Organic Emily

Spring in the Garden

The majority of my time spent in the yard is in the spring time! From spring clean up and pruning to laying down compost, planting beautiful bright annuals and veggies, I spend about 10 full days (throughout May, April and March) working busily to prep it for the growing season! After all that time and hard work I get to sit back and relax for the rest of the year… well at least until the harvest and fall clean up (with a little weeding in between too)! If you prep the right way you won’t be a slave to your yard! Instead you will be enjoying it as you stroll through your own gardens or swing from a hammock!

Each year I lay down 3-4 inches of compost as a top cover in every bed. This has many benefits! First it acts as a mulch to prevent weeds from germinating underneath the layer, it regulates moisture availability to the plants, is a natural and organic fertilizer, and is more esthetic! I get many comments and questions about how much time I spend in the yard and people are always surprised at how little time I give to growing a beautiful and attractive landscape! The key is in the compost! You may also wonder if after so many years whether my beds will start to get really high from adding it every year… that is simply not the case. Organic matter is an essential part of our soil and is constantly breaking down from plant use or the elements. The ideal percentage of organic matter needed in soil is 5%. However, Utah usually has about less than 1%! Compost really is beneficial! Check out some of the pics of my front yard!

 

Front bench

We have this little shady nook by the front porch that is north facing. It doesn’t get very much sun, but just enough to grow a beautiful Japanese Maple, Box Woods, Corabells, Hostas and Impatiens.

 

Front center flower bed

The bed just in front of the shady nook is my sunny perennial bed filled with bee and butterfly loving plants, like Bee Balm, Penstemon, English Lavender, Chrysanthemums, Yarrow, Zinnias and Cosmos! In front I have an annual bed filled with short stack Zinnias and Dahlias, framed in with my favorite Karl Forester grasses!

 

flag pole flower bed

As we go further out towards the sidewalk there are more water wise plants placed around the flag pole, like pink Salvia, Iris’s, Hens and Chicks and Day Lilies! Again in front of that is another annual bed, this time I added purple Double Ruffle Petunias in the mix of Dahlias and Zinnias. I’m so excited to see all the happy bright colors pop in another month or two!

 

water feature flower bed

As you walk up towards the front of the house you can see Weeping White Pines, Laural’s ( a broad leaf evergreen that does best on the north or east side of the house), Echinacea, Peonies, Lavender, St. John’s Wort, Purple Salvia, Old Fashioned Roses, Day Lilies, Balloon Flowers and Creeping Thyme to fill in space. My husband welded the water feature last summer. It’s a beautiful sound to hear the water falling through the rocks!

 

front west flower bed

A picture of the third annual bed.

 

back west flower bed

I love this little spot in the front yard that takes you into the perennial beds through the gate into the back yard. On the left is a large Pacific Sunset Maple, Dogwoods, Burning Bushes, Iris’s, Tall Hedge Buck-thorns, Rose of Sharon, and Autumn Brilliance Service berry. On the left is a Cedar Atlas and other perennials like Peonies, Balloon Flowers, Corabells’ and Lilies!

 

front of house with stone steps

One last shot of the stone steps leading up towards the front door. The red tree on the left is a Columnar Crimson Century Maple. On the right is a Niche Willow

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, Mom of 4 cute kids, Yoga instructor and very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients and her escapades as the keeper of both backyard chickens and honeybees!

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