Thursday, May 3, 2012

First You Love It...

You know how it is when you first start a project.  You are filled with inspiration and excitement.  Then you begin and your ardor slowly fades into "Why in the world did I start this?"

Well, for the past two days I have been gardening with a zeal that was consuming.  Here I sit at 7:30 PM convinced I am way past 58 because my body hurts in every imaginable place.  I told Chucks I should have worked out at the gym for a couple of weeks before starting this crusade against the evil yard invaders.  As he slowly crept down the hall (bad back) with the puppies trying to catch his cane, he answered, "Why do you do it?"

Let me back up (just a pun, Chucks) for the back story (this is too easy to make fun of his predicament) to explain what he meant.  I am a great starter, planner, and list-maker.  After years of teaching,  I can pretty well write a measurable objective for anything! Right now I have pulled everything in three rooms out and thrown it in the floor.  I am going through it all and dividing into piles - keep, sell at antique mall, give away to friends, thrift shop and throw it away.  I can be very brutal in this process.  If we have not used it in eight months, it goes away.  The trouble is, I am easy to distract and go to the next project.  I was bound and determined to finish the yard in a week to prove Chucks wrong!

I chose the front yard to begin the campaign. I divided the yard into quadrants, and I am proud to say I actually finished two of them in two days!  (Let's be honest - I do have a guy who helps around the house and yard.  He does the heavy lifting! Calvin is a lifesaver.)  I am not  proud to say that as I write this post I am slowly stiffening so I will dispense with the prose and give you a photo collage of my activities.  I hope Chucks will share his heating pad!

 First up was the border down the side of the driveway.  I forgot to take a before picture as I was really focused on finishing.  The only plants I left were some daisies, two lavenders, something bushy and blue (an orphan from the back of Lowe:s) and three Queen Anne's Lace plants.  I know some of you are thinking why keep Queen Anne's Lace, but we live about 25 miles from the natural border of this beauty.  Above that line, it is mowed down like a weed.  Here we drive until we can find some along the road to gather seed pods!  One glorious summer this strip was one wall of Queen Anne's Lace as high as the truck!

Here it is after composting, mulching,and planting salvia, coreopsis. and verbena.  I also threw in marigold and zinnia seeds. ( Sorry it is hard to see in the dappled shade.  How poetic!)

Yellow coreopsis - the tall kind.

 Blue salvia - I love this color!

The one Queen Anne's Lace that is currently blooming next to the bushy blue plant that just finished blooming.

 Next I worked on the end of the driveway - one of my favorite parts of the yard.  All of the containers needed to be emptied, and the plants repotted with fresh soil.  Plus, for the last few weeks I have been painting and refinishing in this area so my paint frames and tables were jumbled and mixed in with the good stuff. Double plus, I had to do some serious rust editing!
 Here are containers of plants, projects to be finished and my round frame I use to lay furniture to paint.  I sort of artfully arrange it so the neighbors think I am eccentric, but not crazy.  They have been known to "borrow" something to use in their yard.  They are welcome to it - I have raided their trash for years.

This is from the back - no one but us can see this - it is hidden from view by our vehicles and hedges.  These are the rust treasures I must use or lose.  All of them have a story.

Just plants left - everything else moved.
(But not too far!)

Major progress made:  Most of the containers have been moved to the "staging" area, leaves raked, weeds pulled.  The long white planter is an antique faux bois concrete that weighs about fifty pounds empty so it stays and we clean around it.  A fellow rust junker made the table behind from a fireplace insert and angle iron. It's rather hefty, too.  The stone crop containers to the right are easily cleaned and new soil added to the tops.  You cannot kill this plant!  Unfortunately, after several years, you cannot give it away - your friends run from you when they see that plastic grocery bag filled with stone crop! You don't have to water it. It dies back in cold winters, blooms several times a year, and you just yank it out of its container, saw it into quarters and repot.  I also stuck some out in the border to see if it would behave itself.  The blooms are a light lavender on a long stalk.

Plants wait to be replaced in the front - they don't like being by the trash cans!
 Here is the work area.  I mix my potting soil in the wheelbarrow and just pop the containers in to replant. I chose blue lobelia, blue daze, marigolds, red salvia, and begonias in assorted colors.

I keep any leftover potting soil in the wheelbarrow and cover it with an old enamel table top.

Yes, I know my garden furniture is rusty - it's supposed to be!

Distressed Donna (yes, this is actually her in person!) stands patiently waiting her turn with three "new" urns.  I find little bird figurines to place in each planter for luck.

                                                 THE FINAL REVEAL!!!


Thanks for visiting.  Chucks needs to be moved upstairs and the animals need to go outside before bedtime. I will continue the yard wars tomorrow, though I may not be able to write a post about it.

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