Monday, October 11, 2010

Summer Backyard Sharefest

"Gone are the birds that were our summer guests."
                                                 ~ Longfellow

I've been working in my backyard the last couple of days (not because it needs it but because it desperately needs it) and gathered these flowers...probably the last of the season.  I'm sad.  I love fresh cut flowers and I've had a steady supply all summer long.  

This summer has been super hot and dry and my backyard has suffered.  But, back in June, our house was on a non-profit fund raising home and garden tour.  This backyard picture was taken the morning of the tour.  

 When we bought the house, it and the yard had been abandoned for several years.  Here are some before pictures of the yard
....I hope you're not eating.

Two years later...

The "stepping stones" are recycled sidewalk concrete and the brick edging was found buried in the yard.

All together, I've planted a fig tree, 2 peach trees, a plum, a pear, an apple, 3 blueberries, 6 blackberries, a scuppernong vine and a vegetable garden. Oh, and 2 potato barrels.

I used humongous (20' - 30' long!) vines I found in the woods for a support system for the blackberries.  The posts were salvaged from the original fence row. 

The chicken coop, made from a salvaged satellite dish, is in the back corner and is guarded by Cornelius.  

I did have the real thing -- a rooster who first learned to crow early one Sunday morning.  I was mortified.  He was waking up all the neighbors so I did what I always do in an emergency -- called 911.  

Not really, but I did google "How to stop a rooster from crowing" and the number one answer was ..."To stop a rooster from crowing on Sunday morning, cook him for dinner on Saturday night!"  That's a true story.  You just can't make this stuff up.

In the opposite corner, there's a small vegetable garden with a chicken tractor housing two hens who have the job of cleaning, tilling and fertilizing the garden.  The 4'x8' "tractor" fits perfectly on 10 garden beds of the same size.  Of course, I did the math before constructing the tractor and checked into poultry labor laws. 

The paths in the garden are made from old indoor/outdoor carpet we pulled out of the house.  

Noah with Millie and Chick - a - dee in the garden
I practice "no dig" or "almost no dig" gardening in my vegetable garden and my flower beds that goes something like this...  

Not very glamorous but if anyone's interested, I might do a post on the process I use.

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  1. I'm in love!!! what a sweet backyard!

    Take care!

  2. you have done amazing job yo your lawn i love it i would be so interested in any info or tutors on what and how you did any of the above.

  3. Hi,

    As another avid gardener I really enjoyed this is so much fun to see what other people do to create a garden. It is quite amazing what you have done here. I use a similiar technique to remove grass...with newspapers and it leaves the soil in wonderful shape. Very, very pretty garden, Lindy! Good job.

  4. Lindy, you backyard is stunning!! How far it has come in the last few years! Enjoy it! I love your flowers too!

  5. You have really transformed that yard into a beautiful retreat. I admire your talent. I will miss summer flowers too. All my gerberas are gone and my roses have settled down for the season I think too. Loved seeing your farewell summer blooms...I had read somewhere that having flowers in the room increases spirits and decreases depression & anxiety. Some study somewhere.I believe it. =0)

  6. Looks like you've done A LOT of work in the past two years, but it looks great. I'm envious of your vegetable garden. We had one when I was growing up, but now I live in a subdivision where you can't have one. Even if we could, the lot is too shady.

    Your flowering areas look so pretty too. Must be nice to sit out and relax out there. I think the heat was bad on everyone this year. I neglected my garden all summer and all my neighbor's yards didn't look their best either. Hopefully next year the weather will be kinder on all of us.

  7. What a superb transformation... great, no one can immagine that much befor and after, It required so much effort and hardworking I can understand it... Before and after of a room is not as hardship as it is... Congrates for your efforts and you have the sweet fruit...
    Hope you would like to peep to my new post at
    hope you enjoyed

  8. What a great back yard!! I LOVE those huge vines! You have been very busy, but well worth it! Creativity abounds!! Do you do lasagna gardening? Thanks for sharing!

  9. Your backyard is great! Love the chicken coop.

  10. Just beautiful! I lasagna gardened my first time this year...and I don't think I will ever dig again. Love all your resources, the vines, the old sidewalk cement, the indoor outdoor the chicken coop! I just love it all :)
    Please do post your method of no dig gardening...I'm getting old and everything hurts me...anything no dig is a very worthy post!

  11. Oh my goodness ~ your backyard is a little utopia :) I'm sure it was a lot of effort, time & hard work but boy oh boy, was it worth it! All of your flowers look so nice and you have that wonderful flat grass that is perfect for children to play on. I so wish I could have chickens ~ we have a family of HUGE hawks that lives in our backyard/creek area and I'm afraid they would get gobbled right up. Don't be alarmed if you look out back one day soon & find me there, enjoying the view! Ha!

  12. I have to say I was shocked at how bad the backyard looked before you gave it the makeover. You said you hoped we were eating...and I thought bad can it be...and it really was that bad.

    It is so beautiful now. I'd love to have some chickens myself...but don't think they'd mix well with the weenies. I know they wouldn't because my sister who also had 4 weenies...had chickens a couple of years ago and every week I'd call to ask how the chickens were. And each week there was one less chicken. Darn those weenies!

    But I love the idea of it.

    I am very interested in your no digging gardening. I've noticed one of the yards being redone in my neighborhood had covered most of their yard with plastic and it's been that way for months. I assume it's to kill all the grass underneath? Enlighten me.

  13. Lindy ... beautiful yard! You've really brought the place back from the dead. Gorgeous!

  14. Lindy-I am on vacation and using hotel's WiFi so this won't be long. That yard is absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful...I am so envious. Mine is awful this year. I do the no digging gardening is a wonderful base. Loved the story about your rooster...please, please tell me you did NOT eat him the next Saturday night! lol Diana

  15. O.K the chicken coup made from a satelite dish and the acorn tutorial have convinced me to be your newest follower. Love it!! That is my kind of decorating!

    :) Michelle

  16. I no-till that way too!! Your garden is fabulous.

  17. I love your yard, it is beautiful. I liked the one comment that said utopia...just one question....WHAT THE HECK IS A CHICKEN TRACTOR?????

  18. What a beautiful yard!!! I'm a new follower - thanks for visiting me the other day!!

  19. Beautiful transformation! Your yard looks so gorgeous!

  20. Beautiful backyard!!

  21. @Angie J.

    Hi Angie, Just wanted to answer you question about the chicken tractor....It's a portable coop that can be moved around so the "girls" can till and fertilize the ground -- just like a tractor! I hate you had a non-reply on your email so I hope you check back here for more info!

  22. Wow, what a difference. Your yard is just beautiful. I love everything you have done. The chicken coop is cool and the blackberry support is a great idea.

  23. I'm visiting from Outdoor Wednesday. Your yard is amazing! I would love to hear about your no dig policy. It sounds fabulous!!

  24. WOW what a change you have created in your yard!!! Looks very lovely... :)

  25. From yuck to what a beautiful garden. You deserve an award for design and using that green thumb of yours.
    Joyce M

  26. You have a very pretty backyard...I admire all the work you have put into it! Lovely!

  27. Wow! What a transformation. You will so love the fresh fruit from the trees you've planted.

    I've posted about all the fruit we pick from right here on our little farm. I love walking out the back door, to a fruit tree, bush, or vine, and helping myself to the tasty treats. ;)

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage

  28. I would love a post -like in the spring take us through how to set up a flower bed and what to plant and how to mantain and how to decorate -can you tell I love your style :-)

  29. Wowzers! That is such an improvement! My backyard is SO barren and blah...I hope someday I can make it as lovely as you were able to make yours!

  30. I so enjoy looking around your blog. We are made of the same cloth...I like you, love to paint and garden. You do fine work and I get inspiration from you. Thanks for sharing. Check out my blog...maybe I can inspire you.

  31. Loved this post. I can't wait until we have a home of our own where I can let my brown thumb (hopefully) turn green ;)

  32. That is an amazing turnaround!! I cant believe how wonderful it looks and all the obvious hard work you did and then on top of that to have use recycled items.

  33. Your yard is absolutely beautiful!!! I love what you've done with your garden and sitting areas. Very nice!

  34. I use the dame no dig technique and I believe it creates a much more fertile bed than traditional methods. Not to mention I don't need to wait on my unwilling labor:)

  35. I love this post. I hope one day my garden looks as good as yours.

  36. I would like more info on your quick turn around gardening! Also, do chickens make a lot of noise? smell? need a lot of room? How many do you need to get about 12 eggs a week?

  37. Your garden is so inspiring! So many good ideas. I'd lovve to see a tutorial on chickens and the chicken tractor. Love your little blue house. Is it your garden shed?

  38. I would love to find out about your chicken tractor and the no dig flower garden.


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