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Tackling the backyard beast

July 23, 2009


Ohoooo, my arms and back are hurting. I am a bit exhausted but in a good way. I have finally started to tackle the ‘backyard beast’. Let’s talk more about the beast then the backyard – you couldn’t really call the small grass/weed strip around our house a backyard. None the less, it was planted with lawn (sawd?) about 2 years ago. Which wasn’t the best idea considering our house being built green. Needs constant irrigation in summer, doesn’t like shady spots, and doesn’t soak up the water well enough in the Pacific NW winters. The weed took over big time and after battling it out for a while, we decided we needed a different solution. 

Karen Schwartz from Schwartz Garden Designs created a planting plan for me which i am now willingly executing. As i don’t have any idea about native plants, their growth, pros and cons, i felt i needed some guidance and found it in Karen, a former colleague of mine, who after quitting her job as a materials analyst is working on becoming a full time landscaper. We devised a plan to create a ‘zeroscape’ garden, which after the first year of being planted will only need watering ONCE a year. And still look beautifully colorful and vibrant, giving our house the needed ambiance. 

For today, the basis is laid: I cut down the remainder of the lawn around the house, dug out any deep rooting weed and covered everything with black plastic to create intense heat during the hot summer months, thus sustainably killing off all growth underneath. Once done, we’ll decide more. To create an elevated planting bed, i dug out all lawn roots and weed and started digging the border which will prevent growth coming from the neighbouring property. Once that’s done i will install a cedar edge fixed with stakes. 

As all i can show right now is black plastic covered areas and raw soil, i am staying with a photo of Karen’s design for me. And will update on the progress over the next couple of weeks.


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One Comment
  1. Abby permalink

    Exciting! I have been delving in deep with plans for a sustainable home, I can’t wait to see how your backyard turns out.

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