A Sad, Sad Side Yard

Let’s chat about our side yard.

I hate it.

Too harsh? Sorry, let me explain…

When we first moved in, I was super excited to have this little garden bed in the side yard. It looked so pretty, and there were flowers, and I could just picture myself being all garden-y and taking care of it and making it beautiful.

(When we moved in..)



That didn’t happen.

Corey and I have spent the last almost-two-years of living in this house desperately wanting to be the type of people who take care of their flower beds.

But we just aren’t.

No matter how much we said we wanted to, or how much we appreciated the gorgeous roses when they would bloom, it just wasn’t happening. And over time, the bed started to look sadder and sadder, until I finally just couldn’t handle it anymore.

So, one day a couple of weeks ago I finally admitted to Corey that I didn’t think we were cut out for this high-maintenance flower bed. It was incredibly overgrown, most of the plants were dead or dying, and we weren’t doing a thing to stop it.

We finally had to give in and realize that we aren’t flower bed people. Now, we still would like to have at least one small flower bed at our house – but we’re thinking we’ll end up doing something in the front yard. That way, it actually adds a little curb appeal and isn’t in a part of the yard that is constantly getting trampled by dogs (another one of the issues I had with this side yard bed!).

I’ll just go ahead and warn those of you that have a deep love for rose bushes (however dead-ish and overgrown they might be), that you might want to look away.

Because they are g-o-n-e.

I know, I know. I probably could have salvaged them and sold them on Craigslist or something, but you have to understand – when I get it in my head that I’m going to do something, it has to happen. Right away. There’s no waiting. So one afternoon I just randomly decided that was the day and I went outside and cut everything down.

This ended up being a much larger project than I originally anticipated, because you can’t just pull up a giant rose bush with your bare hands. So, on day 1 I started by pulling up what I could and cutting down the rest. I ended up with a giant pile of what used to be the flower bed (again, don’t look if it hurts your heart!)

Once that was all cleared up, I’ll admit that Corey and I were a bit worried. It looked so sad and bare! But there was a plan, so we pushed through. I had Corey clean up all the grass that had snaked its way into the bed, and the next day we got to work digging. We dug up all of the old stumps and pulled out the brick barrier that separated the bed from the yard. We saved the little barrier because we hope to re-use it in the front yard when we get around to creating that flower bed.

Maybe next year. I can only handle so much yard maintenance in one year. I’m not a plant person, apparently.

It was a lot of work, but within a few hours we had everything dug up and the side yard was looking nice (ugly?) and bare.

I wish this was one of those projects that I had actually completed weeks ago and could now wow you with a completely finished product, but it’s not. Because this was a flower bed and there was obviously no grass (save for that one part where the grass went rogue), we now have to wait for it to grow in. We aren’t too worried about it, because the area where we pulled out the bushes last summer has grown in very nicely…

…and I have a feeling this area will do the same. We’ll probably go ahead and buy some seed to hopefully speed up the process a little – I’m crossing my fingers that within the next few weeks this area will be nice and grassy.

But we aren’t just leaving it at that. Oh no, there’s a plan. My goal is that by next summer there will be a nice lush grass padding here, and I will have a standing hammock with a pretty little side table where I can read, relax, and maybe take a summer nap or two. I’ve always wanted a hammock but we’ve never had good trees to hang one from, so we thought it would be fun to get one for this little corner. It’s nice and shaded, so it’ll be a good spot to relax, and I don’t have to prune, water, or worry about my dogs trampling a hammock.

I can already taste the sangria I’ll be sipping while I hang out here next summer…

What’s your take on flower beds? Do you love ’em, or are you likely to forget about them like us?

5 thoughts on “A Sad, Sad Side Yard

  1. I’m miserable at flower beds. I’m not sure what state you live in, but you may look into seeing what sort of native plants you can use. Native plants require little to no maintenance, but still add to your curb appeal. In Florida we have the Florida Friendly Landscaping guide, but if you look for your county’s extension website (or your land-grant university’s extension website) you might be able to find something you like.


    Amanda Reply:

    That’s a great tip – thanks!


  2. I get in moods. I have a couple small gardens I love to peek at through the windows and maintain, but the big one, the one I don’t see everyday, is out of hand. Maybe if yours was in a spot you could see on a daily basis it would have been easier and you would have enjoyed keeping it up. There is a difference between pulling a random weed on the way to the mailbox everyday and cleaning up a garden you only see once a month or so. I’m with you, though. You have so many hobbies and things you do enjoy that you should not invest in something that doesn’t make you happy.


  3. I’m actually really glad to see someone else just ripping out “valuable” plants with reckless abandon, haha. We ripped out a ton of stuff in our yard that most other people would consider prized plants, but they were way too high maintenance for us or just not our style. We tried putting some lily of the valley on Craigslist and I had a bunch of people interested, but every single one of them flaked out. So I just ripped it out. Too bad, so sad, we didn’t want it and that was that.

    Question: is your side bed mulched at all? We want to grow grass over some of our newly-empty landscaping beds, but I am reading conflicting things about the ability to grow grass where mulch is.


    Amanda Reply:

    I believe it was when we first moved in, but we never mulched it after moving in…because we’re totally lazy, haha.


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