Yes, I theme each year of our home renovation. You aren’t surprised, are you?

First year in the house? We painted every room and focused on making it look like it was inhabited by adults (not college students, not homeless people, not hoarders). If I ever finish our house tour, you can pass judgment and let me know if we were successful.

We’re halfway through Year 2 now and the theme of our renovation? Let’s-make-our-yard-less-hidious. Seeing as I spent last weekend pulling up my spent plants (sob!) and this weekend building a winter home for my container plants (just wait!), I think it’s perfect time for a recap! (For the backyard only, because it’s my favorite).

On Offer Day:

Year 1:

Year 2 (early summer):



Y1: I planted tomatoes, peppers and strawberries. They were too close together, and things got chaotic. At point point, I had garden furniture propping my plants up! Oh my.

Y2: We removed all the sod on the side yard, expanded the upper garden plot, and put a garden plot in where the shed once stood. All in all, I grew: lettuce, onions, strawberries (spring), zucchini, yellow squash, cantaloupe (died), watermelon, eggplant, cucumber, sunflowers, broccoli, green peppers, banana peppers, and tomatoes (summer).

Upper plot: Spring vegetables (wee babies)

Mid Summer Garden: 

Late Summer Garden:

Back Plot, before (and gratitous picture of my awesome dog)

Back plot, after (July or so?)


We tore up the rest of the sod on the side yard (=the space that wasn’t taken up by vegetables) and I planted two lilac bushes (still twigs, growing ever-so-slowly) and a mix of perennials. Dearest C. gave me a butterfly bush for my b-day, and as always, best friends have the best timing as a rose bush had just died. (Thanks C!).

Year 1:

In progress: 

More recent additions:

(butterfly bush, hanging flowers)


HERB GARDEN (and Redbud Tree)

Y1: My neighbor let me dig up two rogue sage bushes and my boss let me dig up a redbud seedling.

Year 2, in progress: 

Currently: (mystery herb, basil, sage, oregano, mint)


I tore up all the sod bordering the garage and back fence 2.5 feet out and installed brick edging and mulch, all by myself because I am a badass. Other than my blackberry bush, the plants were all extras-from-thinning or cast-offs from other gardens or the front yard. Next summer, I think I’d like to widen the curve in the back, bringing it forward 2 or 3 feet, install a rain barrel at that end of the garage gutter, camouflage it with a large bush, and fill in the forefront with more bloom-heavy flowers. (My only complaint with the current bed is that it’s full of once-a-season bloomers, and I want some consistent color thankyouverymuch).

Year 1: 

Year 2 (July, so imagine that everything is bigger now): 

(where I’ll expand next year:)




It just occurred to me that in our next house, we’re going to need a bigger yard.


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