Saturday, May 16, 2009

Labor Pains

But it's so worth it! Last night, we tilled our new garden bed and planted our Crepe Myrtle. I divided the purple Bearded Irises and transplanted some variegated Hosta in back. The purples, white and greens look good together, so I'm going to stick to those colors for this area. I'm in the market for some white flowers to put in front. What do you suggest?

Today, I spent 8 straight hours working on this little area on the front side of our house. We kept saying that we needed to do something with this area, but we knew it would be such a pain that we kept putting it off. I finally got fed up today and chopped this Hydrangea back and yanked that sucker out.

There were a couple of things at play here:
  • The Hydrangea was huge, but was not getting enough sun.
  • It was HUGE and cumbersome. It was 5'x5'x4' deep. We had to cut it back which looked ugly and walk around it making a huge bald spot in our grass.
  • It was a magnet for dead birds and leaves cultivating underneath the branches.
  • The former gutter that goes under the pavement is clogged and this newer gutter makes a mess on the pavement.
  • Because of the inefficient gutter, the soil is constantly washing away making yet another mess.
  • (not shown) The gate wouldn't open all the way because of all the soil and branches in the way. Again, annoying.

3 hours later:

I cut the Hydrangea back (not shown) and dug it up. It was a pain, but not as bad as I thought it would be. There were 6-7 major roots which I cut with tree branch cutters. Then I pried it up with a spade. I moved over 3 wheel barrows full of soil to other areas around the house, so that the gate can swing fully open. Then I had to pick out all these rocks in the soil.

I transplanted an Azalea from the south side of the house over to this side for shade. The Azalea was always getting burnt out as soon as it had blooms on it, so this may be a better spot for it. There's also a Lamium and Fingerplant which are both great groundcovers. I transplanted a couple of pink lilies for some added whimpsy. I planted a new Shasta daisy, which will grow into a full ball (like a Mum) to fill the corner. Also, some Gladiola bulbs, which I hope will a nice appearance in the summer. And a pink "Ruby Spice Summersweet" shrub. The darker soil that you see on top is compost to amend the poor old soil. The light brown sheet is that landscaping material used to suppress weeds. I plan on putting mulch on top tomorrow.

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