Refreshing Our Backyard For Summer…Part 3

We’re plugging away at this backyard one section at a time. Although it would be so nice to get this done quickly, by doing it ourselves, we’re learning so much and there is such satisfaction in the end result. It’s fun to see my design come to life. I am definitely taking risks with this one but I’m so glad I am because it’s really looking exactly as I dreamed. If you’d like to follow along check out Part 1 and Part 2.

 One of the big projects we had to do, was to get rid of the 3 banana trees. When our softscape had been done originally my mom had warned me that banana trees can get out of hand and are hard to remove, so I removed the two in our front yard but unfortunately left the 3 in the backyard. Although they are very tropical and common to our area, they quickly got too big and the sap from the tree was ruining the sun umbrellas. With this refresh it was time to remove them, so one at a time my husband tackled this rather difficult job. Although I did feel this would have been a good job to hire out, that was not going to happen, it became personal for my husband and he was going to pull those suckers out. And, in time, he did; they are all now gone.

Tackling one of the three giant banana trees. Never like seeing him up on a ladder like that. YIKES!!!


All 3 banana trees are gone, as are the vines growing on the wall that actually came from my neighbors plants, which are nice when they are green but when they go dormant they are very ugly and make a mess, so off they went. The hedge will be getting replaced with boxwoods.


One thing I’m definitely adding to this refresh are fruit trees. How I’ve lived in orange county for this long and not had an orange tree is beyond me. I decided to tackle this small section by the pool. It had a palm type plant but it never really looked quite right there but an orange tree would be perfect. I pulled out the old plant and pulled any weeds. This is always my least favorite part of the process. All the greenery on the wall is now gone and the wall is going to be repainted. I really like when it’s nice and green like it is in the picture, but when it isn’t, it’s such a mess.


After preparing the area, I added new dirt and planted my new orange tree. I was pretty excited about this.



All planted…


We got the tree at Costco, they get some great deals on plants in the Spring and Summer.


I planted Begonias because they really do well in the summer months here in Southern California. I always buy the 6 packs of Begonias and plant them close together, that way they fill in quite nicely and last a long time.


Planting flowers is one of my favorite things to do, even though it can be pretty hard on the back.


In the picture below, you’ll see the flowers nicely filling in and the tree getting bigger. Yahoo!!! I had a great picture of the 4 oranges it’s already produced but can’t seem to find it. My family said the oranges were really tasty. Look at me…I’m a farmer!!!


I decided to work on this planter section next. I’ve done all kinds of different things in this spot from climbing jasmine, to different kinds of bushes and flowers, but nothing seemed to work well. So, I went back to my favorite boxwoods that hedge so nicely and I love them.

All these Jasmine bushes got pulled out. I will miss their lovely smell but they just weren’t working in this space. I will be planting Jasmine somewhere else in the garden because you can’t beat the smell of blooming Jasmine.


 Prepping to plant…



This was a LOT of work. The space is a lot bigger than it looks and boy did I feel it after hours and hours working on it.


All planted. The back row will be hedged as it grows and the flowers, of course will have to be changed out seasonally or as long as they last.



I was so pleased with this but so exhausted after I was done with all of this gardening, that after a long, hot shower I put on some cozy sweats and snuggled on the coach and watched movies with my family. There is nothing better than that feeling of accomplishment and enjoying the time to rest.

 Two more projects done for our summer refresh, but as gardens go they are ever-changing and honestly constant work. You must be in love with your garden to keep it flourishing.

Looking forward to spending many hours this summer in our refreshed and color filled backyard.

photo 2


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