While we recently finished up the tradition that has always seemed to be part of the Northwest life where we get one random week of unseasonably warm weather (50+ degrees? Yes please!), it's not like we could just get in there and plant a ton of flowers (well, except a few bare root roses), but we did achieve one BIG thing for our backyard - finishing not only mulching over the coffee bags we have smothering grass, and designing the simple gravel path you see above.
Why is that a big deal? We spent NOTHING to make it - just a few hours of 'sweat equity', y'all. While originally I'd plopped down a bunch of the coffee bags we'd used in the garden in a straight line leading to that back gate, I noticed that not only was it dull AF, it literally cut the yard in half. Stepstones, flagstones and more were contemplated - all at a financial and physical cost...not to mention would look a bit awkward if not installed perfectly since the latter third of the yard has a oh-so-slight uphill slope to it. But when I planted our new Salish Peach (middle of screen) then looked at it on my Garden Planner tool, I noticed how a path between the peach and pear (both semi-dwarf) suddenly popped out and created the curve I'd been trying to imagine from the back gate to the front.
So...I moved the coffee bags to create the new curved path, then enlisted the help of my sweetheart to dig up buckets of gravel to pour onto the bags. You see, the former owner had used a TON of gravel when she created the side path that led from the side gate to, well....nowhere. And it was like 6-8" thick! So we were literally able to shovel up enough from the entire length of it to both cover the coffee bags to create the path (no paver sand etc here y'all!) and keep that existing side path in good shape for drainage. While I'd always take river rock over the sharper and cheaper gravel we arrived to here at the new house, I'll take FREE gravel any day for a project like this - easier than lugging a zillion bags from the big box store and obviously far cheaper!
With this bit done, I finally can start envisioning where the mega amounts of plants will go, from the Pacific Northwest natives I've got ordered from our annual plant sale to the additional roses I'll add when they go on sale next week in our nursery to the lilies and others that will go in the wetter areas and so much more. I've also moved the ducks' pool onto the concrete where the old far-too-big fire pit once sat (sold the bricks on Craigslist, y'all!) so the grass can start to grow back and our pup will have a place to scratch his back (his favorite pasttime).
I'm still stunned when I see the original photos of our backyard and how much has been accomplished in five months, y'all. Right now it looks like the mulch gods puked all over the backyard because nothing is growing, but by fall, I think it'll be pretty amazing to see how it looks, from veggies in the raised beds to greenery and flowers and fruits all over the place.
With that...bring on Spring!! We ready!