Friday, April 12, 2013

See Beautiful: Our Blooming Yard

When we moved into our house 16 years ago it had only the most basic builder's landscaping in front, a  large but plain rectangular deck in back, and a few spindly gum ball trees. Brush and poison ivy grew along the neighbor's fence at the back of our yard. As I am extremely allergic to poison ivy, I won't soon forget the hours we spent clearing it out.

Our yard is a labor of love. Many of the plants and structures trigger happy memories . I truly 'see beautiful' every time I step out of my home. I would love to share some of that beauty with you...

Step out the back door:
This is the first flower bed we created after Ted fenced the back yard.
The cherry tree replaced a huge tulip poplar that we had removed
due to the risk of it falling in a hurricane. (Yes, that is one of Toby's bones at the bottom of the photo!)
Cherry blossoms

Ted added a pergola to one end of the deck and a huge gazebo to the other side in time for daughter Lauren's wedding. He trained the Carolina jasmine over the top over the next several years.
Carolina Jasmine


The bushes in front of the pergola survived being crushed by a neighbor's tree during Hurricane Isabel.

These wax myrtles are native plants that give food and shelter to songbirds.
We don't use herbicides or fertilizers on our yard and are rewarded each spring with a purple carpet of violets.

The cherry tree steals the show, but I smile when I see the forsythia in its shadow. Ted dug it up from out front, where it was a sickly twig. He was about to throw it away, but I insisted we give it one more chance. Evidently it likes its new location!

Forsythia

This is where those skinny gumball trees originally lived.  Now it features clover, gardenia, St. John's Wort, Easter lilies, day lilies, irises, daffodils, and azaleas. The bird house is used every year by a pair of chickadees.
Clover blooms

Can you believe the size of this rosemary bush? It's been here for years now and it's still going strong!

Rosemary flowers
I love the contrast of the dark purple plum leaves with all of the bright green. 

Plum blossom
Ted spent years growing and pruning these bushes to make an archway.









Not sure, but I think they are viburnums.
Step through the gate 
into the front yard...



This is the Monticello bush. Well, that's what we call it. We bought it soon after we moved here on a visit to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home. The gift shop had 10" tall twigs for sale. We had no idea what a "silver bell" bush was, but planted it anyway.
Silverbell flowers
This tree used to be a dogwood. Then it was split in a storm and we had to cut it down. The next year it threw up a shoot and spontaneously grew tall and straight with no help from us. But mysteriously, it's not a dogwood!
The Mystery Tree (Bradford Pear?)

The azaleas at the foot of the Mystery Tree are about to bloom.

The "Anniversary Garden". For our 25th anniversary, we built the garden as our gift to each other.
Tulip Magnolia

Quince blossoms


This incredible double plum was one of the few trees here originally. It has doubled in size, and now blooms and shelters a nest right outside our bedroom window!
 Looking past the plum, you can see the trunks of the pines that hide a drainage canal from view. They are about to start coating everything inside and out with pollen. When they are finished we scrub the gazebo, rinse the deck and patio, and officially declare the beginning of summer!

Ovulate cone - carrying last year's seeds.

Staminate (male) cone - source of all that pollen.


 Happy See Beautiful Friday! 
Have a beautiful weekend of seeing beauty!




23 comments:

  1. Wow, a labor of love to leave so many seeing beautiful! Your yard is beautiful. I believe my favorite were the wax trees providing shelter for song birds. That was beautiful. Thank you so much for seeing beautiful with us!

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  2. Woof! Woof! You guys got BEAUTIFUL Blooms. We are a bit jealous as winter weather returned here. Some of our Spring flowers disappeared. Hope Toby enjoys your backyard and cautious with the lots of garden love you did. Happy This Moment See Beautiful Friday. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

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    1. Don't worry, Spring may be late but it will get there. Toby does like his yard and keeps it safe from squirrels and stray cats :)

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  3. Your garden is very beautiful!

    Sam

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    1. Thank you and thanks for visiting!

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  4. there is absolutely no way for you to step out of your home or look out of any window and NOT see beautiful. awesome yard. kisses to Toby

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    1. Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun taking the pictures for this post. Toby sends kisses back!

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  5. That is very beautiful, and I bet the smell is just as beautiful.

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    1. You are correct! Thanks for stopping by and have a Happy Friday.

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  6. Oh wow! We're going to be looking for a tree to replace one that died out front last year, and you've given me a lot of ideas! I'd really like to plant something pretty and flowering out there. Your yard really is beautiful! We're just happy the grass finally turned green this year! :P

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    1. I kind of envy you...it's so much fun to go to the nursery to find a new tree! But we don't have room for any new ones. Let me know when you decide what to plant!

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  7. You have put in a lot of work there and it shows...you've built your yard into a place of beauty for you and shelter for wildlife...I love the stories behind everything, especially the mystery "not a dogwood" tree...thank you for sharing

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    1. Thank you so much for reading the whole post. It was kind of long but I had so much fun doing it and then sharing it.

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  8. this was just gorgeous! A Breath of spring!

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  9. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it :D

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  10. What a beautiful garden you have! That Cherry tree is stunning :)

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    1. Thank you, someday I would love to get up to Washington DC to see the cherry trees there.

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  11. Thank you for sharing a really gorgeous springtime yard. The cherry blossoms are glorious! We are in for 4 days of snow with 2-4' of accumulation, so I love seeing your photos :)

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    1. Oh No! Winter needs to move on out of there! Snow is beautiful however.

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  12. Wow, I absolutely love both the front and especially the back yard! You guys are impressive!! That Cherry tree is just something magical to see! Can you come do my house?! Wow! I am known to have a black thumb...I can even manage to kill a catus! Gosh, what a home!! Beautiful!

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    1. Haha this comment was fantastic to read after we spent all day yesterday weeding and putting 6 yards of mulch in the flowerbeds :)

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  13. Replies
    1. haha no girl you are on your own there!!!!

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