Let's begin with the front yard. You can't tell from this photo that the holly and false cypress on the far right were nearly dead when we moved in, so they were removed. I've also removed some of the yew and all of the day lilies and the false cypress on the left, after my pruning doomed it. The other major change was removing the liriope (monkey grass) along the path and replacing it with Sedum. I've added Spiraea, northern sea oats, a couple of small pines and heathers, plus lots of Dianthus and Sedum. The Dahlias' days may be numbered, except for the purple-leaved one, as they just look too terrible in summer. Overall, it's a good color scheme of deep dark green, pinks, chartreuse, gray-green, and purple.
The front yard continues to be tinkered with (see posts entitled "curb appeal"), with a main goal being to simplify because the front yard is too small and close to the street to hang out in anyway. Eventually I'd like for it to be something like the conifer garden at the National Arboretum. The grass is completely shot, but I hesitate to rip it all out because of the snow (and salt) that can be dumped here in winter.
The difference in the back yard is more dramatic, as it went from nothing to ... a lot!
fell, we added this Magnolia, and then I filled in from the tree to the shed.
planned garden border, all native plants for this shady spot beneath a black walnut tree.
The rear and other side of the yard were quite similar to the photo above, just fence. (I cannot believe I have no photos of this blank slate!) The first year I grew annuals such as sunflowers and nasturtium, and I've been progressively adding perennials ever since. I've got big plans for fall, but this area looks rough right now because I had to dig up all of the Ageratum that I planted last year--it was taking over!
Here is its current state:
And across the yard in the sunniest spot is the vegetable garden:
The back of the house waits patiently for its garden. I added the Carolina jessamine vine to the shed. Behind the two raised vegetable beds, the ground is uneven, so I need to add topsoil. I'll also remove the day lilies along the shed (they are just dormant in the first photo below). Last, I'll plan a new garden once we remodel this shed on the back of the house into a patio room. The type of windows (or doors) and siding we install will dictate what goes here. We'll re-do the patio one day.