Gardening, Phase 1: Barren Potential

Finally – after living on the second floor in an apartment complex that didn’t allow me any access to land – my landscaping potential can be realized. Last August I moved into this great brick duplex outside of Cleveland. It has a quaint entertainment-equipped backyard, complete with multiple flowerbeds (or, at least, dirt patches with the potential to become flowerbeds) and a grilling pit.

So because I’ve never really had this much freedom of my own domain (getting a corner of my mom’s garden for snapdragons doesn’t quite count), I’m going to be posting my progress so I can extract the advice of greenthumbs everywhere.

Here are my main areas:
1. It’s pretty barren around these steps, which lead up to my back door off the side street — the entrance we all use. I’d like to try some kind of cascading ground cover here.
2. The few bushes in that first picture are part of this privacy fence of lilacs and other similarly-sized bushes. This will fill in once everything blooms, but there is plenty of space underneath to add some color. It would have to be something shade-loving.
3. After too much tree debris and algae growth, my landlord filled in the pond in the corner of the backyard by the garage. Now it’s a big pond-shaped flowerbed. Plus there’s space all along the garage and all along the fence. That all surrounds the grilling pit, which is great for summer entertaining.
4. Back of the house (which faces north, Lake Erie within view) – Several feet of flowerbeds line each side of the door. Last year my housemate had impatiens planted here.
5. Front of the house (which faces south, toward the main street) – There are a couple feet of flowerbeds on each side of the front door, as well as two big pots. Plus, there’s a lot of empty space around a few bush stumps. The house is on a fairly busy road and right across from an elementary school, so lots of people walk and drive by this view every day.

Any ideas?


  1. How exciting! I love new land to play in! Do you have favorite flowers or color of flowers? Do you like to spend a lot of time maintaining or would you rather have plants that grow, spread, and fill in over the next couple of years?

  2. I love snapdragons (thanks to my Grandma!) but I also love flowers that are bluish-purple – like lobelia and ageratum. And since I’m not sure how long I’m going to be living here…I may not be around to see them fill in or spread. So I’d rather have instant flower gratification. 🙂

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