I've got nothing for knitting pictures right now. I'm so close to the end of my shrug I can almost taste it. I have about an inch or so of ribbing to do, sew up the sleeves then decide if I want a finished cuff or not. In the meantime, here are some before and after shots of the back yard. We've been working really hard on this.
This spot by the back steps always looks so cluttered. I have pots of tomatoes, beans and flowers here, but we're really not good about weed wacking. So it always looks terrible. This is the main door we come in and out of so it can really make or break someone's day seeing this every day.
Beside the back steps we have this little indentation. It gets full afternoon sun, plus the dryer is vented out here, so everything has to be very sun resistant. I planted some irises and another plant in a desperate attempt to make this bush look a little less lonely, but all it did was make mowing back there even more difficult.
Improvements... I planted a ton more flowers back here. Some Peruvian Daffodils, some poppies, some random spreading plants. I also added the leaves (that we raked and placed around the house for added insulation last fall) as mulch to keep the weeks down. Adam helped a lot with this. It was his idea to add the blocks. Adam had found the blocks a few years ago and they had just been living in part of my garden. I'm happy that they have a new home! The gutters will get replaced and put up shortly. They came down when we resided the roof - since we made some changes to the house, we needed to get a few new pieces of gutter.
This was the first improvement I did. Adam ended up redoing it so that the block fit up snuggly against the sidewalk. It will fit 2-3 planters nicely. The goofy thing on the container in back is a Wall-O-Water. It insulates the tomato so our growing season can be longer. Traditionally we do not get hot enough weather for long enough in the summer to have a really good tomato crop. I'm hoping this helps with that. The tiki torches are something we do every once in awhile. :)
The other side of the steps. I planted more Peruvian Daffodils in the pots in the back (tiered stand). The daffodils are from my fantastic gardening Grandma. They need to be dug up and taken in every winter, so I thought clustering them in pots might be the easiest way to do that. I placed the block under the tiered planter 2 weekends ago. (Adam finished up the front part for me.) I planted morning glories all around the block. I'm hoping they will twine their way up the planter and onto the deck. I put a Gerbera daisy and moss roses in the next container and some bush green beans with more moss roses in the front one.
My sweet little neighbor next door keeps telling me that our back yard looks "Very inviting," so I guess we're doing something right. I think it looks cluttered with the 2 grills, kiddie pool, sandbox, and multiple toys. :) Oh well, baby steps, right? If we can get what we currently have to be easier to maintain, I will be happy.