Aug 16, 2012

How does your garden grow?

We have worked hard in our yard this summer.  I can't tell you how many back-breaking hours I have spent weeding, raking, sowing, mowing, and watering.  Garry has done so much to fertilize and water, too.  August is usually the month that we see the fruits of our labors in the yard, and this year has been no exception.

One weekend in April, I caught the notion to downsize our front planter.  It was roughly the shape of a grand piano.  I couldn't keep up with it.  On the day that I split my tulip bulbs (Gavin helped), we started the enormous project.

With Garry's help I shortened the bed to be even with the front porch.  I used the extra bricks to build a planter around our pine tree, which previously had some weird reed/grass plant growing beside it.  I ripped that out, filled the whole thing with dirt (Tyler helped), and planted flowers in both places (Gavin and Lexi helped).  Garry added drip systems to both beds and to the planter in the back yard.  He also installed solar garden lights that are so pretty in the dark. 

 April 12: The front flower bed before I ripped it out.

May 5: Gavin and I dug up, split, and replanted tulips.

May 8: Tyler helped me haul dirt from the old flower bed to the new one under the tree.

May 21: Garry's work gloves and a big root he had to dig out of the ground.

May 28: Flowers under the front window.

May 28: Under the tree.
We planted grass where the front flower bed used to be.  I used the same seed/mulch/fertilizer combo in many bare spots around the yard.  But first I had to rake up dead grass and prepare the soil.  I de-thatched large sections of the yard.  Garry added manure to many of these sections.  Some of them yielded gorgeous, lush, green grass. Some of them did not, and we're not sure why.  But we're very glad for the green parts! It's nice to have some reward for the time/money/water-intensive effort.  

May 21: First sprouts of grass in the newly-seeded front lawn.

May 22: The new dirt was super ugly for a while.

May 24: Garry fertilized the lawn and fixed sprinklers while I was in Mesa.

May 28: Front yard status on Memorial Day.
August 3: I cut down a dead-since-we-moved-in bush by the gate leading to the backyard.

August 14: Mostly satisfied with the front yard.

August 14: This is my favorite view.
In June we also planted sunflowers in the back yard.  Last year's effort was pretty lame, but this year has been much better!  Garry bought three varieties of sunflowers and many of them are beginning to bloom.  We've never had red sunflowers before!  We also had a rogue seed sprout in the front yard.  It is nearly blooming, too, and it makes me smile.  I admire its independence and tenacity.

July 12

July 12

August 11 (as with all below)

I still have many dreams for our yard, like completing the flagstone patio we started four years ago, filling in the rest of the neglected grass, and learning how to care for and harvest from our apple trees.  I've also decided on a new exterior paint color for the house, but money will have to fall out of the sky for that project to happen.  Until then I'll just have to count on the pretty flowers and the green grass and the blue sky to gladden my little nature-loving heart.
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