Thursday, August 23, 2012

Remember all that landscaping?

In April I took a bunch of photos of the pretties in my yard and the not so pretties. You can see that post here: The Fruits of my labor from last year's gardening. I still had a lot of work to do. And a lot of work I did! My husband got roped into helping me with laying the stone pathway, but otherwise I did it all myself.

I finished just before we left for Croatia with most of it. That last part was removing half a ton of sand off the driveway  and removing the remaining stones. No wonder I didn't lose much upper body strength these past few months!  I took photos the day we were leaving for vacation, but never had a chance to post them.

Upon coming back, things have reallllllly filled in. A couple things croaked. The entire side yard of plantings was eaten by something, so I'll have to replant this fall, I guess. But all in all, it was a big success.

Am I done? Heck no! At the tail end of our property line in the back are overgrown forsythia that is invaded by all sorts of nasties - including poison ivy. I need to get in there and just hack it all down, but I don't even know where to start or how to do it. I want the one forsythia just plain GONE. It's in a bad spot and I have other plans for there. The other side just needs to be weeded out and trimmed up. That's a fall project.

Eventually, I would like to grow some vegetables too in a raised bed for square foot gardening. But, that will take time, money and work. I will have to fence it to keep out the groundhogs, the rabbits, the deer and I'm sure other critters too. I love where we live and being so close to nature, but, it's not the best place for gardening! Remember, as always, click on the pictures to see them in full size.

Ok, here's our new stone pathway and flower bed. I will need to get an updated photo of this as it has already filled in a lot. When we moved in 2.5 years ago, there was just the lamp post and a sewer pipe (now being hidden by plants - sedum). Last year I dug up an oval connecting the lamp and sewer pipe. This year I manually pulled up the sod with a manual sod remover, prepared the site, added a sand base, laid the stone (with my husband's help) and filled it in. We planted a gazillion plants and then mulched. Oh, want to know how much mulch we had? This isn't our yard, but it's the same amount of mulch! 12 cubic yards

 This is how our yard looks from the street now. Oh, the guy in the front door? My 7 year old watching me.
 Here is around our front tree. Last year I planted the hostas, but this year I removed the bricks and tidied it up as the Bradford pear is constantly sprouting new crap at the base. (as can be seen in this spring's photos)
 I planted a Japanese maple to the side of the front yard.
 I moved the lilacs from the back side yard to the front side yard. It wasn't getting enough light in the back. It seems happy here.
 These next two pictures are brand new flower beds to the side of the house. Its a pretty big bed. 40 feet long by 12-16 feet wide. I showed them this spring as a big mess of sweet gum balls and of planters waiting to be planted. Most of these plants you see here I bought last year, but they didn't make it into the ground. They did this year and are doing great.

 This is the back of the house. You can see the figs in the small containers. They are waiting to go into the larger containers you see there. This will look tidier and they will get more sun and room to spread out.
 This is the existing side flower garden built on a slope. It had FOUR layers of weed barrier. I removed those four layers, replanted everything I had planted last year and added more.
 This is in the back yard and near the side flower bed in back. I manually removed the sod and added mulch. This is where I tend to get poison ivy. I figure, if it's mulched, it will be easier to see new poison ivy popping up so I can get to it before it gets me! In front of this, the grassy parts, this is all new sod. Well, new to the area sod. This is the sod from the front yard placed over the roots of the dead and cut down pine tree. We very likely will put in a rain garden in front of this sloped side flower garden and this swing in back. Water just flows like a stream down our yard during a heavy rain storm.
These next two show the boulder rock garden in the back yard. When we moved in there was nothing around them. Just the boulders set randomly in the yard. Last year I planted a few things. This year I expanded it a bit and planted more. Makes it easier to mow around too.

 This is a remaining problem spot - an overgrown forsythia bush with a raspberry bush there and...
 Poison ivy - a lot of it. I have no idea how to handle getting rid of this WHOLE thing, but I want to!
 Here is the other side of the end of our back yard (you can see the Community trail just there). The rest of the forsythia we managed to get trimmed up last year. This last bit is still a big mess with weeds growing in it. This is a fall project.
 Back to the front yard - some lantana in a pot as well as some annuals in the front flower beds.
 Another front of the house shot. I planted 4 flats of annuals in the front yard alone.
 Another turtle nest in the front yards. Seems living 100 yards from the lake is a perfect distance for turtle nests. I should go check to see if they've come up yet.
 Well these were hostas I planted. They were getting too much sun, but something came and mowed them all down. I guess they were yummy. I'll plant some roses there this fall or early next spring.

That is a lot of work for 3 months. And it got HOT. Though, I'm already itching to get to it again when the weather cools down a bit. Of course, it needs weeding already too.

Back to fitness for a bit - did bodypump and bodystep yesterday - both express classes. I was wiped out afterward, but I did it! Scale rewarded me with a pound lost because of my recent efforts. Woohoo!

Stats for 8/23/12:

Highest weight: 275  Now: 176.8

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