Thursday, April 26, 2012

Weekend Warriors

It's that time of year again.

DIY Time!

This year's project was a BIG ONE!

We wanted to spruce up the front of our house.

As you can see, the hedges were taking over everything. We also had way too much flowerbed for us to maintain. It was always overgrown with weeds. What flowers I did have were always hard to see because of all the weeds. Oh AND I could never plant anything on the end of the walkway where it meets the driveway. Everything died in that corner because it was so much lower than the rest. In the first picture, you can sort of tell where the pansies come to a halt near the end of the bushes.

See what I mean:

Not only were the weeds a problem, but we also had trouble figuring out the willy nilly placement of the plants from previous owners. There were daffodils in one area and nowhere else. Several daylillies spaced here and there... and one holly bush that never got any larger as long as we have lived here. We also had an azalea that only produced one bloom per year. No lie. One.

To the left of the porch, there wasn't technically a flower bed, but a few bulbs had been planted in front of the bushes, behind them (really?) and in between them. Those were all but lost in the grass and never had a chance to shine.

You might can see in this next picture how the bushes were pushing over some of the daylillies and how the pansies were just drowned out by all the chaos.

It just looked like a big ole mess having plants in between the bushes (and behind them) and then the occasional daylilly right up front. There were also about 4 amaryllis in odd places (like the one in this picture behind the  purple pansy and RightNextTo the random daylilly in the front)

It got to be such an eyesore that even family portraits were being ruined by the weeds.

See the corner of the flower bed?

Here, let me show you:

We needed a plan.

and a truck.

We decided to make 2 flower beds - one on each side - and then we would fill in the rest with sod.

First, we pulled out the ginormous bushes.
It was pretty entertaining for the innocent bystanders, I'm sure.

I hacked away with an electric trimmer, Wesley carried off the branches and Brad dug up the roots. As you may recall, this drew strange comments from our neighbors.

This was sort of like the tag-team way we removed the big tree from the end of the porch 2 years ago...

After that, Brad tilled the soil and we dug up every single daffodil and daylilly. I was nervous that I would lose the beautiful pink ones and yellow ones but there was just no way to tell where they were since nothing was blooming. I was sad to lose all my pansies since they were still blooming. Brad assured me it was ok to throw them away, though.

After we laid out the shape and put in some edging, I decided on a layout and transplanted the daylillies, daffodils, amaryllises and even some irises. I left room for some new bulbs to plant in the fall. Want to see the bulbs I ordered? Of course you do ;)

First up - The Biltmore Endless Spring PURPLE Tulip Mix :) 20 bulbs of various tulips that will bloom all throughout the Spring.

Angelique Tulips, which bloom in the late spring and look like my very favorite flower, peonies!

And, last but not least, these super cool PINK daffodils because... I needed another reason for Kim to come visit ;)

Anwyays, back to the project.

It was time to sod the now non-garden area.

There is a guy in our church who sells sod so that aspect was taken care of, but we needed a way to bring it home. My boss graciously loaned us his pick up truck. Thank goodnes, too, because we filled it to capacity!

We had a good system going. The man who sells the sod would chop it into squares, one of us would scoop it up and the other two would carry it to the truck. Wesley preferred to scoop it up, but he also was handy to have in the bed of the truck. Then, we could bring it to him and he would stack it up. After that, we headed home with all that green, grassy goodness.

Wes was so over the garden by that point so Brad and I laid all the sod without our little helper.
Instantly, it made a huge difference!!

I also moved a small azalea bush from the side of the porch to this alcove so my hydrangea wouldn't be so lonely.

After that, all we had to do was put in some petunias to replace the pansies and then throw down some mulch.

We went with high-contrast black mulch and it looks awesome!!

Well, see for yourself.

Overall, the project was a lot... ALOT of work, but the results were so worth it!

Just a reminder of what it was like before followed by the finished project:

Oh, and when we stocked up on petunias, guess what I spotted in the garden center...

A peony bush!!

I've never been able to grow one from the root / risome so I have high hopes for the bush.

The first two blooms were GORGEOUS!!!


And if you were worried about the poor pansies that were still blooming, never fear.
I kept them :)