Our Backyard Refuge

Colby and I have been living in our home together since fall of 2010, about a year before we got married. It’s almost embarrassing to admit that we – two people who own a landscaping company – just finished landscaping around our home last month. I use the word “finished” loosely, because concrete forms and rebar lay where a concrete patio will one day be poured. We’re working on two concrete projects as I write this, and, as always, those come first!

kitsap county landscapers

Dicentra spectabilis aka Bleeding heart was the first plant I ever fell in love with in our own garden.

It’s without exaggeration that I say the experience of having a landscape has transformed my life. If the day starts to feel too demanding, I step outside to listen to the sound of our water feature and watch as birds fly from surrounding alder trees onto our emerging lawn to nibble on grass seed. I take note of how much my Gunnera has grown from the day before (not much), and look for signs of pink buds on my Weigela (yes, they’re there!). Without a doubt, it’s therapy and a refuge from the stresses of life.

our backyard refuge

Birds love to bathe in our water feature. And we love to watch as they dunk and shake!

This is our trade, so naturally I can’t help but reflect on some things that I’ve known for some time, but have now had the chance to observe in our own landscape.

  1. Birds love grass seed, and they will invite all their friends to the party on a new lawn. After hydroseed is sprayed or a lawn renovation has been done, a reserve of grass seed is necessary to have on hand. There are a lot of grass seeds on the market. For our region, it’s best to go with a blend that’s 70% perennial ryegrass, 30% fescue. 
  2. Features can – and ideally, will – perform multiple functions. Large, decorative boulders anchor the soil of our raised beds in place, function as a border between our water feature and patio, and offer a place to sit. And they look good, too.
  3. A garden is never done. We planted the beds around our entry a few years ago, and last month I edited out a few shrubs that were intentionally planted too closely together. I also swapped out a trio of Hostas for one Daphne. We plant lovers change our minds about what we want in a certain spot, and why not?
  4. Harmony achieved through foliage color is soothing to the eye and the senses, and can be more gratifying than interesting blooms. Seeing the combination of chartreuse, deep green and blue brings me inner peace. Dramatic, yes, but true!
  5. Nature creates conditions that we constantly have to work against. Here, specifically, I’m talking about the algae that’s forming on the rocks of our water feature. We’ll go with an environmentally friendly solution so that we can continue to feel good about the birds bathing in it along with the frogs that keep me up at night!
garden design kitsap county

Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’ aka Black Lace elderberry is a stunner. Here in our front yard bed, it’s planted with Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’ aka False spirea.

Considering all the beauty and moments of delight our landscape has brought to us, I can’t believe we waited this long to give ourselves the gift that we give to our clients. We’ve always put everyone else’s landscaping needs before our own! One thing is for certain, when we finally leave this home, I won’t make this mistake again. In fact, I’ve already started a list of trees and plants that I want planted in my next garden. 

Are you in the planning stages of your dream landscape? Call our office at 360-697-3215 or send an email to info@northwestcl.com to set up an appointment to meet with an estimator.

Thanks for reading our blog. Northwest Construction & Landscape, LLC is a Kitsap County landscaping company that offers landscaping, decorative concrete and lawn maintenance services to homes and businesses across Kitsap and Pierce counties.Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.