Sunday, June 1, 2014

Gardening Work Day

It’s been a few years since I’ve tried to do much for landscaping in the beds that run along the front of the house. Last year we lost the huge bleeding heart plant that was in the corner between the deck and the house, which left it pretty much barren except for the weeds. It was annoying and embarrassing, but I didn’t have the energy or inclination to worry about it. That’s the way it was for all my gardening by mid-summer. I just couldn’t do it, and it was frustrating. Turns out, there was a medical reason I felt so bad, but that’s dealt with and I feel great now. I feel like the fun is back in gardening this year and I’m excited about it!

Jessica was without children on Saturday, and since she’s not working right now, she agreed to come help me with a big project inside the house. I thought I’d have her help me with a small outside project first, which turned into just doing the entire front over the course of the day. I don’t have any before or during pics. Just imagine dirt, weeds, and general boredom.

Three or four years ago I dug out Nick’s old red wagon and planted it with flowers. I’d forgotten how fun it is to have it filled with colorful blooms. In a few weeks you’ll see what I mean when these small bedding plants fill out.


There are some yellow violets and dark purple violets, then lots of blue lobelia which I love. The plant in front of the wagon is three or four years old and I cannot for the life of me remember what it is. It’s a brave and hearty soul, though, as it comes back every year even after I pretty much ignore it and the boys tramp on it during their play. On the left of the plant is a bowling ball covered in rocks, and on the right are some of my rocks from Colorado.

Here’s a shot of that whole side of the front deck:

DSCN7252 The tree is a white magnolia, whatever variety is hardy up here in the North. It was given to me as a birthday gift about 16 years ago. It was a stick in a pot, and we weren’t sure if it would survive the first winter, but it’s obviously thrived. It blooms in the very early spring and the blooms usually always get frozen and/or beaten to death by the wind, but for a day or two it shines with hope that winter will indeed end and Spring is on the horizon. There are columbines to the left of the high chair and a nice hosta to the right. You can see some more of my decorated bowling balls up on the deck in that corner. We cleaned up the sucker branches on the tree and got new mulch down.

Now the other side is a whole lot of real estate that needs some sprucing up:

DSCN7251 Jess pulled all the weeds, which weren’t too many yet, and she dug up some trees from the corner that made her release some frustrations before they came out. We planted a new pink magnolia tree that Silas pick it out about a month ago when it had huge pink blossoms.

We brought over the galvanized tubs from the back porch, and I moved the baker’s rack from the patio. All of it was mulched it looks so much better.

We don’t have much sidewalk out front, but it’s wide and smooth, so that’s where the boys ride their bikes and other vehicles most of the time. Those bikes are always all over the front yard and sidewalk. Now they have a parking area:DSCN7248 I can’t tell you where the “Visitors Parking” sign came from, just that Jess has had it since high school (ahem) and it’s been tucked into a corner of our garage. I think it’s perfect for this spot for now.

Moving on down, there is a galvanized tub and the new magnolia, then the baker’s rack. I have plans for the baker’s rack that will make it much prettier. More on that maybe next week.

DSCN7249The tub is filled with annuals: a lavender, a geranium, some alyssum, and more lobelia. My galvanized tubs are old, snagged at garage sales a long long time ago for $1 each. They are heavy and sturdy and have held up to dirt and plants since I brought them home.

This last spot is a favorite new one of mine and came out just the way I saw it in my mind:

DSCN7250The screen door is very old and missing the bottom edge. It was a gift and I love it! It needs a climber planted at the bottom, and I’m thinking some blue Morning Glories. The rocking chair, too, is very old and was also a gift. The seat is missing so I just tucked a small enamel bowl in that spot. More lobelia, alyssum, and geraniums prettify all of it. Oh, and more Colorado rocks as well. (Colorado holds a special place in my heart since I was born in Denver and some of my favorite cousins live near there.)  

I had only planned to get a start on this outside project yesterday, and was so very happy to actually get it done. No more weeds and embarrassment. Now I can play with it and build a pretty front area for our home. I have lots more fun planned out here. Stay tuned…





  1. It looks beautiful and just perfect for you too. I like all the repurposed planters and of course the parking area :)

    1. Thanks Rhonda - I did think of you when we set up the parking area. I knew you'd appreciate it. :)

  2. Tammy! What hard work you and Jess accomplished! I don't know what my favorite space is. Each picture brought oohs and ahhhs from me. I love the screen door scene, and the visitors parking, and the tubs full of flowers, and the red wagon!!! I can't wait to see the flowers all filled in.

  3. Hi Tammy! It has been so nice to hear from you on my blog. Thanks for your comments and also your thoughts after our loss.

    Love all the work you have done in your front garden. How nice that Jess came and helped you out. And the visitors parking is so comical! You both did a great job and I am looking forward to seeing what you do with the baker's rack.

    Hugs from Holland,
    Heidi...who will be going through and reading more of your blog in the coming dags... :-)


Thanks for sharing!