The Fo-Po Garden Tour was a lot of fun, and it was some serious motivation for us to get things wrapped up and the yard looking good! We met some really nice people and I am always happy to talk about plants with anyone who will listen. There is so much to recap… where to begin?

First off, the patio is now complete! The final size is about 18′ x 14′. A couple weekends ago a friend came over and helped us dig out the space. (Thanks K!) Last weekend Jay and I shoveled the gravel and compacted everything. Yesterday we laid the stone, made things mostly-level, filled in the gaps between and planted carpet thyme. What a lot of work for a 97 degree day! The gaps in between the stones are about 1 1/2″-2″ wide. Eventually we want the thyme to cover all the openings to make a nice compacted green layer.

I picked up five varieties of carpet thyme. They were all from the Stepables plant company and can take anywhere from moderate to high traffic levels. The Elfin Thyme handles high traffic and only gets about an inch tall. The others get about 2″ tall, but have lovely different flowers colors. It should create a cool mosaic look once it is grown in. And all the carpet thyme varieties are drought resistant. I used a sharp knife to cut all the 4″ plants in half, so I could cover more ground and get them into the small openings.

It was a huge feeling of accomplishment to have dinner al fresco last night on our new patio! I picked up an awesome patio set earlier this week which was on clearance – score! Last night I finally felt like my vision for the backyard is complete. And it only took two years, which actually a huge amount of work in a short period of time.

There was a nice post-garden tour gathering for all the hosts on the tour. I brought a strawberry-rhubarb pie using the goods I picked at Sauvie Island Friday. I took the last of the Hood strawberries, which were about to expire, and made strawberry syrup. Thanks to Phelan over at A Homesteading Neophyte for the simple syrup recipe! She’s right – it is the answer to all things. I look forward to many simple syrup concoctions to come, poured into our reusable glass bottles that we saved.

And finally, for those of you who didn’t get to walk through my backyard today, here’s a picture from this morning of the garden. We spent a long, lovely morning sipping coffee and reading the New York Times. Click on the photo for the big picture!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson