Landscaping our backyard

Well after 2 years of being in New Zealand and being surrounded by homes with beautiful gardens, I knew I was going to redesign our backyard when I got home. Most American homes have open backyards which I was not used to even after living in the US for almost 10 years. So the criteria for the landscape were a fence, a border flower bed, a compost bin, and a vegetable patch. I had a landscape drawing all ready to go prior to leaving NZ.

Within the first month of returning home, I had the contractor selected and they went to work. It took about two weeks after the material was delivered. The men came and put up the posts, then the runners, and then the fence boards and it was done.

Fence Post Finished Fence

This Spring, we started digging the sod out for the flower border. That was backbreaking work. It took months since it was just Jim and I working on it over the weekends.

Below is a picture of my vegetable patch. The landscaping around it is not complete yet but we have harvested many rounds of butter-head lettuce, mesclun and Chinese vegetables.

I have to take some pictures of the flower bed when the flowers start blooming. I bought a couple pots of hydrangeas last week and got couple of hybrid tea roses from my neighbor. I’m also waiting on my mail order of Peruvian Lilies (alstroemeria) to complete the bare flower bed. A couple of weeks ago, I spotted New Zealand Flax. They reminded me of the ones in front of Tessa’s house. When I look closer to the tag, it shows that the plant is an annual and will die off in the Midwest winter. I am still on the lookout for hardy flax. I wanted it to be the plant that reminds me of NZ.

4 Responses to “Landscaping our backyard”

  1. Ellen Tanon 08 Jun 2008 at 7:22 am

    I actually saw your garden the other day. Jim sent an email before you. Also checked out some other pics of yours. Really cool. Great job!

  2. Annetteon 08 Jun 2008 at 5:03 pm

    So nice to make contact again. Wondered how you guys were getting on especially as I was in the States end of May for my niece’s wedding.

    Been bitten by the travel bug well and truly and hope to get back to the States again – next time for longer than 6 days!

    Very impressed with your garden photos. Can definitely see a NZ influence there.

    Looking forward to reading more.


  3. Tessaon 08 Jun 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Was fantastic to hear from you and I am most impressed with the garden landscaping, just know how very hard you have both worked to get it started, hope you had a lovely spa to relax in afterwards! Strange to hear the NZ Flax is deciduous in your part of the world, guess it shows how tough your winters are. In saying that we had snow in chch on Saturday, about an inch at our place, there was a whiteout while it was on, loved it though, now only freezing cold, icy and messy! My garden has grown quite a bit though still am impatient for the trees to fill in so have put heaps of native shrubs/trees around the fence and will thin out if the exotics ever grow well enough – do you have any American native plants in your garden?

  4. Angelaon 08 Jun 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Hello Tessa, Annette,

    So good to hear from the both of you. Annette, six days in US is not enough ;-) . You’ll have to come back and you are most welcome to stay with us if you are in town.

    I have some native Illinois plants but it is still too early in summer for them to bloom. I’ll post another blog when they are all in full bloom. The common ones are purple coneflower (echinacea), shasta daisies, black eye susan, etc). They are a bit wild, I’m afraid these might be evasive and take over the rest of the flower bed!

    Do send me a picture of your garden when spring comes around, i do miss the flowers and shrubs there.


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