Friday, March 9, 2012

New in 2012: Garden in the Shade

When I first moved in, with my husband, he lived in a small house. On this property. It was run down. He actually, only lived, in 3 rooms. But Billy had started plans, for a larger home. We'd only been dating a short time. As in about 6 weeks. We met in May, and were married in September! Things moved fast.

So our home, was a blank slate. All except a few trees. 6 HUGE weeping willows, create a nicely shaded area, in our backyard. They actually keep, our porch, nice and shading. We have a big "Southern Style" porch. Usually, they wrap around the entire house. But in our case, only halfway around. The shade, is very welcome, in the summer! We live in the desert southwest. And we can see 60+ days a year, of triple digits! Those trees, we love them!

Except for one thing, we can't grow anything under their shade. NOTHING! The grass is even beginning to die off. With our 3 outdoor loving kids, this is not good! So I asked my friend for some advice. Because I really want a beautiful, shaded oasis. Like her backyard! Something like this.

What did I learn? We need to buy grass seed, for shaded areas. I didn't even know, that this was available. And Cari gave me a list, of plants and flowers, that do well in the shade. Oh, I was so excited! Then one night, Lola and I were talking. And she sent me this link. Oh boy! It made my day!

Lola actually bought this set. A few years ago. And this was her secret. All along! I had no clue. But she has 2 large pecan trees, that pretty much shade her entire front yard, all day long!

As I hear it, she had a gorgeous lawn. Until those 2 trees, got HUGE! Then she looked for a solution, to her dying grass. The obvious, she had her trees trimmed. But as they matured, she had the same issue. All the grass, surrounding the trees, was dying.

That's when Lola bought 2 of these sets. And planted the bulbs, around the tree trunks. It added a lot of depth, and color to her yard. Not to mention, curb appeal! And I just LOVE all the flowers! :)

Over the years, she's added many other plants and flowers. Many that Cari suggested. And that I've found, easily in our local nurseries. But I think, this is a good start for me.

Until now, I've gone out, and bought large planters. And every year, I've planted flowers in them. Things that you can find at Lowe's, Wal-Mart, or the local nursery. But they die quickly. I know now, it's because they needed more sun. And the constant moving of the planters, wasn't helping. Either my plants were in the shade, or in direct desert sun. Now I know!

Anyway, I ordered 4 of these sets. I hear that all these plants and flowers, should come back, year after year. So I was OK, with the investment. Sunday, Billy and I planned and dug, our way, through our shade. Because our trees sort of border our grassed backyard, it made it easy. We planned out the planting. Along the porch, around trees, and even along the tree line. On the backside. When these plants mature, it should look nice. Until then, we need to remember where we planted things. I'd HATE to mow down our plants!

I spent most of Monday and Tuesday mornings, planting. That would be 100 bulbs! In case you didn't notice this. I've been watering the area. And watching. I know, it's been less than a week. But I'm anxious!

And on top of that, I went to the local nursery. And bought a few plants. For our planters. Shade loving plants. They added a little color, to our seating area. I'm hoping that by Summer, we'll have some nice color. Oh, I'm so excited! Can I call myself a gardener yet? This is the first time, I've planted something from a seed, or bulb. And honestly, it wasn't that bad!


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