Monday, May 7, 2012

Front Garden Bed: In Progress

Of course, the plants I ordered arrived in the middle of a days-long spell of rain.  The weather broke for two days, and then the rain was supposed to come back for more.  (*it never showed up, figures)

So, believing that we had no time to spare, out to the front yard we went.  
 We'd already planted the existing (freshly-jackhammered) front bed.  It was a bit easier and less time consuming in that we didn't have to tear up any sod.  But it had been complicated in that the hostas and whatnot that were there had to be moved to the back.  
A week or so after planting.  Before the slugs set in :(

I'd envisioned a line of plants skirting the foundation, and so we had to tear up the existing sod and move it to lay the flower bed.  See the bald spots?  Those are where once the tree roots were, before D dug them up and removed them.  

Here are bits that we removed by shovel, before I inevitably hurt my back and D had to take over.  
(the yellow line is a tape measure)

In the process, we unearthed a bit of tree or something.  Here it is, rising up out of the earth like the creature in the movie Tremors.  

"we should call em 'Graboids.' "
 D had to take the axe to it.  Once that was out, we mixed the existing soil with peat and potting soil (they were out of planting soil, oddly enough), aerating it.  

We placed the bits of sod in the back were we have some mysteriously bald earth to cover.  

Maybe it'll thrive here, maybe not.  But no harm done.  

 While we're in the backyard, here are the hostas we moved from the front bed.  They are, incidentally, much healthier than anything we've planted.  I frown at this statement, but its true.
On the top left corner is an astilbe I bought at a church sale last year.  
On the left are two spikey things we also transplanted from the front.  They're healthy too.  Some semper vivum or something?  
Name that plant!
 And now, back to the front.  You can see in the pot on the corner of the concrete porch there.  In there are lilies and an iris that we were given for free at a library book sale in Circleville three years ago.  

 The ladies that ran the sale were desperate to find homes for a bunch of orphaned plants.  If we didn't take them, they said, they'd have to throw them away.  So, because I'm a sucker for a leafy sob story, I took them.  They survived un-planted on an apartment balcony that got about two hours of sun per day.  True, the iris has never bloomed.  But the lilies did, in the plastic planter pack.  And now look at them.  They are the healthiest things out there. 

Well, everyone likes the underdog, don't they?

 And while we're distracted from the work that was going on, I heard a curious rustling in the maple tree behind me. I looked over and saw some of the branches were shaking and quivering.  I watched as a baby robin slowly plopped out of the tree and onto the ground.  Right next to the space where Bobby was chained.

It flopped like a landed fish and I pointed my finger with urgency and got D's attention first with wordless panicked noises, and then I managed, "Baby bird!  Baby bird by Bobby!"  Somehow, our brilliant boy missed the whole thing, from the thud to the flopping, even though it was quite literally right next to him.  D got the dog's attention, and while we held the dog back baby bird proceeded to hop and bounce awkwardly right into the street.  Mama bird screamed avian obscenities at us.  Eventually baby bird hopped under my car in the driveway and the dog was taken inside, and we got back to work.

We don't know if it figured out the whole flight thing, because we never saw it again.  

There were leftover border stones in the garage, that the previous owners didn't use.  Not enough to stretch the length of the front of the house, but close enough that we only have to buy two or three more bricks.  Then, finally, we were able to plant.  To be continued.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What Groundhog?

Once the rain abates, D and I have to immediately drop what we're doing and get outside.  Now that we have a yard, there's a big old list of things that seem to require our attention outside right this minute.  And somethings call for that attention more urgently than others. 

Yeah.  Last year our yard was plagued by a visitor that tore up a healthy tomato plant in two visits.  He was living under the deck, we think.  

That's right, Bobby, you've got him cornered
 So the day we heard from our neighbors that a groundhog had been sighted in our yard, D brought out last year's cage and put a tomato in it.  

The very next day, 

the sent of this ugly fella fairly drove the dog mad.  He wanted so fiercely to play with this thing.  
Not real bright, our Bobby.

The neighbor asked, "did you take it to a park and let it go or something?"  
"Ah... something."  D replied.