Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is it a Yard or a Garden?

I have always wanted to say "Come see my Garden", but sadly I have always called it my yard.  I don't feel like I can truly call it a Garden until it looks as beautiful as these, or like the Home Depot commercial where she rolls out the garden full of color; that commercial always makes me equally depressed and ambitious.  I barely have the skills to create a nice flower bed, almost 25% of the plants I buy end up not surviving, and I am too cheap to buy the full grown plants that will give me instant gratification (you know - because of all the plants that don't survive because if I lose a $5 plant it's ok but killing a $30 plant is no good).  But I am learning, so I may have a yard with flower beds now, but some day it will be my Garden!!

With Spring just around the corner it is time to start planning the clean-up from Winter and figuring out what needs to be planted/pruned in the coming months.  It seems crazy to start thinking about planting things when it has been so icky out, but early planning is a real time (and pocket) saver.  I will usually wait to plant anything until I see my current plants start to grow.  I do this for 2 reasons: It tells me the area around them is getting enough sun and that the temperature is finally warming up, and it lets me see what has died since last season (and then I know what I need to replace).  This is not how most garden experts tell you to start planting - so don't listen to me, find what works best for you!  As soon as I see plants start going on sale I start looking.  Every time I go to Fred Meyer I have to walk through the garden center...Every Single Time - what if something new went on sale?!? LOL  I would love to have the time and money to go to all of the really awesome nurseries in my area, but I don't have enough of either so I mainly get plants at Home Depot, Fred Meyer and the Johnson's Home & Garden store by my house.  Johnson's has a really great garden center, and they often have things I can't find anywhere else so I go there when I am looking for a special plant.  Just because I can't plant anything yet doesn't mean I don't have a ton of things to do.  Mostly weeding and pruning - but they still need to be done before anything else.  I only have a week or so before I have to head out and get it done, so right now I am making my list of things to do. 

Here's my Front Yard Spring Plan:   
The first thing I did was make a list of all of the "Areas" we needed to conquer in our front yard.  This way I can work on one or two beds each weekend.  We decided it was too much to do all of the necessary yard work in the front and back this year, along with the other projects we have planned to finish this year (Office, Bedroom, Kitchen Cabinets, Fence), so we are doing the front yard this year and the back yard next year.  I have big plans for the backyard, which I talked a little about yesterday.

 Area #1 - Side Bed  6'x20'  

1.   Weed (WHY do weeds still grow in winter - it's so unfair)
2.   Prune small tree
3.   Trim any remaining dead foliage from last year (There were a 
       few things still blooming/green when I did my last clean-up
       before winter)
4.   Prune the roses (umm...and learn to prune roses) 
5.   Plant new spring bulbs and plants
6.   Add plant food
7.   Finish border edge 
8.   Put in mulch/bark 

      Area #2 - Window Bed  6'x8'
  1. Weed 
  2. Prune Weeping Japanese    Maple & Lilac
  3. Design a new support system for the Dahlias
  4. Plant new spring bulbs and plants
  5. Continue the border edge
  6. Put in mulch/bark

Area #3 - Sidewalk Bed  5'x10'

1.   Weed
2.   Prune Rhododendrons & 
3.   Possibly move Rhodies to the
      garage bed - Still undecided
4.   Plant new spring bulbs and    
5.   Add a Water Feature -Maybe
      We still haven't decided
6.   Put in mulch/bark

Area #4 - Garage Bed  4'x8'

1.   Weed
2.   Plant the 3 Rhododendrons - 
3.   Put new soil in with plant food
4.   Put in mulch/bark

It seems like sooo much, but breaking it down really helps me focus and stay on schedule.  I am planning to start the first weekend of March - which is only 4 days away!  Unless there is really bad weather - then I am totally waiting for nicer weather!!  I am hoping to get all of these areas done in a reasonable time frame -maybe by the end of March if the weather holds. 

We do have one last area to complete in the front yard - our Island Bed, which I did not take a picture of.  It will be undergoing a huge transformation this year.  We are still trying to figure out what we want to do with it, so keep an eye out for that post.

Once it is all done we are going to have new sod put in - I am so tired of my moss lawn...

Bring on Spring!!

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