The unbelievable before and after

These pictures of my house seem like one of those crazy commercials where there is a little asterisk and it says results not typical. I can’t believe how much my yard has grown up this first year. This was July last year:

And late June this year:

We only lost a little lavender plant (you might notice the small gap) and our vine maple. The Guy (his name is Guy Countryman) who did our rock and everything brought us a new one this spring. It is pretty amazing if you consider that we planted on one of the hottest days of the year last year. My landscape designer told me this little rhyme, “The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap.” Um… I don’t know how much more leaping these plants will do, they all ready wow me every time I walk up to the house.

And now:

Are you kidding me with those plants? I had to move some of the little ones because these guys (Lady’s Mantle) went ca-razy! I love them, and have put them in loads of bouquets. Oh yes, bouquets. I can step out and make one whenever I like!
If you’ll recall when I was planning my yard I worked to find someone who would raze the whole top layer because I didn’t want to use any chemicals to kill the weeds/grass that was already there. I planned on having an organic garden and I’m happy to say I do! I love to be out in my yard so taking the time to weed and get to know my plants is very enjoyable for me. Luckily Tuesday loves it as well. She has caught the weeding bug so bad that she points them out everywhere, even on city property or other people’s yards! Ha! And you can’t see the slug damage on plants or powdery mildew on my roses in these pictures. Both things that I’ve had to find natural solutions for. I also had root weevil and used beneficial nematodes (that totally freaked me out).

I am in my soil and looking through my plants nearly daily. This gives me a pretty good idea of the condition of the soil (great, tons of worms!) and plants. At the bridal shower I was asked who my gardener was. We don’t have one. Bj and I do everything ourselves in the yard (including setting new drip lines, building things, electrical work—he’s put in some lighting, etc.). We have long workdays out there, but more often it’s mornings or evenings working together. Believe it or not it is a zero stress environment. We may not agree on everything decoration wise inside (oohhh wait until you see what I dug up to hang on my wall), but out here there is room for all the things we want to try. And if it doesn’t work out we’ll move it . When I planted this garden I knew so little about what to deadhead and when to prune. I’m paying for a that a little this year as some of my things got quite “leggy” from not doing it properly. Lucky for me we’ve had tons of rain this spring and I think that was very forgiving to me in a lot of ways. Can you believe looking at this lush loveliness that we’ve only been watering for a few weeks? Those rumors you hear about Oregon and rain are true (it is raining as I write this!)!
So yes, those plants will grow. Yes, you’ll kill a few. Yes, you can organic garden. And yes, it adds so much beauty to your life!

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  1. It’s beautiful! This is one of the things we are working on at our house right now…but the weed problem is killer. I refuse to use Round-Up…but it looks a little like a jungle. I might just need to embrace the wildness of it all. 😉

  2. Oh my goodness! It looks amazing! I bet your neighbors LOVE you! I may just print one of those pics out and frame it, just so I can bask in that beauty every day! Again, this is another reason why hiring someone to do it (design) right the first time totally pays off!!! AMAZING!!!! ps that is not really the true before…..your before looks like my dream after!

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