Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I should be napping...

but I really want to post pictures of my lovely yard that I did massive amounts of work in on Monday!
First off, I am not an outdoor-work kind of a girl. I never work in the yard (much to Hubby's consternation), but he knew what he was getting when he married me, so he can just deal with it! Anyhow, this past weekend, in an effort to make him happy (he's had a really crappy past couple of months at work) I agreed to help him out in the yard weeding and re-mulching our flower beds. They were looking a bit rough after the winter and if you have any familiarity with how quickly weeds grow in a swampy region, you can kind of imagine how overgrown they were getting now that springtime has sprung in Louisiana. I really wish I had thought to take some "before" pictures, but I had no idea how involved this process was going to become.
So, over the weekend we got the front beds done. We raked out all of the old mulch and leaves to clear the way for weeding (it's much easier to weed when all the other crap is out of the way). I did most of that part while Wes reburied the wires for our outdoor lighting and he followed my work by mulching the beds. We were so proud of ourselves and how nice things were looking!

Anyhow, Wes left on Monday morning for a business trip and I decided that as a surprise for him, I would clean out the back flower bed, weed it and have it ready for him to mulch when he got home. But first I needed to run down to his office to bring some stuff for them to bring out to my brother. I decided while I was down there (it's a 40 minute drive each way) I had better do something to make it worth the time, so I popped in to a nursery down there. What an amazing selection they had! I'm not a plant person. I have no idea what you're supposed to plant and when, but I did see a whole bunch of things that were pretty and flowery and I decided that maybe I would work on sprucing the back yard up a bit. Uh huh....I ended up filling up my car (not a small car, a Tahoe) with plants! I was a little intimidated by the level of work I had just set up for myself, but what the heck, right? So, I headed home and started cleaning out the flower bed. I filled THREE huge refuse bags with the stuff I raked and weeded out of there and while I was working, my Mom-in-Law came over to help look out for Lilly-Bean while I worked.

First I moved a couple of plants from where the landscaper put them last year because for some crazy reason. If you look in the back of this photo, you can see two really tall plants, one of them (the one on the right) started out in the front of the bed and really looked odd. I also moved a couple of the iris plants to make room for the two xanadu plants that are in the front of the bed now. I also added the impatiens to add a bit of color to the setup. I know the variegated ginger in the center looks pretty bad right now, the couple of freezes we got this winter really reaked havoc on our yard. They will come back this spring though and look great in a couple of months.

Next, I moved on to the back sitting area. I love this part of our yard. This section used to be a crazy, overgrown mess that you couldn't even go near. So, last year we hired a landscaper to come in and create this sitting area. They made the patio area with paving stones and baby mondo grass in between them and put in two of the big urns filled with flowers. A few weeks after they did that, I added three more urns. None of these survived the winter, nor were they meant to. So, when I got started, the patio was crazy with weeds and the urns were really bad with dead plants sticking out of dirt. This is what it looks like now!

I love it! I think this afternoon, if it's not raining, I'll take Lilly out there to play and sit and have a glass of wine in my pretty new garden.

The next project I had for myself was an ugly little strip next to my driveway that we have never done anything with. It's always just been an area of dirt and weeds that we've kind of neglected. Anyhow, before Wes left for his trip, he created a little bed there and told me to go buy something and plant it. Sure, whatever you say, honey! Well, I think I rose to the occasion and I decided that I wanted it to have a bunch of irises. The only problem was that it's too late in the season to plant bulbs, so I decided that I would just throw something in there until the fall when I could put in what I really want. I picked up a bunch of little verbena plants that the lady at the nursery told me would spread out really quickly and give off some really pretty purple flowers through the whole summer.

Then I mulched around them. It looked a lot better than when I started, but I wasn't sure how much Wes would like it.

After, Lilly's nap, I brought her over to her grandparent's house with the intention of having some "mommy time" without her and relax for a bit. I had done a lot of work! For some reason, I decided to head over to Home Depot. I needed some more mulch for the back bed, which wasn't done. Really, after all the work I had done, I wanted it to be completely done when Hubby got home so I could show it off in it's best light and really reap the accolades. Well, by the time I got in the car to head home I had: 5 bags of mulch, 2 bags of topsoil, four encore azaleas, eight potted irises (the solution to my bulb problem!), and two hydrangeas to replace the ones that froze in my front bed over the winter. I really wasn't planning on doing any more work that afternoon, I'd even taken my shower already, but something was driving me, so I dove right back and continued the efforts. Here's what the side garden looks like:

Aren't the irises beautiful! I love them.

After that, I tore three azaleas out of my front bed that were looking a bit sickly and put four new ones back in:

And finally, put in the two new hydrangeas. You will notice in the picture that the two sickly ones are still there, but they are still showing signs of life and I want to give them a shot at recovery and I would love it if that area had a huge bushy cluster of hydrangeas.

Oh wait, that wasn't the final thing, I also mulched the back bed. I can't believe how much I managed to do out there in one day! Wes better be duly impressed and grateful when he gets home! :-) Of course, he's going to expect me to keep doing this in the future and I'm not really certain how I feel about that, it will, after all, take up perfectly good knitting time!

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