Wednesday, June 10, 2009

corner view :: wisconsin


This week the corner view is "out your back door or window"

We live in a 'green' neighborhood, which is designed to have small yard spaces with houses close together to minimize the stereotypical American wasteland of chemically induced water sucking unnaturally green untouched lawnscapes ;) and promote community. The plus is we get to know our neighbors -  people naturally congregate and children play in the carriage lane every evening during decent weather -  and we know just about everyone on our block.

Sooooo, out the back we have a small hill to a carriage lane (with garages)...and our small yard is on the side in between the houses. We have torn out a good percentage of our limited grass to grow flowers, vegetables, fruit, and provide habitat for our urban wildlife friends.

The top image is of our deck with a gazebo to give us some shade. We spend a lot of time there...and grow many herbs and veggies in pots. From the deck we have a square garden plot, tiered down to lemon balm and spearmint bushes, and a raised bed full of strawberries and raspberry canes next to a mini rain garden.



An up close view of what we see out our back door? So much is blooming right now - lilacs, mock orange bushes, viburnum. Raspberries are starting to fruit, strawberries are ripening, tiny tomatoes and peppers adorn the small late spring plants which will expand to take over all available space, garlic and shallots are getting so big, carrots are looking ferny, and birds bathe and eat and sing all day long.




The robins love our strawberries as much as we do, so every morning we go out to see if we can pick the ripe ones before they do!

Too see all of the other backdoor views around the world this week, visit:

jane, ladybug-zen, ian, bonnie, esti, sophie, cele, modsquad, caitlin, joyce, ani, kim, a day that is dessert, natsumi, epe, kaylovesvintage, trinsch, c.t., jeannette, outi, schanett, ritva, francesca, state of bliss, jennifer, dana,denise, cabrizette, bohemia girl, ruth, dianna, isabelle, amber, a girl in the yellow shoes, mister e, janis, kari, jgy, jenna, skymring, elizabeth, audrey, allison, lise, cate, mon, victoria, crescent moon, erin, otli, amy, ida, caroline, lisa, dorte, kimmie, la lune dans le ciel, nicola, malo, vanessa,britta, virgina, april, rebecca, b, kyndale samantha, karen, kristina, angelina, dorit, goldensunfamily, sophie, janet, mcgillicutty, desiree, di, travelingmama, aimee, sunnymama amanda, ali, jenell, guusje, britta, juanita, pamela, inna, daan, myrtille, cris, ibb, susi, jodi, lily, gillian, doobleh-vay

26 comments:

Francesca said...

I've always wondered about American lawns ... Your urban garden looks and sounds great (the robins think so too!)

jane said...

i love this! so so pretty. thanks denise!

Jeannette said...

Love it that you made your garden a habitat for the animals.
Seems like a pretty perfect place for humans and the wildlife! ;)
Have a great day, Jeannette

Lisa said...

Denise, you are amazing! I was all gloomy last week and said to my sister, "I don't know how I would raise the girls with a postage stamp sized yard; should we have to move out of state." She said, "Lisa, you will find ways with what you have, you are that type of mother that puts the environment and nature at the top of the list for your children." Then I got to thinking about my blogging friends like you; you are a fantastic mother that teaches nature to your boys like you lived in the wilds of Alaska. I so appreciate this post and it came at the best time! Thank you.

Lisa :)

Jane said...

Very lovely. You're not in a co-housing community are you?

Anonymous said...

I have friends who live in your neighborhood and I've driven by your house...I am continually amazed by your garden and creative use of space. It's lovely.

I'm curious where you found your gazebo and what you used to tie it down to prevent it from blowing away. I'd love to get something similar for my deck.

Thanks! Such good inspiration! :)

Erin said...

It's neat that you live in a "green" neighborhood. It makes me sad that so many people don't know their neighbors. I think it's great that your community encourages that! It's also great to see that you've put your small yard to such big use! :)

Crescent Moon said...

From what I've seen of your other post, I expected your back yard to be pretty, and it is. I love all the flowers! Lilacs are one of my favorites, but they don't grow down here.

Kate said...

My grandma always painted small rocks red and put them at the edges of her strawberry patch to convince the birds that her strawberries were unedible and to give up. :)

ladybug-zen said...

you're garden is looking fantastic. i can't wait to see it in full swing!

denise said...

Thanks everyone! :)

Lisa -- You know, at first I was a bit frustrated by the yard size. We moved here because we liked the green neighborhood concept, and that it is a green built home (I have tons of allergies). But slowly I started reading more about permaculture and potager gardens and realized there is SO much I could do with this space - more than just pots. And you know what? We USE our yard, even this small (I would guess 90+% of our neighborhood is only in their yard when they mow). We play frisbee, have a little fire and roast marshmallows, play tag...and I grow a good amount of fruit and veggies here too. And since our yard is so lush with a birdfeeder, birdbath, and all kinds of bushes we get SO much wildlife. Opossum, rabbits, frogs, and SO many birds. Who said it's not what you've got, but what you do with it. ;) We'd love more space, but I also love how what we have has evolved and grown over the years.

Jane - no, not co-housing. That would be cool though!

Kate - oooooh. I'll try that!

'anonymous' - Thank you! To hold down the gazebo I have 2 sides chained to the deck, and the two sides against the house have concrete blocks on the frame base! Works well. I think we got our gazebo at Target...we've had it a few years now and it is wonderful to have - makes the deck feel like a whole extra room! If you see us out when you are in the neighborhood some time stop and say 'hi'! :)

Thanks for all the nice comments...I always have a panic moment in late May when things are still so tiny, the grass is not lush yet, the bushes don't have full foliage, and think...it is going to look HORRIBLE! OH NO! But by June is is starting to fill in, looks 'neater' and more jungle like and I love it! This year we are growing more than ever, so I'm excited to see how it comes together in July/August!

janis said...

Wisconsin is hip! Love the neighborhood idea...sustainability is where it's at...I applaud you :)

MisterE said...

I would love to have a garden like that off my deck! It looks like a great place to just hang out and relax. Thanks for sharing.

nicola said...

beautiful deck! i love the premise of green neighborhoods!
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

Sam said...

Beautiful! So nice to get a peek into your wonderful gardens and yard. Thank you.

A Day That is Dessert said...

great corner view - neat to hear about your neighborhood.

Ian said...

Very nice.

Pamela said...

Your family definitely has green thumbs - I love all your plants and flowers.

Astrid said...

You've got a lot packed into that small little plot! I love this time of year...I've got at least six hummingbirds in view at any given time. The wine & roses weigela is blooming like crazy. The midnight salvia is in full force and the butterflies LOVE it! My blue muffin viburnums are also blooming (and I'm reminded that I need to get different viburnums. Lovely!

nettlejuice said...

You've created a beautiful space Denise. And living so close to other people you are inspiring change int he community. Sure, your neighbors may still mow their lawns every week, but their children can see what is possible and know there is another way to live on the earth (no matter how small that piece of earth is). It's all about relationship. We can make excuses all our lives about why we can't live the way we want to, or we can work with what we have to create the relationship with the earth we crave. You have cultivated beauty and bounty in a way that makes your space so much more than the square footage on your deed.

What a blessed journey!

Cris Siqueira said...

is small but is so perfect!!
i just love!!
i wish o could plant strawberrys in my place, but the weather here makes this impossible!

caitlin said...

Very cool little garden you have there. Mm, strawberries :)

Bonnie said...

it's beautiful !! just beautiful !!

Tan Family said...

What a special place you live in! I love this idea...green, close neighbors, fruits and veggies in the backyard. It's the way life should be...

Yarrow said...

How lovely! I think the intentional "green" cmmunity is a great idea. You are very lucky. blessings.

Carrie said...

Your back porch is so very warm and inviting. I wonder if you'll get a pair of nesting birds this year.