My Great Outdoors: A Nice Yard Without a Green Thumb

My Great Outdoors: A Nice Yard Without a Green Thumb

Alejandra Valera
Jun 2, 2009

Name: Alex, Chris and Vincent
Location: Berwyn, Illinois
Type of Space: Backyard
How Did You Do It?: When you inherit a bad yard and were born without a green thumb, trying to put together your dream yard can be quite disconcerting. We moved into our home back in 2005 and had grand ideas of the kind of yard we would have: lush, gorgeous flowers, verdant, vegetables! Instead, we got a ton of weeds, some grubs and an onion here and there...

How Did You Do It? (cont.):
We were at the point where we'd be happy with a nightmare-less garden, rather than our dream one. After much thought, we decided that the best way to tackle our yard was to work with the good parts we already had.

• For instance, our path was lined with great lilies. The orange beauties would grow on their own and stick around for quite a while. To compliment the lilies, we planted red flowers in orange clay pots, adding just a right amount of color contrast and pop.

• Our mother-in-law recommended we plant hostas and ferns. They are relatively easy to grow and maintain and really give you a lot of bang for your buck. Our hostas come back every year and grow lush and full. Other easy to grow plants include Lamb's Ears, Rose Felicia, Blanket Flower and Black-eyed Susans.

• Keep your children involved in the gardening process. Kids seem to naturally gravitate towards nature and they will love helping to water plants and cut flowers. Add a fun little tent and the enjoyment factor goes up quite a bit.

• Invest in some glazed pots. They will make your flowers look great and will instantly add to the curb appeal of your home. We found some great white glazed pots at Ikea and placed them on our front steps. Instant floral glamor.

Recommended store, site, produce or resource?
• Ikea has lots of pots, vases, play items, tools and more at very reasonable prices.

• We went to Home Depot for our mulch and found that it was less expensive than other places.

• Ask your friends and relatives for advice. Chances are one of them has the green thumb touch. My mother-in-law is an awesome gardener and her advice was priceless.

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