Thursday, May 3, 2012

Coloring My Outside

Last weekend was cold and dreary and rainy. So what else would I think about doing around the house but…. yard work? Of course I would. Friday after work Miss Wendy and I headed out for some DELICIOUS pizza and then I roped her into going to Lowe’s with me to look at flowers. Well $71 later- my looking turned into having to do manual labor the next day rather than being a sloth on the couch. Dammit. Me and my ideas.

I picked up 3 deep blue salvia, 4 pink creeping phlox, 2 red and white columbine and 2 white verbena. All of them are perennials but a couple of them were past their “spring” flowering so they look dead. Fingers crossed that they aren’t. I also picked up a few packets of seeds to see if those would grow- cuz let’s face it a packet of seeds is way cheaper than a full grown plant. And this mama loves her some cheap.

Below is the blue print/plot of my house. I’ve labeled each area 1, 2, and 3 of what I’m going to discuss today. Area 1 you might have already seen if you remember photos of my beautiful tulips. But back to that side later.

For area 2, I started out by digging 4 holes in front of my dining room windows which is also the front of the house where I already have existing bushes. While this is the most established landscaped area of the property and it doesn’t look half bad, there isn’t really any color aside from the greenery. The bushes don’t flower and only change color towards the fall. I do like the height of the bushes so I decided this was where the pink creeping phlox would reside. These flowers only get to about 6 inches high and are more of a ground cover that will eventually spread out. They have a tiny purple-pink flower on them. It won’t be a drastic change- but definitely gives it a little something to boost its appeal. 

After I had those dug and planted, I decided that I needed some separation from the landscaped area and the grass for a couple of reasons. One- I wanted more definition between the areas, two- now that I have neighbors doing landscaping I want mine to look just as nice as theirs so I'm not "that neighbor" and be a little more professional than my ghetto garden and three- I’m a mad woman with a lawn mower. So odds are if the phlox start to grow and trail like they are supposed to, I will probably end up chopping them up with the mower at some point. And that would be no bueno.

I headed inside to grab the sales flyer for Menard’s to see if they had any edging brick on sale. I had finally received my 2 rebates back from them for the paint that I purchased so I had $16.60 in store credit. There were a couple of edgers on sale so I went back out to measure for what I needed and then headed over to pick them up. Both edgers were on sale for $.99. There was a scalloped 24” one that you see in almost everyone’s yard blah and a 12”interlocking block kind. If I went with the 24” one blah I’d need to get 21 and I’d need 42 of the 12” ones. Pretty much would reduce the cost in half if I went with the scalloped ones blah. So I put about 5 of them in the cart but I just wasn’t feeling them. While I want the project to be cheap- I also want to put something in there that I actually like. And mama no likey the scalloped. 

So back onto the pile they went. I went around the corner and started piling on the 12” interlocking ones……which were 10 lbs each……and I needed 42 of them…….and they were under a shelf that I had to keep crawling under……ugh. Definitely didn’t plan on receiving ZERO assistance from the workers there. It would have been nice for 1 of the 4 employees walking by to ask me if I needed assistance. Hmmm….. customer service anyone? I ended up with 43 just in case I didn’t measure properly. I pushed the cart… all 430+ lbs of it…over to the register and the girl said my total was $22. Hmmm I’m no genius actually I am but we'll pretend for this exercise. But I’m pretty sure that 43 items at $.99 is not $22. So I reiterated to her how many I had and how much they were and after her blank stare at me I decided that my having to haul 430 pounds of brick on my own was deserving enough of the money that she was short changing her employer. Whatever. I gave her my $16.60 in rebates and paid $5.54 out of my pocket and loaded the brick into my car. Again- whatever. Don’t judge me.

Once in my car I pulled out the receipt and it showed that they were actually buy 1 get 1 free. So the girl was actually correct-but she could have said that instead of staring at me like she was missing a chromosome. So I really didn’t steal. Sweet, I’m still going to heaven! HAH. That’s laughable. But it was quite the surprise since neither the flyer nor the shelf listed the BOGO offer. They both just listed the sale price of $.99. But hey- I’m not going to complain. Very happy that I went with the one that I liked seeing as though they ended up being the same price as if I had bought the scalloped ones. Sweet!!

After returning home I laid out the bricks to the existing landscaped line to see what it was going to look like and LOVED IT! 

Ok now that I knew what that side would look like I went around to area 3 and started digging. This side of the house has the gas line attached to it and it’s not the most beautiful thing in the world by any means. So up came some dead grass to make room for some prettiness!! I decided that this is where I would put the 2 Columbine flowers and then also 3 packets of Columbine seeds and 3 packets of Aubrieta seeds.

Once those were in I started digging out for the bricks. It only took me a couple of hours in total but I was also making sure along the way they were level and equal distance from the side of the house. Here is what it looks like now.

You can see two rows of darker dirt on either side of the two plants.  The back row closest tot he house are the Columbine seeds and the front row closest tot he brick are the Aubrieta seeds.  And I’m impatiently waiting for my seeds to be fully grown flowers. Like- I literally get disappointed every day when I go to look and it’s still just a dirt pile. Boo. Hopefully they sprout soon!

Unfortunately I didn’t get back to the front of the house to actually put those edgers into the ground so they are still just placed there. I’m hoping for next weekend because I really think I’m going to be out of commission this weekend after the race. But we will see. What I did do though was go back over to Menard’s that night and pick up 32 more since they were buy one get one free and all. These will go in area 1 where I currently have the brick from the house as a faux border around the tupils.

This area is going to be a drastic change. It will be similar to the front of the house with a curvy design rather than the rectangle that it currently is. It’s on the west side of the house which means that it has full sun literally all day long. I’ve had the grass there replaced twice and then sun just cooks and burns it right up. So I really need to dig up the dead grass and put a lot of plants/flowers/bushes there rather than grass since it doesn’t seem to survive. I have 2 burning bushes in front of the garage on either side of the garage door. These will be dug out and moved over to this side of the house. 

I plan to fill those spots with concrete and put urns and potted flowers there that I can change out with the seasons. It will also prevent the wind from blowing the leaves into my garage every time I open the door which is a frickin pain in the ass I tell you. Especially when you just swept the garage floor. Ugh. So I am going to eliminate that problem altogether. I already have an existing bush planted on this side of the house which will eventually grow to hide the cable and utility boxes. 

With the addition of these two bushes and a couple more flowering bushes (there are some super cute lilac bushes on sale this week that I might pick up) that should take care of the length of the house. Then I plan to dig up the tulips and move them more towards the middle of the area. The salvia plants will go in towards one side of the space and those will eventually spread and be more full. 

I will plant the other two packets of seeds that I got- a different type of Columbine and Achillea which look like they also spread. 

Then the white verbena will have a little spot here as well.  These are the ones that look dead right now but I'm fairly certain it's just because they are a spring blossom and it's already past spring here in Indiana.  

I will probably get a few more things before the nice weather goes away but I want this side just overflowing with color. I think it’s going to be so pretty.  

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