Welcome to Ky-Dan's Back Yard- Now in our 12th year!

We're "finally" back with a brand new garden update! While we've been lax in website updates, we were busy working in our back yard. Gardens are not static and they must grow, evolve or die. Sometimes it's all of the above! We hope you enjoy looking at the changes while you stroll through our back yard.

hidden tropical garden

New "hidden" tropical garden
The biggest change in our gardens in the last 3 years is shown here. We had an above ground pool with surrounding wooden fence for nearly 18 years.
When our sons moved out we found the pool was under-used and past it's normal life span- so it's out with the pool and in with a new (hidden) garden!!

Old photo of the pool

Our kids all learned to swim here but after 18 years, it was time to go.

That's about twice the normal life expectancy for a vinyl lined steel pool.

Dan's digging in the dirt!

Our pool sat here for 18 years. The soil under the pool was compacted and needed some TLC. We "plowed" the new beds by hand shovel and then used a mini tiller to mix in lots of coarse builders sand and mulched leaves.

“A hard beginning maketh a good ending.”
John Haywood 1497-1580

Garden Note: The best thing you can do for your garden is to improve the soil.
If you're going to spend money on plants- spend time on soil improvement FIRST.
If you have heavy clay like us, add sand and compost.
If you have sandy soils add compost.
If you have great soil you are very lucky indeed! (Add some compost anyway)
Your plants will thank you for this extra effort for years to come!

Rita helps out!

“Many hands make light work.”
-My mother 1910-2003

Rita is my soul mate and garden companion. These gardens and web pages would not be here except for her encouragement and help.

Garden Gate

Once the old pool was removed we needed access to the new garden area.

These gates are made of recycled (salvaged) privacy fence boards.

Open Gate

Come on in!!

Inside View of the new Gates

Closing the gates gives this garden room a cozy, protected feeling.

Mermaid Fountain

Water features are always a welcome addition to a garden.

Our mermaid fountain is right at home here in the "hidden garden".

Mermaid Fountain

It doesn't take long for the once tiny plants to start filling up the space.

Elephant ears- Colocasia "pink china" in front.
Nandina left side.
Native honey suckle in back.

Extra wide curving steps give easy access between the deck and garden areas.

With the addition of railings our newest garden room is coming together nicely!

Bananas and Elepant ears

The long hot days of summer kick our tropicals into high gear.
We just stand back and watch them grow.
Bananas can add inches to their height in a single day!

Colocasia "big dipper" on left under the hearty banana on right and chartreuse sweet potato down in front.

The sweet potato is taking over!

By late summer the "big dipper" colocasia and chartreuse sweet potato vines are giving the bananas some serious competition.

Would you believe all those sweet potato vines came from just ONE plant?

Our mermaid is practically hidden by the nandina, banana and colocasia in front while the purple hyacinth beans and native honeysuckle vines are sneaking up from behind.

When we must fight the bananas for control of the stairs we know that summer is very nearly at its end. (sob!)

Sitting by the fire

THIS makes all the work worthwhile!!

Sitting by the fire, with a glass of wine, enjoying a late summer afternoon-

Life is GOOD!

We don't dig up our tropical plants in the fall!
Just before the first hard freeze, I chop the bananas and colocasia down and toss them on the compost pile. I sprinkle some general purpose fertilizer on the beds, add some compost and then pile on mulched tree leaves to a depth of at least 15".

Then we wait for spring....... when days are mild and hard freezes are over we pull off some of the soggy leaves so the sun can warm the sleeping roots.
Each spring brings new hope-- so far we have not been disappointed. Our tropicals have returned for the last 4 years.

Our nandina gives us a bit of year round interest. The lush green leaves and red berries of summer turn bronze but hang on throughout the winter.

Rita shows some muscle!
If you garden like this, you can save a bundle by canceling your gym membership!!

Maybe you don't have this much space or energy or time?
We also plant several patio pots so if you have a tiny yard or even just a patio or balcony, we're here to help!

I bet you have room for some potted flowers. Why not let Rita show you some of ours!

Show me the pots!!

That's it for our sunken/hidden garden addition for now. We sincerely hope you've enjoyed your visit as much as we've enjoyed having you here.

These pages were ALL created with plain old NOTEPAD.
If I have misspoken, misspelled or made a typo I'd be grateful if you'd drop me a line so I can fix it.

Thanks for stopping by. We hope you enjoyed your visit to our tiny piece of Kentucky!
Come back, anytime!

Drop us a line and tell us where you're from. We'd love to hear from you!

"I feel closest to God when I'm sitting in my His garden".

I welcome email from my friends! You are invited to click the mail-dove to send me a message OR you may hand type my address into your message.
My address is "dan at ky-dan dot com". It looks funny when written out this way but it should fool those darn spammer robots that visit web sites gathering email addresses.

Mail Dove

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This page was first put online February 2010

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