Sunday, June 06, 2010

The Flower Bed Saga- Part 1

We did our house hunting in October and November. Which is great if some houses you view don't have electricity. It's easier to take a coat off than to try and get cool. Curb appeal is very important because we gravitate towards things that look nice. When we bought The Edge III, the yards were freshly done with sod, shrubs, and straw. There's not a lot you can do for color in November/December and it all looked fine so we didn't think twice about it.

Wish we had.

When it started warming up, weeds started popping up. I'd constantly walk in the flower beds pulling one here and there trying to stay ahead of the game. Finally, I realized something. Our flower beds sucked. It was the work of cheap labor. Our grass had weeds that were ridiculous and my husband fought them to the bitter end with all kinds of weed killer.

I got sick and was pretty much stuck inside for over a week. The flower beds took full advantage of this and sprouted over night, much to my dismay. When I finally walked outside and looked, I just about deflated right there on the spot because the front of my house had turned into a hot mess. I then decreed that we would start work as soon as possible on what was becoming (in my eyes) a neighborhood eyesore.

Then it rained for two weekends straight.

When we were finally ready for action, we discovered that Spider Town resided in the flower beds and around our foundation. A trip from the exterminator and it was suggested we wait another week for the poison to work since we had an abundance of black widows. I don't know about you, but I was inclined to listen to the fellow.
While we waited on Spider Town to be evacuated, I fretted over how I just knew we had become "that house" in the neighborhood where people would drive by and purse their lips in distaste over the condition of our flower beds. It was a right stressful time, Internets.

We took that time to get a few things done around the house and plan what we were going to do with our Hot Mess Flower Beds.

First chance the weather cleared and worked with us, we were on top of yard work. I deemed it necessary that we would clear out all the nasty straw on Friday and prep for planting on Saturday. I believe some home improvement shows would call this the "demolition phase". Trust me, it was demolition. We were just beyond mad when we finally got the straw up and saw the condition of the shrubs they had put down. The landscapers (and I use the term very loosely) had just dug a small hole, pulled the plant out the pot, and plopped it down. I kid you not. You could just pick the plants and shrubs straight up with no problem. Sorry shoddy cheap work. How these shrubs were able to grow is beyond us.

During the day on Saturday, Makenna wiped her brow and said, "Why don't we just get a landscaper??" I told her that we were going to do the work so we could look at it when it was done and know we worked hard and take pride in our hard work. Shoot, I'm not hiring yard work out until all kids are grown and gone. Until then, there are lessons to be learned!

I now know just how out of shape I really am. I have dug. I have raked. I have hauled mulch. I have drank gallons of gatorade and powerade and water. I have laid on my front lawn like a redneck because I was so flippin' tired.

We aren't quite finished yet. We ordered 6 cubic yards of mulch to be delivered and methinks it might have been a tiny tad bit too much. I have a few ideas left to complete before all the mulch will be gone. We've had some rain that has shown us where we'll have to make the mulch deeper in the flower beds so that's good we have some extra left.

This home ownership deal is wearing me out. I hate yard work. Despise it. But, I've been doing it my whole life. I know my husband appreciates the fact that I'll put on the yard shoes and head right on outside to help even though I hate getting dirty. *Side note: Mama said when I was a young child, if I got my hands dirty, I'd come to her with them upraised exclaiming they were dirty and wanting her to clean them. Smart Little Me.* The only thing I truly can't do is the weed eater. I just don't have the upper body strength for it. I can work a lawn mower (push or riding), a blower, a water hose, and assorted hand tools like nobody's bizness.

So, in keeping with the spirit of being a two part post, here are the before pictures of The Hot Mess Flower Bed.

This is the biggest part in front of the dining room window. The tall shrub was taken out (Lu will be happy as she hates these particular shrubs!) and relocated over to the side of the house near the heating and air units. There was still straw to be raked out after taking this picture. I believe we got around eleven lawn bags full out of the deal. I'm sure the garbage people just loved us that week.

Oh, how this picture makes me cringe. By the time we came in Friday evening, all weeds were gone and we had a plan on where the new plants were going to go. Did I mention we have some hard butt clay kind of dirt? Yeah, that was back breaking work for The Man to try and even it up to a decent level since CLB (Cheap Labor Boys) covered up the holes and such with straw.

I thought the hardest on this corner here. I wanted something pretty but not huge as I didn't want to cover my window. I've driven by many houses where they have a tree or shrub that covers up a window and that makes no sense to me.

Finally got some control over the weeds on this end. Wait til you see what I put here!

The mulch was delivered a week later. This is one dirty kid here, Internets. I discovered that if there is a hill, little boys will climb it. He has thoroughly enjoyed this hill of mulch. He has dug and dug with his little shovel. I told the rest that I have never seen a little guy work so hard and get nothing done with all the digging he has done. We literally have to hose him off when we go in after he finishes playing king of the hill.

So, now you see why I called the front of my house The Hot Mess Flower Beds in all capital letters. I think it fully earned that title. Next post? Working, the flowers, and finished product!


Roni said...

That is a really nice sized bed!! Cant wait to see it done! BTW-you might want to turn some compost into that clay soil. Your new plants will like you for it ;)

Monogram Queen said...

I feel you - we are going on a year at our house and STILL haven't finished up the front.
However it doesn't bother me... much!
From what I can see it will look great when you are finished!!!!

Anonymous said...

The weed block material that they sell at lowes is awesome put it in my garden that was a huge weed growing area haven't seen a weed yet and it's been 4 months.