Green Up

After all those wintertime crafty projects, it has been a welcome change to get outside and work on our evolving yard and garden.  Spring has finally arrived in Montana.

As I've said before, our house's previous owner interpreted natural landscaping as turning the front and backyards into miniature prairie and woodland landscapes, complete with no maintenance or tending whatsoever.  It took us the better part of last summer just to cut back, cut out and haul away the jungle of locust hedges, sagebrush, chokecherry and overgrown lilacs.  Then we had a clearer view of what our options were.  We did manage to put in a new flower border and some boxwood in the front yard, but the backyard remained a prairie nightmare until we bit the bullet and paid a landscape crew to bush-hog the whole thing and haul the mess away. 


This was actually a welcome sight! It was also a giant mudfest every time it rained and the dogs came in and out. Luckily, the grass has come back.  Last fall before our lives switched gears and we were all, baby, baby, baby, the Mountain Man built two raised beds for a vegetable garden:


We filled them with topsoil and compost earlier this spring and started putting in vegetable starts (we are too space-challenged to grow anything from seed inside).  So far we've planted lettuce and mustard greens, mizuna, hot peppers, cilantro, basil, thyme, oregano and tarragon.  Tomatoes, chard, garlic, shallots, cucumbers and squash.  And that's about all I can handle. 

Leaf lettuce, mustard greens, ancho chilis, jalapeno, cilantro, mizuna, thai basil
 Thyme, tarragon, oregano, garlic, shallots
 and chard

We've already enjoyed a few salads from the garden and hope to have more while the weather stays cool at night:

Greens from our garden for supper!

So our backyard looks like this today with the border around the raised beds going in, river rock to be delivered later this week to fill in around the beds and what will eventually be a flower border between the rock garden area and the rest of the yard.  We just planted five cinquefoils (potentilla fruticosa) for the back of the border and sowed seeds for some kind of cover crop that supposedly is a good nitrogen fixer that we can till under this fall and be all set for putting in perennials next summer when our lives aren't quite so hectic (in theory). 
Vegetable garden and perennial bed taking shape
Up front, our very shaded and slow growing borders look like this:
Shady Front Border
Sunnier Front Border
Looking forward to those hostas and daylillies filling in...someday.  And these containers are a bright spot on the porch steps.  Inspired by the planters in my mother's garden:
Cheery Container 1
Cheery Planter 2

And with that my active yardwork days are done for the next 6-8 weeks.  Time to fold some onesies and stock the freezer with casseroles.....

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