Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I haven't shared a picture of Lilly, our golden retriever, in a while and thought some of you animal lovers would enjoy this one. She loves stuffed animals, but tends to destroy them. Saturday, I found a garage sale that had a lot of stuffed animals for fifty cents each, so now Lilly has a new stash and she is very happy.
This is the side yard I have been working on, I hope to finish mulching tomorrow. I moved the grasses from the perennial butterfly garden and I really like them better here on the side. Carol, from May Dreams Gardens, had a post on large shrubs. I read that one with great interest because I'd love to have really large shrubs to block my view from this neighbor. They are guardians of a troubled teen, (14 yo), and the other day he was jumping on the trampoline while completely exposing himself. I had a little talk with him and told him if I ever saw him do that again I'd call the police. My husband had a talk with the "dad" and he seemed glad that I confronted the teen. I think they have their hands full and he said as much. The trampoline is a neighborhood hangout and you wouldn't believe the stuff that goes on while these parents are at work. Anyway a fence is not an option, so fast growing large shrubs sound really good to me, the larger the better. Actually moving to the country sounds even better, if only the housing market weren't so dismal right now.

If you look closely at the picture above, you'll see that the neighbor behind me planted a small forest in his back yard. While I personally don't care for the jungle look at all, I don't blame him for wanting to have complete backyard privacy.

Last fall I planted several small trees, two crab apple trees, one Bradford pear, (one pear was planted a few years earlier). I also planted several shrubs, two red twigged dogwoods, two burning bushes, (one died), and forsythia . With the crazy spring weather and the drought-like conditions this summer, the things I planted have been struggling to survive. Hopefully, we will have normal weather next spring and the plants will grow quickly.


Carol said...

What a sweet dog!

I'd be planting those large shrubs, too, especially with a teen hangout next door!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Carolyn gail said...

Good grief, Robin ! I'd be scared to confront a troubled teen like that. You've got guts.

I'm assuming your side yard is sunny since you have an ornamental pear and some grasses growing there. Why not add some Forsythias, which are fast growing and will reach up to 8 feet tall and wide? Cotoneasters are also nice and fast as is redtwig dogwoods.

Your dog looks so cute. My Cleo doesn't rest until she rips the squeaker out of the toy.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Isn't she a sweetie, Carol? I'm trying to figure out which shrubs will grow best in the hard clay and crazy Indiana weather. So far my choices haven't faired to well.

Carolyn Gail, I do have some nerve when I get mad enough, and I was pretty mad that day.

The side yard is in full sun.I have planted a forsythia, although it would probably look better if I planted them in a grouping of at least three. I love the red twig dogwood and have four of them planted, two on each side yard.
I planted two cotoneasters and mine, have never grown much. I moved one of them this spring and it died. I plan to move the other one on a few days, hopefully it will survive the transplant. So far I haven't had much success with shrubs here with the clay soil and the extreme weather.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

I understand why you'd love to have a bit of privacy Robin; what a nightmare to have a teenage hangout right next door. :-( One of the reasons I bought my house was that the back garden was completely private, being surrounded by large shrubs and tall hedges.

Lilly looks like a very cute doggy and I'm sure she's very happy with all her new fluffy toys now. ;-)

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Lily looks embarrassed that you exposed her stuffed animal destroying habit :).

Carolyn gail said...


I didn't know you had to deal with heavy clay. The best way to lighten up your soil is to add Cotton Burr compost which I posted about today. It will break up clay better than anything else. Each time you plant, make sure to add lots of it to the soil.

Cotoneaster is usually a no-brainer to grow so it must be the poorly draining soil that killed it.

I wouldn't plant anything in clay until it was properly amended. You're just wasting your time and money.