April 24, 2009

My kids said I was probably one of the only people cutting down trees on Earth Day. They were traumatized. Planting new ones in their stead wasn't good enough for them, I had robbed the squirrels and birds of potential homes. I guess that was my momentary punishment for raising my kids to be environmentally conscious. LOL!

Last year we moved into a home with a very "natural" backyard. The people that built this home and lived in it for 23 years before selling it to us were the only ones in the neighborhood that didn't remove every single tree and replace them with grass. I love my backyard. We have nearly every bird imagineable flying around. We receive visits from deer from time to time (I'd like to forget the visits from the snakes though). It doesn't get any better than this so close to the city. The challenge is, what do I do with it?

We removed the dead trees, trimmed the ones growing into the house, and removed the ones that were growing into their neighbor trees. I've scoped out the section to plant my garden but the rest is a mystery. Do I plant wild flowers that will return every year? Once the trees get their leaves we will have a shortage of sunlight. The kids want a pond, my hubby wants a spot for his hammock, I was thinking a fire pit would be fun.

If your reading this and have any interesting ideas on how to bring the backyard to life (even more life than it has now), please share! I'd really appreciate it!!
egassner said...

Oh Michelle! Your backyard would be soooo much fun to work with! I see you already have some trails...I would make some more. Have an main, then little ones that take you into 'secret' spots. One for your hubby's hammock. One for the girls' pond.
I would plant some underbrush, bushes, tall flower, and wild flowers.
Just start in one spot and work from there...otherwise you'll overwhelm yourself

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for the tips Elizabeth!!! I appreciate your input. I'll have to google underbrush cause I have no idea what that is. LOL! I know perennials, annuals, some wildflowers. I like the idea of little trails in to secret spots, the kids will love that!

Michelle said...

Just saw the underbrush. That is an excellent idea. The kids always wanted an area to treat like a fairy garden and the underbrush will fit right in. I'm headed to Bachman's garden store this afternoon so I'll see what they have.

Anonymous said...

Michelle, there are lots of native wildflowers that are shade loving - e.g. trillium, spring beauties, trout lilies, to name a few. These usually come out in the spring when the leaves haven't fully come out yet. Mayapples do well under the canopy too. Can't think of anything else off the top of my head right now, but you might want to ask a DNR person where you are, or check online for more ideas on native plants that grow in your area. We're huge supporters of growing non-invasive, native plants.

I think a pond is a fabulous idea! You will have so much wildlife thanking you!

Yes, a firepit would be great too. They are so much fun...for roasting marshmallows or just sitting around. :)

Michelle said...

Thank you Teresa! I needed that tip on shade loving plants! We use to live in a city where our home would get full sun all day so basically all I know are perennials and annuals that love sun. With all of the trees now we are lucky to get partial sun (I'm hoping the removal of the dead ones and the trimming will bring in more light). We'll know for sure in May when the leaves come out.

I love native plants. We have some really beautiful ones here in MN. I will check with the DNR and see if they can give me the names of some that will do well in our yard. Thanks for the tip!!

cindy said...

Michelle, wow!! You have really been busy cleaning out the area. IMPRESSED!!!!