A blog about a first-time house owner learning to maintain his backyard, and thoughts about nature, science, history, and life.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Lay of the Land

Apologies for the blown up map, but I made my typeface a little too small for a smaller version.  What you see is the surveyor's map of my backyard, with some of my own annotations to show where some of the features, such as the lawn, garden, flowerbeds, wildflowers, patches of thorny plants, and some of the trees, are.  The numbers accompanying the labels show my priorities for the coming year.  The garden is the top priority, the flowerbeds in front of the house are next, and the wildflowers near the back of the yard are near the bottom of the list.  This is a first step in planning my yard work for the spring and summer.  If I get ambitious when it gets a little warmer (it's frigid here today!), I'll get outside, so a little rough surveying of my own, and make a much more accurate map.

In short, here are some of my plans for the backyard beginning this spring.  I'd like to plant some flowers in the garden that I wouldn't be able to plant in the yard because the deer would eat them.  Ideally, the flowers will attract birds to the yard.  I'm also hoping to plant some vegetables that I'll eat: carrots and green beans.  I want to plant some annual flowers in the flowerbeds and see how they grow (I posted about that last week.)  The other big priority for the spring is to plant something in the wildflower patch at the right side of the property, creekside of the shed.  There's a deer trail through this area, so it will probably end up being a combination of grasses and wildflowers that are quite deer-resistant.  I'll probably make the deer trail a built-in feature of this area.

I have a feeling that I won't be able to plant anything until later in March or into April, given the weather.  But there will be days that I can get outside before that.  During this time, I'll probably do some clearing out in the thorny plant areas, one in the back right corner of the yard and one on the left side of the yard.  There are also piles of sticks and branches in various places, especially among the trees, that I can break down and take to the county recycling center.  Finally, there are some larger downed branches around the yard to clean up and dispose of as well.  I'll begin cataloging this stuff as the weather turns warmer over the next few weeks.

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