March 15, 2014

Front Garden Makeover

So I've felt like death warmed over for the past six to eight weeks, but I've finally started feeling more like myself the last week or so. Maybe it's the weather slowly starting to even out. Maybe whatever tears up my sinuses at the turn of the year has passed. Maybe it's just a fluke. I don't know, but I'm taking full advantage.

I've been working on some long term projects throughout the last couple of weeks. I'll likely talk about those in a vlog later this week or next, when it's been finished and delivered, meaning I can finally show pictures. Right now, I want to talk about the project our family undertook and actually finished today!


Our front garden has been a source of irritation and contention for our family since we bought the house. It was nothing but bare dirt when we bought the place, and we've never really had the money to do a particularly great job with it. Each summer, we end up either spending hours each week weeding the thing or have a gigantic garden of weeds as an eyesore right outside our door.

Flower Garden Makeover
See, it was a hot mess.

So, this year we decided to invest a bit of our tax return in finally fixing the front garden up the right way.

Front Flower Garden Makeover
Even from the curb, it looked bad.

We enlisted the help of my younger brother and went to get our supplies. Of course, the first step was to clean out all the old mulch, trim the overgrown boxwood shrubs, and dig up the irises and day lilies we no longer wanted in the garden. We moved some to large pots we're going to keep on our porch, and the rest went to someone "little" brother knew would like to have them.

front flower garden makeover
Gardening's a messy process. Save cleanup until after you're done.

Once the garden was cleaned out, we tilled up the ground. Then we dug a two inch trench around the edge of the bed and placed the edging. We pushed the dirt back up to the edging and packed it down to keep the stones in place. 

The next bit surprised me. I thought it would be easiest to plant everything before laying the fabric. However, LB, who has built a lot of gardens, said it's easier to place the fabric and then just cut an X in it where you want the plants to go. Plant them, and then just lay the fabric back around them before spreading the rock or mulch.

Of course, Hubby ended up going back to the gardening center to get three more paver stones. Then we finished the edging and laying the fabric except where we discovered we needed one more of the Purity Candytuft plants. We decided to go ahead, and we'd just get one and plant it later. Then we ran out of river rock.

front flower garden makeover
The garden was starting to take shape! That was all the rock we had though.
LB and Hubby decided to just go deliver the iris bulbs and get the needed supplies. So they packed up in the truck, and I stayed behind to start clean up. Soon enough the girls came back from spending the morning with Nana, and the guys got back. All of us worked together to get the last plant in the ground and all the rock spread. The girls gathered all the rock bags together and picked up any rocks that spilled outside of the garden.

front flower garden makeover
Now that's what I'm talking about!
After roughly five hours of intense work, the front garden looks great. The newest bush back there in the middle is a rhododendron. It should grow to be roughly four feet tall and round with dark purple blooms. The middle round are oriental lilies in a dark pink, and then there's the four small purity candytuft, which are creeping vines.

front flower garden makeover
So much better! I can't wait to see it with everything in bloom.
All the plants are perennial and cold hearty enough for the usual winters in this area. With care and tending, I expect this garden will just get better looking over the years.

front flower garden makeover
Not the most dramatic before and after ever, but we're happy.

So there's our family's weekend project. It's been a long time coming. Hubby and I are feeling the after effects of more heavy lifting and sun than we're accustomed to this time of year. I'm half afraid I won't be able to move in the morning actually given the old injuries that are screaming at me right now. But we're extremely pleased with how it all turned out. 

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