Create a Sustainable Yard

A blanket of snow covers our yard. Before winter dormancy ends and the spring rush begins, there is time to think about parts of the yard to reinforce, add to, or change.

A February 2023 Fine Gardening magazine feature shows how a professional might access their yard. It stirred some thoughts about my own yard. The magazine is available for browsing at the Yankton Community Library.

  1. Choose a balance of tree, shrub, and hardscape foundation. Aiming for the harmony of living plants and boundaries of hardscape is a multi-year challenge. 

Perennials are beginning to establish in the full sun circular flowerbed. Clematis reached the top of one side of the trellis last season, while the other side recovered from deer sampling. A few more perennials would further soften the landscape blocks. Late spring, before these perennial flowers bloom, the catalpa tree on the left of the stairs does draw pollinators earlier.

  • Blend new with established elements. Segmented raised beds line the driveway entrance. This bed segment of Joe Pye weed and echinacea is nearing maturity. Still, other bed segments need more perennials that add harmony, with filler annuals as a second choice.
  • Use areas of color in locations with elevation changes. One of the raised bed segments along the descending driveway is filled with black-eyed Susans. More bed segments of bright yellow flowers would unify the beds.
  • Draw the eye with large containers and structures. Last season, the front entrance containers had foliage with a single flower container. Flowers could be featured for each part of the season, beginning early with pansies.

You are invited to share thoughts about your gardening spaces. Choose “Landscaping” on the column right if you’d like to see other related posts. 

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