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.
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?
(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!