Raleigh Portrait Photographer for Creative Small Businesses

Trial & Error: Tending to our Southeastern Yard & Garden

Matt and I are not natural gardeners. Unless you count parsley. I have a garden box that is overgrown with parsley. 

Fun fact: While Matt isn't a natural gardener, he's a natural flower arranger. It runs in his genes. Hand him a bunch of flowers, and he'll put a beautiful arrangement together. 

Me? I just stick them haphazardly all over the place with no rhyme or reason.

So when a young couple with no ability to work the land buys a home with a huge front yard and a huge back yard, they're left with an overwhelming amount of work and no clue where to begin.

Our trials and (many) errors on caring for our yard and garden in the Southeast

We've had a lot of set backs and some success. It's a learning process really. The yard can be such a source of inspiration for creativity and we're really excited about the plans we have for it. 

We just need to learn to keep the right things alive and keep the wrong things out. 

We've had some successes this year such as:

  • moving our rose bushes to get better sunlight
  • planting a peach tree and eating homegrown peaches
  • designing a colorful all-shade flower bed

But we've had a lot of failures such as

  • waking up to a finding a single bite taken out of every bean we grew
  • harvesting 0 tomatoes out of the three we planted
  • underestimating the power of kudzu

Kudzu. Every southerner's worst nightmare. Pictured below is some dead kudzu. A vine that literally grew from our back yard to our front yard in about a week. This stuff is crazy and it takes over everything, and we hate it. As we hate most of the wild vines growing in the back yard. 

dead kudzu vine

They're choking the trees and give our yard that jungle crazed look.

large vine

So this winter, our back yard to-do list looks like this:

  • prepare raised beds for the spring (we just did this on Saturday! Yay!)
  • clear out the vines growing over the fences
  • prepare ground for wild flowers
  • fix our fire pit area (the area around it is a pile of rocks...we want a smooth surface)

Because I'm really tired of looking at this:

Overgrown Vines on Fence

The good news is that Matt has cleared out a lot of the vines suffocating some of the old pine trees, but we still have a long way to go. 


Are you working on any yard or garden maintenance this winter?