Thursday, August 16, 2012

Backyard Landscaping

Chris and I have been very busy this Summer working on our landscaping in our backyard.  After we put the boys to bed, we head out to the backyard to dig, plant, build, beautify, sit by our small fire pit and sometimes even enjoy a glass of champagne.

Our backyard was very blah and boring, so our goal this summer was to add a some landscaping around our fence line and color.  It all started with our Destination Sign Post Mother's Day weekend, Chris began tearing up the sod along the fence line so we would have an area for planting.

Below is a diagram of what we planted and where.  This is mostly for my sake, in case something doesn't come back next Spring I can check and see what it was.  The area we planted in is considered full sun, more than six hours of sun a day.  We chose to plant flowers and ornamental grasses instead of shrubs, mainly because we wanted to add a lot of color and we are somewhat limited to what we can plant in Montana.  There is also a ton of clay in our soil, so it took a little longer to dig the holes and amend the soil.  Most of the plants we chose are designated as full sun, but there are a few that are part sun so we'll see how those do.  Currently Montana is designated as a zone 4 for planting and I noticed we got a couple zone 6 flowers, I wouldn't be surprised if those didn't make it but we'll keep our fingers crossed.

1.  Munstead Red Stonecrop - Upright Perennial - Full Sun - Bloom Season Summer & Fall - Zone 4 - Deep Red Flowers
2.  Tiny Todd Asiatic Lily - Upright Perennial - Full Sun - Bloom Season Summer - Zone 3 - Light Pink Flowers
3.  Aurora Lavender Delphinium - Upright Perennial- Full Sun - Bloom Season Spring & Summer - Attracts Butterflies & Hummingbirds - Zone 3 - Lavender Blooms on Tall Stems
4.  Heavenly Blue Speedwell - Trailing Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms Spring to Summer - Attracts Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant - Zone 6 - Profusion of Blue Flowers
5.  Fire Dance Red Hot Poker - Upright Perennial - Full Sun - Bloom Season Summer & Fall - Attracts Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant - Zone 4 - Coral-Red and Yellow Spikes
6.  Heavenly Blue SpeedwellTrailing Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms Spring to Summer - Attracts Hummingbirds, Deer Resistant - Zone 6 - Profusion of Blue Flowers
7.  Lupine - Perennial - Blooms Spring-Summer - Zone 4 - Variety of Different Colors
8.  Elijah Blue Fescue - Ornamental Grass - Part Sun - Zone 4 - Blue-Green Foliage
9.  Elijah Blue Fescue - Ornamental Grass - Part Sun - Zone 4 - Blue-Green Foliage
10.  Peony - Felix Crousse - Upright Perennial- Full Sun - Spring-Summer Bloomer - Zone 3 - Picture looks like bright pink bloom
11.  Baby Sun Coreopsis - Mounding Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms Summer & Fall - Attracts Butterflies - Zone 5 - Masses of Golden-Yellow Flowers
12.  Miniature Iris - Upright Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms Spring - Deer Resistant - Zone 4 - Blue Blooms
13.  Blanket Flower - Perennial -Full Sun - Blooms Summer and Early Fall - Zones 2-9 - Wine-Red Daisy-Type Flowers
14.  Delphinium Aurora Deep Purple - Upright Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms Summer - Zones 4-7, Deep Purple Flowers
15.  Pop Star Dianthus - Mounding Perennial - Full Sun - Bloom Season Spring - Zone 4, Pink Flower
16.  Gaillardia Burgundy, Blanket Flower - Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms June-October - Attracts Butterflies - Zone  4 - Deep Wine Red Flowers 
17.  Oriental Hybrid Lilium tom Pouce - Perennial - Partial Sun & Shade - Blooms Mid-Summer -  Zones 3-8 - Pink with Yellow Stripes
18.  Switchgrass - Perennial - Full Sun - Spring-Fall - Zone 2-9 - Tall Ornamental Grass
19.  Switchgrass - Perennial - Full Sun - Spring-Fall - Zone 2-9 - Tall Ornamental Grass
20.  Red Rubin Hens and Chicks - Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms Summer - Zones 4-8 - Ground Cover
21.  Shasta Daisy - Perennial - Full Sun to Part Shade - Blooms May-October - Zone 4 - Lacy-Edged, White, Semi-Double Blooms
22.  Red Rubin Hens and Chicks - Perennial - Full Sun - Blooms Summer - Zones 4-8 - Ground Cover
23.  Oriental Hybrid Lilium Tom Pouce - Perennial - Partial Sun & Shade - Blooms Mid-Summer -  Zones 3-8 - Pink with Yellow Stripes

We bought our flowers from a local nursery, Lowes and Home Depot.  The tags in the Lowes plants and flowers seem to be the most informative.

Parker and Ryder have a very generous GGB (Great Grandma Barbara) who bought them a couple outdoor toys for the backyard, a teeter-totter helicopter and a playhouse.  They were both in a million pieces, so Chris and I spent quite a few nights working on putting them together.  The playhouse is pretty fancy with bay windows, flower boxes, a doorbell, kitchen and a phone.  I think Parker's favorite thing about the house is the doorbell.  He's been having a lot of fun playing with them and soon Ryder will too.

Teeter -Totter Helicopter

Playhouse before

Walls Up

Kitchen Installed

Playhouse Complete = Happy Parker

After we had everything in the ground and planted we added some dark brown mulch.  We don't have a truck, so we bought bagged mulch when it was on sale at Lowes four, two cubic feet sized bags for ten dollars.  I made a couple trips and if I remember right I think I bought eighteen bags.  I found some decent looking solar lights on clearance at Target and bought six at $2.50 piece.  Chris and I were driving around the mountains and found a few rocks to add to the space too.  Just a few things to add a little flare to the area!  Side note, every time I use or hear the word "flare" I think of the movie Office Space.  Any Office Space lovers out there?  I haven't seen that movie in a while, might have to watch it soon.  Sidetracked!  

I am loving our backyard so much more than before.  I enjoy hanging out there and it actually feels a little bigger.  We would eventually like to create a space for entertaining, whether it be a hardscaped area or deck.  We are still discussing and weighing the pros and cons of each, we go back and forth a lot.  I do know it won't be a project for this year though, unless I win the lottery and then I can hire someone to do it.  Wouldn't that be nice? 

Newly planted flowers, before mulch

Solar Lights

Enjoying one of our new rocks

Here's to enjoying our backyard more!

Happy Champagne Thursday!



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