Thursday, July 24, 2014

Front Yard Path Overhaul

I busted out a ton of things from the outside to-do list last week and over the weekend.  It feels so good to actually cross things off, rather than just adding more.

We borrowed some long handled pruners and went after the big tree in the front yard, that desperately needed it.  It was blockin' all my sun!  We also used it to take care of the overgrown nightmare coming into our yard from the neighbors behind us. What a mess.  It's so frustrating to have neighbors that do nothing in their yards.  The morning glory and wild clematis vine that I worked years to get rid of, is coming back through the fence with a vengeance.  Grrrrr.

I completely limbed up the lilac out front.  I don't know if it will do anything for the lack of blooms it's been givin' me over the past two years, but it sure does look better.

I weeded all the cracks in the driveway, sidewalk and street next to the curb.  Not my favorite thing to do by a long shot, but it looks so much better.

I spent HOURS weeding that stupid parking strip.  I can't keep up down there!  But we got a 1/2 yard of compost and spread it, so hopefully that will at least slow 'em down.  And freshly spread compost is sooo pretty.

We got a load of pea gravel to redo all the paths in the backyard and the fire pit area.

I sewed ten new covers for all my outdoor pillows.

And the biggest project of them all, was the two-day front yard path overhaul.  What a job.  I can't remember how many years ago I put it in, but it was so weed infested that it was impossible to do anything about it.  So I decided to rip up all the bricks and start over.  They had been so tamped in, and half buried by years of adding compost, so most of them needed to be dug out.  The Girl was a huuuuge help.  She busted it out with me the entire time.  The Kid lifted two bricks and was "tired."  Leave it to the girls to get the job done.

The first day was deconstruction and a crap ton of weeding.
At one point, I had Blue Star Creeper in the path, but the weeds had choked it out long ago.
Once I got it all weeded, I leveled it out a bit.  The yard is still sloped toward the street a bit, so I couldn't get it perfectly level, but better than it was.

This is The Girl's stack.
Impressive, no?

Once everything was prepped, I started relaying the bricks.
I put newspaper under them, for all the weeds I missed, or didn't get the roots of.

I got about two-thirds of the way done when I ran out of newspaper.
And oompf.
It was in the 90's that day....HOT.

The next morning, I loaded up the kids and we headed to the store for bark mulch.
Annnnd, how could I walk through the garden center section of the store and NOT buy plants?
That's like expecting me to walk by the cheese case and not throw a chunk in my cart.
Ain't gonna happen.
I WAS making the path narrower, so I had bare dirt to fill.  :)

So the rest of the second day was spent finishing up the path and planting.
And taking too many pictures, of course.

The fibrous Begonias and Caladium are new.

I stuck a few new dark red Coleus in.
They're hard to see in these pictures 'cause the lighting is so weird.

I got a couple six-packs of annual Vinca.
I've never grown it, so we'll see how it does.

More new white fibrous Begonias.

Two more Coleus and an existing Hosta that looks like the dog must have layed on it.

The first year I put a tuberous Begonia in this hanging pot, it was a sight to behold.
The last two years, they've done crappy.
This thing has been in the pot for months, and I think it's maybe grown an inch.
It's gettin' Impatiens next year.

A couple more of those Vinca.
I completely cleared this corner out.
It had an almost dead Heather and the rest was solid yellow Japanese Iris.
I was over it, so I started over.

I got a few shots of the area up against the house where I took the rhodies out.
I spread my extra bark mulch in there.

I got a new variegated leafed Loosestrife that I stuck down in there.

The porch area.

Ivy Geranium.

This Impatiens came home with me a couple trips to the garden center ago.

One of my porch pots with Angelonia.

I don't think I've ever shown pictures of the bed right up against the front porch.
Maybe 'cause I hate it.
I love the Daphne that's there, but I can't get anything else right.
There's a Hellebore that's not really established yet and a new-ish Phlox - that's completely covered in mildew.
I stuck some Zinnias in this year, but they're not really doing anything.
When we were buying the bark mulch for the path, The Kid insisted we get these Celosia for The Dad.
They both love them.
I hate them.
But they sorta go with the orange and red theme that is happening against my will, so I stuck 'em in.

They look like brains.

 This is looking down from the porch.

Anywho, moving right along, ahem, here's a shot of the parking strip from up in the yard.
I need to get down there and take some pictures, now that the compost is spread.
If it ever stops raining.

More of the Ivy Geraniums.
I love them.
Until the worms come.

The wagon.
It will appreciate the limbed up Lilac.
Poor thing was in the shade.

And last, another angle of our hard work.

I suppose the three days of rain gave me a mini vacation from all the yard work.
Back at it tomorrow.

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  1. So. Much. Hard. Work.! Yikes and on a 90 degree day too. Well the least you could do was reward yourself with a few plants which, I see, you had plenty of room to set out so you aren't a Plant Hoarder or anything like that. The path looks wonderful congrats on the Girl Helper she has the makings of a great gardener if she is willing to do grunt work like that!

  2. I really want to take a garden tour through your yard :) I bet its even more impressive in person!!
    I love how your willing to get down and dirty and do the "hard" work, which so many of my friends think all those kind of jobs are for the husbands. Nope, not at all Missy!! Yep, I build rock walls, make stone paths, move bushes/trees, mulch & edge flower beds, build a fire-pit, etc. We are garden warriors :) :) :) If I waited for my husband to do all the "hard" would never get done, ok maybe done, but after a few years of waiting :)

    1. Seriously, that's the mantra around here. If you want it done, you do it yourself. Especially when I'm impatient and generally get a wild hair in the morning to do something. Who wants to wait until the weekend for it to get done?!?!

  3. Wow, what a productive couple of days. I hope you treated yourself with something delicious and high-calorie after burning all that energy. Looks amazing.

  4. GORGEOUS!!! Hey you!! Love that path it is amazing!!!!! I am so going to do bark in my path for sure!!! And holy goodness did you get so much done! So proud of you friend! It all looks beautiful! Nicole xo

  5. Wowza! That was some productive week you had. And way to go to the Girl! She is a super Gardener in the making I think. Your re-done path looks so nice and you will enjoy it each and every time you go outside. And as you said last week, new compost looks so nice. Glad that you treated yourself to the plants - you deserved them all!

    As for disbuding, when you look at your dahlia plant, you will be that it produces buds ( future blooms) in groups of three. There tends to be one large one in the middle and then two smaller ones on each side of it. When they are small, gently bend off the two side ones. Yest you will have two less bloom son that stem. But you will end up with one much larger bloom, beautifully framed by a set of leaves and a much stronger stem because it is only supporting one bloom. Even if I stopped growing dahlias to show and just grew them all of enjoyment in the home, I would still disbud. And when the rains come (like last week!), your are much less likely to have your plants - even stalked plants - come crashing down if you disbud. There is just less plant material and stronger stems on the dahlia.

    PS, keep track of your Fav dahlias that I post this year. I would be more than glad to put 5-6 of your favs in the mail to you next Spring.

  6. What a lot of work you've put into your garden! Definitely worth it though as it looks amazing and your new path is great. I have the same problem here with neighbours who don't tend to their garden, it is so annoying!

  7. Your brick path looks great! I love seeing your little helpers in the photos :0) We made a herringbone path from our side gate out to the side walk last Summer . . . and it turned out great. There's a certain charm about brick that I love.
    I noticed a few white Vinca lining your new path . . . so pretty. I just planted a bunch in our patio last week :0)
    As always, thanks for sharing you beautiful garden with us.
    Have a great week,

  8. It looks great!! I just love your yard so much!! It's so lush and cozy. Beautiful!!

  9. Gorgeous! I'm loving the new look of the front yard path. It looks very harmonious with the whole garden aesthetics. Your plants definitely look verdant and vibrant. Thank you for sharing the lovely products of your green thumb! All the best!

    Gwendolyn Reyes @ Tapestry


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