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Week 6: Final Yard Transformation Reveal


Wow, what an incredibly busy 6 weeks this Yard Transformation Challenge has been.  Thanks again to Nat of Simple Family Crazy Life for hosting the challenge and giving me some extra motivation to whip my yard into shape.

Missed the other weeks?  Here’s Week 1 // Week 2 // Week 3 // Week 4 // Week 5

Let’s start with the backyard, and work our way to the front.  Come on in. . .

Cobalt Blue and White Patio Makeover Reveal

Check out this stunning cobalt blue and white patio makeover.  I'd love to relax on a deck like this and steal some of these DIY ideas. #outdoorliving #patio #deck #patiomakeover #cobaltblue #diyproject

I was inspired by a Greek restaurant on a recent trip to New York.  I loved the combination of cobalt blue and white–it’s so classic and fresh.  While my patio doesn’t look exactly like the restaurant, I think I got the right feel.

Related: Cobalt Blue Patio Makeover Inspiration

Around the deck I wanted to pretend as if it was my only growing space and really dig in to container gardening.  I planted a mix of vegetables, flowers, and herbs to see how much I could actually grow, and what types of vegetables even can be grown.  The flowers are to provide beauty and help with pollination.

I also did some DIY’s on my existing pots to bring them in line with my cobalt blue and white theme.  Get all the DIY details here.

Need an annual flower that can take the heat and sun of your south facing backyard?  You need strawflowers!  These blooms are thriving in their container on my hot patio. #strawflower #flowersinpots #flowergardening #annualflowers

Our deck is super hot.  It’s south facing and very sheltered from the wind, so it can be difficult to find flowers that can handle the heat.  So far these straw flowers are thriving.

Related: 36 Flowers for a Cut Flower Garden

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that my new favourite flower is the citronella geranium (the one in the centre of the black pot).  I love the smell, and I’ll be testing it out to see if it really does keep the mosquitos at bay.

Growing mint (in the blue pot) is also a new experience for me.  I’ve kept it in a pot and not in with the rest of the garden because it has a very nasty spreading habit.

Want to learn which perennial flowers and herbs have a spreading habit that quickly gets out of control?  Read 28 Perennials You’ll Regret Planting, and 50 More Perennials You’ll Regret Planting.

I also struggle with finding flowers that can handle the heat in my hanging pots, and so far this combination of geraniums, petunias, and dianthus is working well.  Don’t you love how the pink pops against the cobalt blue?

I love these succulents in a bird cage, but believe it or not, they are struggling with he heat.  We’ve have had two weeks of plus 26-30 degrees Celsius this May, which is unusual for our area.

Check out this stunning cobalt blue and white patio makeover.  I'd love to relax on a deck like this and steal some of these DIY ideas. #outdoorliving #patio #deck #patiomakeover #cobaltblue #diyproject

I just love my patio makeover!  Instead of an old and ugly deck with not a lot going for it, it’s now a nice little oasis where I can have a cup of coffee in the morning or relax at the end of the day.

Related: How to Make the Perfect Iced Coffee

Container Herb Garden

Every beginner gardener needs to try growing herbs!  I love this combination of chives, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme and basil.  It's so easy to plant these in a container or in your regular garden. #herbs #herbgardening #containergardening #chives

Despite growing a garden almost every year of my life, I have never really planted herbs.  Just some basil for a pesto making experiment.

True story: I love eating basil, but I hate the smell of it so much that I never want to make pesto again.

This year I transplanted some of my chives, and planted lemon balm, oregano, thyme, and basil.  Wait. .. I forgot to plant dill!!  *goes out to the garden, finds some space, and immediately remedies this situation*

Expanded Garden Area

Last year I tried to garden exclusively in my city backyard, and quickly realized I didn’t have nearly enough planting space–especially using traditional gardening methods.  I expanded my garden area and have switched to a crazy hybrid of square foot gardening in a traditional garden space.  Finally, I was able to plant everything I needed with a bit of room to spare for succession planting in my flower beds.

I originally planted in my flower beds out of desperation.  However, I discovered I actually like having the extra growing space and it helps keep my overgrown perennials at bay.

Soon I will order more mulch to keep the weeds down and make everything look prettier.  I’ll also be cutting down the lilac tree at the back and letting it rejuvenate.

Raised Bed Gardening in the Front Yard

Raised bed gardening using the seeding square.  I love planting a combination of vegetables and flowers using the square foot gardening method.  And these raised vinyl garden boxes make everything so pretty in my front yard. #squarefootgardening #raisedbeds #vinylraisedbed #gardening #vegetablegardening #frontyard

Part of the solution to the lack of space in the back yard is to move some of my gardening out to the front. I installed two premium vinyl raised garden beds and I love how durable they are and the instant curb appeal they add to my front yard.

I planted with the Seeding Square and my perfection-loving heart loves how evenly my seeds are starting to sprout.

The other thing I love about having a garden in the front yard is that it’s a natural conversation starter with my neighbours.  Thankfully I live in a neighbourhood where front yard gardens are allowed an encouraged.

Now, to just get rid of those overgrown cedars and replace them with something else. . .

I hope you’ve enjoyed my portion of the 6 week yard transformation!  I’d love to know, what was your favourite part, and what do you think I should add next?



Kristen Raney

Kristen Raney

Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots.  She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden.  She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.

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Hi, I'm Kristen and I help new gardeners learn to grow their own vegetables and beautify their yards. I also share recipes that use all that delicious garden produce. Grab a coffee (and your gardening gloves) and join me for gardening tips, simple recipes, and the occasional DIY, all from the lovely city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

P.S. First time gardener? You'll want to download the quick start gardening guide below!