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Fings wot I've been doing

Here is a pictorial of what I've been up to all last week (and most of this past weekend.) This is why I fell down the rabbit hole, so to speak. Big old picspam ahead, so if you're on dial-up, give this a pass.

So this is the old front of my house. Not the original, as the original owners grew Bermuda in the flower beds, and this pic is from just after digging it all out and sticking in a few plants. (last winter.)



and the following spring, 2007


You may notice the crappy, half-dead grass, the crappy, half-dead Bradford pear in the front. For any newcomers, I'm a Master Gardener. I was so ashamed for my neighbors to find out, because look at that crap! Gah. I finally, FINALLY convinced the Mister that my vision for the front of the house needed to be realized while he was on his mini-vacation. *cough* The trade off was I had to do it all myself, as he loathes working in the yard.

Bye bye, tree!
(that's my son pretending he cut it down. He did not. Giving him an axe is like giving a zombie brains.)


I got him to help me do ONE THING (because that sod cutter weighed over 400 pounds, and our front is inclined.) That's #2 in the background, attempting to use a pitchfork.


Most of the grass cleared away. For the record, I found a total of 31 bricks in that section of lawn. 31. Also, 4 coke cans, 2 plastic pop bottles, a green plastic net, and a trash bag. All just under the sod. It should be no wonder that the grass wasn't growing well.

I then unloaded a ton of compost onto the bare earth and tilled it in (to a depth of 14 inches, for those curious.) The two trees went in, a Mexican Plum and a Chinese Pistache. To keep the compost from running away in the rain, I covered it all in cedar mulch. And then I took a Doan's back pill and waited for another day.



and


Next, I worked on the hardscape (rocks, permanent structures.) I hauled some large flagstones from our backyard (which will be demolished this winter to make way for a pool \o/) out to the front and made two stairways out of them and some other large landscape rocks (to better anchor them and to keep them from wobbling.) Next, I drove to a rockery (rock yard? Place where they sell rocks?) and purchased two large boulders, one a half-ton and the other a quarter-ton. (they're sold by the weight) I paid an extra fee to have them delivered to my yard, because... half-ton and a quarter-ton.

So, a few hours later, a flat-bed semi pulls up with my two boulders on a wooden palette and a bobcat to move them. The guy gets out, unloads the bobcat, picks up the palette, and then DROPS IT OFF ON MY DRIVEWAY. AND THEN LOADS THE BOBCAT BACK UP. I stood there for a second with my mouth hanging open, then asked him if he wasn't going to put the rocks in the garden.

"I don't do that."

"Does it look like I can?"

He begrudgingly flipped them off the palette onto the edge of the new bed and the driveway, then left.

So... I had to figure out how the hell to move almost 2 tons of stone into position. And then I remembered Physics. Lovely, lovely physics. Since my yard is sloped, I used my good friend Gravity to help me, and we called up our buddy, Lever. I dug out the soil under the front ends of the boulders, wedged a stone from my garden under the big rock, then used an old pipe (I think it used to be a flag pole - good thing we didn't toss it!) to flip the boulder into place.

After blacking out (har) it finally moved. It's not in the perfect spot, but good lord, I'm not moving them again. Next was installing electrical lights to light up the stone paths, because out here in the 'burbs, it gets DARK at night. (I did it all by myself! Electrical lights!!) Okay, so it was a very simple set-up, but hey - I need the ego boost. :D After putting in 182 plants (including 40 bulbs: crocosmia, white Dutch iris, gayfeather, and phlox, all transplants from the back garden, and 32 large-ish plants from the same) here is what it looks like. (Remember: it's a NEW bed. It's not all lush and full yet.)









At night... (I didn't take a super good picture, but then, I never do)




My gardening buddy, Darthanne (she loooooves the new garden because she blends in and has more stalking hideouts. Heh. This is the floor level bird bath for all the creatures that come visiting at night - in the old bed.)


Here is the old shade-bed, off the side of my front porch, and the only bed that I liked up until now. (The ginger is in bloom and it smells SO GOOD.)


Can you see the visitor?


Enhance!

(There's a family of hummers that come back every year and have a little nest in the old Bradford pear. Hopefully they'll make a new one in our plum tree.)


Random flower pic (Texas Star Hibiscus - currently 4 ft. tall and still growing)


Random flower pic #2 - my yellow rose, which only took a moderate hit (black spot) compared to the other roses around here. (We had a very wet and hot summer)


Random flower pic #3, an Echeveria (Topsy Turvy) a.k.a. Hen and Chicks. These are all along the edge of the stone path way, and will multiply like mad. (There's also oregano and thyme along the paths, too.)

So, I'm tired. But pleased. It will look much better this spring. Oh, the grasses, for those interested, are Gulf Muhly grasses, which will get to 4 ft. tall, and about 2-3ft. wide. The pink blooms along the top look like cotton candy. ♥

When I was too tired to work outside anymore, and unable to process long, detailed thoughts, I read an expose on the Playboy Mansion (who was it that asked me for a copy?) I had to c&p the story online and format it in word, because it was on a black background with white text and no spaces. AUGH!! If anyone wants me to upload that, I will be happy to. Dude, it's so juicy and sad and gross and I cannot turn away. Also, my guilty pleasure is The Girls Next Door, and it's funny to me how that show is all wholesome and tee hee, we're having naughty kitten fun! And meanwhile, Hef's a big ol' perv. We call Holly "Stink Finger" in my house now. Hahahaha *pukes* (I still love Bridget, because she's using Hef - mutual using - to get two Masters degrees. Work it, girl! Oooh, anyone watch that show? I've heard some interesting rumors...)

[ETA] Here is a dl link for the book - under 1 mb.

I have two more days to finish up all my house projects so I can focus on NaNo and not be distracted... Hi, everyone!

Comments

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fitofpique
Oct. 29th, 2007 02:59 pm (UTC)
stoney OMG. you are amazing! can you study up on central canadian varietals and come help me do my back garden next summer? and also my front garden? i don't know anything! i make up names for the plants i have and then decide whether they stay or go based on how cranky and aggressive they seem! i need so much HELP!!!
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha, I would like a list of your made up names, pls.

"Red flappy weed/maybe keeper plant." <-- like that? :D

Ooooh, I would LOVE to make up a list of plants for you! I looooove doing that, ferserioz. Gimmie a few days, and I will totally do it!
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southernbangel
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:03 pm (UTC)
Stoney, that front yard is GORGEOUS. Wow, I am super impressed with the plants (when it's full and lush? OMG EVEN MORE HEAVENLY) and all the work you put into it. And you put in those lights yourself? Girl, I am so proud of you.

What rumors do you know about the Girls Next Door? I don't ever watch the show but I love Hollywood rumors. Spill!

XOXOXOXO
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you Lee!!! I almost posted that super cute pic of me and you from Pappadeaux - I need to email it to you. We're sooo smiley/awesome. Ha!

Okay, the rumor is about Bridget, which makes me sad, because I really do love her. So, she's almost my age, for starters. She's... 34? Okay, so in the first season, they showed her little sister, and the rumor is that is her DAUGHTER. Which means she had the baby when she was 12ish. (Bridget comes from a haaaaaaard, trailer-trash background. Hef liked pulling her out of it, and she had her own apartment before deciding to become his "girlfriend." Also, she's still legally married!)

I'm so lame and interested in weird stuff...
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tabaqui
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
Christ. Wanna come to my house and do that? 'Cause the thing i hate most after dusting is yard work. OMFG, hate. Chiggers! Pollen! Plants which i kill with a single glance!
*flail*

I love the 'boulders' as hardscape. There's beautiful stone out there that construction companies just haul away when they could be awesome additions to a yard.

My mom has a big stone in her garden that kinda looks like a rabbit. :)
Your yard/gardenspace looks absolutely wonderful. Go, you!

stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
Awww, thank you!! I really really like boulders in the landscape. You have to settle them in the ground so they look like the wind/water has washed away the soil, instead of just plopping them in. (*cough* like my neighbors did) Those boulders I bought are native geodes, too. So if they ever crack open, COOL!

Ooooh, it looks like a rabbit? That's AWESOME! I love stuff like that. *squishes you to bits*
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xochitl42
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:12 pm (UTC)
Okay, so, first of all, YOU HAVE A GORGEOUS HOUSE.

Now, on to other things. ...Man. Looking at all those photos made me utterly homesick for Texas, and for childhood. All those summers running around the Gulf plains, hacking off mesquite branches for dad to use on the weekend cookouts. Playing in other people's backyards, and mine too. Waaah!

Re your archaeological finds: I think the prior inhabitant confused landfill with compost. That's just weird. Though, while a kid in south Texas (Rio Grande Valley area), I distinctly remember digging up an intact can of Lone Star buried just inches below ground. Upright. Too upright to be accidental. Of course, we kids drank it, sputtering and grmacing all the way. Why are we not dead? Good question...

I lurves Darthanne. I lurves kitties, honestly. :D

The garden is magnificent, it really is, and I can only begin to imagine all the hard work that went into it. Stupid stone-delivery dude. "I just drop 'em off." WTF? Because, hey, we all got Bobcats in the backyard. Earth movers, you know, gotta keep up with the Joneses. Pfft.
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:15 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, our neighbors fired up their chimenea last night and the mesquite chips smelled SO GOOD. (I instantly wanted fajitas. *g*) So come back home! You know you can't get good corn tortillas up in New York City. *does the obligatory Pace Salsa commercial voice*

As for my archaeological dig (hahahaha) we figure the landscaper didn't clear off the building debris and just laid sod on top of the garbage. Um, THANKS. you drank that beer?!? Eeeeeeewwwwwwww, hee!

I literally stood in my driveway, scratching my head all Gomer-like. Duuuuh, how'm I gonna move this here big rock? (And thank you!)
gillo
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:13 pm (UTC)
That is so lush and beautiful already. It reminds me how very far south of me you are - these plants would die so quickly in my garden.

I love the brickwork on teh front of your house too - crazy but fun.
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:17 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you! And yeah - pretty far south. *g* We can still wear shorts during the daytime right now. That's one nice thing about living in Texas - the fall lasts for a while, so your plants have lots of time to get their roots established. (And our ground rarely freezes.)

Heee, I forgot about the brickwork! (It's pretty common in our neighborhood. Patterned brick combined with stonework on the house fronts. I like it, too!)
stephanierb
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:16 pm (UTC)

Your front yard looks amazing, I can't even imagine what it will look like in the spring. You should be featured in garden magazines. If I had something like that, I suspect that I would sitting outside all of the time just staring at it.

Major props for doing that practically on your own!
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I've been sitting out there a bunch, already! It's very nice at night with our Darthanne kitty pouncing from grass to grass, hunting bugs and bunnies. (No bunnies were harmed in the creation of this garden. *G*)

I can't WAIT to see it in the spring, all full of blooms. *cough* And I'm sure I'll stick in a good 100 or more plants, too. (I'm a total freak.)
tinpanalley
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)

Incredible garden. Really beautiful.

And, wow...that's som heavy stuff about Bridget. She's my favorite too. Yes, I'm also a slave to the bunnies. I just can't stop watching! *g*
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I'm glad someone else watches that show, too! (I feel so naughty...) I know that she is technically married, still, even though she's been separated from him for several years.

And I really, really like Bridget, even though she has that little girl voice (which I normally hate.) I mean, you gotta love a girl that uses Playboy to get TWO masters degrees!

(I loooooove your lavender icon! And thank you!)
entrenous88
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:50 pm (UTC)
Beautiful! And omg, ginger in the air, sounds fantastic.

Peee Essss, if I didn't already tell you, I'm going to post about the "write 50,000 words of whatever!" not-quite-Nano community later today. \o/
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, J, the ginger smells like a gardenia, but mellower. NUM. ME.

Oooh, I didn't know about it, because I've been incommunicado! *whips self* Yes, can't wait to see the post!!
harmonyfb
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:54 pm (UTC)
Note to self: Never invite Stoney over, so she can never see my crappy, weed-ridden yard.
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:51 pm (UTC)
Pffft, I'm the friend that a) wouldn't notice or b) would grab a shovel and stick things in for you. *g*

Also: got your CD!! And I fiiiinally got that little Hallowe'en thingy (it's a surprise) in the mail for Peri today!
lynnenne
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:55 pm (UTC)
Your garden is beautiful!! You did an amazing job. My muscles are getting tired and sore just reading about it. *G*
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, thanks, Lynne!! Hoo, today I am taking it easy. It's the first day of not pulling on my gloves and pushing a wheelbarrow about. *leans*
a2zmom
Oct. 29th, 2007 03:59 pm (UTC)
The garden is going to be fantabulous as everything fills in. I'm not surprised your back was protesting..

Isn't Bermuda grass a nightmare to get rid of? Good on you for eradicating the stuff.
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
I hope it looks lovely! I have been so embarrased by the front of my house, especially when folks like you have made such gorgeous gardens...

Bermuda is a pain in the ass. The more you tear it, the faster it grows. (That's how they make new sod in the sod farms: till up the roots.) I've been digging the roots out and squirting the remainder with vinegar to kill what I can't get.
brunettepet
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:12 pm (UTC)
Wow! The changes are fantastic, and you even tackled physics and electricity! You rock out loud. You really took advantage of this wonderful change in weather. All I did was swap out pajamas (oh, flannel granny jammies, how I missed you) and bake.

There's an expose on The Playboy Mansion? Do tell...
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
Mmmm, baking. Oh, pray tell what you baked! And hasn't this weather been wonderful?! It's been blue skies and low 70s in the day, and upper 40s at night. I'm FINALLY getting some bell peppers on my plants out back!

I'll upload the expose and add an ETA to the post - keep your eyes peeled!
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julia_here
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:44 pm (UTC)
I need to replace our landscape lighting this winter, somehow, but this involves getting cooperation from the larger child, who is going to school full time and working thirty hours a week and for some reason is hard to persuade to participate in weekend-long construction projects.

LOVE the plant choices and hardscaping. I was given Making Things Grow Outdoors when I was still in high school, and fell in love with Caruso's insighe about paved paths.

Julia, we had nearly four inches of rain and 60F temps earlier this month, and giant rocket and lush velvet grass are sort of a motif in my landscaping >:(
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
I was very happy to find out that new landscape lighting at the Big Box stores are user-friendly. The hardest part was using a masonry bit to mount the trans..whatever it's called to the brick for the wiring to connect.

I can't wait for my garden path to be filled in with the thymes and oreganos and stonecrops - I love how inviting a planted garden path looks!
chrisleeoctaves
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:00 pm (UTC)
omg- SO MUCH WORK!
But wow! Beautiful!
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
I am totally that weirdo that loves this kind of work. And thank you! I can't wait to see it when it's grown a bit. It's like newborns - only their mothers find them beautiful. They have to unfold a bit...

*g*
petzipellepingo
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
About a million times better than previous landscaping. And it's nice to see things all green at this time of the year, we just got our heavy frost today and the pond man just came over and shut down the pond for the season. Here comes Winter.
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)
"About a million times better than previous landscaping" Heh, that's because there WAS no landscaping! Just grass sod over garbage. >:( So mad at the builders/landscapers...

Ooooh, no frost for us. That's Texas' saving grace. (Um, if you can survive the summers. *g*)
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stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, I was flabbergasted when I realized he wasn't going to move the rocks more! you might do a google search for landscape rocks. Aren't you guys sitting on top of tons of granite up there? (Rocks are CHEAP here, since we're sitting on huge swaths of limestone, etc.)

Thank you very much! I was just miserable with the old look - I didn't want anyone to know I actually know how to fix it! (I just didn't have the resources/energy up until now...)
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chantal87
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Your yard is gorgeous.
*dies with garden envy*
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks so much! (I have a second comment to reply to, cutie-pie! *squish*)
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stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
"like a house on fire" Heeee! I haven't heard that in an age! <3

Ooooh, I love looking at before and after pictures! I have so much garden envy for y'all up north (meaning, further than me.) I wish I could have a cherry tree and peonies...
brandil
Oct. 29th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
Your garden is flat out gorgeous. I admire all the hard work and creativity you used putting it together.
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 06:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you Brandi! I can't wait to see it all growed up...

*hugs your tight bod ;)*
beadbeauty
Oct. 29th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
Um. Ok- WOW is an understatement. BEAUTIFUL!!! Hen and Chicks is big out here- LOVE them little succulents. You did a great job! And the pic with the sod cutter? I thought that was YOU by mr. S that is insane how much she looks like you. INSANE!
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
I have more than 30 varieties of succulents in my garden. To say I like them is also an understatement. *g* Thanks, Tiff!

And when I was uploading the pics from my camera, I looked at that same picture and wondered who took the picture of he and I... She is ALL LEGS. Have I told you that she's wearing a 7 1/2 size shoe now??

(I'm using this icon because I know you will laugh at it. Also, if you haven't seen Beth's Halloween costume over on MySpace, GO LOOK. It's hilarious.)
tabaqui
Oct. 29th, 2007 07:11 pm (UTC)
Oh! I meant to ask...why is there a little cut-out of Texas by your front door? It's sort of...weird. I mean - i know of no one who has a cut-out of Missouri in their yard...
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha, COME ON. Everyone in Texas has a replica of the state SOMEWHERE, didn't you know? (We're the only state in love with our shape. It's true.)

However, that is our burglar alarm sign, indicating a) we have one and b) who it's with for emergency crews, should the need arise. The company is something like Lone Star Alarms, or something to that effect.

:D
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adnault
Oct. 29th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
Wow you are a pretty good gardener. I always wanted one of those strategically planned flower beds that looks beautifully haphazard with color and texture... alas If it doens't have 4 legs I kill it...

Also total guilty pleasure on the Girls Next Door. Bridget is my favorite. She's probably the most genuine of the group and sometimes I just want Kendra to just STFU. She called the Queen a sausage wallet for pete's sake!

But shhhh don't tell anyone I watch that show.
adnault
Oct. 29th, 2007 07:45 pm (UTC)
Also if that's your son in the cowboy hat he's pretty cute!
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petzipellepingo
Oct. 29th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
altyronsmaker
Oct. 29th, 2007 08:48 pm (UTC)
That is a BEAUTIFUL garden, Stoney! OMG. All that work. I did flowerbeds once at my mother's house and it took me a week just to do two rows of plants beside the driveway. It was worth it, though. Even for the short time they were there (I left for college shortly after) and I loved doing it. But they were nothing like these. *envies*

So pretty!
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much! Aww, that's so sweet to think of you and your mom doing all of that work together. It's definitely more fun to garden with someone, rather than doing it alone. Good thing my cat likes to help me. (Hee!)
herself_nyc
Oct. 29th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC)
Beautiful!
stoney321
Oct. 29th, 2007 09:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you!

*pours you a lemonade and fluffs the seat cushions*
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Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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