I took a bunch of photos today despite it being cloudy (and has now started raining). I want to use this post as a pictorial reminder of the things I want to tweak in the fall and spring. The thing most needed is moving plants to a better location. I am adding notes with each photo to help me later.
As for me, I've been seriously focusing on self-care, or "kind" self-care, as I like to call it. I read some of Anne Lamott's ideas on radical self-care, and at first I was taking that approach as well. But for me, the word "radical" felt too militant and forceful. What I thought I needed was self-care with a lot of TLC. I am seeing real results in my efforts. I feel better, I look better, I am happier, and I have more energy to do the things I need to do. I realize more than ever before, that I need to take care of myself first. It doesn't mean I don't do what's needed to help my family and friends. It only means that if I neglect myself in the process, I not only harm my own health and well-being, I'm not really able to give the time and effort needed to help those who depend on me.
Changes eventually become new habits. And you're never too old to change. When I want to change something specific, I set some short-term goals to focus on just that one thing while not neglecting my other newly-formed habits. So change is gradual. But at some point you surprise yourself with where you are overall. I'll say I'm happy to be where I am but I'm not finished yet. This year will continue to be the year of Kind Self-Care.
And now for the photos of the yard. The photos start at the back patio and make a circuit of the entire yard with some commentary.
|Starting at the patio looking to the backyard, I like how they cut the vines back to the retaining block wall. I still have patio cleanup to do myself.|
|The shade garden has plenty of plants but is slow growing this year. It was a cool wet May, but the new warmer weather will get things moving. Only thing to do in the fall is remove remaining iris plants.|
|This middle upper level is fine. I won't plant anything here. I have a project for those bricks in the foreground.|
|Still need to get rid of that old grill. I tried taking it apart, but the bolts are rusted tight. We have extra trash pickups throughout the summer and I'll try again to get rid of this.|
|I lost one of these small trees in the winter which opened up the upper backyard a bit and made it sunnier. I have water coverage on some of this ground, so I want to add some of my perennials here and maybe some large grasses.|
|A gopher tried to kill the ornamental pear third in this line. I've braced it with a rock and am trying to save it. I'm diligently watching for new gopher mounds and applying smoke bombs to the burrows, which seems to work well.|
|A view looking down the steps where a little Frankie looks for gophers in the vines.|
|Gopher mound, grrr! Right in the middle of my beautiful corner garden. I applied a smoke bomb today. Hope it works.|
|Love this pink salvia. I think I'll repeat this along the long east side of the yard.|
|I fogot to get the guys to remove this yucca. It has become yucky and needs to go.|
|The big view along this side looks pretty and there will soon be more color. But there are a couple of problem areas to address.|
|This area is just sad. Definitely not getting enough water. The geum needs moved away from the lavender. I want to add a pink salvia and some more of the same sedum here to repeat that look along the sidewalk. Need to solve the water problem.|
|The purple catmint is waning and the color will be replace by the Russian Sage soon and the orange hummingbird plant will add a punch of color.|
|Ice plant is dying out everywhere. Some of the pink chintz thyme died here too. I might just dig up the old ice plant here.|
|A very shady interior spot. I have a few things planted in here, but I don't think I should pursue plantings here. Maybe just a nice little park bench to dress up the space.|
|Lots of competing ground covers here. I've severely cut back the hummingbird plant as it encroaches on everything. Also here are ajuga and thyme. I will be moving a lot of this ajuga to the along the east side of the yard.|
|The Mexican primrose came back this year. It's much pinker than this picture shows. This side of the house is so shady now and I've lost a couple of fire bushes here. I have to think about what to do with this space.|
|This area right by the driveway is a problem. Too much hummingbird plant here. I've lost a number of plants I've added here, so I'm not sure what to do. Giving it some more thought.|
|I discovered a stonecrop plant that volunteered where i had dug up an old one to move to a better area. I think I'll move this to the front corner garden.|
|The blanket of pink chintz thyme looks brown now that the pink flowers have faded. Sometimes I actually trim the dead blooms off to let the lovely green of the thyme plant to show through. It's labor-intensive but worth it.|
|The wisteria has sent up wonderful vines climbing all over the arbor I put up last year. I had the guys trim it up. Next year, I should start getting blooms again.|
|Front corner garden. I like how this is coming. Need to be sure water is getting everything. Move the purple salvia away from the white salvia. Add the rock crop here and maybe some of the sedums that I have in the upper corner garden.|
|The rock wall is fine but weed prone. I will try some Preen in here to keep the weeds at bay. I notice the guys left a lot of morning glory in here.|
|Lower corner from another angle.|
|Before the coreopsis bloomed, I had glorious yellow iris in bloom here. This garden doesn't need a lot of change, But is a little bare on the east side.|
|Some of the backyard pots. I have an unbelievable 30 pots large and small to hand water this year. I won't do that again!|
|And back where we started at the shady patio.|