Friday, June 04, 2010

Carving gardens

This year's late spring project was to paint the deck, which I've blogged about before.

This photo below shall we say is; the "BEFORE" photo.

It's the photo where three of my "butterfly bushes" were removed from their pots and transplanted into the ground, in haste as winter approached.

It looks as though two of the three are still okay. I'm waiting though and hoping the third sprouts soon later bloomers anyway so there is a bit of time to wait yet.


While making our plans for this garden carving project, we first sought the advice of a local garden center landscaper, mostly for removing those huge trees out of the front garden bed.

After showing him this area near the deck, he suggested a few things and really presented a great case over why we should hire him and his services.

Together my husband and I walked along the are and designed what we would like to see here.

The overall plan was to remove and transplant all those shrubs and bushes from the front garden beds which were overgrown and in dire need of new homes.

When disclosing this plan to the gardener guy, I knew he wasn't for me when he tried to upsell me into purchasing all new plants for the back beds and fairly much just throw away what was in front. Um. NO!

And his fee for upsold plants and labor? About seven grand! Um. No again!


"Using what we have" soon became our motto.

I'm pleased to report all of these garden beds was a successful usage of that motto, all plants and shrubs came from the front, dug out and hauled there by myself, and not one cent was spent to acquire this new garden area. Not one.

Additional triple mix soil was leftover in a mound nearby to use, extra from an overestimation of what we would require for moving the trees from the front. Bonus!

Our sons were the mainstay operation of removing the sod, and assisting me in digging the holes for transplanting each plant - all 22 of them!

Daughters assisted where they were able. Have I mentioned how fabulously blessed with are with individuals family members pulling together and working as a team here? So blessed!

The photos do not do the area justice, mostly as after transplanting all of these shrubs and bushes, I chopped them back real good to allow for less shock, all but three that is which I only chopped after the photos were snapped.

(A few more plants are in these gardens since this was taken)

Our timing for this project became a bit frustrating, not only for the sense of working in the full sun due to avoiding the freshly hatched mosquitoes, but because we didn't have a huge time frame when all were present to work on task each day, thus spreading it out over almost a week.

Eventually we removed the "BIG GUY" from storage and replaced the mosquito bait to attract them over for zapping.

And then, we found a natural insect alternative, something all powerful and so stinky - super garlic concentrate!


Wow! Open up this container and take a whiff and I swear you will have nothing living near you for a very long time! Even mosquitoes hate garlic right, blood sucker villains that they tend to be.

Handy for garlic spraying

I decided to refill an empty plant (water spraying) fertilizer container and sprayed away all those areas I wanted to be protected while working around.

As with all gardening, all smaller touches came with the package, floral planting in pots on the deck, hanging baskets, decor items, and the return of our green tent/canopy.

We figured last year was the last we would see of the canopy, a mainstay on our back deck for nine years or so now.

With the strong tornado winds in our former home, it had a few shredded tears on the bottom edge, and duct-tape was our best friend for keeping it all together to secure it tightly.


The sun has faded the canopy to a shade of green almost comparable to the deck stain coloring, how funny to see how well it matches our new paint job.

With our motto of "using what we have", we had one large concrete slab leftover from the building of our deck, now placed as the grand step outward toward the back of the property, even if only temporarily, we used it for now.

A grand load of bark mulch (our only expense) will soon appear (we all needed a break for a bit) and wheelbarrow movements will be in action to complete this entire garden carving and creation project.

Feeding time, indoors and out

And while we await the momentous occasion for more sweat grinding work, (smile), we will again "use what we already have" for fertilizer and feed these new florals as best we can.

My husband is at peace especially now knowing this is all done, and summer is only about small maintenance around our property. He can enjoy the shade of our little deck for a bit yet until the humidity becomes too thick, some days of course much better than others for him outdoors.

Those wonderful eastern summer storms... well, they will come and go, so here's hoping all will take root and remain healthy, growing and flourishing well over the months to come.