Tuesday, May 24, 2022

landscaping progress

Hello friends ~

We're still enjoying mostly good weather here in Illinois. This past week has been cool, maybe a little bit too cool. I've had to turn the heat on in the mornings. Thunderstorms are coming in tomorrow and then rain the next couple of days, but Memorial Day weekend looks to be warm and sunny, which will be perfect for a celebratory BBQ.

In the meantime, it's been wonderful to enjoy the patio and outdoors once again. We've been working hard in the yard, weeding and mulching and planting. No complaints - we both still love yard work.

My peony bush is ripe with buds, so I expect after the next few days of rain and then the returning sunshine and warmth, they should be exploding into bloom. One of my favorite flowers!

The only new perennials we added to our yard this year were lupines. We planted them in the butterfly garden in-between the lamb's ear. The columbine is blooming right now, as you can see in the background. That will fade, then the purple coneflower and bee balm will be blooming to the side and in back of the lupines, so I can't wait to see how this all will look!

Even though Brian and I have always done our own yard work and landscaping, we have realized the past few years that we need some extra help. There's some jobs that are beyond our capability. We had a new front sidewalk put in a few years ago and Brian edged it with the traditional black plastic strips. However, they wouldn't stay in place and kept popping out of the ground, especially on the ends. We had also planted fountain grasses on one side of the sidewalk. Three of the smaller variety died this year, so we dug them out. We were left with a sloppy look.

The other side of the sidewalk butts up against the side of the garage. We had two iron trellises here for height interest and planted Passion Flower vines every spring to entwine around the trellises. I removed the trellises before the landscapers came...

The other part we needed help with was planting bushes and making a rock wall in our small front yard. As you can see from the photo, our front yard slopes down towards a drainage ditch. This ditch area used to be filled with day lilies but we had them dug out (by our village Public Works department) a couple of years ago. They put down grass seed and a straw mat, but the grass never grew in nicely.

To start, the landscapers dug out a path along the sidewalk, lined it with landscaping fabric, and installed metal edging on both sides.

Same with the other side against the garage.

Starting the layout of the rock wall and bed for the bushes...


As you can see, we need to re-seed the slope in front of the bushes. That will be done next week. And the other thing the landscapers did was to dig out the invasive buckthorn that was growing onto our property from the neighbor's property next door. You can see some of that mess on the left side. We have decided our next step is to have privacy fencing installed along this area, starting where the neighbor's fence ends.

Here's a better view of the neighbor's property as seen from our front porch. You can see why a privacy fence would be a good idea! That invasive buckthorn came all the way up into the now-bare spot on our property. We need to seed that area now, too. And yes, our grass has a lot of weeds. We don't put any chemicals on our lawn, so it is what it is.

For those of you in the US, have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


  1. What a wonderful difference! I love the stone along the sideway and the rock wall they built. Have a great rest of the week!

  2. It looks beautiful! I'm glad it's raining because it means I don't have to remember to water. Enjoy the nice weather this weekend! Xoxo

  3. Impressive. Looks great.

  4. Those flowers are so intricate-looking and pretty! I'd love to have landscaping done, but I don't know when it will happen. I have tried to find Lamb's Ear this year, since I miss my big clump of it at the old apartment, but so far haven't been able to locate any. I'm looking a little too late than I usually do.

  5. All looks fabulous Melanie - so glad you hot really good landscaping people to assist by looks of the final job. Now you can sit back and enjoy before working on the fence extension perhaps - summer days are on the way.
    Hugs - Mary

  6. That looks so finished and pretty. I miss my peony bush I had in Wheaton. Yours will be opening soon with all this rain. Happy Memorial Day.

  7. How lovely! I’ve often thought about hiring a pro to do the tough stuff, maybe someday I will. Love those lupines.

  8. Melanie, your gardens always look like what I aspire mine to look like, but living out on the dry prairie, I really don't have a chance. I just LOVE lupine. (I discovered there's a native lupine, so I'm going to give that a try. It requires less water). I love the way the rock wall turned out.


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