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Transforming my Backyard into a Secret Garden- Part 1

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Love my backyard, but I got tired of keeping up with the grass; and, after a rainstorm it turned into a lake! I decided to completely get rid of the grass and transform it into a beautiful, peaceful flower garden retreat. I would not only be adding soil to the low spots which will help redirect and absorb the water, but I would create a beautiful space where I would much rather spend my time with the flowers and plants than cutting the grass :) Huge undertaking, but I was psyched up for it!
I used a technique known as "lasagna gardening"- I did not pull up the grass! I covered all of the grass (and weeds!) with newspaper, cardboard or paper yard refuse bags- that was the first layer. Second layer, I topped that with a garden soil mix (topsoil, organic compost and peat). The third layer was the mulch. I was able to start planting my flowers and vines when there were no more frost advisories. While waiting for the weather to warm up, I started collecting the seedlings I wanted to plant. I also started growing some flowers from seeds. (I had an ENTIRE back yard to fill with flowers!!!) I planned my secret garden layout and I couldn't wait until I could actually start planting my flowers! At the end of May of that first year, I dug in.
For a more detailed description of the process, please visit my post http://ivylore.hubpages.com/hub/creating-garden-magic
(To see more here at Hometalk, please view "Transforming my Backyard into a Secret Garden- Part 2 and "Scenes from my Secret Garden"). Abracadabra, let the magic begin!
covering with newspaper and cardboard was too cumbersome (plus I ran out!) I began using the brown paper yard waste bags. This was much easier!
I also began growing some flowers from seeds since I would not be doing any planting until the threat of freezing would pass. In Michigan, that's not usually until late May :0
  • transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial
All the work was definitely worth it! This photo and the following were taken this past season (2014) -which was the next full season after I had begun this project! It has provided so much beauty and joy!
  • transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial
You can see more pictures of my garden and the plants and flowers I have in my garden in my other posts here on Hometalk. Thanks for viewing!
  • transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial
This is my secret garden today (June 2015)
  • transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial
June 2015

Ask the creator about this project

  • Valerie Scott
    Valerie Scott Canada
    on May 9, 2013

    I also used news paper in my perennial garden before I mulched, helped alot with controlling the weeds. Good luck with your garden, happy planning and planting :)

  • Debby Boyle
    Debby Boyle Necedah, WI
    on May 9, 2013

    Let me see the garden when it is done!

  • Dee W
    Dee W Senecaville, OH
    on May 9, 2013

    It's going to be beautiful, and I can't wait for pictures. Keep us up on your progress.

  • GranArt
    GranArt Granbury, TX
    on May 9, 2013

    Go for it and enjoy! Remember, lift with the arms :) I have to remind myself of this every time I take on a project so I don't throw my back out-of-whack... Please post pics of your progress.

  • Dayoris Custom
    Dayoris Custom Hialeah, FL
    on May 9, 2013

    Good luck with your garden! I'm sure it will be gorgeous!

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!