Our Property

Our Property

Our plot of land looks so loooooong. It’s 37′-6″ x 125″, and yes my drawing is to scale. :)

I did a bit of yard work during the day. My stepmom gave me four big yuccas and a bunch of orange daylillies. They aren’t my favorite plants, but they were free! I put the yuccas symmetrically in the big dirt patch / main garden area out front. I think they could look nice mixed in the middle of other plants. The day lillies might go along the garage in the back (just past the bottom edge of my drawing).

I went to a couple of nurseries today. Everything is so expensive! Very pretty, but expensive. I saw a nice Eastern Redbud tree for $300. They’re only $30 at Home Depot, but those are much smaller. I also saw a really pretty magnolia for $700, but we won’t be buying that.

I did go back to buy some of the little flowers that I liked. They were called “Wee Willy”! I put them in a couple of little pots.

We’re having a party for Brandon in a couple of weeks (he’s turning 30), so hopefully the yard will look a little better by then. We have no patio and no furniture back there, but I think I can pull it together. We can stick our old dining room chairs out there for the day and some folding tables will look just fine under tablecloths. I’m actually looking forward to transforming the space, even though it won’t be close to finished.

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  • aspengirl
    April 22, 2008 at 5:20 am

    How did you create the plan, it’s lovely!

  • Erin
    April 22, 2008 at 5:26 am

    If you know what you want for plants, you could try ordering things online. I don’t know where you live so this site might not be the best option but I like this one: http://www.mailordernatives.com. They have great prices and a big selection of all plants native to the US. I also like http://www.diggingdog.com – I bought beautiful hydrangeas from them last fall for $20 apiece!
    I just started reading your blog and love it. I’m about to buy a new house and I think you’ll be my inspiration when I start the process of decorating it!

  • alivicwil
    April 22, 2008 at 5:44 am

    My bf and I ‘settled’ on our townhouse last Friday, though we’ve been living here since Christmas.

    Our backyard is entirely covered with woodchip!

    I’m making a start on the planting though… Your ‘map’ of the yard has inspired me – first job for tomorrow.

    I look forward to seeing what you do with your yard :)

  • Kate
    April 22, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Check out the Arbor Day Foundation (www.arborday.org). They have a great tool online for determining the trees that will grow in your yard. And, we got a letter from them when we first moved into our house about getting 10 free trees if we joined the Foundation (we haven’t done this yet, so I’m not sure about cost, etc).

    My hubby is turning 30 at the end of May! I’d love to hear about your ideas for Brandon’s party.

  • Kate
    April 22, 2008 at 8:21 am

    I just looked at the Arbor Day Foundation website and you can get 10 trees (of your choice from a fairly large selection) and a 6-month Arbor Day Foundation membership for $10. They also have a huge selection of trees for sale on their website and all the priced I’ve seen seem pretty great. An Eastern Redbud is listed on their site for $6.98 at a shipping height of 3′-4′. They also have a large selection of Magnolias, but the shipping height for those is pretty small. And a free Red Maple with any member order…I think I’m going to have to plan my yard now, too. Their Spring shipping season ends at the end of May.

  • Gràcia
    April 22, 2008 at 8:46 am

    Your place sure looks like having a lot of potential! I’m sooo looking forward to have my own tiny piece of earth so I can do some gardening!

  • B
    April 22, 2008 at 8:53 am

    Don’t worry too much about the tree you want being small. We re-did our landscaping 5 years ago. We got the biggest of the least expensive Bloodgood maples at that time. It was about 4 feet tall. It has grown about a foot each year!Our neighbor across the street from us works at a nursery and helped us. The most important thing that she said was buy perinials in the smallest size you can – It will grow and fill in before you know it. The thing that a lot of people do is buy in a larger size – so that the landscaping looks established – but in a few years your plants will look too big for the space. You need to give space for the growth. Do you have any farmers markets instead of going to the nurseries or Home Depot? In Detroit – the Eastern market has a great selection starting in May. An you can go in the afternoon and barter and have a ton of fun with it. I would suggest for your small lot (a lot like the lots here north of Detroit) a Miss Kim Lilac. They are more of a bush then a tree – the are very fragrant and lovely.

  • laura
    April 22, 2008 at 9:11 am

    i don’t know anything about landscaping, but i do remember from some of our adventures that it is sometimes better to plant trees in the fall than in the spring. it gives them the winter to root and establish and they won’t need as much watering. so you might want to plan somethings for now and some for later, like if you want to plant some bulbs in the fall or whatever.

  • Liz
    April 22, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Have some good potential. I would go to the BHG site and do some fiddling around with their landscape tool (free).

    What font did you use for the titles? love it! i’m a font hog too :)

  • Ellie
    April 22, 2008 at 9:58 am

    I can’t wait to see what you do with your yard. I too have a longish city lot with a random cinder block and no clue what to do. But you’re one up on the fence, I had an estimate done today…$12k- yikes.

  • Amy
    April 22, 2008 at 10:02 am

    I agree with the person who commented about planting in the fall. Maybe you could stick with some containers of annuals now and then plant trees and perennials in the fall? The prices really come down in the fall as well which is a bonus and you won’t have to do as much watering in the summer heat.

  • Birdie
    April 22, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Just a warning on day lilies – they multiply like weeds. I planted a few a couples years ago and now there are about 200. So, beware. There is a nice greenhouse in Evanston called Anton’s. It’s small but they seem to have a lot of variety and are reasonably priced. And it’s family owned.

  • stacy
    April 22, 2008 at 10:55 am

    If you have SMUD as your electrical company, you can call and request trees and they will give them to you for free. If you don’t have SMUD, you might want to try who ever you are using. The companies give away trees to promote using shade instead of the a/c in the summer time.

  • Jen
    April 22, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Check out http://davesgarden.com if you do go the mail order route – they have a great company review forum that’ll let you know which company would be best to go with.

    Have fun!

  • Jen
    April 22, 2008 at 8:13 pm

    Isn’t it crazy how much money you can spend on landscaping and flowers, however it makes a home feel like a home. I think houses without great landscaping look like they just fell out of the sky.

  • Nicole RJ
    April 22, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Oh, have fun decorating the outside! Unless you splurge on those bigger bushes and plants it will be a longer process! My mom’s been working on her outside for oh, six years now. :) I can’t wait to have a patch of dirt of my own to play in.

  • Luka
    April 23, 2008 at 8:06 am

    I think you just need to seed/re-seed your lawn and purchase nice landscape rocks for interest and your yard would look very serene.

  • patricia
    April 23, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Love that you can no longer contain yourself, and you have taken your talents outside. Yard Sales are a good source for outdoor furniture and giant pots are a good way to have herb gardens and “bamboo” provides privacy –
    I find that things always grow so much faster than one thinks and that it takes a lot of moving to get the exact spot.
    Good luck and we look forward to seeing your lovely place.
    Lanterns are great or a string of garden lights too~

  • Betsy
    April 23, 2008 at 9:02 am

    Bamboo is nice but if you do it build an underground container. The house we bought had bamboo in the front and back and suddenly we had bamboo EVERYWHERE. And it grows fast. We’d leave for work and an errant bamboo stalk would be in the middle of our walk way at one foot, we’d get home and it would be four feet.

  • Amanda
    April 23, 2008 at 9:05 am

    Hey, everybody… with the Arbor Day thing… I did that ten free trees thing once. What you get is a little bare-root sprout, maybe 10-12 inches tall. So, not so much a tree, really. They take a lot of work and nurturing and attention and watering and effort…. and you might only get a few leaves the first couple of years (if you can manage not to kill them. oops). If you are looking to fill in an area over the (very) long term, it might be worth the effort. If you want to enjoy leaves and blossoms any time soon, you’re better off putting out the money for a larger tree. Sorry to rain on the free-tree parade!

    Redbuds are beautiful, and they will spread if you let them. B has a good suggestion to look for flowering shrubs and shrubs with multi-season interest (spring blooms, fall color, winter berries) as opposed to just trees. Nandina, viburnum, burning bush, forsythia, and I think there are some dogwoods that are more shrubby. Also shrub roses grow fast and look great (like Knockout). Good luck, you have a great lot to work with!

  • Making it Lovely
    April 23, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    I think I’d rather pay for a more mature tree… what if we moved before the tree ever grew into something more than a twig in the ground? I want to enjoy my little tree (if I do plant one)! Luckily, my neighbor has an Eastern Redbud right by the fence that I can look at and enjoy.

    I did do some planting today. I put in a Burning Bush and two Crimson Pygmy Barberry shrubs. The little dirt patch is coming along nicely so far, but there’s still a lot to do.

    Liz: The font I used was “Natural Face”.
    aspengirl: I made the layout in google’s SketchUp, and then colored it in Illustrator.7

    Birdie: That’s what I’m afraid of with the daylillies! My neighbor has some creeping through to our yard, and I’m afraid they’ll just spread further wherever I put them. I haven’t even planted them yet.

  • michelle
    April 24, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    ugh, oh no not barberry – http://www.nps.gov/plants/ALIEN/fact/beth1.htm

  • alison
    April 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Red Alert! Red Alert! Unless you love the yuccas and want them forever do not let their roots anywhere near your yard! I have a part time job of digging up yuccas because the former owner of our house planted a border of them in a raised bed next to our pool. I don’t know how they do in IL, but here in Michigan, they always look…words fail me…like crap. I have dug down four feet for just one plant and it’s back this year. The year before I used chemicals, hard core ones, which I never do, but I was desperate. They all came back.

    Day lilies you can pull out, but come nuclear war the yuccas will remain.

    I am going to go

  • Jen
    April 27, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    First time I’m writing even though I’ve been reading the blog for a while now.

    But I felt compelled when you mentioned the Yuccas. I’m glad Alison said something. They are extremely invasive plants and they aren’t appealing. I grew up in MD and we had Yuccas that were inherited from the previous owners. Maybe it’s because of our weather here but those things always looked horrible and EVERY year my mother would spend the summer digging them up and throwing them out. If you leave even a piece of the old root the whole thing shoots up again.

    You don’t strike me as a Yucca kind of girl. How about some nice Peonies or Hydrangea or Lilac? Now those kick A!