Long story short, the house my husband and I rent, we thought we'd have another two or three years here. Our homeowners have found out that they're having triplets. Triplets!! And so they want to sell this house because "we want to move back to this house one day" is now "we have to buy a house big enough for three kids".
When we moved in the backyard was severly sloped and a wasteland of weeds, one half-dead rosebush and this really nasty pernicious, ugly weed stuff everywhere that was about knee high. Now it's a much more level wasteland of red clay soil full of rocks, interspersed with 6 vegetable beds, and the nasty pernicious stuff is controlled by *constantly* ripping it up when it's tiny. (And there's one beautiful little patch of mint that's flowering now, but we already planned on chopping that down for an end of summer mojito party.)
We have until the end of April and we'd like to have the yard looking like...something better than a red clay wasteland.
We live in Manitou Springs, CO in zone 5A, at 6500 feet elevation and our backyard has one small area that gets almost full sun, the rest of it has shade at various points of the day because of fences, trees, and because we're on a hill.
So what we are wondering is if there is anything ground-coverish, or any bulbs and such, or small shrubs or something...things we could plant now that would have a chance of making it through winter and possibly being somewhat presentable by April. Our last frost date here in my town isn't until May 18th and so next spring we probably could buy a few things, but really the nurseries don't have much until May because it's still sometimes snowing in April. I know that tulips and buttercups (erm, I call them that but they're really daffodils) are both pretty early flowers in our area but that's about all I got. Heh, we're vegetable people, really, and don't know much about flowers and shrubberies.
And also, when it comes to early spring bulbs, when should they be planted? Now? Or do we have some time?
Any thoughts? Is this impossible? Should we just give it up and make a rock garden? Heh. We're going to inquire at our local nurseries, but I thought I'd ask you folks as well.