Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So. . . When did this turn into a gardening blog?

For someone who isn't "that into gardening," I sure do spend a lot of time gardening and blogging about it. I am at least switching gears a little and talking about my plant/flower garden in the front of the house instead of my veggie garden in the back. The front has been at various stages of neglect over the last 3 years that we have lived in this house. Over the last couple of months, I have slowly been working on improving the situation.

Here is a front shot from a couple of months ago:
As you can see, the most noticeable features of the front garden are the two sprawling bushes to both sides of the front steps. They were the first to go when I starting working on the front. I trimmed them down first and then dug out the stumps on my own.

The in between stages were not pretty:
Here you can see the bushes were cut down to almost nothing but the bases were not dug out yet.

I was planning on having Mike do the digging for me, but I was impatient and didn't want to wait until the weekend. He was busy either working or tearing down awnings for me so it would have taken a weekend or two longer if I had waited for him.
A couple of hours, a broken shovel, and a quick trip to Menards for a replacement later. . .
I finally had the bushes out!

Here is a work-in-progress shot with the bushes taken out: 
As you can see, the front was still a hot mess and there was a lot of work to be done still:
The next part I tackled was the border. Originally, the right side of the garden was deeper than the left. I like symmetry so this had been bothering me since we bought the house back in 2009. The easiest solution was to dig out the left side of the garden so that it matched the right so that's what I did. The above picture shows that as a work-in-progress too. It was a little more annoying than expected because there were several thick roots from the pine tree that ran along the new border line, but they were no match for a nice, new, sharp spade shovel.

The rest of the work was clearing out the weeds, other unwanted plants, and junk - such as the plastic bird bath that was never used. A week after ripping out the big bushes, my mom came and helped me get rid of the hydrangeas that were on the right side of the garden. I like hydrangeas but they weren't for me. My mom now has them in her yard and they are doing very well. I also dug up a random little evergreen on the left of the garden and a lime green plant that I never really cared for.

To Kaelan's delight, I found lots of earth worms while digging:

Around that time Mike had built the veggie garden for me out back so I left the front for over a month without touching anything. Finally last weekend I decided that enough was enough and that I couldn't just leave the front neglected yet again. By that point we had had a decent amount of rain and the weeds were in full bloom in my garden.

There were violets, clover, dandelions and God knows what else all mixed in there:

I started digging and tearing out weeds. Once I was done I transplanted a few plants so that they were spaced a little better and put in some new plants along the front edge of the garden and on the sides. The rest was left empty; I loosened the soil and planted some seeds. After having the business of the bushes, hydrangeas, and other miscellaneous plants, I wanted some simplicity so I picked some tall plants as well as some ornamental grass.  

Here is what most of the empty space will have once it comes in:
The seeds were teeny tiny:

I finished everything on Sunday afternoon right before we had to head out for father's day dinner. I was BEAT. I have a whole new appreciation for gardening - it is not necessarily easy work.

Hailey had fun watching me sweat:
Time for some progression pics!

                             The Left Side

Right after the snow thaw this April before any work had been done:

This past Friday afternoon - The bushes were taken out and the border had been moved forward:

After weeding, transplanting and putting in some new plants this past weekend:

A different perspective from the entryway stairs:

                            The Right Side

Right after the snow thaw this April before any work had been done:
This past Friday afternoon - The bushes and hydrangeas were out and I had just started weeding as you can see in the rightmost corner there:

Two different perspectives of the mess that was the garden:
This in between stage was not pretty!

After weeding, transplanting and putting in some new plants this past weekend:

The two different perspectives:
Soooooo much better!

In the middle of clearing out the right side, I found a little friend:
He was so cool! Kaelan fell in love with it and cried his poor little heart out when we took him away.

I am finally done for now. The seeds will need some time to grow so that it can fill in. Once they are big enough, I plan to put in mulch to keep the weeds at bay. I want a pretty, but relatively low maintenance garden; I think this is it. Every plant is a perennial and nothing needs major pruning. I do get a lot of color depending on when different plants are blooming. I have some irises, lilies, pink lady slippers, and other flowers in there. Here are a few shots I have captured this year:

Enough garden talk for now. I figured I would share since it was such a huge part of my weekend. Hopefully I can do a nice update in a couple of months with the seeds growing and the mulch in. Next year everything should look really nice.


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