23 April 2014

From Gruesome to Garden

Well, maybe not just yet...

After this winter's tree removal and sewer pipe excavation, it's time to create a viable backyard garden within our gargantuan privacy fence.

Between us both, you could fill one side of an index card with our horticultural knowledge. We've only been marginally lucky with keeping alive our dozen houseplants. That said, houseplants are generally free*

Whereas garden plants cost money. In undertaking the spring/summer garden we enlisted the help of my sister, a master gardener and a budding expert in local and edible plant species. She made a rough sketch and list of plants for me (that I entirely ignored) before embarking on the overhaul.

Item 1: Regrade the entire lawn. This was necessary because of our perpetually moist basement. It took an entire Saturday of work from me, and unsuspecting house guest, and one half of J&J Contracting to regrade and move the 64(linear) feet of earth. Result, dry basement and a good looking patch of earth.

Item Two: Mix in fertile soil with the hardscrabble clay unearthed by the plumbing work. This was relatively easy. Once we moved the top half of the yard to the bottom, the earth was sufficiently mixed up.

Item Three: Buy and Plant. Obviously, some of that has been done.

Item Four: Plant good ground cover. This has been a tricky one of me, since I vacillate between good ole grass and something sexier. The internet has offered my ideas about hearty, low-growing plants that either flower or offer a unique look. This week, I ordered two pounds of seeds to try out --white clover and creeping wild thyme. Both flower, and both are tough enough to walk on. As the grass is determined to stay, we shall see what the end product looks like once planted.

Gazebo goes all the way back...
Surprise Item Five: Get a Gazebo. When we moved from our last apartment, we vowed to build a great garden gazebo for working from home, reading, impromptu dinners, and whatever else. I almost forgot about it because of the crazy house stuff that's happened since xmas. But we're back on track and the structure will be built next weekend.

* House plants are wonderful gifts and great to share when it's time to separate overgrown specimens.