epic backyard landscaping project: progress report

The rain and my schedule has stalled my progress these last few days, and I’m feeling SO READY to get back in the dirt!

I was able to complete the two smaller beds, filled with perennials, last week.  I made a new bed on the far side of the patio wall, which I filled with pink sedum, agastache mint (non-invasive!) and ‘galaxy’ coral bells (center).  This bed gets pretty full afternoon sun at the height of summer, and is enjoying filtered light now that it’s fall. (Ignore the random slab on concrete in the photo below, it’s going on the opposite side of the patio wall–closer to the white fence–as a second step down into the yard.)

My plan from the landscaper originally had black-eyes susans along the patio wall, but I’m not a fan of those, and wasn’t sure I wanted something with that much height.  I have three deep purple ninebark shrubs and two lime-green privets (below) going along the white fence just beyond this bed, so I thought the mix of pink, purple and lime green would look nice here.

My other perennial bed is an enlargement of an existing bed along the garage.  It used to have a simple row of large dark green hostas, planted way too close to the wall that I allowed to get entirely too big.  Digging those out was quite a job!  Thankfully, they all found homes in my neighbor’s yard.

I replaced them with some of my own transplanted hostas (Nigrecens, below), which are a beautiful blue-green color that grow to be very tall.  Their stems are as tall as I am!  Check out how big they are compared to the shovel!

I split and transplanted the Nigrecens, as well as another variegated lime-dark green shorter hosta that was overgrowing in another bed.  Around the corner in the back is another Nigrecens as well as some smaller hostas I already had and intend to use around the tree behind the garage (not pictured) next year.


I placed two lime-green and pink coral bells  in front of the center nigrecens, but I don’t know if I’m loving them in that location.  I LOVE the lime green coral bells, and they need shade, so this is the bed for them.  However, I’m not in love with how this bed turned out.  Part of the reason, I think, is the color of our garage.  NOTHING pops against this awful green/brown/beige color that is so BLAH.  The exterior of the house (and, subsequently also the garage) is hopefully on the project list for next year.  Andrew and I love deep blues and grays, and I know whatever we pick will be a huge improvement over the current color.  Also, the transplants always look a little puny until they come back in the spring, so that could be influencing how the bed looks.

However, I just can’t shake the feeling that something is off.  I don’t know if it’s the placement of the coral bells, or if it’s too full or not full enough.  Perhaps not enough variety in color??  I had thought about a hosta that is mostly white for a centerpiece…I think that could do the trick.  My gut says it might be that, as well as the placement of the coral bells.  I’m thinking they should be closer together in the front.

What I LIKE is that it’s (mostly) all hostas, monochromatic and compliments the other perennial bed (with the sedum) and the green privets across the way.

We have a spigot out by the garage as well, so I found some of the old flagstone and made a spot on which we can coil up a hose.  I transplanted some vinca around the base (not sure if I’m loving that, either–too busy??) and some autumn ferns (note the pink!) on either side.  I love the ferns!

I received my second delivery of 4 cubic yards of compost at 3:30 pm on Monday, and by 6:30 pm I had it carted out, spread and tilled into the remaining beds along the fence line.  Whew!

The beds are about 4 feet from the fence and wider where they curve into the yard.  That’s a lot of compost!

I’ve even started marking where some of the plants are going!  I have a serviceberry bush to go in the corner (below), and it will be flanked on either side by two anabelle hydrangeas, which are currently living in other beds and need a sunnier spot.

Tomorrow, I shop for the rest of the plants!

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