Hope Springs Eternal

The ongoing progress of our yard has been well documented here on Hillside Lane. And while, yes, we’ve come a long way – it’s funny how critical my eye becomes once we get used to the current state of our backyard. It’s admittedly better…significantly better. But there are days that I still feel so far away from where we want it to be. Sometimes, I walk out back and all I can see are the patches in the lawn, the lack of landscaping, the overgrown branches from neighbors’ trees, the patio and its strange shape and knobby texture. But none of that is fair because we have come so far and it does take time.

As my dad always said (typically in referring to a new season for the Chicago Cubs), “Hope springs eternal”.  I am focused on all the potential the yard has and the steps we are taking to make it great. This year we are taking our first steps at landscaping this space and I couldn’t be more excited. We planted our first two hydrangea bushes, in what will eventually (hopefully?? :-/) become a wall of blooms. They are little now, but I give them a lot of love, because I have big plans for what they will become.




My inspiration for this spot started in my cousin’s front yard a few years ago, while looking at these blooming beauties.

My cousin’s home in Louisville, KY

Tobey's Hydrangeas

I just love the scale of them. Her front yard looks like a slice of Americana, with her white front porch and swing, framed by this incredible row of hydrangeas. On Hillside Lane we have this wonderfully big backyard (at least big by North Shore standards) and I think something BIG like this could become the perfect focal point of the backyard and give us the ability to build around it.

My mother-in-law and I went to the most wonderful nursery in Michigan last month. This place is going to make all these big dreams of mine a reality and their prices make large scale landscaping seem possible. We’ve started with two LA Dreaming Hydrangeas (and are hoping to add more this fall) – they bloom with both pink and blue blooms on the same plant, regardless of soil pH. It will be SO pretty!

LA Dreaming Hydrangea

LA Dreaming Hydrangea

Additionally, we were able to plant two more (different) hydrangea plants that were split from Andris’ grandmother’s garden. I can’t wait to see what they will become. I love how these plants have begun to dot our backyard, spaced out amongst plans for a raised garden box, small evergreens to frame the hydrangeas (and hide the terrible power line box that was put in our backyard last year – ugh!), and maybe even a dwarf flowering tree in the corner. I am typically terrible at verbalizing what I envision for this space, but I found this amazing online (free) landscape planner that helped me map it out a bit more.

Landscape Planning

We fell in love with the possibility that this yard had the moment that we saw it. It is one of our favorite things about Hillside Lane and, as Andris says, “the biggest room of the house”. Now it is just a matter of putting in the work to make that dream a reality…and we are getting there. It won’t be this year or even next, but as these years seem to go faster and faster – in no time we’ll see a big difference. And between now and then, I appreciate where we are at with our yard today and taking time to enjoy it.




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