Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hello Rhododendron

When we said goodbye to our garden swing last weekend we were left with a couple of gaping holes and a wall falling away into the woods.  We didn’t waste any time whipping this area back into shape!


We filled up the holes and leveled the patio (again).  Then Mama and I used the posts leftover from the swing and rebuilt a section of the retaining wall that had caved off next to the old swing.  We backfilled that with some more dirt and covered everything over with mulch.  Then came time for planting!

We decided to get two rhododendrons since they do well in shade as well as a few more azaleas since they were on sale! :)  Here’s what the swing side looks like now:


You can see the new wall behind the pink rhododendrons.  Eventually they will get really tall and fill in the gap between the garden and the woods.  They’ll also screen some of the mess back there, too. :)



We also added another pink azalea by the stairs and two more on the swing side along the edge.



Here’s a look at the rest of the garden in its prime blooming season:








We are still trying to decide what to put on the actual brick patio… maybe a little bistro set? Firepit?  Or another garden bench?  I’ll keep you posted!  We’re also going to continue the liriope border around behind the patio and fill in with some more hostas, too!

Last and best… the before and after comparison!


Goodbye swing, hello rhododendron!



Monday, April 22, 2013

Goodbye Garden Swing

This past weekend I had my father and brother down to help me with a couple of projects in the yard.  The first project was our garden swing in the English garden. 


The swing has been conspicuously absent in photos for a while… that’s because I was going to repaint it since the paint was peeling.  :(  But then I thought I would replace it with kid swings since my nieces would love that!  But we had noticed that the standards of the swing frame were leaning towards the woods and also the whole thing rocked when you swung on it.  Not good.  So, we decided to tear down the “swing set” and replace it.  Papa and John came to do the demo work since it was too big for me to deal with.  (Thanks guys!)


I did the prep work before they arrived and dug out around the posts so we could see what we were dealing with.



They were rotted almost in two.  There wasn’t a lot of wood left  in the ground to hold up the swing.  :(  When the boys (I mean men) arrived they made swift work of dismantling the swing set.  And they saved every piece of lumber and every fastener.  Thrifty.


This is all that remained of the first post when it broke off at the base.


And the second one shredded, too.  Good bye rickety old swing set.


Once it was down, I noticed how open everything looked.  So, in an effort to save time and money rebuilding a swing set that we hardly used, we decided to do away with the swing and not replace it.  No more swing.  Sorry nieces! 

I am really enjoying the new view.  And we didn’t stop there!  Once the swing was gone there was a whole new garden space that needed filling.  So we spent the rest of the weekend cleaning up the brick patio and planting some new shrubs…  I’ll be back later this week to fill you in on those details! :) 


Meanwhile, can we discuss how lovely my grass is?  Just lovely.  I am reseeding the area in front of the steps and when that comes in I will do a full reveal on the backyard grass project. :)  Yay Spring!

I have several more Spring projects under my sleeve that I will be posting about soon including an update on the paver patio, backyard flower bed progress, and a follow-up in the English garden!   Stay tuned!


Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Blooms

Spring has finally sprung! And as you know I have been busy outdoors working on my flower beds.  Well I’m glad I did, because this week they’ve been putting on a flower show!  Nothing like a row of pink tulips and purple creeping phlox to brighten up your day… enjoy!


Pink creeping phlox… my favorite!!


Pink and red tulips


Some lovely blue flowered thing in the wooded front yard bed.  Sorry don’t know what you are called. :)


And I just had to share the world’s tiniest azalea.  And it’s blooming!  :)


And my periwinkle is really taking off this year and spreading itself around the front bed and over the rock wall. :)  Love!


And last but not least, the cutest flower bed ever is sporting some pink tulips, too!


Next week the star of the show will be bleeding heart which is making a preview here:


and the azaleas are just about to pop!  Can’t wait… Hooray Spring!


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mulch Madness Part Two

I am back with an update from the backyard.  :) I have been spending every free moment outside, it seems, tidying up from fall and winter and preparing for Spring!  But today I spent some time outside taking photos and enjoying my yard instead of working in it!

Now you can enjoy it, too!

Last time I told you about mulching the front beds, but all the while we have been slowly filling in the English garden which took three loads of mulch! Ack!  It hasn’t been mulched in two years so it really needed it!  And the best part about the English garden is that to get mulch down there you have to drive your wheelbarrow through the woods beside the fence and into the gate at the side of the garden.  Then back up the hill to get more.  It is no fun… but thankfully I had Mama helping me with the process!  And now it is done.  Hooray!



We added some more coral bells along the left of the pathway…


And put some ferns on the right side.




Plus we added fresh rock dust to the path which was looking a little neglected.  Now it is much neater!


We also leveled and relayed the brick patio under the missing swing while we were at.  It got a fresh layer of rock dust, too.  When we finally get the swing hung up again, I’ll show you the before and after of the patio. :)




Ta da!  All finished!


And here is the before and after comparison, just for fun…



And since that is kind of cheating, here is one from last year:


Can’t wait for my snowball bush to bloom again! :) And for all the liriope to sprout! 

I’ll be back with plenty more updates to the yard…  so stay tuned!


P.S.  The English Garden now has its own category so you can follow the progress with one click!  Here it is!  Or find it under “Category” in the right sidebar anytime.  :)

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Mulch Madness

Tis Spring, get thee to the mulching!

A few weeks ago my mom arrived with a truck full of pine needles… and then the next weekend, another load (she has friends with pine trees that let us collect the needles for free each year!) and then the next weekend a load of mulch!  Lucky for me she decided to stay and help me unload all those loads, too! :)  Thanks Mama!

We have been sprucing up for Spring around here, cleaning up the flower beds, raking all the dead leaves away and putting out fresh needles and mulch.  Things are shaping up but we still have a couple more loads in the English garden which hasn’t been properly mulched in two years!  Bad!  So today I’ll just show the progress in the front, before all the Spring perennials start popping up!



In front we have daffodils, creeping phlox and periwinkle blooming…



While I spread pine needles Mama dug up all the mess in the mailbox bed.  We had a trailing vine thing that had taken over and was growing into the yard… so she tore it all out and we put some lilies in where it used to be. It’s so nice now! :)



Ahh, so pretty and neat! Now we just wait for tulips, bleeding heart, azaleas and irises! :)  Yay Spring!


I’ll be back to share the progress in the English garden and backyard as we finish mulching it up in the back! :)

Happy Spring! (hopefully Mother Nature will get the message and it will feel like Spring soon, too!)