Here are before and after pictures of our back garden.
Backyard bed shortly after we moved in
Backyard bed after, early August 2013, what you see from dining room. Beyond the Japanese maple is the new shrub border
I described the garden in this previous post. Conditions: sandy soil and part shade; by mid-afternoon the lawn has dappled shade cast by three mature oaks. It is very comfortable on hot days.
We had our work cut out with the dead lawn, which we reseeded last August
A large Norway maple was cut down by the owner last year. (How lucky for us.) Notice how thin the grass and hedge had become in its dense shade…
Norway maple stump in the area where we decided on a shrub border. To start, we simply covered the thinning grass with a thick layer of wood chip mulch
Shrub border with Hydrangea ‘Quick Fire’ (in bloom) and fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica ‘Gro-Low’) around the stump
Existing woody plants: three mature oak trees, a ‘Bloodgood’ Japanese maple, privet hedge, spirea, a forsythia, rhododendrons along the back and diseased euonymus (which we removed). Perennials that were here I divided; they included daylilies, hostas, ladies mantle, trilliums (in spring), ferns, autumn joy sedum (moved from the front yard) and heucheras (also from the front yard). We brought a number of hostas, ferns and other shade lovers with us when we moved from our country garden.
The other side border, with an oak smothered by ivy and existing hostas, which I divided, and daylilies, also divided and moved elsewhere
Hydrangea ‘Quick Fire’ (back); existing hostas, sunshine impatiens and my favorite standby, purple oxalis (Oxalis triangularis) in front of existing spirea
I think the fun of gardening isn’t about plants or digging in the ground. (I’m not a fan of digging and do as little as possible.) For me, it’s all about transformation. I seem to choose places that need makeovers and then I get tremendous satisfaction contemplating the before and after.
Overview: the back of the house and the lawn. The Japanese maple had grown lopsided because of Norway maple shade. Now it should grow out