Yard-farming 2013

In 1993 and again in 2008, our home in Des Moines was overcome by massive flooding of the Des Moines River. We lost most of our belongings in both floods, and after the one in 2008, we decided enough was enough and moved to a new place. Hard to believe we are coming up on the 20th anniversary of the ’93 flood. Here’s one of my favorite photos from that year – that is our little blue house that my hubby Steve is boating towards. The line cutting through his shoulder is the top of the fence that surrounded my beloved patio. The water at this point has receded a couple feet. This picture is dated 7-15-93.


One of the decisions I made after the second flood in 2008,  as soon as we had determined that we were indeed going to move, was that I would take with me as many of the perennial plants from the old house as I could. Mostly, this meant hostas. I spent an afternoon, one day after we had closed on the new house but not yet moved in, digging up and dividing several hostas, potting them, and transporting them to the new house. I’ve had them in a placeholder garden ever since.

This year I decided to move them over to a couple areas adjacent to the house itself, and create a hosta garden across the front. Here’s the front of the house. Last Fall, we had a “tree guy” cut those yew shrubs to the ground. I’m neutral about them – if they come back, they come back. If not, that’s okay too.

This is a challenging area – sunny in the Spring, but mostly in shade as soon as the trees leaf out, except for a couple hours in the hottest part of the day.  Then there’s that overhang which extends a couple feet out. Underneath it is bone dry with fine, poor soil. But the rest of the area is moist with noticeable amounts of clay.

Here are a couple shots of one of the beds taken from a couple different angles. As you can see, it slopes off and has a flat stone wall as it wraps around the corner of the house. It includes mostly hostas, but also daylilies, sedum, and a stray Astilbe.






And here is the area on the other side of the front door – the hostas were divided from one plant and will fill in quickly. Hopefully, I’ll soon be filling in all the open space with some annual impatiens.




Finally, here’s a picture you’ve seen before of the area next to my front door, showing my glass globes and The Virgin Mary looking over a large hosta.



It’s still early in the season, so this area currently looks like this, with several more plants added:



Again, I’m hoping to fill in with annuals and some fresh mulch. I’m making progress!


More soon –


2 thoughts on “Yard-farming 2013

  1. Hi Janet, Enjoyed your post. I’m glad you don’t have to worry about flooding anymore. To go through it once is bad enough, let alone twice. Your beds will be looking great as spring/summer progresses.

  2. Your yard is shaping up nicely! I hope your leg is feeling better now. I cannot imagine being flooded even once, but twice! I don;t blame you a bit for moving. I would do the same thing. Your house is very nice too, I love the neutral colors….they make a nice backdrop for your plants. Can’t wait to see when everything fills out and is blooming…:)

    Blessings, Vicky
    Life On Willie Mae Lane

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *