Monday, October 10, 2011

Baby Steps

When we bought our house, the landscaping (if you could even call it that) was dismal.  Ugh, overgrown grass, a few shrubs, tons of weeds.  But it was the dead of winter so I figure we'd get to it in the spring.  And we did!

The first to go were a bunch of overgrown hydrangeas.  I like hydrangeas, but these were just crazy big and planted in odd spots in the side yard.  Next up was this enormous yew that had grown so large that it obscured part of the dining room window.  We put in 2 veggie patches and cleared out a bunch of over-sized azaleas that were lining the driveway and we added some day-lilies and roses.  So nice.  One item that we had wish-listed was building a big bed for shrubs, flowers, etc. to stretch all the way around the house.  Such a HUGE task seemed insurmountable.  Really, where would we start?

After some serious procrastinating, I figured the only way we'd get it done would be to do it piece by piece so I devised a Phase 1 plan for the front left corner.

The first task would have to be stump removal.  Next to the front porch was a rotting tree stump.  Probably 12" in diameter and just about 9" up from the ground.  It had likely been there for a while and it had to go.  Not only was it getting in the way of our landscaping plans, but I was worried that a family of bees might take up residence and chase the kids around.

So out it came.

Well that simplifies a pretty long, grueling, sweaty, profanity laced process which I was happy to supervise.  Armed with a pickax and a big old shovel, J went at it.  It wasn't until he was about 18" into the dirt on all sides of that sucker that he sat down and started kicking at it.  It must have been just the leverage he needed because a loud *CRACK* let us know that it was almost ready to emerge.  When he finally pulled it out of the ground, the thing was nearly 3 feet long.  I'm not sure how we'll get rid or it, but for now it will reside in the driveway.  That was Saturday.

Sunday we headed out to Home Depot to pick up some shrubs.  A Japanese holly (I think), a few spreading junipers, a dwarf alberta spruce, and we had a pieris to transplant from another bed where it was getting squooshed between two larger plants.  When we got home, I grabbed the spade and edged out the bed.  This bed is probably 15% of what we'll have eventually, but it's a good start.  Once we got the grass out (and shook out the excess dirt), we laid out the plants and got to digging holes.  Mixing in some fresh garden soil as we went, it only took about an hour to get the plants in.  We mulched, cleaned up, watered and then it was time to watch football.

Turned out pretty good I think,  and it was a nice way to spend a PERFECT weather weekend!


  1. Nice! Love the AIS Softball shirt, too. I still wear my gym shorts for yard work.

  2. I'm annoyed because there's no option for threaded comments that I can find. But anyway, the shirt is one I snagged from the batch printed for my sister's softball team. My old AIS shorts fell apart in the wash years ago :)



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