The before shots of the deck this spring before I began my landscaping project (and before the snow piles had melted!). I dug the defining lines of the bed by hand with a shovel. Then Jeremy tilled up the area. I then had the back breaking job of removing the sod and smoothing the soil. We also added several loads of horse manure (free poop!) for fertility.
Side of the deck next to the patio a week or so after I planted it. All the plants that you see here were free! I rescued some of the plants from around a structure on my husband's work property that was to be destroyed. Other plants came from the woods and a neighbor of my sister-in-law!
This is about a month later when my sweet husband (who cares nothing for plants that will not give him food) helped me put in some landscaping border (also free!!!).
I buried some flagstones that were laying around here at ground level as stepping stones out to the fire pit.
The other side of the deck. Asian lilies are from my brother -in-law who grows them to sell.
Side of the deck next to the patio late in the growing season. You can see the the horse manure did it's job, these impatiens got huge! I did buy them, a whopping 99cents for a 6 pack. However, most of the time these beauties pump out enough seed to give you plenty free plants the next year, that is if you are patient enough to wait for the impatiens!
I almost pulled this rescued Butterfly Bush up. It wasn't growing so I was about to trash it when I saw a tiny sprout. It took forever to grow but it sure was worth the wait!
Future plans include restaining the deck and adding lattice on the bottom of the deck. I also want to have some native warm season grasses, such as Switch grass or Indian grass, next to the stairs in several places and in the space between the house and the deck next to the air conditioner unit. It's been alot of work, but we have so enjoyed it. I have gotten many complements from visitors as well as my children. The butterflies and hummingbirds were appreciative too!