June 23, 2017

We Made It! First Look at Our New Yard

Here we are in Utah!
We are slowly getting settled and figuring out how to keep the ideal temperature with a swamp cooler rather than central A/C. It has been hot most of the days since we've arrived, though we did have a pouring thunderstorm one day that was quite lovely.
I am going through lotion like you wouldn't believe!
A neighbor told me we're in the dry season now, which will probably last until August.

The brown house.
Yes, that is what we call it.

Well friends, I'm going to need more flowers.
I'm glad I took lots of pictures of all my flowerbeds back in Washington.
At least I will have something pretty to look at this summer.
I've got my work cut out for me here, that's for sure!

The lonely little tree in front there is an 'Autumn Blaze' maple.
Most of the leaves are dead, but there are still a few green leaves hanging on.
I've started to water it since we got here. I hope it makes it!

Front Yard:

I'm envisioning wide flowerbeds running along either side of this path.

Existing flowerbeds near the porch (above and below.)

I'm planning to pull these out to at least twice the current width.
The cement edging is made from large blocks, rather than poured in place, so with some muscle power, that will be moveable as well.
We're going to need a sod cutter.

Speaking of sod, the lawn--as you can see--is pretty much dead and crispy.
This weed patch is from where a different tree was taken out a few years ago.
There is a sprinkler system, which has obviously not been turned on.
We have not turned it on yet either, because I am still learning the ins and outs of secondary water (possible post on that to come), which apparently is a big deal here in the desert.

A glimmer of hope: I've got an actual full-grown lilac bush! Huzzah!
This is in the somewhat awkward grassy space between the driveway proper and a gravel second driveway, which goes around to the back of the house.

Across the driveway from the lilac bush there's this planting area.
My birdbath is finally on flat ground!
 Also, the kids have really enjoyed having a flat driveway to ride bikes and scooters on.
Notice how the road is flat, too.
I may figure out this bike thing yet! (Post-baby, that is.)

Then a similar planting area over here in this corner.
I haven't figured out what this purple-leaved bush is yet.
It might have been a tree at one point--the main branch was cut off.
Is it an ornamental plum? I should know, but I don't.
Amidst the weeds, there are a few Asiatic daylilies in this picture with buds on them.

Side Yards:

A rose bed.
Watering has commenced here, as well.
I doubt these roses are going to stay here--they will probably be spread out in the other beds at some point. This bed needs a tall bush or a small tree to anchor it, then I will fill in around that with flowers. Perhaps a flowering dogwood tree or a crabapple.

Meanwhile, despite their neglect, the roses have provided me the only blooms on the property so far!
This peachy one bloomed the other day.
Since then, I've had 2 yellow blooms and one orange.

A full-grown apple tree, with apples on it.
I have not watered this one yet, but I will.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the house...

Another narrow, empty flowerbed, dead grass, and a chain link fence.
Don't know yet on this side.
Maybe some trees or bushes along the left side?

Moving around to the back of the house now.

Back Yard, Close to House:

A covered back deck, fabulous dining room (those big windows) and a lot more dead grass.

This corner intrigues me.
When we first looked at the home, my husband talked about bumping it out to meet up with the back wall of the dining room there on the left--giving us quite a bit more living room space.
Since then, though, I think he's changed his mind.
So now that it may be in my domain, I'm thinking of making the whole space into a flowerbed (of course), perhaps with a climbing rose or clematis to go up that wall.

Turning around from that corner, is this planting area.

 Those are weeds, not anything I've planted in there.
Maybe a strawberry patch?
It is right next to the garden.

We've got some more itty-bitty beds right along the base of the deck (above and below).

This little planting area, with another unidentified bush, along with weeds.
I think this one needs to be expanded or taken out completely.

Behind it you can see the large gravel area stretching to the fence.
We are talking about making the gravel area into a play court for the kids, which would involve pouring concrete. Another option would be just expanding the grass.

Here's the far side of the [dead] grassy area, looking toward the house.
A full grown aspen tree there on the left.

Back Yard:
Garden, Orchard, Gravel, and Pasture

Fire pit (which will probably be moved)
Woodshed, on the left, and garden shed on the right.
My husband has big plans for this area.
He wants to build a combination shed/workshop here, and probably tear down the existing sheds, or at least move them. The kids want another clubhouse, so we may leave up one for them.
I am thinking about where a greenhouse and compost pile might fit in. :)

Garden spot, looking toward orchard.
Space, glorious space!
Our property stops at the green field you can see back there.
I want to put in grapes, raspberries, veggies, and rows of flowers.
You'd better believe it!

A little closer look at the mini orchard.
Here's what's in there (the previous owner left me the tree tags, but at the moment I couldn't tell you which is which):

Combination Cherry (semi-dwarf), which could include Bing, Sweetheart, Rainier, Lapins and Benton.
Rainier Cherry (Mazzard): 20-30' tall and wide, zone 5

Hardy Combination Apple (semi-dwarf), which could include Honeycrisp, Red Cortland, McIntosh, Golden Delicous, Snowsweet, and Zestar.
Honeycrisp Apple (semi-dwarf)

Cold Hardy Peach
(Large freestone. 18'x15', zone 4) 

Black Ice Plum (Japanese)
(10' x 8', Harvest Aug. Zone 4.)

American Filbert x 2
(6-8' tall and wide, zone 5)

There are 2 dead trees out there. I think one may be a cherry (but which of the cherries?) and the other I believe is one of the nut trees, assuming they were planted across from each other.
They need weeding right around the trees themselves, badly need watering, and at least 2 of the trees are so bent over that I'm worried staking may be useless at this point.
Also, if there's just the one plum tree, I'll have to get another, because they need  at least 2 for cross-pollinating purposes. Peaches are self-pollinating, so that should be okay.

I haven't noticed fruit on any of them, but perhaps I didn't look closely enough.
There is space at the end, as well.
I may add 2 more of either apricot or pear.
Also, a pie cherry somewhere in there.

 The pasture.
We are thinking of just extending the lawn all through this area.
It would be a ton of mowing (and watering), but since we don't have any animals, it would make it more useable, I think. Also, it would give my husband an excuse to buy a riding mower. :)
Although, I do want chickens.
So grass, minus space for a chicken coop.
I would love to plant an oak tree back here, as well. Plenty of room to spread.
 * * * * *
A lot of good potential.
A lot of potential projects!
One step at a time.
Seriously, though. I need more flowers, STAT!!

p.s. If you made it all the way through this extra-long post, you deserve a prize!
A gallon of water and some high-quality lotion for you!

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