One of the major features in our backyard — the grassy area where the dogs run and play and do doggie things — is the stark white wall of our neighbor Dana’s house. It’s a pretty boring view. And the radon vent makes it even lovelier, don’t you think?
First we tried planting a row of some fast growing evergreens (we chose a type of arborvitae) but our plan was thwarted when three out of the five plants didn’t last the winter. While they would have provided a green screen, they probably wouldn’t have been very interesting to look at after all.
All last summer we joked about painting a mural of a vineyard there, but since we’re not mural painters we tried to think of other things to do. Our plan this year was to approach Dana to ask permission to paint the foundation. We’d buy the paint and work with her to choose a color that would work on the three other sides of the house as well. Together we chose a nice warm brown that already looks so much more interesting than white.
The next step in the plan is to grow sunflowers in a shallow bed right next to the house. We selected seeds for several different types and heights of sunflowers, hoping that they’d grow happily against the sunny wall and provide some color and greenery. And if we were lucky, they’d grow tall enough to hide the radon vent.
The seedlings are growing. Now the challenge is to keep the dogs out of the freshly-dug soil so that the tiny plants aren’t trampled to pieces. Stay tuned.