Husband and I have been working under the fruit trees (plum on the left, apple on the right). The former owners put landscape fabric down between the two trees and covered it with rocks. It really helps to keep new mini-fruit-tree suckers from breaking through to the surface. But after years of pine needles and dirt and whatnot getting into those rocks, not only do weeds take root, but suckers break through and become impossible to remove. Here is a before shot:
The trees make it difficult to mow the lawn, especially when laden with fruit. We put old carpet down to kill the lawn so we could expand the rock garden. We pulled up all the rocks and old landscape fabric and screened out the dirt (which was actually very healthy worm-laden compost--I put it under the raspberry bushes). We put down new landscape fabric, returned the rocks, then moved the carpet and put down more fabric and rocks. Here is how it looks now:
We moved the old carpet to the other side of the trees to kill more grass, and next year we will do the same to that side. We don't know what to do with the very large rock. I thought it would make a great fountain. It is a three-man rock; it was really hard to move with one man and one wimpy woman (me). I operated lever and fulcrum while Strong Husband pushed and cajoled.
I thought I'd share a couple of other shots around my backyard. This is my birdbath garden. I planted over 30 ranunculus bulbs. Only two came up. I am hopeful more will come up next year.
The nasturtiums are finally starting to bloom. I planted them in the new herb garden. I've heard you can eat the petals, but we have not tried them yet.
Here is a gorgeous flower that came up by the shed. I had not planted anything in that flower bed yet, but when this plant came up, I was curious what it would become. What a surprise to see these giant purple bell shaped flowers! (click on the photo to see it closer!)