Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Horticulturistis Must Hate Me

Still playing catch-up... remember?

Back in the prime of the summer I decided to take on a task -- our "garden" area in the front of the house.

We moved into our place in May and I doubt any yard work other than mowing the lawn took place from when the previous tenants moved out. In fact, I highly doubt the previous tenants did any work out front since it was basically a jungle when I attacked it.

And ATTACK is the correct word.

I must premise by saying I know practically nothing about gardening, pruning, weed pulling, mulching, planting, etc. I can care for house plants. That's about it.

But I decided I wanted to be adventurous because the front of our house was looking awful. Since taking on the challenge I have learned a couple things to hopefully aid in the future.

So, let's take a look, shall we?

This was when we first moved in... it looked much worse by the middle of summer: weeds blossomed, plant shoots took over, stuff started dying... I was embarrassed!

The top of the bush circled in yellow had crazy shoots that covered our house number. I couldn't stand it anymore so I purchased some plant sheers and started hacking away. I'm not sure if there's really a special skill required or if that bush should be cut back at that time of the year, but I didn't care anymore.

My next step? Circled in red. Somebody had planted Creeping Phylox and it had taken over. Within a month or two of moving in the plant was creeping over our sidewalk. The only reason I know its name is because as I ripped out all of that nasty plant (dead and rotting underneath with bugs all over) I discovered its card. I will say that it did have some pretty white flowers in late spring/early summer but not enough for me to want to keep it around.

Now for the purple. I'm not sure what that plant was but the smell bothered me every time I walked out there... so I ripped it all out. It was then I realized that the plant was also in a state of dying so I'm glad it's gone.
Again, this was when we first moved in. There is actually now a TREE that is growing up behind the bright green bushes that reaches to the top of bottom windows.
This is more of the house and you see the orange arrow? I hacked away at that bush too as well as all the other bushes in the front (except the purple arrows). They are all trimmed down and look much cleaner.

And in that caption, there really is a tree growing there. It drives me nuts and I need to get a saw to chop that thing down!

The pruple arrows are pointing to bushes that I'm not sure what to do with. As the summer wore on they didn't look so nice anymore. I have not started cutting them back because I think I have to wait until the winter when they are 'dormant'... I'm not really sure, but I think I'll just wait.

This is what my front currently looks like. A mess I know. And the recent rain and storms don't help show it in the best light.

notice the tree?? and the weeds?!

works still to do!
After pulling all those weeds at least 3 times (those darn things are healthy!) I talked with my mother-in-law when she came to visit and helped me decide on a weed killer to use. Once we dry out in a couple days I plan to get those suckers!

Then, thanks to Pinterest, I learned that laying wet newspaper over the ground prevents weeds from growing. So once I get those weeds under a little more control I will begin phase 2 -- placing the newspaper and placing bulbs.

I know, right?! Me attemtping to grow tulips and daffodils and other such pretty flowers!

I'll have to either cut holes or strategically place the newspaper to allow the plants to come up in the spring.

After that I'm pretty sure I'll have to do more work to adjust the cheap plastic garden barrier.

Then I will cover everything with fresh mulch.

Hopefully I will then be satisfied.

But first I have to get rid of these awful things hiding behind the bushes... for the millionth time!



  1. Good for you! You have a beautiful house by the way . . . I do not have a green thumb, so no advice on that part, except that I think newspaper can be used as a lawn cover/fertilizer. I think. Something to look into. I like the holes in it idea when you plant your tulips. But don't take my advice because I am terrible at gardening . . . lol. I can't wait to see your progress next spring! :)

  2. I apparently have a really hard time proving I'm not a computer hacking your site . . . it always takes me 4 or 5 times to get through your word/number thing . .