in the PNW, but you get the idea.

A few more Before and Afters for yah, before I let you know what we have going on in our yard this year.


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As you can see we removed some of the garden beds and planted grass. I wish our neighbors would have painted the side of their garage that’s in our yard. We have debated planting bamboo along the whole side there, but I worry it would become unmanageable like some of the bamboo I have seen in our neighborhood.

march 11

yard old

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The progression of this bed went from a disgusting mess of Morning Glory and Hops, which we had to chemically treat to permanently remove all the MG. Last year it sat empty with a few potted plants in it (and just yard mess), as I wanted to wait a whole year after chemically treating it to plant anything in it. This year we amended the soil and put our one major garden there. So far it seems to be thriving! Next year we may need to replace the boards along the bed as they are getting a little worn out.

march 112

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When we first moved in, this bed had 100 year old looking blueberries bushes in them. I was so excited, but alas they never grew at all. Last year I ripped them out and planted sweet peas in them. This year I amended the soil and planted more sweet peas (which are sadly not doing well), purple potatoes (that had already been living there, I saved them when I amended the soil) and all my squash, which I’m sure will take over the whole bed and spread across the yard, but that’s ok with me.



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There isn’t a huge change between last year and this year. The grass is nicer in June than March, and we cleaned up a little. It’s so easy to start piling up potted plants and tools and furniture, its important to keep your yard nice and not just a dumping ground for stuff.


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Obviously the patio looks way different from two years ago. More recently the crazy creeping time has gotten very thick, and we have some new to us patio furniture and such. This was absolutely the best thing we did for our backyard, we love it so much.

Now onto just a ton more photos of our current yard:





I planted a lilac tree right outside the nursery window this year. It will be really special to smell the blooms next spring while rocking my baby. Plus its a sweet little reminder of how we grew this lilac and our baby at the same time.


Don’t forget the Raspberries. I over trimmed them a little last year, so they aren’t quite as crazy as they were last year, but still very hearty and filled with berries that will be ripe so soon!



As adorable as this tin planter is, I don’t think the strawberries really like it that much, Oh well.




When people try to convince me that Morning Glory is beautiful, I should show them this photo. It’s so insane and wild and evil I just don’t even know what to do with it. The only REAL way to kill it is with chemicals. Ugh.



This apple tree was a stick in a pot alone in the yard when we moved in. I planted it here in 2011, and it has grown just a little bit. Last year we got one apple, hoping for a few more this year. It seems happy and healthy. No bugs.


This years we let this bed grow over and just mowed it down. Next year we may add some grass seed to it too. We decided what was best for us was to reduce the sheer quantity of gardens so we didn’t feel so overwhelmed. Next year I picture a baby pool here for the summer! Eeek!


Grapes going strong! Every year I cut them back a ton, and every year they go crazy again. There basically all that is holding that fence up. This year we priced out the cost of a new fence, and realized we didn’t want to drop a grand on a house we rent…yeah. Maybe when we buy it….some day…maybe.


So that is the 2013 backyard tour! Sorry for so many photos, but there is a lot going on back there! We hope to have  a few BBQs there this summer too when the weather gets a little nice.





The House, The Lunch, The Barrel

I’ve done these before, but they make me soooo happy that I thought I would do an updated one.

Although the bottom photo also says March, and really it was taken today April 28th, so that’s a lie. The newest addition to the front yard would be the landscaping, new plants and black mulch. Also if you squint you can see the new grass growing in where we brought the front beds in a foot or so. It’s growing so nicely.

It literally shocks me that the house looked like that last year. I’m sorry, but our neighbor who lives directly across the street from us must be thanking their lucky stars that we moved it. Soooo much nicer to look at.

Today for lunch Mr. Gaunt and I grilled. We made chicken sausages, french fries and leeks from the garden. The weather held out so we could eat on the Patio and Mr.Gaunt could hit some golf balls. Now its getting chilly.

For those who wonder, Hula does go into the backyard when it’s nicer. She HATES being cold, so she will only go out there if it’s above 55 degrees. She also just lays in the grass or follows us around. She has no interest in jumping the fence or running away (I don’t know if she even knows how to jump or run…lol!). She also comes in when we do, or if we clap at her she just prances in on her own. It’s a pretty ideal situation, as it would be super annoying to have to keep the back door closed, but I will not risk losing her and let her run wild. I really want to put a screen door (like the kind with a glass bottom, like a storm door) on the front door so I can have the door open for airing out the house, but so she can’t escape. I’m going to hunt for one used at the RE store.

Also I bought a 60 gallon food barrel off Craigslist last week for Mr. Gaunt to make me a rain barrel! We don’t have a water supply in our front yard, so this is going to make taking care of the front gardens a lot easier. And don’t worry, I plan to paint the barrel either the house color or black so it’s not so glaringly blue. (:



Yard Work

Nothing too exciting. These are from last weekend when my mom and sister came over and helped us plant more stuff (tomatoes, peppers, beans, squash, pumpkins). I also ripped a bunch of the Morning Glory down from the fence and we cleaned up the back corner a little.

Our Poppy finally bloomed!

Eating weird brocolli that didnt really grow


I think I prefer plants that produce more than one item (like squash over lettuce) and plants that come back every year like fruit.

Garden Update (for Rita)

Our yard is looking really good these days! I’m always super impressed with how quickly a little sun and rain came make everything so lush and green here. I’ve tried to do a little upkeep here and there. We water on days it doesn’t rain, I pull weeds sometimes…that’s about it. I’m still trying to understand the whole gardening thing. Its coming along I suppose. Our first batch of plants are almost ready to be picked (another week or two) and with the weather warmer these are some things I would like to add to the garden:


-Yellow Squash



-Acorn Squash






-(more) Kale (first batch didn’t do so well)


Although I think we might try the seed route instead of planting Starts this time.

On thing I’m SUPER proud of was our amazing grass transplant to fill in some of the beds we didn’t want. It worked PERFECTLY! The big bed is slightly lower than the rest of the yard, but it’s ok. The two little circle beds are nearly invisible.

Alright I’m going to show you some BEFORE (March 20th & April 10th) and some AFTERS (Saturday)

BEFORE April 20th

AFTER - May 28th

BEFORE April 20th

AFTER - May 28th

BEFORE- April 20th (these are raspberries)

AFTER- May 28th

BEFORE - April 20th

AFTER- May 28th

The rest are just shots from around the yard. The raspberries took off like crazy, but the Blueberries bushes appear to be totally DEAD. I had planned to rip them out until I realized the bottom is full of strawberries, so I’m going to leave them for now. I may just cut them off at the trunk so I can plant more strawberries.

As you can see our lettuce and Kale struggled a bit. A few of them completely disappeared. I’d do more Kale, but not necessarily more lettuce, as we eat way more Kale, and Kale can be cooked and frozen and lettuce cant. Our little baby apple tree is also doing so well! It makes me so happy to know that in 10 years it will be a real big apple tree! Our Hops are currently lying on the ground as they had to remove them to paint (which hasn’t even started yet!!!!!!!!!!!!) and they will stay there until the painters are done (next year at this rate). Other than that there are some rose bushes and grape vines growing along the back fence that are pretty cool.

Can anyone take a guess as to what that purple stuff is? We didnt plant it. Oh and thats the apple tree!

Rose vines

Grape Vines

Patio In the Works

This was all done a couple of weekends ago. I’m hoping we can maybe use my moms car tomorrow to get the rest of the bricks. I wont lie, we are really winging this project, but its going ok. It’s not perfectly level, or straight, but were doing it ourselves. We are about half way done now. I need to have my dad come over and assess the project. Speaking of my dad, he’s kind of a lawn mowing expert. He came over  and mowed/weedeatered my whole lawn, it looked awesome! He looked pretty cool too…lol!

We also edged the front walk and around the little stepping-stones. Makes it all look a lot cleaner. Today I removed two dead bushes from the right bed, and we planted a Columbine (the Colorado state flower) and some wild flower seeds. We also made two herb gardens in some big pots my mom gave us. They are loving the rain in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon. I can’t wait for the gutters to be replaced and the outside of the house to be painted too, hopefully next month.

Obviously that first stone might need to be

My First Attempt At Gardening

Well, more like weeding.

This sun was out, and told me it would stay that way all day (and it has). So I woke up, crawled out of bed and spent the afternoon weeding my front beds.  It was quite a task, and my thighs are a bit sore from squatting, but I completed it!







There are still some bigger bushes that need to be removed, but I will have to borrow some bigger tools from my dad. Mom and I stopped at Joe’s to visit my brother Forrest and got all excited about what we can plant soon! I’m thinking this weekend I might do my herb gardens in these old wine barrel tops my mom got from her work.


I pulled out two buckets worth of weeds



The crazy treasures I found while weeding!

My afternoon of weeding was spent listening to Cee Lo Pandora…amazing.

The evening is winding down to Mazzy Star Pandora…splendid.