I think it is safe to say this out loud now, so here goes… Two of the worst eyesores in my my yard are about to be eliminated! Yee Hah! To provide some useful background, we moved into this house with the definite plan to put in a pool. This project necessitated the cutting down of the few scraggly trees that were already in the yard. For some time afterward we had to live with a stark, shadeless back yard until the new plantings matured. We really focused on the beds around the pool and on growing some privacy around the perimeter of the yard.
In the process the poor pitiful patio next to the house was neglected. In fact, we even cut part of it off in order to make room for a retaining wall for the pool which is at a lower level than the patio. As a further insult, a few years later we built a wooden deck under some trees we had put in after the pool construction. As time went on, the little patio sat unused, baking in the afternoon sun. Here it is, anchored by a topless wrought iron table ( The glass shattered during a storm.) and some surplus lawn chairs.
This picture was taken in he morning, so you don’t get the full sense of how relentlessly the sun bears down and heats up the area until I’m pretty sure I could bake a pizza on the surface. My sister has in fact. spread wet towels and bathing suits directly on it and found it to be a most efficient dryer. Could I be the only person who anthropomorphizes a patio? I actually avoid looking at it because it seems to be in such pain. “Shade me!” it begs.
And now the second eyesore of the yard: the overgrown beds next to the house. When we moved into the house, the beds were full of grass, along with some plants which at that time I was loath to sacrifice. For that reason in addition to the sheer unsavoriness of the task, I have avoided completely gutting the entire bed. Just look at this travesty. I put the newspapers there to see if they would kill the marauding grass.
The combination of the patio and the overgrown beds is just too much to take. Every year we say how awful it is, and how unbearable, and then other more urgent projects are taken care of, until it is just too late to do much about it this year. Then we assure ourselves we’ll tackle next year. Ah yes, next year.
But guess what? Next year has arrived! In the next week we will be putting in a pergola to make the patio area usable again, and gutting the flower bed. In fact we have already begun. Since you have seen the ugly flower bed shots, here are a few of my progress in that arena.
This is one end of the bed after I wet down the dirt and pulled out everything except that lantana, which I am saving to give to my sister. I gave away the rosebush to another gardening friend. I am trying to save some iris, red hot poker and daylillies. I don’t know if they’ll make it.
Then I covered the grass with a layer of pine bark mulch. I’ve got some more bed space still to be done but the change is underway. In a few more days I should have the rest of the bed cleaned out, and ready for whatever new garden plans should suggest themselves once the pergola is complete. And the pergola is coming, with its benevolent shade. Hang on, little patio; help is on its way.