Monday, July 11, 2011

Take Two and Backyard Blooms

We spent the weekend replanting our front and side yard garden - thanks to the gopher that was ruthlessly killing all of our veggies - and adding some colorful flowers to the backyard. This time around we used chicken wire to line our lettuce bed, and we made chicken wire baskets for the peas, pepper, cucumbers, and eggplant. This method seems to be working for our artichoke, so here's hoping it keeps that pesky gopher at bay.

First we dug out a shallow trench where we wanted to plant our lettuce. Then we fitted the chicken wire into the trench, carefully bending it so it fit snugly into corners and making sure it stuck out an inch or two.

Then we spread the soil we had previously removed back into the chicken wire bed.

From there, we planted our lettuces (we have 5 varieties going on) and are still crossing our fingers that our lettuces will be spared.

Ryan then made some homemade gopher cages out of chicken wire for the four pea plants and the other veggies with larger root balls. I forgot to snap pics (I was pretty worn out from digging at this point), but they look something like this.

You can kinda see them peaking out over the top of the bed. Admittedly, they don't add anything aesthetically to the veggie garden...

A quick note: You can buy these pre-made baskets at pretty much any garden supply, but they run from $3-4 dollars depending on the size, and we needed 8 plus the chicken wire for the lettuce bed. So, for $20 (the cost of chicken wire), we were able to gopher-proof our yard with some chicken wire to spare. And hopefully the baskets will hold up well, allowing us to reuse them for seasons to come. 

Now on to prettier things. This built in bed in the backyard has been an eyesore ever since the grass came in and the lemon started prettying things up. 

With a birthday BBQ for my grandpa right around the corner, I wanted to add some color to the backyard and do something about the planter. Enter some colorful flowers: dahlias (a favorite of mine), scabiosa, and ameria. 

 Dahlietta Rachel

Scabiosa Butterfly Blue

First I figured out how I wanted to place my flowers.

Then it was high time to rip out the ferns (and the non-functioning sprinkler pipe they were hiding), and amend the really dry soil. Lastly, I planted the flowers in the same arrangement I had previously decided on. It turns out planting when you don't have to gopher-proof is quick, painless, and kinda fun. Drumroll please...instant gratification. 

I love the way the periwinkle scabiosas play off the punch orange of the dahlia and hot pink of the ameria. So much better! 

Has anyone else waged an epic battle against a gopher or used chicken wire with any success in a garden? What flowers can't you get enough of in a garden? We still have to plant a shady bed in the front, so any shade-loving plants and vine suggestions would be much appreciated! 


  1. Hi! Am visiting from the hop - Am your Newest Follower! Nice to meet you!

    I love seeing gardening projects and redos - yours are great with such pretty results! Getting me inspired to update my front yard flowers...a few are maxed-out by end of July!

    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to seeing your other projects!

    Happy Monday!

    beachside cottage

  2. Lovely to meet you Linda! So glad you stumbled upon my blog! Funny you should say that about the front yard - that's the next area that needs some gardening love. I look forward to seeing what you do in yours!