Just writing this post stressed me right out, I kid you not. My chest is tight with stress- and the upper respiratory infection I have isn’t helping things.  As exciting as it is to have a blank canvas, as a non-landscaper I am completely and utterly overwhelmed right now trying to decide what the heck is going into this yard.

It doesn’t help that Mike’s been gone a week – home tonight thank God-  I have a miserable cold that means no sleep, a yard full of mud and time is ticking down madly, crazily and stressily. I just invented that word, by the way. Stressily. I am stressily thinking about this yard.

The topsoil is going to be finished within weeks, as soon as the weather cooperates our landscaper is in there getting the final grade finished for us. The rest, however, is mine to do.

There are a few things I learned in my last yard :

– sod is an incredible  PITA to rip up when you want more garden space.

– you always want more garden space

– south facing fences are the best hot micro-climates you will ever find. The heat rebounds off the fence like a hell-spawned demon onto the soil.

– my children eat raspberries faster than the bushes can grow them

– I love Sasktoons. Thiessen variety the best, apparently.

– we must, MUST have lawn. Must.

– trees are hard to move once you plant them. (duh)

–  nothing but mossy grass grows on the south side fence of an east facing yard.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated, that means you, Edmonton gardeners. Heck, anyone who is a northern gardener can chime right in please. I have so much space. SO. MUCH. SPACE. And I want to use it well.

Here’s my first area at the front, which faces west. Tons of sunlight. This is 3.5 feet wide and I was hoping to get a hedge of Saskatoons between here. Looking at the varieties however I am thinking that Northline – gets 6 feet tall and I can control the spread easily- will be my best bet. Hedge of Saskatoons and then mulch to keep the weeds at bay.



The other side of the front yard.

I need a 2.5 inch caliper tree and 8 bushes. I have contacted a local nursery and I might just be able to get a large caliper fruit tree, I will know next week. I moved my Honeyberries with me so I have three bushes.

I would like all fruiting bushes in the front, if I have to have 8 damn bushes for the landscaping requirements.

This is over 11 feet wide and 21 feet to the corner there.

Fruiting bush suggestions?


Oh god, the back now.

Lord help me.



The yard faces east, so this is my hot little micro-climate once the fence is up. It radiates heat back so fiercely. You can see the lines I have drawn in the dirt, that’s 6 feet out from the fence. 6 x 27 feet to the back.

All veggie beds? Raised? Not raised?


Standing at that back corner now. Again, 6 feet marked out. All garden again?  The problem I have is that I would LOVE fruit trees planted across the back yard, but that means  that those trees are going to grow and eventually shade this area, making it not so great for  gardening. This is the conundrum I can’t figure out. Plus those trees have to be 5 feet forward to make sure the roots don’t crack the concrete swale.

Speaking of that swale, this is also on my property.

This is 40 freaking feet by 2 feet of dead space. All my neighbors have grass or rocks.

I’m thinking raspberries and mulch to keep the weeds down?

Do I really need 80 sq feet of raspberries?

Lord love a duck.

The kids will be thrilled and  the swale will help keep the raspberries from suckering out into the rest of the yard. Plus I do love raspberry jam….

Thoughts?  Has to be something with small roots, no trees or very large bushes.

View from where the deck will be.

What about 3 fruit trees on that right side, where it’s muddy in the picture? If I can’t grow them along the back, maybe along the side? How far from the fence, about 5 feet? That allow enough for spread?


View of that side. So remember we are facing east right now. The trees will still get sunlight enough is they are moved away from the fence and there is still room for a climber/swingset for the kids.

Arial view. Through a screen.


Ok gardening people.

Hit me with your garden loves, hits, misses, favorite fruit tress, fruit bushes, all of it.

What have you learned from YOUR yards? What were your mistakes? Successes? Best thing you ever did?



I’m Just Going To Pave the Whole Damn Yard Magpie