Tuesday, July 19, 2011

We Came, We Tilled, We Conquered

My front garden? Was pretty tragic. Garden sadness.

And since I like to pack as much as humanly possible into my weekends, after the birthday party on Saturday it was only natural that I scheduled an afternoon garden demolition festival of epic proportions. I bribed my sister with sangria because I'm crafty like that, and after the last guest had left we were able to get straight to work.

I didn't even get a real 'before' shot taken because my sister gets antsy when she has tools in her hand and she ran outside and started chopping stuff down, but here's a shot from last summer and a detailing of some of the more pathetic points:

  1. The fabulously gorgeous Amur Maple on the street side was in desperate need of some love and was growing low over the sidewalk -- one of the trunks was also really low and actually made the tree look more like a shrub because leaves hung down to the ground in places. It needed some help.
  2.  There were a ton of weeds. When we first bought the home there were some pretty plants in the garden, but they were really aggressive and they also set burrs so they had to go. Even after we added plants ourselves, there was still a lot of space open for weeds, and they rose to the occasion. This year I found myself fighting a losing battle!
  3. I was worried about the quality of the soil. Plants weren't growing (except the weeds) and water was running off instead of soaking into the soil.
  4. The majority of the aspens in the front yard look like this:

I'm going to be requiring the services of a tree removal company soon for a couple of them that are close to the house, and Mike has plans to cut down one or two this summer with my brother-in-law. It makes me sad even though I understand that aspens aren't incredibly long lived trees and they're susceptible to bores around here... I love all the trees we have, and I'll be sad to see any of them go.

Back to Saturday. My sister and I spent a few hours working on fixing what we could; we pruned the maple so it looked like an actual tree, cleaned up the aspens by removing what dead branches we could reach using a ladder, and dug up all the plants I wanted to save.

Next, Mike rented a tiller from our neighborhood Home Depot (have I mentioned we live less than a half mile from both Lowe's and Home Depot? Talk about my own personal recipe for financial disaster! Oy.) We added steer manure and soil amendment to the garden and he tilled those into the soil, which will hopefully help the quality improve (that and some fertilizer treatments...)

It was pretty difficult work for him and his manly muscles, but better him than me. He had to contend with lots of roots and an old soaker line that wasn't functional. I followed him around digging the pipe up as he unearthed bits of it.

After that my handy husband raked and sprinkled a few times to get the grade just right.

On Sunday I was able to start returning my plants to the garden. I even put a listing on my local freecycle group asking for plants that people were getting rid of or dividing, and I was able to go to a neighbor's home and get several more flowers, some sedum, and succulents to add to my new garden for no cost at all. 

I'm so happy! It still looks a bit sparse, but that's to be expected with a new garden. I'm excited to add a few more plants here and there and watch the whole thing grow in over the next couple years.

Definitely a well spent Saturday afternoon, don't you think?

Sharing this at Centsational Girl's Garden Link Party...


  1. it's beautiful!! Love your plant choices. Your hosta will be huge in no time at all. We put the elephant variety in 3 years ago and it's taken over! wish I could send you a division of it :) It will be so nice very soon. good job!

  2. Thanks Denise! I wish you could send me some as well... it sounds fabulous!

  3. Wow, that's a lot of work AFTER a party no less! Good thinking on the bribery!

  4. Very nice transformation! It looks great!

    Have a great week!

  5. Wow - only a Saturday afternoon? Now that's teamwork! Lovely results!

    Hi - am visiting from the hop - Am your Newest Follower, too!

    Nice to meet you!

    Hope you're enjoying the new yard! Looks so fresh and green and welcoming!

    Happy Monday-
    beachside cottage


I ♥ comments. Me + you = BFFs 4VR.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...