Monday, 20 May 2013

Spring gardening

With the beautiful weather this long weekend, I finally had a chance to attack the yard with my little helper.

I didn't bother doing anything with our vegetable garden last year since we were away for the whole summer. And our front yard was torn up and then was basically a dumping ground over the course of the renovation so everything was in really rough shape.

I started out in the back. I should have started a few weeks ago, before the weeds grew as tall as Cal.

When we had the basement excavated last spring, they used the front garden to store the sand that they dug out before loading it into dumpsters to drag it away. While they were here digging, I arrived home one day to discover that my bridal spirea had been yanked from the ground by the bobcat. I was staring dejectedly at it lying all shriveled on the lawn with its bare roots exposed and woman walking her dog stopped to tell me that if I put it back in earth and gave it a really good soaking, that I could probably save it.

I was hoping to put it back in the front garden when they were finished digging in the basement, so I stuck it in some dirt in a recycle bin and left it in the backyard. And there it sat for the next year.

Today I finally got around to putting it in the ground. It's not where it'll be for good, as we need to redo the patio this year, and will change around the garden beds near the house, but at least it's out of the blue box and in the ground. 

 While I was pulling out the weeds I realized what bad shape the raised beds were in. I built the four beds out of cedar while I was off on maternity leave with Matthew. I didn't use pressure treated wood because I planned to use them for my vegetable garden.  I lined the boxes with heavy plastic, but it didn't seem to protect the wood from moisture and they were all rotting and falling to pieces.

I pulled apart the raised beds on the left side of the yard and spread the earth out across the path that was between them. Then I planted the spirea and moved a red current bush from one of the gardens next to the patio.

I still need to remove the raised beds on the other side, but the rear bed is overflowing with raspberry bushes. It was too warm to wear long sleeves and pants today, and I wasn't in the mood to be scratched to bits. That job will have to wait for another day.

After I finished with the vegetable beds I moved out to the front yard.

Almost all of the plants that we had out front were killed over the course of last summer so it was looking really bare. And kind of weedy.

I started out by laying a path using stones from the backyard. Matthew likes to shortcut through the garden to the front door after he walks Tessa in the morning (and drops off the doggy bag in the garbage out back). Boy, were those stones heavy to drag around - I'm going to be sore tomorrow!

I didn't buy any new plants this year since we still have plans to redo the front porch, and are definitely tackling the back patio this summer. I have a lot of perennials out back, so I figure that I'll move them out to the front garden this year, and then can move some of them back after we finish the patio. We can do a complete overhaul of the front next year.

I dragged around a bunch of hostas, a sedum, some irises, and a bleeding heart. I hope that the bleeding heart makes it - it was incredibly wilty after I moved it. Thankfully it's going to rain for the next few days, so the garden will get a good soaking.

I'm still not completely finished, but after spending seven hours at work, I decided it was time to call it quits and pay some attention to something that really matters.

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