Backyard Beauties

For the past six months, my backyard has been the black sheep of my garden. I have been renovating my basement into an apartment for my sister and sister in-law and dreading the thought that at some point there would be an egress window dug out in one of the beds. Without going into any detail, I’ll let pictures below do the talking…


A nightmare in real life

Before construction of the egress window began, I did my best to dig out adjacent plants and get them out of the way. I was not prepared for my garden to be left in this state of disarray for six weeks! Eventually the original company was fired and a new company came and completed the work in a day! Then my awesome contractor swooped in for the final cleanup. I came home to the following picture one day. Overall, there was minor plant damage, but the grass was toast and left me seriously considering if I should finally just give in and gravel the whole damn backyard!


Looking better!

Bless my contractor. Imagine what he had to endure from this crazy garden man endlessly fretting about his garden for months! He and his crew brought in some grass seed and peat moss and in another five weeks or so it looked like this…


Beautiful new grass!

They even did the rest of the backyard, but I probably should have killed ALL the grass and started over since the new stuff looks so damn perfect and doesn’t have any weeds or clover!

I dream of one day reimagining the entire backyard with fabulous hardscape, a shade structure and fancy seating. For now I’ll have to settle with shifting outdoor furniture around and dressing things up a bit! I’m going to marinate (with a glass of wine, of course) on the idea adding some temporary pavers to this area. For now, the grass is definitely staying!


It was time to retire the wooden adirondack chairs and fire pit for a more modern vibe

Inspiration is everywhere and I’m so fortunate to know some talented and gracious gardeners who have shared their gardens with me. This little potted plant grouping is my humble “homage” to Danger Garden. I was lucky enough to score one of her agaves at our latest plant swap. All this spiky goodness seemed like a prefect match for these fabulous containers I got last summer at the closeout sale from Contained Exuberance!


Agave salmiara ferox (thanks Loree!), Agave victorie-reginae (thanks Matthew!), Agave ‘fromlanceatheswapii’ (thanks Lance!), and two plants that miraculously survived outside this winter…Anigozanthos flavidus and Cuphea ignea ‘David Verity’

The inspiration for this blog came from a particularly crappy morning, so I started taking pictures of pretty things to make me happy. So, without further ado, here are my current “Backyard Beauties”.

IMG_1207 2

Anigozanthos flavidos flower bud! Neglect has it’s rewards!

Solanum crispum ‘Glasvin’

Paeonia ‘White Sands’

Paeonia ‘Coral Sands’

Tradencentia (perhaps ‘Osprey’)


Astrantia major ‘Star of Fire’

Iris sinenisii

Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Dianthus barbatus ‘Green Ball’

Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’

Tanacetum densum ssp. amani

Clematis florida ‘Seiboldii’

Ozothamnus romarinifolis ‘Silver Jubilee’

Erica terminalis


Sisyrinchium striatum



Paeonia ‘Border Charm’

Paeonia ‘Border Charm’

5 thoughts on “Backyard Beauties

  1. Agaves in such a confined garden? As much as I like yuccas, I really do not like them, or agaves, where people can bump into them. Those things are nasty! If they get to be a problem, you might want to clip the spines blunt with nail clippers.


  2. I LOVE your new “modern” seating area. The furniture, the pots, the plants… well done! (ahem, do not clip those spines!) everything is looking fabulous, congrats on moving past the ugly construction phase. Oh and I am so jealous of your Clematis florida ‘Seiboldii’. My plant kicked the bucket.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry to hear about your crappy morning. Your beautiful photos made me smile, so actually being there must have lifted your spirits considerably. Agh! About the construction chaos and debris, but it’s gorgeous now!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Doing a little photographing does wonders for a weary soul, I find. Congratulations on your new basement apartment and on having close family nearby. Both are wonderful achievements, I think! Love your new hang out area, too – well done! As for flowers, that Paeonia ‘Coral Sands’ is just fab. My hat is off to you for managing to get a bloom on that Clematis. Bought two in a bag (from Costco of all places!!) this spring. They are still alive. No blooms yet, but fingers crossed – both that they will survive, and that they were not mislabeled. I would love to eventually see that thing bloom in my garden too!

    Liked by 1 person

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