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!
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, April This is what my backyard looked like after a rainstorm
April- This is what my backyard looked like after a rainstorm.
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, First step was lasagna gardening laying down newspaper on all of the grass
First step was "lasagna gardening"- laying down newspaper on all of the grass
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, covered tthe newspaper with cardboard
covered tthe newspaper with cardboard
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!
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, After running out of newpaper and boxes had brilliant idea to use paper lawn refuse bags to complete the rest of the yard Still ended up with blisters and sore hands from cutting 55 bags
After running out of newpaper and boxes had brilliant idea to use paper lawn refuse bags to complete the rest of the yard. Still ended up with blisters and sore hands from cutting 55 bags! :(
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, Thought that 5 yards of garden soil would be enough to cover the yard NOPE only covered half Had to order 5 more yards Mulch is on order for after the planting
Thought that 5 yards of garden soil would be enough to cover the yard- NOPE- only covered half- Had to order 5 more yards. Mulch is on order for after the planting!
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, 5 yards of soil only covered half my yard Had to order 5 more yards
5 yards of soil only covered half my yard! Had to order 5 more yards!!!
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, Finally done applying all of the soil 10 yards worth Placed birdbath in center this wil be one focal point in my dream garden Watered the soil
Finally done applying all of the soil (10 yards worth)! Placed birdbath in center-this wil be one focal point in my dream garden! Watered the soil.
transforming my backyard into a secret garden, flowers, gardening, landscape, outdoor living, perennial, Mulch added today My blank garden slate is ready and I am ready to begin transforming my yard into my secret garden Let the garden games begin SOOO excited
Mulch added today- My blank garden slate is ready and I am ready to begin transforming my yard into my secret garden! Let the garden games begin :) SOOO excited!
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, In the meantime while waiting for planting time I bought and installed a cool OUTDOOR sink
In the meantime, while waiting for "planting time", I bought and installed a cool OUTDOOR sink!!!
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!
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!
This is my secret garden today (June 2015)
June 2015

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