Finding my green thumb

We've had what feels like endless days of rain and grey skies here in Halifax, so I'm glad we took advantage of some brief weekend sunshine and started work on our lawn. Because "progress" depends on what you're starting with, here's what our lawn looked like on closing day in early March:

Lots of potential for sure, but a few years of neglect left us with a bit of a mess. Now that spring is here, new plants are popping up everywhere and we're enjoying the process of "discovering" our landscape. It turns out we've got a lot to work with - we *just* need to clean things up, move a few things around, and add some plants for privacy and year-round interest.

The first, biggest, and definitely most exhausting job was banishing the bamboo along the front of our property. It was bamboo-gone-wild up there. We did our best to dig up the roots (and there were some real doozies), but we know we're in for a long battle (I've already been out in the yard cutting back new shoots since these photos were taken). Believe it or not, this giant pile is only half of the crap we raked and dug out of the front bed:

And here's the lovely open space left behind, ready for new planting:

So far, we've discovered that we have lots of herbs - like chives, thyme and sage - as well as some ground cover, tulips, hycinthes, lillies, roses, ornatmental grasses and hostas galore. We've also got a few of these mystery plants - any idea what they are?

We're still waiting to see what the yard looks like when all of our plants have grown in, but we're hoping to plant at least a few shrubs and evergreens this year (we figure the sooner they start growing, the better). We started with a couple of rhododendran bushes - a plant we both love and knew we wanted to have in our yard before we even had one. I planted one rhodo in the front bed:

And another around the side of the house, facing the largest section of our lawn. Wouldn't it be nice if they grew this big?

A girl can dream. For now, I'm just hoping I don't kill them haha. We also planted a couple of green mountain boxwood shrubs, which will (hopefully) grow to be about 2-3 feet wide and 3-5 feet high (as you can see in the photos below, there are still a few clumps of grass and weeds that need to be pulled out).

Finally, we planted a couple of golden euonymus shrubs - one in the front bed and another around the side of the house. They can grow up to 6 feet high and 5 feet wide, and I pretty much love, love, love the colour.

Here's a blurry shot of the whole bed (well most of it anyway), taken in the midst of this week's rain:

And here's the side of the house that was formerly without plants, and is now home to my baby rhodo and euonymus shrub. I still need to plant a baby forsythia bush - a gift from my mom - which should eventually grow to be around 4-6 feet high and 3-5 feet wide. I'm thinking about planting it around the side of the house - already home to my baby rhodo and euonymus shrub - and then I'll fill the whole thing in with a few evergreens (I'm planning to add an evergreen or two to the front bed, too). Pictures to come if it ever stops raining.

Landscaping is all about patience, since plants take awhile to grow (duh). But we're having fun figuring it out and I can already tell that we're going to have a great time "greening" our space in the years to come. Mowing the lawn on the otherhand...stay tuned.


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