Backyard Progress: Preparing A Flower Bed

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been making some more progress on the backyard — specifically this one little area right by the stairs leading up to the back door, which the previous owners had had bordered off as sort of a flowerbed area.

Somehow, I seem to have missed getting a good straight-on “before” photo of this area (in the state of the backyard post, it got partially cut off in all the photos) but here’s a slightly off-center view:

Before Pic With Overgrown Tumbleweed Plant

As the above photo shows, we had a very overgrown-looking area with a gigantic tumbleweed-looking thing. In previous summers, the tumbleweed thing has greened up into a lovely plant with yellow flowers (you can see it blooming in this post) but it was just getting too big and overgrown, so I trimmed it down some. I may have gone overboard — Joe thinks I killed it, and I worry that he might be right, but I suppose time will tell.

There were a few other issues to be addressed in this little area of the yard, like for instance, this zig-zaggy metal border on the edge along the sidewalk:

Metal Garden Border

It was old and crooked and not really the style we wanted, so I pried it out. I was surprised at how one part of it had actually gotten sunken under a good chunk of the lawn, which ripped out when I removed the border:

Metal Garden Border, Pulled Out

It was easy enough to put the chunk of grass back, though.

So with the tumbleweed bush trimmed and the zig-zag metal border removed, this next photo shows what we were working with (for orientation purposes, the stairs up to the back door would be just beyond the top of this photo):

Overgrown Flower Bed

The front of this area had a piece of very old, very rotten wood as a border, so I scooped that up and removed it. And with both of those old mismatched borders gone, it was just a matter of pulling out various weeds and roots, and then loosening up the soil in preparation to plant some new stuff there.

The fun thing is, Lillian actually kind of helped with this part!

Little Gardener

Since that particular trowel was really rounded and blunt, we didn’t have any misgivings about letting her dig with it, and by all accounts she had a blast shoveling up dirt and grabbing fistfuls of it just for fun. (Working theory: “playing in the dirt” and “doing what the grown-ups are doing” are a toddler’s two favorite things, and an added bonus if you can do them both at once!) Adorably, she also started saying the word “dirt” for the first time during this exercise, pronouncing it “diwt.”

After all the weeding was done and the soil had been loosened into fluffy perfection, this was what the flower bed area looked like:

Flowerbed Progress

A huge improvement from that overgrown mess we started with, right? We still need to put down some mulch, and add some more flowers and such, and hopefully that bush will come back in spite of the severe trimming it got. And the stairs up to the back door could use a bit of work, while I’m listing things off. But at least progress is starting to happen in the backyard.

Oh, and as an added bonus, over on the right side of the photo you can see our daffodils in full bloom:

Daffodils In The Backyard

We first caught a glimpse of these guys back in this post, when they were first sprouting up in a very very overgrown flower bed. What I didn’t know then was that they’re not ordinary daffodils, but actually double daffodils — “the show-offs of the daffodil world” according to Better Homes and Gardens. So they look like daffodils, just much fuller and fluffier:

Looks like a daffodil, but fuller and fluffier.

It was a happy little surprise — especially considering that we somehow didn’t notice these last spring, which was our first spring living in this house.

Anyway, that’s the story of the progress we’ve been making on one small area of the yard so far, and we’ve been slowly trying to stab away at other areas as well — some of which haven’t gone quite as smoothly. Like this past weekend, I thought I’d try to do a little casual work on one of the garage’s window boxes, and it turned into sort of a traumatizing, curl up in a fetal position muttering “I don’t wanna talk about it” ordeal. Sorry for that cryptic bit of suspense, there’ll be a post coming soon with the whole story about that.

In the meantime, have you guys been doing any interesting gardening (or tumbleweed-bush-murdering) lately? What would you plant in this newly cleared flowerbed area? Feel free to share any stories or ideas in the comments!


  1. What an adorable pic of Lillian!! She does look like she is in toddler paradise there. LOL The flower bed area looks great! I would probably plant some tulips there, but that’s because they are my favorite flower. I think you already have some tulips, though, so you may want to go with something different. The daffodils are gorgeous!! The yard is really looking great!! :)

    • Aww, thanks! And while we do have some tulips out in front of the house, there are none in the back so far, so this might be a good place to add some to the mix! Thanks for the suggestion! :)

  2. Gardening is more fun when you have a helper! Good Job! Don’t you wonder what Lillian is thinking as she explores this new environment! Wish we were there!

    • Hehe, it’s awesome to have a little gardening helper! And it really is fun to wonder what she might be thinking about everything new she explores — I can’t wait until she can tell me! :)

  3. The daffodils are gorgeous! I have a bunch of edibles sprouting, but how many of those will translate into actual plants with food use is debatable! Though I have harvested some loquats already, and my “hanging strawberry bag of blooms” has a few actual fruits ripening. Oh, and I have some tiny beans appearing on my yellow wax bean sprouts. I have been feeding the rabbits all sorts of weeds, too, but sadly, I think we have to break down and mow, before the neighbors complain! Hmm, pumpkin and butternut squash blooms, and scuppernong vines – OH! I scored an opal basil BUSH at the Palafox Market (I had no idea they could get that big) and a smaller but equally lush parsley plant. And I am trying to sprout something called Moringa, supposed to be all sorts of healthy for people and rabbits. The seeds were free, so any results are good! Who would have thought I’d turn into such a farmwife in my old age? LOL

    • Wow, that sounds like quite a good crop of healthy produce! Sorry to hear about having to mow the rabbit food though. I imagine it would be a lot of fun to grow edible things, and I imagine it must be really satisfying to bite into something you grew yourself all the way from the seed (and an extra bonus if the seeds were free like the Moringa you mention!) Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

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