Friday, August 1, 2008

Baby Steps

I'm impatient by nature. I don't like to wait for anything. I'm also an idealist romantic with big dreams. When these two traits come together, they cause a lot of problems. I want great things to happen and I want them now! (stamps foot).

Given unlimited time and money, this wouldn't be a problem, but, uhmm...well, THAT's a problem.

Since my KiSA and I seriously started our Yoga practice, one of the things that we are constantly struggling with is this concept: baby steps. You know, Rome wasn't built in a day, eat an elephant one piece at a time, blah blah blah and all that crap.

I seem to have a harder time with this concept than KiSA does.

I love to garden. When we bought this house back in 2003, there was a lot of lawn. The whole front yard, with the exception of the foundation shrubs, was lawn. Not a really nice one, either, since the house faces north and that muckin' huge maple tree out front basically hogs all the sun and moisture and nutrients. Here's a picture of it a few winters ago. If you want to see the house at all, you have to wait til winter, on account of the muckin' huge maple out front, but that is another topic altogether.
The rest of the yard had more flowers than I had ever had in any other house I'd lived in, but it still had a lot of lawn. This was not a huge problem for me until that fateful day I actually MOWED the lawn. I did, too. I did! ...I mowed the lawn...twice.
Ok, twice in the 5 years we lived there, but that was more than enough for me to figure out we needed less lawn. That has since been my guiding principle for our yard...less lawn, more...other stuff.

I came up with big plans. I started with the front yard. I sketched out a glorious plan with sweeping drifts of flowers, grasses and charming lawn ornaments. I dragged my KiSA out on a cold, rainy Mother's day weekend, the first spring we were in the house, and made him dig up sod, move hostas and cut through the roots of that muckin' huge maple tree so we could plant according to my master plan. It turned out FAB-U-LOUS. Exactly what I wanted and planned for. It was perfect. I wouldn't change a thing.

ok, so about 3 months later, I found a few things to change...

..and then the following spring a few more...and then the following fall, just one or two changes...
and then after that, I just added a few things, moved things around...

This is what my front yard looks like this summer.

Actually, I've changed it since I took this picture in June.

But, you get the didn't happen all at once, despite my grandiose steps...
So, as I was thinking about the subject of baby steps, and my garden, I thought it would be fun to look at some of the ways my garden has changed on account of all the baby steps I took along the way.
Awww...look at my cute little buddy. That Coronation Gold yarrow was taller than he was at the time. I dig it out every year, move it to a new location around my yard and EVERY year I miss a little bit and it comes back.

THIS year it looks perfect with the Russian sage. Exactly like I planned it that cold winter day way back in '02.

This is the side garden on the west side of the house:
I love purple coneflower, I love it so much I turned it into the logo for Kent Street Designs, and they look fabulous this year. The monarchs and swallowtails love them, too.

This is what we call the 'back forty' ....uhh...feet.
We had to buy this extra lot in order to get the pool house for the pool that we keep open for our crazy neighbor to use. (He's a teacher). That was WAY too much lawn to mow, so we put in a veggie garden, cuz that is so much less labor intensive (work with me here)
I'm currently plotting out how to get rid of that last little strip of grass without losing that nice kidney bean curve.

Here's a shot of the west side of the back yard taken from the 3rd floor:

Doesn't it look so much better, now? KiSA & I made that bed last summer. We had to tear down the chicken coop, after the tragic eviction of the Kent Street Four (moment of silence) so I put in a new garden bed as a soothing balm for my aching heart. snif.

Here's a close up, then:
and now:

I love that red chair. I found it, FREE. The trumpet vine really took off this year-the hummingbirds love it.
oops! Ok, this might be a little out of control now.

I gotta work on that....

but for now....I'm steps.

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