Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Outdoors Doesn't Like Me

We've been in this house almost...fifteen years. I think?  Yeah, I'm not good at this stuff.  But my office is being moved from the town we live in to a town about twenty miles away.  The main highway is under construction and the drive would go from about ten minutes to about forty.  That's depressing but the job is a good one and a lot less stressful than my previous job.  I've already told my boss she's stuck with me.

However, my husbands job is already about twenty minutes from the house on the south side of town, mine is halfway to his, about ten minutes.  We're hoping in the next couple years we can move to a house closer to his work and ultimately a bit closer to mine. 

To that end, there are some improvements that need to be made in order to give the house more long term curb appeal.  The front yard is... bleh.

So!  This weekend I decided the yard needed to be improved. The lot is sort of a pie wedge shape with a small backyard.  My front yard is fairly large and screwed up.  Flowerbeds either mud or overgrown with grass.  I wish this was a mini yard.  It might take me longer but it would be easier on my back.

Let's get one thing straight.  I don't like annuals.  I don't like to pay a bunch of money for something that'll just die in one season.  So I go for perennials every time.

Just one problem, and this is an irony considering I live in Texas, I've got a yard full of oak trees and it's full of shade.  There are not a lot of shade loving perennials.

So I went to a very nice place called Calloways and bought perennials during my lunch on Friday.  We had a lot of rain Friday night so I didn't feel bad about letting them sit on my porch until this morning.

By the way, I've mentioned that North Texas hates me?  There's nothing quite like being exhausted, aching because digging and raking are not my thing, and having your eyes foggy and watering.  Not to mention an alternately stuffy and drippy nose.  How does that even happen? Aren't those two things contradictory?

But I did get all four flowerbeds finished. At least as much as I could.  I'd like to add a few more plants but that can wait for a while. 

I've also mentioned to screw up my back, but I don't have to do anything in the yard for a while.  And as I'm writing this being inside seems to help my eyes and nose to normalize.  So I'm at my regular level of North Texas hating me.  I'll take it.  It felt like my yard was declaring war.

 The grass on the edge of this bed is actually a decorative grass that gets little purple flowers when it blooms.  It tends to take over and I'm not thrilled with it but I didn't have the energy to get ride of all of it.

This spot got hastas, foxglove and yarrow, with some space for the day lilies to grow in.
The area below is below one of the front windows and was basically a mud pit.  The big bag of dirt built up the bed some and hopefully it'll drain better. 

The stones don't look gorgeous but I'm told ajunca takes over so hopefully the stone will be hidden.  And the stupid weed tree cut down and killed.  And I added some impatiens since they were cheap.
A hasta, some hydrangeas and some petunias.
 I broke my rule about annuals because Home Depot had a sale, four medium pots for ten dollars. So I got eight pots for twenty bucks and each pot had about three plants in it.  So they filled in a few places nicely and added some contrast.

This is near the corner of the driveway and is one of the only spots in the yard that gets full sun, so Shasta Daisies, lavender and...
 Yeah I just blanked out on what the flowers in the middle with the purple stalks are called. 

This was about four and a half hours worth of work, not including hauling and shopping.  I've got some sort of grass that puts down roots and sends out shooters that also take root.  I think its Bermuda grass but I can't be sure.

All I know is that its irritating and clearing that tiny space seemed to take forever.  I really need to get some more soil and add it to the flowerbeds before I bring in any more plants.

That will be far in the future.  The only saving grace of today was that it was only in the mid sixties today and I didn't get heatstroke.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have the energy to get back to minis.


  1. You have my upmost sympathies having to move Sheila. So stressful having to 'stage' the house for weeks, people viewing, the packing, the move. Ugh, hope it all goes well and you fnd somewhere nice with a ready made garden :0)

    1. Thank you! It won't be for a while yet but I'm mentally preparing for it. We've never bought and sold at the same time so that's going to be some added stress as well.

      But as I said, not for a year at least, I'm just trying to get a start on everything.

  2. Your garden beds look lovely Sheila. When everything has had a couple of growing seasons, it will look great. And sounds like you are allergic to something outside. I guess it being spring there, there are all sorts of little plant parts floating through the air.

    1. Oh there's no doubt I'm allergic to something out there. But that was my hope, after a year or two things will grow out and fluff up.

  3. Your beds look so nice! Oh the necessary drudgery of home ownership. I used to LOVE to garden. But after four years of back breaking work and endless infestations of Scotch Broom I opted for the way lower maintenance plants. We literally ripped out the entire front yard three times over five years. Laying in new soil, weed block material, mulch, decorative rock and sod. All three times it failed to prevent the Scotch Broom from coming back, and to top it off wild blackberries started sprouting everywhere. Now I pay some young adults to come in and do the maintenance. I am down to burning bush, spirea, succulents, azaleas and some decorative rock beds. Mini landscaping is the only kind I see in my future. I just can't see spending so much time and money for nothing.

    1. Thanks! I'm still feeling the aches and pains today.

      I'm actually lucky in that my perennials seem to stay and bloom well. At least the iris, daffodils and narcissus do. Even the day lilies come back. We'll see about the rest of this stuff.

      But I can't do this every weekend, we pay someone to do the lawn and from this point forward I'll just call and tell them I want the plants I've bought added to the beds.

  4. I hear you Sheila. Having just enough garden is good therapy, but having too much puts you into therapy :/


    1. Yeah I feel like I need therapy at the moment. Physical to fix my legs and mental to fix whatever's wrong in my brain that thought this was a good idea.

      At least it looks nice.

  5. It looks great though! We just have houseplants and I have enough trouble keeping those alive. My son just picked some flowers, and the man in the flower store said to water it twice a week, so I didn't water it even though the flower bed was dry and then yesterday it looked like all the flowers had died. I got quite panicked because my son would be quite upset. But luckily I just watered it and they sprang back to life. Disaster narrowly averted. And then I looked it up on the internet, and that said to never let the flowerbed dry out.

    1. Oh I feel your pain! If we didn't have a sprinkler system we'd have concrete I swear! I can't do plants inside because of the cats. I do not have a green thumb. I have carefully chosen perennials that with luck will come back over and over without me doing much.