Sunday, April 20, 2014

I Need to Change Professions

We put in a small raised "bed", more like a custom container for our rhododendrons. The soil here is all wrong for them and they need good drainage. So we decided to build up above the ground and fill the little bed with rhodi-friendly soil mix. We'll plant around it as well to make it better visually anchored.

Landscaping blocks are just like lumber. The measurements listed at the store don't match the actual measurements. So the box was a little bit smaller in dimension. We'll build it deeper to make up for it. Either way, I had a ton of fun laying the blocks and getting them leveled.
One day later, and done!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Bloom

The fruits of our fall labor in planting 300 or so bulbs sure makes me happy each day I get home from work. We may move some of them for more spaces for other perennials and pockets of annuals. I'm thrilled with the explosion of color. One of our neighbors came over, completely mysified and asked "how did you do that?". They must not have been looking out the window last October/November. Oh, I'll bet the Halloween display threw them off...
 We imagined getting a house with lots of character, maybe something older, but none of those houses were much more than dumps, so we went for this place that has quite a large lot for the neighborhood. I think if we get a new tree (the maple in front is diseased) and maybe a pergola over the front window with some sort of flowering vine, this place could gain a lot of charm. A new paint job is a must. I call this color drab greenish gray.
 A view of my bicycle planter in the daylight. The back basket will be planted with masses of flowers.
My current favorite view is the one looking out the front door. The goal was to make it more inviting. Now we really have to get a no soliciting sign. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014


We went to Edwards Nursery and got two shorter clematis plants for a container on our deck. I tried clematis before, but the exposure at our old house wasn't good. I'm hoping these guys are happy in one of the huge containers we scored last fall. All I need is a trellis and our hostas to get bigger. I wasn't sure what to pick, but we took a lot of time and some of the plantings they had as examples showed us we had to get two different types for added interest. This is what we chose
 The first is "Multi-Blue" a 7'-8' pruning type 2.
 This is "Ice Blue", we just fell in love with it, evenings on the patio will be spectacular with this one.
We lucked out and found a few with blooms, I can't wait to watch them grow. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bicycle Planter

I'll post a step by step on this project once I get my ducks in a row, but I'm loving our bicycle planter.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Starting With the Garden

Today was our first day of real hard work in the back yard. We have several overgrown shrubs and trees that need to be removed to keep them out of power lines and from overgrowing our fence. The second thing to go (the first was a tree that blew over the same week we moved in, so it removed itself mostly) was a huge overgrown super prickly evergreen that had a lot of dead parts and an awful vine that was choking parts of it and overtaking our fence. 
 Of course it was raining, but we have  the two next garbage pick-ups that will take large amounts of yard cleanup waste. Otherwise, we would have several trips to the dump that would cost us money.
 So we put on rain coats got loppers hand pruners and a saw and set to work. This photo is after two large wheeled bins had been filled and taken away. This bush is horrible stuff. It is very prickly and will embed right into your skin. I had to wear welders gloves because the little dead prickly's would fall into my sleeves when I was cutting the higher stuff. Wet leather gloves aren't fun. Neither are wet feet. 
 It actually got easier once we made access to under the tree. I was able to find actual branches and cut them with the hand saw. It started going a lot faster then. All the brown stuff is dead, super dry, super spiky pieces that we well probably be cleaning up for a very long time.
 Hey, there is a utility box back there! I can actually walk around it for the first time. We'll chainsaw the rest down and deal with the stump then. The white trash fence OSB boards are temporary dog proofing that will come down once we have them trained on the new invisible fence. We had some escapes and a six foot tall fence wasn't enough to keep them in. 
These guys are waiting to be planted along the fence between the shed and the corner that we are clearing out.