Well, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we take on the urban oasis that is our backyard, continuing to put our blood, sweat and tears into this little plot of land that is all ours. Last we left off, Anthony and I had made some pretty extreme progress on the ground cover last year, leveling our barren landscape and giving it some expansive rock and mulch beds to allow for an almost “zero-scaped”, maintenance-free, upgrade.
This year, we brought back maintenance. In the form of a 160-plant delivery.
Yes, you read that right — 160 plants, in our little yard, all of which we intended to plant within one weekend. If you have gleaned anything from my blogging up until this point, it’s that we have a habit of underestimating our time and bandwidth! While we didn’t get all of the plants in the ground in the first weekend (partially due to an all-day freak snowstorm on that Sunday), we did eventually find homes for them throughout the yard, courtesy of Anthony’s detailed plans. Afterward, in an effort to keep these new family members alive, we took on the not-so-small task of installing our own drip system (á la my previous garden efforts) for maintenance on our previously maintenance-free landscape.
Of course, it was a lot of work, and of course it took more time and resources than we had initially bargained for. However even I, the self-proclaimed plant-hater (ok, “hate” may be a little strong… usually I am more just apathetic towards flora and fauna), have found myself in awe of the difference that can be made with just a little tender loving care, and a couple hundred plants. In true Erin fashion, I’ve named many of them — including the Muppets (our silly-looking Junipers), the Karls (Karl Foerster grasses, naturally), the Vampires (blood grasses) — and others which remain unnamed but are equally loved such as some red and yellow dogwoods, mugo pines, burning bushes, zebra grasses, flowering weigelas, and Anthony’s personal favorites, a grove of three whitespire birch trees that closely resemble the aspens that he so loves.
Once again, our hard work is leading us into a summer of enjoying the yard, of which we already take advantage almost daily. Swinging in the hammock under the shade of mature trees, playing games on the side patio, harvesting early vegetables from the garden, setting up a refreshing kiddie pool for sharing warm-weather drinks with friends, gazing out at the new growth from the glider on our front porch during a colorful sunset over the Rockies, dining under the candle-lit arbor, and even performing that dreaded maintenance on the lawn — all of it is so much more enjoyable in a space we have made our own.