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One Room Challenge - Week 1

I didn’t officially sign up for the One Room Challenge, because I wasn’t sure that gardens counted as a “room” to renovate. Sure, people do outdoor spaces each season, but I haven’t ever seen a garden. So I didn’t officially sign up, but I am going to follow along as the 8 weeks go by.

Part of what I like about the ORC so much, and following along, is that it keeps me (us) accountable. We are NOTORIOUS 95%ers when it comes to finishing projects and spaces, so I like having the ORC to make sure I get the entire thing done.

for our garden, we don’t have much to renovate, but we do have a lot to plant so I think the majority of the 8 weeks is going to be taken up by planting haha.

Today I wanted to show you the 3 mood boards for our garden spaces: our front garden, vegetable garden (which has the most “renovating”/building happening) and the back patio.

Our front garden

The before before of our front garden is a hot mess. The listing photo is below and the front garden was just so random. We did do a phase one, but plant to do even more than the photo below with grey siding.

We did have our lilac bush in the corner of the house, but it was getting over grown so two weeks ago, we decided to move it along our fence line in the backyard. Two years ago we also planted Boxwoods under the window and a Magnolia tree (in remembrance of Jack) in the front corner after cutting down a dying tree that was there. Last year we moved a Burning Bush over to the other side of the garage to hide the garbage and recycling bins and planted a Viburnum bush in its place on the outside corner of the house. This year, our plan is to move the boxwoods away from the window, plant blue and pink Hydrangeas behind them under the window, add a trellis to the corner where the lilac was, and add mini rose ground cover in front of the Boxwoods.

I’m hoping that by doing more of a ground cover in front of the stoop instead of a bush, the Lavender and annuals I plant in my containers on the stoop will show off a bit more. Last year, I planted my herbs in my tall containers, but I think I’m going to move those to the kitchen window sill this year. I have an image in my head of these cute little planters sitting on the sill making the kitchen smell absolutely divine! So I’m not sure what I’m going to plant in the containers this year, but it will be some sort of annual. In the fall, I’m going to plant Daffodil and Tulip bulbs in the containers so we have a nice, bright pop of color for Easter in 2023. I’m going to attempt planting bulbs and then an annual for the summer, but that’s a project for next year. We also plan to plant Marigolds along the side walk leading to the front door for bright color in the fall. And lastly, I think it’s time for a new welcome mat. This Midwest weather did ours no favors and it’s gotten really really gross over the past few seasons.

Like I said, mostly planting and adding mulch to the front garden, but we will add a trellis in the corner for either climbing roses or Clematis. I haven’t decided yet.

Our Backyard

Moving to the backyard….this is also going to be mostly planting. This mood board is kind of unique in that I took a photo of what our current patio looks like to show off exactly where we are going to be planting.

Along the fence line, we already have another burning bush and where this is where we transplanted our white Lilac bush from our wedding. We plan to add a purple lilac to each side of the white one so we basically have a fence line of Lilac bushes instead of just a boring fence to look at.

Then, along the new stone wall, we will plant Weigela bushes and Boxwoods to add a gorgeous pink color. Right next to the house, in the corner, we have another Viburnum bush and then in the garden boxes made of stone, I will plant Impatients like I did last summer where they absolutely thrived.

The building that we will do back here will be the trellis that crosses the top stair. I originally wanted to find 3 or 4 large planters to put on each step and fill with annuals, but with the Impatients in the boxes and the Weigela and Boxwoods, I think there would be too much going on, so we decided that a trellis would be best to have something climb up and draw the eye upwards. I’m also hoping to have some fun lights or a hanging basket or bird feeder or something fun and whimsical to hang from it.

I did buy one large planter that will sit atop the fire wood box that I will fill with some type of annual that I will also fill smaller planters with and place on the dining table and the side tables up on the deck.

Vegetable and Cut Flower Garden

And last, but certainly not least, the vegetable and cut flower garden. This is where the bulk of the work will come in. Currently, we have two raised garden beds. We are going to turn those in to four beds and spiffy them up. We are going to stain the wood, add trim around the top, and make sturdy lattice for the square foot sections of each bed per the Square Foot Gardening method. We’ll then build two trellis’s that span 2 garden beds for more climbing flowers and vegetables like beans and tomatoes.

We’re also going to mulch out the entire area to make it easier to mow, and add stepping stones so you can walk under the trellis’s if you’re walking from the front of the house to the back.

This side of the house also has a handmade bench that AJ's brother had made as a wedding gift for us. I love this bench. It has our initials and wedding date wood burned into it using my calligraphy as a stencil. We currently have Hostas on either side of it, and I plan to add purple Allium as well for a fun pop of color.

Lastly, we’ll add some accessories too. This is the area (exact spot still TBD) where our outdoor compost bin will go. We have a small one inside under the sink, but we need a larger one to transfer the small one to. I am also on the hunt for the most perfect bird bath. I think I found the one I like, but I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger. We have a couple local places we want to check out before I order the one from online.

We definitely have our work cut out for us, and really hope the weather cooperates, but I think 8 weeks is plenty of time for us to get everything built and planted. I’ll also be sure to share my gardening tools, gloves and other accessories I use along the way!

Wish us luck….we’re starting this week even though the weather isn’t perfect!



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

Welcome to my corner of the internet, where I'm (real time) navigating a lifestyle change after a pretty traumatic 2020. Stay a while and watch the Real Life Schmidt unfold and learn a little bit more about me, my husband and our life in small town Wisconsin. So happy you're here!

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