Creating A Backyard Sanctuary

Creating A Backyard Sanctuary

We’re trying a new experiment.

Our neighbor who takes care of our yard will continue to mow the front and outside the backyard fence, but the backyard we are turning into our own personal sanctuary. I’d like to see what an entire season of not mowing brings. I know we’ve got some critters that are sleeping in the very back of the yard, thanks to making time to notice the flattened plants and stalks.

In other parts of the yard we’ve startled baby bunnies and I nearly stepped on a gorgeous rat snake that was sunning itself on the back stairs. (I assume it’s the same one that we found when Weston was putting in the new window last year, which makes me now feel like it is a member of the family.) I love dreaming of the pollinators and small critters that will find our yard a safe space.

In fact at this very minute Waffles and I are watching a male robin fly back and forth from our deck garden bins with dead leaves in its beak, off to build a nest for the young that will arrive in the weeks ahead.

Scouting around.

How can I get out there?!

Found just the right leaf to use.

Yessa and I also watched (me with annoyance) as a squirrel helped himself to a large flower bulb from the same deck garden area. He munched on it like an apple, then threw the dry husk on the deck like some sort of entitled Miata driver.

We’re headed to a native plant nursery on Friday where we can wander through the great outdoors amongst plants that will support the insects and caterpillars that Tennessee animals need to thrive. I’m also hoping to find things that will quickly grow tall enough to provide a natural screen for the growing grass so my neighbors don’t complain. (Some of the folks back in the gated community can get a little shirty.)

The glory of this beautiful acre of land Buddie found for us becomes ever more clear to me. And though I still think about where we’d be in Italy, I’m so thankful for this time to plant and work and dream.

Bring on the compost.

The self-watering planters around the deck continue to thrive.

Enjoying the sun with a cat in a box. Notice how happy the newly planted native redbud tree is in the right side of the picture.

The building blocks of a garden.

Pine straw ready to spreadh.

Ahhh, using up compost. My favorite!

Thank goodness for good help.

She’s smiling while she’s thinking, “Oh, my gosh, compost stinks!”

Gratuitous shot of this guy because he’s cute.

Starters ready to go in the ground.

Finally, the garden ready for some plants to nurture:

I was looking for some shots that give an overview of the backyard and found this sweet video of a young Yessa practicing her bike riding around the yard. If you are able to glance away for her preciousness, you see some of the sanctuary space we’ll get to play with in the seasons ahead.

Many, many more posts of this adventure to come.

Cindy, we may need you to call on you as a bee consultant once the world settles down a little.

Enjoy this beautiful day.