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Driveway Side Yard Done!

Picture me and the hubby doing the happy dance!  Why you ask?  Last weekend, in 95 degree weather, the hubby dug 47 holes in clay dirt while I followed behind filling the holes with plants.  I’m lucky I’m still married.

As we all know, the dead of summer is never the best time to plant.  However, we had to get it done.  About 30 plants I had grown from seed were busting out of their pots screaming for room to breathe.  This was the last step in the process to completing the driveway side yard project.

As a reminder, here’s a rendering of my vision:

In earlier posts I detailed how we built the arbor from doors and the pallet picket fence.  Today, I’ll show you the fruits of of our labor all dressed up with makeup on.

 Here it is…

It’s a lot to take in, yet not a whole lot of plants to see.  Alternating in the front are Salvia Mystic Spires Blue & a Gold Abelia variety.

Around the outside perimeter of the fence are the same Abelia and two different varieties of Salvia; the Mystic Spires and Blue Bedder.  You’ll also notice a 5-1/2″ border of rocks.  Placing them was a piece of cake.  It was installing the edging board (to keep the mulch out of the rock) in clay dirt that was oh so fun!

The front half inside the fence is an Autumn Sunset climbing rose on each side.

The back half inside the fence on each side is a Rosa ‘Felicia’  that I’ll train to climb on the fence.

A few feet behind the bird bath is a Viburnum (Snowball Bush).

A bird bath we moved from the back yard veggie garden to under the arbor.  We thought it would add some charm.

Last year a friend of mine gave my son a stepping stone mix.  We ended up making the stones but never found the perfect place for them.  Once this area was finished I asked my son what he thought.  He said it was “beautiful” but also asked what was going in the “empty black spot in front.”  I told him stepping stones.  Immediately he ran off like Dash (from The Incredibles) not saying a word to me and comes back in a flash holding his stepping stones.  He placed them down and then said, “That’s much better.”  And there they’ll lie…

While we’re waiting for the Felicia roses to grow (they’re tiny little things right now), I planted some Cleome (annuals) around them to give the area some interest.

I still have to find and plant climbers for the arbor.  I’m thinking about Vigna Caracalla (I already have some that I grew from seed this spring)…

…a variety of Clematis…

…and this ‘Canary Creeper’ Nasturtium climber…

However, I’m not totally sold on this combo along with the rest of the plants in this area.  Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions?

We also need to find more stepping stones in addition to the hand made ones.  They’ll start at the front entrance and lead up to the bird bath.  I’m waiting to buy until I find just the right stones from our favorite re-use store.  Can’t beat their prices!

It took us a solid 2-1/2 days to: dig holes; plant the plants; finish installation of the drip system (the major installation was detailed here); install edging; and lay weed barrier, rock and mulch.  The cost breakdown of the entire project is as follows:

Arbor: $60
Fence:  Free (built from pallets)
Sprinkler/Drip System: $50
Edging System: $40
15 Abelias & 4 roses: $200
Other Various Plants: $3 (seed packets)
Rocks: FREE from a friend
Mulch: $100

$450 and three months later we have a new attractive side yard!



Next year I’ll update you on this area.  By then everything should be flourishing!



Melanie - Thanks for the nice comments, Andrea, and your opinion on the Clematis and Nasturtium! I think I’m convincing myself more and more to go with that combo on the arbor.

Andrea - Wow! What a transformation. You should be very proud of your accomplishment. I have a hard time having a vision and executing it. I tend to be more of a “fly by the seat of my pants” gardener and designing and planting as I go. Not always the best strategy. I love your Clematis. I just planted one this summer and I am hoping that even in our dry climate, it will grow and vine. I like the Nasturtium too it adds a different look and I think it’s pretty.

Melanie - Thank you!!

Gramma Shelly - Love this project from start to finish. You took an overlooked part of your property and made it a feature! I am looking forward to seeing what it looks like in a year. Great job!

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