June Garden Tour {a link-up}

So, I've always been an admirer of Cari's ability to a) have beautiful gardens, b) name bodies of water after Doctor Who characters, and c) find ways to blog about gardening that doesn't bore me to tears but inspires me to be more creative with outdoor spaces.

I'm not much a gardener, but we've done a lot of landscaping to our house this year -- so I thought, why not join in? I didn't take any before pictures so you'll just have to take my word for how bad everything looked prior to our upheaval.

Let's get started, shall we?

First up are the two pots of plants we have on the porch right now. About two weeks ago they were looking MUCH better than this - no brown to be seen, finally growing over the edge, etc. etc. but now they look really sad. We've finally had a streak of hot days with no rain to interrupt them so everything's gone to pot (haha, I'm hilarious with my puns). And the sad thing is, every time I think to water our things, it's during the middle of the day when I go out to get the mail, which is the worst time to water things around here because half the water just ends up evaporating.

I'm resolving to water at least once this week, hopefully tonight to stop some of the dead-ness.

These two side flower beds were the areas of most improvement we worked on this spring. Before they were overrun with random vines, hostas out of control, and some really prickly bushes that had no discernible purpose to them. Over one long weekend we dug everything up (ahem, David did most of the digging) and replanted everything.

I'm not known for having a green thumb, so I've been really excited in the last few weeks to see some of the plants actually start growing! We had a ton (and I mean a ton) of rain this year, so I'm pretty sure their collective success is from that more than my or David's hard work, but still. I'm happy with it.

Now if we'd just get around to finishing the basement windows...

Another view of the same side. You can see the vines by the brick column starting to grow again, and the lattice board still angled even though we've dug it in twice now, but it's a heck of a lot better than it was before.

I wish I could tell you what we've planted, but my criteria when going to Menards to buy plants was: does this survive in the shade? and do I hate it or is it passable? So that's all I really know about them. The ones in the far left of this picture are lavendar, and that's all I know.

Here's the opposite side of the house, still in the front. Obviously we did some mulching but the plants are repeats of the opposite side, so nothing fancy there. Again, finishing the windows would help the appearance a lot but...you know.

Another thing we've worked on this year is filling in our grass. Although this picture of the front of our house is pretty awesome and makes me feel all happy, it doesn't really show how much time and energy David has put into making the lawn look amazing.

I think our previous owner didn't much care for her lawn, although it wasn't in terrible shape when we got it - but there were random empty patches everywhere, and it kind of drove us crazy. So this is the second time we've seeded in the bare patches, watering dilligently until it came in, and it's finally paying off.

You can't see it well in the picture, but on the right side of the picture where the indent in the grass is? It's a path of stones that were surrounded previously by a bunch of butt-ugly lava rocks until we dug them out last year and seeded. It was still straggly-looking until the second round of seeding this year, and now looks amazing in comparison.

This plant/bush is the only thing we kept from the previous iteration of the front area - and I have no idea what it is. It used to be a lot taller until David haphazardly pruned it (without my knowledge, by the way) so it's a little wonky right now, shape-wise. It puts out pretty little white and yellow flowers in the spring, and it was the only thing we didn't hate so we decided to keep it.

On to the back yard, yes?

This is the back edge of the house, with our infamous glass-block window in the bathroom there in the middle. This is one of our big complaints about the house. We have no patio or deck space in the back, and we really can't put one in until we spend tons of money and move our stupid air conditioning unit! Which is just a pain in the butt to even think about.

So for now, we've basically done nothing with this whole space. David re-mulched it because we were having a few parties, and kind of cleaned up some of the random rocks the previous owner left, but other than that it's kind of a dead space.

He also spent time killing a bunch of weeds right by our back door (which is on the left-hand side of this picture right out of frame) and planting grass there, which flourished way more than we expected, so at least that looks better.

The space to the right of this bush was my garden last year. I realized that it was, for one, a terrible place for a garden because there was no access, and two, I don't cook well enough to take advantage of planting real food-things, so the garden was nixed this year. Instead David spent more time (he's a champ) planting grass and tending to it carefully, so now it looks like it's always been part of our lawn.

That bush is a beautiful lilac bush, which I absolutely adore, but it's also in a super awkward place so we're thinking of moving it. I'm nervous about replanting it but it is just not a convenient place for it.

And finally,

The back part of the yard!

Complete with a tree that grows like crazy (and that we've pruned majorly twice, but keeps growing sideways -- I know, I don't get it either) and a mulched area of absolutely nothing else... yeah, a very exciting end.

Eventually we'd like to get a privacy fence installed around our whole backyard, and like I mentioned early, build either a patio or a deck off the back of the house, but those are far in the future budget-wise so we're making do with what we have now.

Oh, and look what David bought me for our anniversary!

Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?

I am worried a little about my gray thumb, because I killed the last miniature orchid he bought me, but I'm determined to be vigilant about this one and really make an effort to keep it alive. Wish me tons of luck because I'm going to need it.

Thanks for hosting such a fun link-up, Cari!! Head over to Clan Donaldson to see some more beautiful gardens.


  1. Oh my gosh, I LOVE your house! The cutest curb appeal. And kudos to David for winning the grass battle. It looks beautiful.
    I love the flowy lines of the garden in the front yard- such a nice contrast to the angular lines of the house. And that tree in the backyard? It has the most beautiful shape of any tree, ever. Spectacular.

    Thanks for linking up! Hope to see you next month!

  2. I totally wouldn't have guessed there had been a garden next to that bush! Our grass seed never seems to do as well, but that might be because we've always got little feet stomping through it...


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