Monday, October 13, 2014

Recapping the landscaping

Do you ever respond to an email and then realize later that you never sent it?  Or read a text message and mentally respond but never ACTUALLY respond?  I do that all the time.  I did that with this post about our front landscaping.  Half composed, photos all renamed and ready to go, but never posted.  I swear my mind is shot!  Anyway, to commemorate the end of summer, here is the work we did this summer... 
We had a nice big bare spot in the front, where a huge pine tree used to be before it was knocked down in a storm last summer.  Before:
We started by marking the area we wanted to be our planting area with spray paint, then went to the nursery to pick out our plants. 
We knew we wanted some larger foundation plants around the edges and then room in the middle for perennials and smaller shrubs. 
The beauty of our yard is being able to expand this area as the plants grow.  We did NOT do a great job of weeding, removing all the grass, tilling the soil.  We also didn't edge the area with anything, so all summer we were picking weeds and grass out of the bed.  Dumb.   Ashford picked up our slack by pulling rocks out of the planting area. 
We ended up with a dappled willow, two grasses, three weird perennials with little pink ball flowers, a few purple salvia, a dwarf evergreen, two orange rocket barberry, and a bunch of hostas that were elsewhere on the property.  We also planted a tiger eye sumac that my mom gave us, and it looked really sad from the transplant.    
Fast forward to a month later, and the space is just we went and picked up 400 pounds of flagstone to make a nice little feature on the back end of the bed.  The star would be the sweet globe blue spruce on a grafted trunk that I just had to have.  
We cut a 6 foot circle into the ground, and dry fit the stones.  We had just enough to do a two-high circle.
This project was so easy, the low profile means that there was no adhesive necessary and we can always move things around or add on as we like.  We would love to get flagstones all the way around, but I'm not sure we can afford it! 
The day after this pic was taken, we replaced the severely burned dappled willow with the golden falsecypress in the bottom of this photo, and we also planted a smaller 'dark horse' weigela.   Here is the way it was all looking in July.   
And here is the way it looks today.  Wow, those grasses exploded!  I underestimated how large they would get, and while the falsecypress is eventually going to be huge, right now it is dwarfed.  I may be moving those grasses at some point. 
Also, can we just say again how much better the house looks painted?!  So then there was this side area where another tree fell down last year (I saw a picture, it was like the apocalypse) on the other side of the driveway. 
We planted seed in the bald spot to the right, but the bigger dirt pile needed a planting bed.  We also wanted a tree, so we went to pick up a nice 'snowdance' lilac tree.
 It is always a tricky thing to plant a tree.  The depth has to be perfect, and there is a small graft on the bottom of the trunk that needs to be exposed to the sun, it was quite a task.  When it was finally in there, we filled in the rest of the area with additional hostas, some coral bells, lilies and coneflowers. 
I decided to put Glimerace the frog in this area, the neighbors think he's cute and Ashford likes him. 
We had a lot of overgrown stuff on the east side of the house, but I thought I could work with everything but the tall dumb weed on the right side. 
It seemed to be about three different weeds that had grown into tree size. 
It looked a lot better after we cut that one down, of course there is still a stump there.  And we have trimmed all the other stuff, I just don't have a picture.  I've considered cutting it all down, but I sort of like how tall they are - and removing all the stumps would be a pain.     
So, that is the bulk of what we did in the yard this summer. 


  1. Looks great!! Love the new planting bed and of course the house color is awesome.

  2. Looks great!

    Remember this:

    The 1st year you plant the plants...
    The 2nd year they grow!
    The 3rd year they "SHOW!"

    Be patient...they will be fabulous!!!

    The best thing is keep with perennials!
    Plant once and walk away!

    My kind of yard work.

    Oh, and Ashford is so big...grown old is he now? Three??
    Such a sweet helper.


  3. ugh, i am horrible at all things landscaping so i am impressed with all of your hard work - it looks great! i will be curious to see an update next year too.

    and yes, house color!

  4. The house is looking great (love the paint) and your plantings will get there, too! It's always good to see a post from you...

  5. Wow! Your house looks completely different! And your landscaping is looking always already. I hate how long it takes for new plants really "take" to their surroundings. For us, by the time they are doing well, we are moving.


Thanks so much for reading....your comments mean a lot to me!