06 May 2009

Progress Report: Garden Project #1

I spent a good portion of the late afternoon and evening working on Garden Project #1, a complete overhaul of a bed in front of our house. As you may recall from my previous blog post, here is what I started with:



Basically, this area has been neglected for several years. At one time, we had a large tree
and a nice ground cover in the space. One day, however, a strong gust of wind blew down the tree. Finally last fall, we replaced it with a Japanese maple. I think the new tree is dead, but Spouse disagrees, so we'll give it a few more weeks to see if it produces leaves. If not, it's outta there!

This is what the area looks like now that I've planted it. The first thing you'll probably notice is that the foundation bushes are not evenly spaced! Ack! I'm going to have to fix that tomorrow.

We apparently live over a rock quarry (just kidding -- we don't) because there are tons of rocks in this bed. In addition, certain areas have old tree roots and clay soil. All of these factors made for very difficult digging today. Thank goodness I go to the Dreaded Fitness Place! I was able to do all the digging, planting, and mulching without any help whatsoever! Go, me! :-)

Here's another "before" shot of the area next to the sidewalk. A whole lotta nothin' goin' on...

And here's the "after" shot. In this photo, you can see some of the perennials I added to the area: coral bells along the sidewalk, astilbe at the left, and a sweetspire bush ("Little Henry" variety). This bush will grow approximately 2" high and will be covered with elongated white flowers. It already smells beautiful. I also added foam flowers, hostas, bugleweed, and cranesbill. You can't see from the photos, but we still have some Chinese astilbe groundcover in the bed. I moved it around for better coverage.

You can also see that I left all of my wild columbine, jonquils, and grape hyacinths in place. After a few weeks, those plants will completely die back and I'll need to figure out how to handle the empty spaces.

On a side note, it took six bags of mulch to fill this space. Can you believe that? I could have gone with fewer bags, but I don't like to skimp on the mulch!

Overall, it's a good start to Garden Project #1. I'll be adding a few annuals to the bed for color and to fill in some of the gaps, after the new plants have a few days to get settled. Stay tuned for further gardening projects! This is just one of MANY I need to tackle this spring.


10 comments:

toners said...

Gorgeous! I remember when we lived in CA, DH would often replace the bark/mulch in the front yard - it made a huge difference in freshing things up :)

Judy said...

Can't wait to see future pictures of this flower bed. It looks great so far, but once they start to grow and fill in a bit and show colors it will be fabulous. Thanks for sharing. You've inspired me!

Janet said...

Toni - Thanks! Halfway through the project I thought maybe I should have just mulched the area and skipped the plants! lol I agree...the mulch adds a lot! :-)

Judy - Thanks! :-) I feel like the bed needs more plants, but I have a tendency to put things too close so I tried to watch the spacing. I'll be adding annuals so it doesn't look quite so sparse! Would love to see what garden projects you're working on!

Debbie said...

You are off to a great start. It takes a while for things to fill in, but soon it will be blooming

Sarah C. said...

Looking good! You've made awesome progress. I feel for you w/ that clay soil. We have the same and also have discovered all sorts of varieties of buried junk in our yard (even once found a 10 foot long 2x6 board!). Can't wait to see photos as it fills in and the plants begin blooming. :)

Linda said...

The bed looks great! If it ever stops raining here, I need to get outside and work on my beds.

Kristina said...

Looks good! Once they grow, that area will fill in nicely.

I planted another ranunculus this evening in my perennial bed. I *think* I'm done with the perennials for this season. I'm going to have to see how these guys do. I have 5 bags of mulch waiting for me under the deck, but I need to put down some more zinna and cosmos seeds before mulching.

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Nice job!!!! Oh my gosh I'm so glad The-Guy-Who-Knows-A-Song-About-A-Chicken loves to garden. I don't think I could last in this whole living in a house business if I had to tackle the whole gardening thing. Just cooking dinner is domesticated enough for me, thank you very much!

I did find out that we have two gardenias though, hidden back behind a bunch of ginger that The-Guy just trimmed back. I do love gardenias!

Darcey said...

Good for you! Looke great!

Cheri said...

It's looking great! I've let the weeds go in our north flower/veggie bed go too long. I'm not sure how to get the grass out of my iris in particular. Blech. As I've mentioned at least a hundred times, I love the garden but HATE the work involved.