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Mona Lavender

First: I can’t believe it has been almost a year since we moved into our home. How did that amount of time pass by so quickly? Sometimes I look around the house and wonder how I managed to do so little over the course of the year. I JUST hung a painting on our living room wall a few weeks ago – it was the first item I hung on a wall. First thing. Almost a year after we moved in. The shame. But – that’s a story for another day.

before backyard landscaping

Today’s story is about our backyard. Thankfully, our front yard was looking pretty great when we moved in. The previous home owners kept everything up pretty well so there wasn’t much we needed to do other than maintain it. The backyard was also well kept, but it was lacking quite a bit in the landscaping department. I mean…it was looking kind of sad back behind our lanai. There was just a big, uneven span of old mulch and some randomly placed plants. It was kind of an eyesore, as that area runs along the entire back side of the house.

before backyard landscaping

The challenge we faced when it came down to deciding on what to put in that spot was the fact that our backyard is very shaded. That enormous tree that I love happens to provide shade to almost fence to fence back there. Justin and I really had to do some research to figure out what plants we could put in the ground that would not require 6+ hours of sun a day. Most flowers were eliminated by that requirement, sadly.

mona lavender

mona lavender

But then, we found mona lavender. We asked the assistance of a local nursery, and we were pointed in the direction of this awesome flowering plant. Apparently, it is a member of the mint family! What I was instantly drawn to, though, were the amazing colors. The leaves are a dark green, and the undersides are dark purple. The flowers on the plant are tubular and remind you slightly of orchids. And….mona lavender likes shade and temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. You better believe we picked up a few of these plants.

mona lavender

Justin cleaned out the area lining the outside of our lanai, and we added a stone border to the bed before adding the mona lavender plants. We spaced them  2-3 feet apart, as we knew they would grow larger over time (they grow to be about 2 feet high and wide). Sure enough – the plants have grown to close the gaps between them now and are looking so pretty!

mona lavender

So – that’s one half of the back side of the house taken care of. Now there’s the question of whether we continue with mona lavender through the rest of the back side of the house, or switch it up with something different for the right side? I’ve been toying with the idea of hydrangeas, but who knows…

Have you had challenges with landscaping your yard? What kinds of flowers/plants do you like to see as an accent?


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  • I like those, wonder if they will stand up to the summer heat? Let me know. We re-landscaped the front earlier this year and once spring comes, plan to work on the back. We have such a hard time even growing grass with all of our shade. We do have one extremely sunny patch along the back of the house that I planted white plumbago. A great option if the other area of your house is sunny.

    • Haha, so this post was a bit delayed – we actually planted the mona lavender during the summer (but I forgot to write about it until now)! They definitely held up pretty well – I think it probably helped that they were fully in shade, so the heat of the sun didn’t get to them like it would if they were out in the open?

    • Those pesky dogs! 😉 Jk. If it makes you feel better, Lucia walked over to one of those plants and sat down right on top of it. Smashed the whole thing. I somehow managed to nurse it back to health, but it was kind of a mess!

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