A more enjoyable aspect of springtime for me has been working in the yard and garden beds. Our front yard has been annoying me for some time. Last year, the burning bushes looked like they were dying, the spirea looked like crud, and I tried to introduce some color by way of salvia, and that did help, but I lost one. I have not liked the juniper-type things in the front and they had grown into one big lump. But the worst part was that three large shrubs were dying on the east side of my house, and I didn't know why. I figured they had some sort of disease, because you could grasp a branch and it would just pull away right at ground level. I found out that the shrubs (viburnum) had become infested with a borer-type pest. That particlar type of virburnum is susceptible to this.
So, I've been cutting in a crisp, new edge around all the front beds, I've gotten rid of the viburnum and with the help of my husband, planted three new Miss Kim lilacs. They are lovely. I also planted three stonecrop, three large hosta, one cotoneaster and three new salvia.
I also brought home twenty-some bags of really, really good mulch and applied it. It looks great. I step out onto my front porch and I feel such a sense of accomplishment, even though there's still more I can do to beautify the front. I've physically worked very hard on it and I will say I've enjoyed it. (I DO, however, have part of a thorn from the Hawthorn tree in my arm. Not sure what I should do about that yet...)
Today, I met with the landscape designer and she presented me with a fabulous plan for our backyard and side of the house, where we have a path leading to our patio. The patio and path are new as of last spring. We have no privacy in our backyard, and no matter what we're doing back there, I really feel like every neighbor is watching. We have great neighbors, but I would like a little privacy! I would like that beautiful new patio to feel a tad enclosed with some plantings. Like an outdoor living space. Wouldn't that be awesome?
The only problem is, it's a big, ambitious plan that would cost over $10,000
Yes, you read that correctly. Over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS
if the nursery did it all.
Of course, I'm already picking apart the plan and trying to determine how much I could do myself. I already know I can't plant the big trees. Heck, I probably won't even be able to plant the junipers. But there is a lot I can do, and I'm willing to rent a sod thrower (not even sure what this is, but I hear you can rent this machine to remove sod) and learn to use it. I'm not afraid. I am woman. I can wield a mighty spade and haul several wheelbarrows full of mulch.
Honestly, I am more sore this week from sitting cross-legged on the carpet and sorting through thousands of Legos to build some Lego Power Miner sets for my son. My older son received these kits a few years ago, and I believe he attempted to build them himself. However, we were probably busy and didn't help him and then all the pieces got tossed in with thousands of other pieces and it's not efficient to build elaborate Lego toys this way. It makes you crazy and bitchy and sore. But I spent about 8 hours on this project this week. And I gotta say, my back hurts like hell. I did not feel sore after all the front yardwork. I was in pain just trying to get out of bed this morning!
As for the Legos, I realized after one entire evening of attempting to find the right pieces and put them together (while Jack kept attempting to walk over me and all my found pieces) that I had to sort the pieces out by color. It's fairly simple to do, just extremely time-consuming. It helped, but I was still missing a few vital and rare pieces. So I went up to my older son's room and started searching through K'Nex containers (I found some weird stuff in those!) and Erector sets, too.
I found some pieces.
I was elated! I was geeky!
I am still amazed I allowed myself to spend so much time on this. But I will admit, I like a challenge.
Here are the finished toys:
Later on, I'll post pics of the prettiest little baby sweater I've ever knitted.