garden update: late April

It seems odd to do a garden update when it’s late April and nothing has gone in yet. But I find that you can appreciate the beauty of a garden in August even more if you remember what it looked like in April, when it was still coming out of the grip of winter, when the color brown was more prevalent than green.

So it’s with that in mind that I show you the state of our gardens right now. Let’s start with the front, where the landscaping is showing signs of spring.

This next one is one of those weeping heart plants. It grows so quickly, it’s unbelievable. Probably within a week or two we’ll have the pink hearts all over our sidewalk!

These are all plants that were there last year or longer, so none of this is planned or part of my bee-friendly plantings. We are waiting until a little closer to the final frost date so we can do all the gardening/landscaping starts in the same weekend. Helps with time management.

After the lovely spring flowers in the front bed, you’d think you might see a sign of spring in the backyard too. Well, the answer to that is no. Our backyard looks like a barren, brown wasteland. Kind of embarrassing, to an extent, but so far our available time and nice weather haven’t matched up to really get out there. Soon, very soon.

This is the view from the deck. Notice the broken Chinese takeout container that got buried in the snow and then never picked up! (We use those takeout containers to take food and water to the chickens. We don’t eat takeout in the backyard in winter.)

I didn’t take a photo of the deck itself, but I have plans for it this year too. I want to adjust our grill so that the rest of the deck is usable. Right now we have only a small portion of the deck that’s covered, near the door. So we pull the grill over to that area in the winter so that if the weather’s crap, we can still pop right outside the door and use it. But when the weather is consistently nicer, I’d like to be able to have some chairs and a place to read among some planter boxes, etc. 

This is under the deck. The remnants of containers from last year and probably some chicken treats on the patio. And chicken waste, because that’s always beautiful on concrete!

I also like how they’re hanging out in the yard in a group, looking at me taking photos all “what in the world is she doing?” (I brought them some apple afterwards to say thanks.)

This next shot is the raised bed that Mark planted spinach in last fall. (Spinach we’re eating now, ironically.) Also, some torn row covers, the dreaded takeout container that I really need to pick up this morning, and a giant pile of wood and straw and dirt behind the bed, which we’ll get to in a second.

Here we have the little areas we grew cucumbers and corn in last year. We sort of let these patches just die out and stay there over winter, which is why they’re looking so dismal. 

And the melon/pumpkin patch area. Last year once the plants were overrun by squash bugs and were done producing, we pulled off the guards around the patch that were keeping the chickens out and let them destroy it, which I think they thoroughly enjoyed. You can also see the compost area in the back, with the cord that helped us keep the chickens’ water from freezing hanging over the top. Need to deal with that too! See, posting photos online about how yuck your backyard is can be good motivation to get off your lazy hind end and do a few things.

This large hole in the ground with two piles is what will be a hugelkultur bed. Once the stuff is layered back in the hole, we’ll be making it a raised bed too. This is Mark’s project, so I don’t know as much about it, but it essentially involves burying decomposing wood. But right now the yard looks like someone’s digging graves.

This tree is on the right side of our yard when you face the garages, and it’s budding quickly. It gets really beautiful, and shades a little corner of the backyard for the chickens in the summer. Right now I look at it and just see “allergen” though.

As for the other tree on the left side, no real buds yet. We’ve had concerns about the health of this tree because of the way it’s splitting and moving. We’ll have to keep our eyes on this guy.

I hope that your backyard and gardens are well on their way to looking lovely, peaceful and full of spring. If they aren’t, go ahead and look at these photos of mine and it will make you feel better! Thankfully this is the time of year where things transition quickly, so in just a few weeks it will look vastly different.

Now to go pick up that takeout container…


  • Ber

    Hahaha! I love this post :) I agree, it’s great to look back on the before pics at the end of summer to see how much has grown and blossomed.