My Own Garden

Over the last few weeks my neighbor Steve, who is a landscaper and pond builder extraordinaire, has been working on replacing the upstairs deck off my bedroom and my front yard.  My objective was to have a very low maintenance garden instead of the monster bush and crabgrass field that had taken over my small domain.

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It has to be very easy to care for because my plant skills blow and I have little to no interest in getting dirty.  Here is my little front yard with the monster bush already removed and the upper deck already replaced (but the wood underneath has not yet been stained and  you can see I still need to have the sagging siding nailed back up).

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I went back through my photos to try to find one with the monster bush still showing but I never took  a picture of the front view.  But from the inside, there is this photo of Sass and Nekoa from August 2011 showing how high up into the window the monster bush went.

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[Edit] Found this image from Google Maps dated September 2007.    Steve’s front yard looks so different now, this doesn’t even have his maple tree showing.  But you can see Monster Bush in his earlier years.

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Steve took some of the leftover composite boards from my bedroom deck and built the little tiny deck between his house and mine to cover up where some wires and cables go into the house.  This way if we have to get to them the floor of the little deck can be lifted up for access.  He has also started to put down some stones.

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Each day I came home from work another pile of stones has gone up.  The heat has been so bad around here that he is only working in the morning when this area is in shade.

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A few more rock piles up and the railing has been erected.  The monster bush, if you can picture it, came out about six inches more from where that front step hits the ground, and was so tall that it was about a couple of feet higher then the brick wall – so basically I got barely any light in the living room outside of the very short period when the sun was at the right angle – about 30 minutes worth in the late afternoon.

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Now we have the border on the front corner in place.  That big pile of rocks in front of the far terrace isn’t permanent, he just moved the rest of what I had from the back driveway to out front.

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Now the far side border has been put in where my yard hits his yard.  Steve has a wonderful woody theme going on with a fish pond and waterfall and trees and all sorts of jungle plants in his front yard.  I wanted much less foliage and more open space for mine, but we wanted it to not be too abrupt a transition.

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A lot got done this day!  Some stepping stones put in place, some weed barriers laid down, and the leftover rocks have been spread out along the far end with some smaller rocks against the edging, easing the transition between his yard and mine.  At this point he told me it was time to go buy some plants and mulch.

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Let me tell you, Home Depot was making a fortune off me between the wood and the decking and the railing for the deck and the rocks themselves, and now back we go for flowers.

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I really like the rock piles but I’m having some trouble at this point trying to visualize the final look.  I love the way the rocks are sliding down into the corner at the right side though.

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Home Depot was having a sale on perennials!  How convenient!  I didn’t go overboard because I wanted to start out relatively sparse and then fill in later.  I also want to put a bunch of iris bulbs in the back by the wall itself and maybe some low lying ground cover in the front.  The iris won’t go in until the fall though, that’s apparently bulb planting time.

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All of these are supposed to be good in sun and very hardy.  My dirt is apparently worn out from the monster bush sucking all the nutrients out, but Steve says he will fill the holes he digs for them with good stuff and the ground will get nourished if I water it and feed it regularly.

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There are some lavender, and daisies, and day lilies and some I don’t remember what they were called.  I’m not a good plant mommy, I forgot their names the minute the pots got thrown out.

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Didn’t it turn out absolutely gorgeous!  Mulch rocks!

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I’m just pleased as all get out.  But I must admit, the stench of manure seeping into my living room doesn’t thrill me Smile

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We are going to put in some hostas in front of the little porch where the hose is sitting, to fill that area with green and hide it, but Steve wants to pull out his little fence and the bamboo stuff he’s got growing there first.

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I am so happy with how it turned out.  Now I just have to try to not kill them with my ever-so-not-green thumb.

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26 Responses to My Own Garden

  1. It’s beautiful now; It’s going to be gorgeous next year!

    • Wazeau says:

      I hope so, I have so little gardening experience I afraid I’ll kill it. But if I can get my own irises in the spring I’ll be thrilled, they are my favorite flower.

  2. animalartist says:

    Looking very nice! Now you’ll have something to look forward to when you go out that door.

  3. catfromhell says:

    I LOVE your garden! That was incredible and your neighbor has done a wonderful job! I Love the transition and showing us the steps. Thanks so much for sharing.
    Nellie’s Mom

    • Wazeau says:

      I think he did a wonderful job. Of course it took longer and cost more then I thought it would but the final outcome made it all worth while. I’m so happy I got pictures along the way, I just wish I had the “starter” picture showing the Monster Bush owning my front yard.

  4. Patricia says:

    Looks great! What a lot of hard work…

  5. minlit says:

    looks fantastic!

  6. lemniscate47 says:

    Hi, Waseau, Love your new garden. I bet you were surprised by how big it looked without the giant bush. Removing that n it’s biggest roots, in itself, will have been a massive job. Your neighbour definitely has a good eye, as long as you help those shrubs along for their first year or so, they will root in n mostly find their own water.. only needing help in extreme temps. The rock effect was not the easiest route to take, by any means, but will age in Beautifully with your shrubs as they grow. It might look a little sparse now, especially after spending what an expert eye can see will have been a big investment, but that is only to be expected. Your neighbour could have fudged n put in some flounce to fill the gaps just now.. but they would have needed a lot of attention n supervision in the here n now.. n have to be dealt with later.. which you didn’t want.
    With just a little attention for the next year or two, which cannot be avoided, you will be surprised with the result. He did a good job for you, didn’t he, on the desert you had left after the big bush had done it’s worst.
    I really enjoyed watching the transition, Was. Thank You.
    p.s. I hope Steve’s presence next door ‘Shames’ you into coming out to water those poor little tykes!! xxx Love to You All xxx

    • Wazeau says:

      It took forever to get the monster bush out – there were actually three shrubs all grown together which they had to axe out. Getting the stumps out were even worse, they were so deeply embedded. He showed me some of the cable they attached to the pickup truck when they were trying to tow them out and my bush won those battles! That was the hardest part of the whole project.

      I am just thrilled with the finished job and taking care of it is going to be a fun competition with Steve – he has already watered it before I’ve even woke up while he does his own yard. And he has told me he already bought some bulb he wants to put in and cut some hostas – he is like a proud pappa of my garden :)

      • lemniscate47 says:

        Just what you need!!! After spending years working n pottering about in gardens, I find it extraordinary that the garden comes way down on the list of ‘Things to do as soon as I can do Them’. Even basic watering has become a chore, rather than a pleasure. Bloomin’ fibromyalgia1!! Grrr!!

  7. Steve’s quite the landscape artist! It was hard to imagine his “vision” at first but it turned out wonderfully well……those plants will grow and fill in with time and if you like it NOW – imagine in a year or two how incredibly pretty it will be. Watering it well when it needs it will be the key – I bet Steve will help you keep it lookin’ good after all the work he put into it !

    Pam (and Sam)

    • Wazeau says:

      Its a race who gets to water it first! He has done work up and down my street – he is the acknowledged ruler of all things landscaping around here. And yes, living right next door to him will have its perks as “letting go” isn’t really in his vocabulary.

  8. Oldcat says:

    Some “window” planters hanging off of that porch wall would break up that kind of severe wall, especially if you put plants that dangle out and down from there. They’d be easy to get to as well.

    • Wazeau says:

      Exactly what we were thinking! Either some kind of ivy growing up, or hanging down. Since I want to put some iris back there (and they grow tall apparently) I think the hangers down idea will probably win out.

  9. Flo says:

    That looks fantastic. I love seeing what other folk have done with their gardens… mine just kind of ‘is’, given the climate things just grow like stink so it’s a job just keeping on top of maintenance, let alone being able to do any real landscaping. Sigh. Well done you and your neighbour!

    • Wazeau says:

      He did it all, I just wrote the checks – but now its MINE all MINE! I’ve even got bulb and seed catalogs coming in the mail. I have to try to not go nuts over it – I sort of like the sparseness so I won’t have too overwhelming maintenance to do.

  10. Sallyann says:

    It’s wonderful, such a transformation. :-)
    It’s going to be fun learning to look after it but it sounds like you have a really good teacher on hand. :-D

  11. boldbohemian says:

    Very nice!

  12. Pingback: Emerging from the Funk | Wazeau's World

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