Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Winston Co. Master Gardeners Yard of the Month-May

May is a difficult month to choose a yard to showcase. Most of our prized vegetation is either behind us, or ahead of us. The dogwood and redbud have come and gone, as have the azaleas, and the spring bulbs. Summer bulbs are barely poking their heads up from the ground, daylilies are just starting to put on their glorious show.
Spring clean-up seems to never end with all the winds we have had and people I talk to, believe the first bloom on their roses has already faded!

What to do about picking our first yard of this 2017 gardening season! The committee decided to bite the bullet and choose one of its own and I, Rebecca Byrd Gravett, am the lucky one! No one ever believes their yard is good enough or pretty enough or cleaned up enough to show others, and I am no exception. Nevertheless, here goes! 

My home, on Poplar Flat Road, was a rental for almost 25 years and both the home and the yard took a beating, as rentals often do, during that time. The backyard had it especially hard as trash, including old tires was burned in it. We moved into the house when I retired after living 35 years in California. My yard is 4 years old and very much a work in progress! It will never be completed (I hope!).

Aside from foundation plantings of peach, persimmon, and pomegranate trees, along with the perfunctory azaleas and gardenias, most of my plants are in containers. I love to use anything I can find either whimsical or interesting as a container..from old cast iron pots (do not overwater) to bird cages, tomato cans, and even interesting pieces of wood. I also enjoy unusual ground covers and this season I am using yellow squash as a ground cover under my vanilla pink hydrangeas and gardenias. Friends are skeptical of the squash experiment...we'll see.
A trip to Natchez and St. Francisville this spring inspired me to
naturalize the wooded area around my yard. So battling undergrowth consisting mainly of poison ivy, we planted 30 Pride of Mobile azaleas to get a start on the project. Here's hoping we do not have as dry a summer this summer as the last one or my watering time will triple!

Stop by to see my backyard! It will give me such pleasure to show you around if I am here, or just walk around without me. We have a dog, Biscuit, who will likely greet you and even go home with you if you want her to! Take note of the brick barbecue pit my father built and used to barbecue goat and as many as 25 chickens at a time. We cannot, for the life of us, figure out how he built a fire in it! If you can....we'll have a barbecue!.....
Rebecca Byrd Gravett