A little bit more: 2004-2005

Continuing today with the history of how my yard became a garden, I'll look at a couple of relatively quiet years: 2004 and 2005. There were a couple of smaller building projects these years, but mainly more planting and letting existing plants fill in.

There was also more experimenting with different types of plants -- mainly flowering ones.


Before getting on to the projects, here's a look at some of the existing and new plants, taken in 2004:

Take a look at that last photo. The "empty" green lawn space at the right side of the image really needed something planted there, but the slope was too great for that, so I terraced it:

New terraced beds and stairs, 2004
I also built the first version of a simple stairway. I knew it would be temporary, as I just cut into the soil and placed the stepping stones. It was -- the steps were wobbly, shifted positions during the year, so two years later I would redo this, making it much more sturdy.

I took zero large panoramic shots in 2004, but I did take some smaller ones, like this:

Those three boxes I built in 2002 way in the back of the yard finally got some attention, and I created nice planting areas around them. (The boxes look all wonky due to lens distortion -- they're actually quite level and straight.)

In 2005 I just continued adding plants and letting them fill in. I added several hostas and ferns way in back:

These are the plants that taught me that deer love eating hostas. Nice of me to plant them right in the area they hang out in, wasn't it? It was very dark back there, as the large bush honeysuckles were still in place -- I started removing them in 2006 or 2007. The ferns didn't like the too-dry conditions back here and were also eaten by something (rabbits?)

In 2005 I created my fenced veggie garden bed and started growing vegetables:

The new veggie garden, 2005
I should point out that I didn't want to get to elaborate with the fence design, as I put this on top of a sewer easement that runs through my yard. What that means is if the sewer company ever has to do some work on that sewer line (and eventually they will) they can dig this area up -- so I don't want anything permanent planted on the easement.

I'm going to have to repair the fence this year, as the posts are not in great shape, and the door has fallen apart. So they lasted 4 or 5 years -- not too bad!

Two things about that photo above: First, preparing the soil in that bed was a lot of work! I had to remove the turf grass, break up the heavy clay, then turn in a lot of compost. (I've added compost to the soil here every year, and today it's still not as loose as I'd like it -- still quite a lot of clay in it.) Second: I can't believe how nice my lawn looked only 5 years ago! I really need to put more effort into it next year.

A view of some butterfly bushes and how my early planting beds were pretty much all created around existing trees and trees that fell.

Again in 2005 I didn't take any sweeping panoramic shots. This is the best I have:

May 2005
You can see the Miscanthus grass on the left getting quite a bit larger, and that the "bowl" area is now surrounded by plants -- which will be important next year (2006). The pink 'nearly wild' rose right in the center is just a baby, and the mass of green in the foreground is the Monarda (Bee Balm) that always started out the year so spectacularly but then got so ragged during the summer that I eventually removed it completely.

So overall 2004 and 2005 were pretty quiet in the garden. There were a few building projects, some planting, and that's about it. It's the calm before the storm though, because next year is when everything happened.

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Christine @ The Gardening Blog  – (November 25, 2012 at 4:32 AM)  

I'm enjoying reading about how your garden progressed - amazing how your garden has evolved!!

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