Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life's a Garden- Dig It!

Husband and I spent all day on Sunday working in the garden. Planting flower bulbs and pulling weeds. He and Son took out the awful rock border and we replaced it with trapezoidal stones to make it even and pretty and more effective at keeping the grass out. There are tons of weeds still, but I clipped dead parts off of the rose bushes and the old irises and lilies and dug up lots of tiny rocks. We took the weed suppression tarp out of the garden on the west side of the driveway and will be planting more stuff pretty soon. I took some "before" pictures so that after we work ourselves to death, we can look back and be reminded that it was (hopefully) worth it. Last year we found 31(!) rose bushes in the gardens. Some of them are going to have to go.
This is the garden on the front east side of the house. It has a large majority of the rose bushes in it, some daylilies next to the bench on both sides (both of which are BADLY in need of dividing), a couple non-tropical hibiscus bushes, some Gaillardia that hasn't done much yet, something that I suspect is a patch of iris bulbs (that also really badly needs to be divided), some random plants that I can't identify.... Lots of weeds. LOTS. I pulled up about 6 buckets full of weeds just from the area where the edging stones are all ready down.
This shows the little walkway that leads from our driveway to the front porch. I live in suburbia, so most people don't use their front doors for anything, we all enter and exit through attached garages. In the section in the back, we have daffodils starting to come up. In the barren, depressing strip in the front are some newly-planted lily bulbs and eventually maybe some pansies. We had pansies there last year and they were strong and healthy and beautiful all the way through July.
Here's the garden on the front west side of the house. Last night we took out the weed-suppressant tarp. I have a couple tea roses planted that I put in last year. On Sunday I put in some Red Hot Poker in the front. I haven't decided what else will go in yet, because it depends on how much heat everything can withstand because that section is in the sun ALL DAY. The plant in the black bucket thing is a blueberry bush. Don't know yet where we're going to put it, as they get pretty big. The bird bath may or may not stay there, depending on what I finally decide to plant. The bench used to be in the garden on the other side, with another one that's now out in the backyard, but it was too crowded and asymmetrical, so we moved them last spring.
Here's a cherry tree. It's in front of the west garden, but hasn't been planted or staked yet. We bought it impulsively on Sunday night and will plant it this weekend.
This shows another cherry tree on the east side. We bought the cherry trees for the blossoms, but if we get cherries, then that's a bonus. Both trees are different kinds of sweet cherries.
This is The Circle of Sketchiness. The previous owners had a trampoline there, and they didn't care for aesthetics (not surprising as it's been two years and they STILL haven't put in a change of address, but that's a complaint for another day). Right now it's weeds and boards and treachery. The bug spraying guy is a little leery of it and always sprays it extra carefully. I hate it. I want to eventually put in two tiers of raised flower beds. This is where I plan to put all my butterfly attractant bushes and flowers. After Husband cleans out the scary stuff.
This is the view from the top. This whole area was poorly planned, and the hill down to the yard is insanely steep. I want to put in stairs. Husband wants a more gradual ramp. The compromise is that he puts them side by side, so I'm conceding the stairs because side by side will be ugly. Also, this whole area is some kind of weird mud that slides down and makes huge rivets every time it rains. There's also someone's dog buried right back behind where I was standing to take this picture. Not a problem, just kinda weird that we had to discover it after we moved in.
Here's the view from the back yard into the side rose garden. There used to be a white plastic picket fence that was all crooked across it and a rose arbor in the middle, but the wind destroyed it a couple months ago. There are LOTS of long stemmed rose varieties in here, and I really like them. They get huge blooms on them.
This is taken from where the rose arbor used to be, looking up toward the front of the house. The trees with the white blooms are pear trees. There used to be some sketchy thorn bush trees something or others up in the tiered levels. They were scraggly and ugly. So Husband took them out. We still haven't cut them up and thrown them away yet, as you can see. I don't know what all the random greenery is that's growing in the rocks. This garden is a thistle haven, too. We're going to put veggies in it. Lots of sun but mostly shaded late in the day when it gets blistering hot.
Here's a more straight-on view of the rose garden, looking up. It's a mess. I'm reluctant to start on it for fear I'll never be able to get it under control. So there we have it. I have grand plans for all of it. Now all I'm lacking is time and energy and lots of money. It will take a few years, but I will make it beautiful!

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