Last year, I reduced the number of pots and minimized the entire planting configuration on both the east and west sides of the backyard. On the east-side – the two images above – the simplified rock-garden with its ribbon of red geraniums looked really good. This year, I again got rid of ‘excess’ pieces – 3 extra-large pots and several ceramic pots (ceramic may look good, but man! a ceramic pot full of soil is not easily moved). The result is a simple line of blue plastic pots in front of two flower-beds and a large pot containing a clematis -flowering in the right image.

Also, for the first time, I did a spring planting – filled all the pots with violets (that is what is in all the pots, in the left image). Don’t know why it’s taken me all these years to figure out a spring planting. I suspect it had a lot to do with the need to clean and reorganize everything and by the time I did that work, it was May and I could plant for the summer season. But with a more streamlined and fixed planting arrangement there was no need for a lot of prep work; and with everything all laid out, I just added the violets and all of a sudden the backyard was no longer a place waiting for summer flowers. And dreary, cold spring was brightened up by yellows and purples throughout.

Here are some other changes:

  • the wisteria trunk, located in the back corner, and visible in the pic of the right, is now wrapped in nylon rope and off the fence post that it was tearing from its cement foundation; I pounded 3 steel posts into the ground as anchors for this mighty trunk
  • also, that same back corner is now accessible and free of rocks and plants; I can go back there and remove all the suckers that the wisteria will throw out
  • the Frank Lloyd Wright statue is now free-standing and featured; and the left-over 4X4 post acts as a pedestal in the simplified rock-garden
  • in March, I cut the grasses, in the back planter – currently sprouting the Bleeding Hearts – down to the soil so as to give the Bleeding Hearts a chance to grow and bloom; wasn’t sure if the grasses would come back; they have, and the Bleeding Hearts are beautifully displayed