Around The Yard | May 2013

Just one week ago there were completely different things in bloom in my yard.

Blink and you miss.

Every year right around this time I have grand plans for my yard or my raised beds. If you would have asked me two weeks ago I would have recited the list of things I want to plant (veggies, corn, and more cutting flowers). But as the reality of the next couple months becomes apparent (work commitments + travel) I think that I'll skip adding new stuff this year and just enjoy and take care of what I have in the time I have available.

I love being in my yard. I enjoy pruning and even weeding and watering (yes Mom you read that right) - it's relaxing and it might be as close to a hobby as I can get right now for someone who works in an industry that is other people's hobby.

Same tree from the photo above, different view:

And up close it looks like this:

And it smells divine and I can hear the busy bees humming along every time I step outside the door.

Bleeding hearts and hostas and a couple other little shade plants tucked inside.

Just last week this crazy amazing wisteria was in full bloom with hundreds of purple flowers cascading down.

In front of that little fence are three blueberry bushes. I thought the middle one was dead but it seems to be greening up now. The other two already have berries in formation.

Last year I planted a couple new white hydrangea's and they are looking good.

These peonies are what I check on just about every day. They are getting close to bursting wide open.

Something new I did plant this spring were some additional dahlias. I have a raised bed area that holds an amazing collection of burgundy dahlias. These should be light pinks. I'm currently fighting a battle and killing off the snails. So many snails around here.

So many good lessons out in the yard. Patience. Acceptance. Taking it slow. Savoring. Not filling in everything too tight all at once.

Hope you have a wonderful week.

27 thoughts

  1. Sue

    2013-05-20 08:01:48 -0400

    Beautiful, Beautiful! My PL pictures are 80% of my blooms this week! I felt find of funny about using so many pic of flowers but that is what is happening right now.

  2. April

    2013-05-20 08:05:58 -0400

    I think your lovely tree offers the perfect spot to snuggle up with a good book (then again, with lots of bees...maybe not a good idea?)

    Lessons the art of gardening teach us are so valuable. I love how you define them, especially "not filling in everything tight all at once."
    It makes me think of how I choose to spend my days, I can either fill the hours up or allow space in between for the growth my life yearns for.

    I always appreciate your wisdom Ali.

    Have a great day.

  3. Lisa W.

    2013-05-20 08:13:48 -0400

    Awwwwwwwww love these posts allot!!! Wondering with your hydrangea's do you plant in sun or shade. I planted my first two last summer, they did amazing, but we just had a last minute little frost and I think it got the one:( I am told they do not grow well in Michigan, I'm not having that and trying...yours look beautiful and I know Oregon gets ALL the season's, winter included as we do:) I have mine in morning sun only, hoping they spring back, and thinking it takes some time to get as big and beautiful as yours!!!

  4. kelly libby

    2013-05-20 08:20:08 -0400

    what a beautiful yard! You've created a wonderful space!! I live in the city and have zero yard...and I love being outside and gardening... but just last week I bought a few house plants. What a positive difference my little apartment feels like now! I'm going to keep buying more and seeing what I can grow inside. Also, I haven't done Project Life nor scrapbooking in FOR EV ER!! But, I bought a kitchen table (and a whole bunch of clearance page protectors) this past weekend. I'm so ready for Spring and Summer and the new beginnings these seasons bring for me! : )

  5. Wendy

    2013-05-20 08:51:44 -0400

    Your yard is BEAUTIFUL!!! This is my favorite time of the year to see all the color come alive. My lilacs are are almost in full bloom, my neighbors probably think I'm crazy because I'm always standing by them smelling them:) I am looking for a white lilac because I love seeing yours so much!!! I would love to know what your flowering tree is too.

  6. Kim S (nerdgrl)

    2013-05-20 09:50:04 -0400

    We've had such a crazy spring here in MN. Last year was the first year our wisteria bloomed and it hasn't even had bud break so far this year. The tulips and daffodils are finally blooming and the hosta are peeking up. The flowering trees went from nothing to full bloom in a day.

  7. Cathy L.

    2013-05-20 09:55:35 -0400

    Your yard is beautiful! Mine is overgrown right now, but the lilacs smell heavenly. I just wish they lasted longer.

  8. Jo-Anne from ZA

    2013-05-20 10:15:09 -0400

    Beautiful spring garden just about to bloom!!

    We are going into winter on this side of the globe:-)

    I guess it's cold days, chilly nights and fire places to look forward too for a couple of months.

    Enjoy the summer............and your beautiful garden!

  9. Kathy P

    2013-05-20 10:45:34 -0400

    Beautiful garden beds and yard! I live for spring every year, and I agree...while it's a lot of work, and not for everyone, gardening is truly a hobby for me. And a place to just relax and commune with nature!

  10. Jennifer K

    2013-05-20 11:16:52 -0400

    Thanks for sharing all these photos! Gotta get my green Oregon fix! :-) Great job with your yard.

  11. Clare

    2013-05-20 11:23:01 -0400

    You can set out little shallow containers of beer around you dahlia's, the snails are atrracted to them and they will drown in them. I usually use little cottage chesse containers, anything that's shallow and a saucer size.

  12. Megan W

    2013-05-20 11:46:46 -0400

    Beautiful! I heard snails don't like pennies. Also, if you bury a cup of beer (so the top of the cup is open and at ground level) the snails will go there instead. I have a friend who has done this for his raised beds. He was shocked when it worked. Downside is you have to check on it probably every day or so.

  13. Kristine V

    2013-05-20 11:49:54 -0400

    Your yard is so beautiful, thank you for sharing a peek! I have some of the same plants in mine and I too am awaiting the opening of the peonies (covered with ants doing their little job)... I love Spring and how everything comes back to life after winter.

  14. emily ruth

    2013-05-20 12:06:00 -0400

    i didn't read all of the previous comments (skimmed :) but we had snail problems, too (go figure :) & we are currently doing two things that are working:
    -egg shells, you grind them up (just inside a paper towel or with a spoon) & scatter them around the plant, apparently, the shells are difficult for snails to crawl (scoot? slime?) over & they stay away
    -copper tape around the outside of the raised bed. too slippery for them to stay on...

    they have both worked for us this year & last...

    good luck!
    your yard looks so relaxing!

  15. Carrie Alexander

    2013-05-20 14:32:18 -0400

    I'm fighting the battle of the slugs here in Redmond WA too (I have a p-patch at Marymoor Park). Our resident master gardener recommends Sluggo (you can get it at Costco for a good price right now). It's 100% pet safe and OMRI (safe for organic gardens) rated. It's iron phosphate mixed with a wheat based pellet, breaks down into the soil after rain. The slugs eat it (they like the pellets better than your plants) and it makes them not want to eat anymore and they go off to die...sad, I know. But, I WILL have peas this year because of it!!! You just have to be sure you keep the jug inside...Apparently racoons really like it too and will tear the jug apart to eat it!

  16. Anne-Liesse

    2013-05-20 14:40:03 -0400

    I think it's great that you take pictures of your yard, too. I have some layouts in my scrapbook of the yard at different times of year, and a friend that was looking through it thought it was ridiculous that I included a layout with pictures of the yard. I look at it as I am constantly amazed and surprised by what I see from year to year. There's always an element of magic to it, to me, so I take a picture of it to try to save it, beacause, as you indicated, it will be gone in a week. Thanks for the tour. T really enjoyed it.

  17. Paulette

    2013-05-20 16:25:25 -0400

    Ali, it's a beautiful yard and it will be there to accept new plantings when you have time. Normal yard maintenance is plenty time consuming. Looks like you've done tons of work already. I desperately need to move my raised garden, made from builder blocks. It's unlevel and the dirt we bought for it last year is so good that it packed and didn't absorb and drain water like it should. So, I will have to add some peat moss to it to loosen and aerate the soil, but I'm day care for my grand baby and I can't just run out there every day and do a little until it's completed. LOL So I may not invest in garden veggies this year. And may just have to enjoy other things in the yard. I have several things in pots that have been shared with me from a sweet neighbor, like lilac bushes and forsythia, that really need to get into the ground this year. They've been sitting in pots for about 3 winters. LOL

  18. Laura

    2013-05-20 17:43:21 -0400

    Oh, Ali, your yard looks heavenly. My husband and I just moved our family from Seattle to Pensacola, Florida, (with the Marine Corps) and right now I miss cool green grass, hostas, lilacs, lavender, and shade. I miss wearing a sweater in May, not needing air conditioning, and wanting a cup of warm tea in the morning and evening. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of my beloved PNW!

  19. Jessica

    2013-05-20 20:15:39 -0400


  20. Kathy

    2013-05-20 21:28:23 -0400

    Your yard looks beautiful and it is great therapy stepping outside into the garden even for 15 mins pottering around as I call it. It's probably wise to not plant too many veggies that you can't attend to given your travel commitments but it's nice to dream. PS.... do you have any idea when WITL will be scheduled for this year yet or is it too early to be picking a date given what's on your plate. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

  21. J3SS1C4

    2013-05-20 23:26:28 -0400

    Your yard looks awesome! So many plants to come into bloom!! I can't wait to have my own space so that I can have a garden even close to this amazing!

  22. ChrisyC

    2013-05-21 00:48:26 -0400

    Ali just wanted to let you know that you really do inspire me - in such a positive way and on so many levels.
    Love how you share that time in your garden is an opportunity to think, reflect and ponder on life lessons ...
    As always, love your work.

  23. CJ

    2013-05-21 01:16:42 -0400

    Your garden is absolutely beautiful, and the tree is particularly stunning. I've had a mix of burgundy and bright pink dahlias as well, and they make lovely cut flowers. Sarah Raven is great for flower inspiration. Have you thought about perennial vegetables for your raised beds? They aren't so labour instensive - maybe asparagus or artichokes - they are quite a luxury I think.

  24. Toni

    2013-05-21 06:01:47 -0400

    Hi Ali - your garden looks beautiful. You make me miss when I used to spend hours in our garden planting all sorts of things. Anyway just thought I'd say we tried the crushed egg shell trick too and it definitely works. We just hand crushed them and scattered them around the edges of the plants or garden. Safer than some snail pellets. A friend's little child thought they were like giant sprinkles...

  25. Jeanne Ann

    2013-05-26 08:18:06 -0400


    It is always an amazement when you walk through the yard to see what is new and blooming. Hubby and I have been diligently working on our landscaping since moving in 2 years ago and it is such a nice feeling of accomplishment when you can see the fruits of your labors and the anticipation of what may bloom next. Thanks for the tour!

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