I was never a big fan of Alice, but I adore the idea of Wonderland. I’ve always loved spending time outside. Now my backyard is my own personal oasis, a safe space for me to relax after a long day, to drink coffee every morning, to entertain my friends, to harvest the literal fruits of my labor, and to grill up garden fresh feasts.
Every time I’m up north I marvel at the landscaping because homes in North Texas, particularly in my modest price point, do not have amazing backyards. When I was house hunting, most every yard was simply grass leading up to a fence. That’s exactly what my yard was when I bought my house four years ago.
I now have nearly 30 varieties of roses, an edible garden, a flagstone patio for dining al fresco, a flower bed that runs the length of my fence with crepe myrtles that have already tripled in size, a couple of strategically placed plum trees, a hammock that’s in the shade by happy hour, a whimsical flagstone path, and ample space to play croquet with friends. My yard is proof that even if you don’t have several acres to fill or a huge budget to play with, you can still create your own wonderland.
I sit on my butterfly bench every morning while I’m drinking my coffee. Surrounded by seven varieties of roses and a nearby patch of mint, it smells unbelievably wonderful in this corner. I wish there was a way for you to smell it through the screen! It opens up my senses and fills me with creativity. It’s the best way to start the day and just goes to show you that even a forgotten corner of your yard can become your favorite place.
I walk my garden every morning and every evening. (You’d be shocked at how much changes in just twelve hours!) I like to fantasize about what project I’ll tackle next. Will I add a pergola over my flagstone patio? Can I squeeze in another delicious plum tree? Will I finally finish the corner behind my hammock? Would lights strung across the yard survive in the severe Texas wind? How many roses is too many? Will I ever remember to plant pumpkin seeds in the spring? Can I talk Katherine into building me a custom serving bench to match my grill table? These are the things I think about while sipping my coffee, breathing in the intoxicating smell of roses and English mint.
If you have a grass-and-fence backyard and don’t know where to start, I insist that you do just that: start. Start with a corner, a patio, a single rose and watch your garden grow from there. If you have grass, you have space to create your very own Wonderland.