Project Backyard : One Month

This is the story of our back yard.

When we moved in, the house and yard looked very different. Most of that difference was the garbage all over the place. It took little time to get the inside of the house and the front porch comfortable. Two years later and I'm still just now making plans to give us more storage and simplify our life.
The back yard was always just a dirt patch with weeds. All kinds of weeds you can imagine, I'm sure.

Just about one month later, our hard work in making the yard as enjoyable as the rest of the house is paying off. I dug up a photo of the yard from last summer when we put in the pool. I wish I'd taken a photo before we cleared enough weeds to set it up, but I think I can sum up the amount by saying that they were EVERYWHERE.

One summer of fun in the pool was followed by a few months of upkeep and cleaning even though it was too cold to swim. Then the winter happened and we just let it go. The water was too cold to clean properly and we kind of gave up. Out of sight, out of mind. Had the pool (or yard) been a size that allowed us to walk all the way around it, we may have kept things going. But it was not. So the pool had to go.
This yard we have now is quiet and clean. It's brimming with the possibility of vegetables to eat. Let's follow along.

Day 7:

Grass seedlings are sprouting. I really thought they'd take longer than this to show themselves. Proof that lawn repair kits work really well when you use them to start lawns from scratch.
Future sunflowers! I sprinked (way too many) sunflower seeds that my mom sent me from her own flowers in Tennessee. They are almost 3 feet tall by now.
This purple ballerina angel trumpet was a variety I'd never seen before this one. I'm sure they're pretty common (I bought this one at Lowe's, right?) but I'm only familiar with the cream or peach drop variety. All of them are lovely, but something about the double-petal and upward bloom caught my eye. These have been flowering every day since part way through the first week. The blooms don't last long, but they're so beautiful.
The variegated jasmine trained on the root trellis. This one has bloomed since day one, the confederate jasmine is slower but more robust. It has bloomed a little but I think it's working on sending out vines more.
Day 14:

Look, real grass. Almost a lawn we can enjoy! Things were still really patchy at this point and I think this is around the time I sprinkled some more grass seed on things and evened them out. Fire ants were still coming up even though we'd been treating that little area of yard for almost a year (since we put in the damn pool). I finally gave in and bought another product that you attach to the hose and spray over the whole yard. It has worked wonders. Good thing is that it also kills fleas (and a million other things) so when we get that doggy he/she will have a safe place to play, free of pests.Day 19:

A panoramic shot to show just how much things have grown so far. The squash and zucchini (under the jasmine arch) are good indicators of the explosive growth that has taken place.

Day 27:

One month (pretty much) from the planting date and we have such good growth - the flowers tell me that the plants are happy.

Here are those sunflowers from seed, BIG DIFFERENCE.

And the first tomato flower. Soon, you will be a fruit and I will eat you no matter what my doctor says about me eating tomatoes with GERD.
The first bell pepper flower. I am happy to be growing these in red and yellow. Or is it orange and yellow? Either way, it's not green, and those are the bell peppers I have yet to come to like. It's been quite some time since Collin and I met and I proudly exclaimed my hatred of peppers... looks like he's rubbed off on me some. It proves you can begin to like something if you prepare it enough for another person.
Zucchini explosion! The growth of these plants is seriously mind-boggling. These plants have gotten gigantic. I probably should have planted fewer things around them though because I've already had to relocate some basil and may need to move a marigold because they're just not getting sun anymore. These big broad leaves are protecting more blossoms than I can count. We are being very patient though and resisting the urge to pick off all the flowers and fry them up right now before they can give off fruit. It's hard, but we're waiting until the first round of veggies are up for harvest before we raid the plants for their blooms.
The biggest surprise of the garden so far has been the passion flowers. The only variety I've ever seen, and the variety on the tag of the plant we purchased had purple flowers. A pretty and softer palette. The first bloom on our vine happened to be a bright magenta! HOW AWESOME?! We've been back to the store to get supplies to clean up the front yard (another story for another time) and every passion flower at their store was in bloom, but none were this color. I think we're lucky to have gotten this by chance. The purple would have been nice, but this adds some real color to the corner.

The whole yard shot at one month. Grass is growing, veggies have started to flower and shrubs are happy and thriving.
Collin and I are both very genetically recessive. Blonde hair, blue eyes. When we have kids, they're nearly guaranteed to be the same. I like to think somewhere on that genetic code is the place where our parents handed down their green thumbs - looks like we got full sets of that one, too.