reclaiming my side… yard

Three years ago, our side yard was a slope of grass and weeds. I began developing it into a flower bed immediately. My first effort at terracing helped slow the erosion of our topsoil and gave us good space for the flowers we had to transplant.

The learning curve was as steep as the side yard. I didn’t dig into the soil deep enough for the hardscape to have solid purchase. The paver pathways have begun to slope and spread and sink. It makes a great lop-sided visual, but isn’t very practical for working the beds. And weeds and volunteers are out of control, in good and bad ways…


This year I am applying more experience, and rebuilding the terraces bit by bit. The paver steps are today’s mini-project. I’ve dugout deeper, decreasing the rise of the steps to set the border stone edges more securely. As I continue this section, I plan to carve out a chunk of the slope and use the stacked blocks to build up an alcove surrounding a small landing. This would provide good access for planting and weeding and harvesting in this area.


I started the rework of this stretch earlier in the spring by raising/extending/rebuilding the lowest bed. Barrier cloth is an integrated part of the plan moving forward to help control overgrowth and minimize maintenance. For now, I’m leaving excess so I have decent overlap as the project expands.


Last year, I set the tone of the terracing redo with a small stretch near the stairs. I did not dig deeply enough to set the stacked blocks and the entire section slide into a forward lean over the winter. I lifted the section and shimmed it with cap stones as a short term fix. It will need a treatment similar to what I have begun this year.

Plus, the Asiatic lilies are opening, including the newest addition, the yellow speckled with purple. I will have to displace some of them as I continue to expand the project…

tiny padhye begins to open.
tiny padhye opening alongside tiny ghost.
the bigger patch of tiny ghost.
I am not certain of this variety: tiny nugget, tiny parrot, tiny sensation, and golden stone all closely resemble this one. If I were to dig into my memory to gaze upon the grower’s tag, I would go with tiny sensation…

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