Time to Address The Neglected Backyard: Shady Plants Between Walkway & House

If I could describe my backyard in one word, monstrosity. If I had two words, disappointing monstrosity. My yard is a hodge podge of so many different areas, most of them containing rock. What a nightmare to remove rock that has been compacted with soil, hidden under landscaping plastic AND fabric, and topped with mulch that has been breaking down over the last few years.

For some odd reason, today I thought I would address this area of our yard. A spot that gets full sun in the morning, but shade or partial sun the rest of the day. I believe years ago it was a flower bed, but recently it looked like this (photo will enlarge if you click on it):
The area between the crushed stone walkway we built last summer and our house has always been home to landscaping fabric and mulch. Have I ever mentioned my disdain for mulch? Well it is one notch above rock because thankfully mulch does break down after a while, where as rock has to be dug out.

Instead of planting my tomatoes, I decided to remedy my ill feelings for this little patch of backyard. This is how it turned out (click to enlarge):
I will admit, I almost abandoned my vision for the area after I found some rock in the planting bed. Luckily it was contained to one spot, I think the former owners had stock in a quarry company. Why would someone love rock so much, seriously it's hidden in so many spots in my yard!

I will check in around August with an update as to how the plants have faired in this spot, with my clay soil. I did use a CLAY BUSTER and COMPOST when I dug the holes for the plants. I know the clay is super hard to penetrate, so I made sure to dig my holes extra large and fill with softer material to ensure plant success (fingers crossed). If you would like to know what plants I chose for the area, here is a little key to their names. Below the photo (click to enlarge) I will link to a nursery website with more plant information.

Salvia Microphylla 'hot lips' meadow sage- info here.
A. HOSTA- wide brim- info here.
B. ASTILBE- info here.
C. VIOLA- 'Baby Franjo'- info here.
D. VIOLA-Rubra- info here.

Now I'm off to take a bath. It's still very much spring around here in Colorado, cloudy mornings, afternoon thundershowers, mild temperatures, with some nice sunshine breaking through every day around noon. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, a tornado touched down in my town today as I was gardening. Or shall I say, as I was retreating inside a tad bit scared by the storm that rolled in really fast. But the skies were blue before I knew it and I was out back to work.

Tomorrow's to do list, finish up my vegetable garden....


  1. It looks great! I miss gardening. Can't wait to see the veggie garden. We have basil and the tomatoes are out, but not ripened yet. ~MH

  2. that looks great! our side yard is the opposite--we put some raised beds, but still need a crushed stone walkway. The soil here is awful--we have to add so much compost to it.

  3. that looks great! our side yard is the opposite--we put some raised beds, but still need a crushed stone walkway. The soil here is awful--we have to add so much compost to it.

  4. We had to fight through tons of ugly rocks to plant in front of our house, and it took forever (last year!) This year it seemed well worth it to watch the irises and tulips come up and the grasses starting to fill in. Forget the garden today--it's freezing out there!

  5. Looks fantastic. It's amazing how simple things can make such a big improvement. I'm sure you wouldn't describe all the work as "simple" though. :-)

  6. great work, i love hostas they grow so well here. can't wait to see it in person.

  7. Good Job on the flower bed! I had high hopes for a bed in our yard that is a weed pit but I lost the motivation and it is still a weed patch.

  8. Impressive...it looks fabulous! The tornado part is scary...but I'm sure that to other earthquakes would be scary. Tornadoes scare me, but not as much as volcanoes. I think hurricanes are probably best because at least you have a LOT of warning and time to prepare. (sorry...just realize how off topic I rambled there)


Post a Comment

I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!