Sunday, March 28, 2010

Springing into action

When we purchased our home, we lucked into an amazing garden area along the side of our house. It hadn't been tended to in over two years, so it was very overgrown. So much so, that there were weeds taller than our first floor windows! The first spring we lived here, we had a local nursery come in and clear the place out and it was magical to watch everything come up that spring and summer. Turns out we had an herb garden, GORGEOUS peonies along the side of the house, a mini-field of day lilies and a few drop-dead beautiful iris'.

We also had one, sad little hydrangea bush that was dying. Hydrangea's are my favorite flower; I carried them at our wedding. And New England is the perfect place to raise for Christmas this year, Little G and his daddy gifted me with a hydrangea plant (to be picked out and planted once the weather got a bit warmer).

So, on Sunday we headed to the nursery and picked out a really nice hydrangea and brought it back to the house to plant it.

We decided on this sunny spot for the hydrangea. The slightly raised area is home to those two iris' and to some lemon mint and a little-rose-vine-that-could that actually survived all of the construction from two winter's ago (the large, ceramic planter has since been cleared out and soon it will hold some pansies):

I should also point out that the brick pathway, while not perfect, is oddly sentimental to me as we laid it last spring around this time (yeah, 4.5 months pregnant) to connect where the new deck stairs came down with the mini-brick path that had been in place since we moved in and randomly led to nowhere.

Next to our driveway, right next to the dead hydrangea, there were two additional peony plants that always got damaged by the heat of our car. The space where they were growing gets great sunlight though, so we decided to move our compost bin there and move the peonies up to round out the area where the new hydrangea will go:

Here's a quick picture of our back yard and you can see way up in the corner by the hedge is an area that the nursery cleared out for me when they sodded last July so I could have a vegetable garden this summer. We were keeping our recycling can and compost there, so that's why they had to move to where the peonies were which is why they had to move to where the hydrangea is going. Are you following this? I'm not...sorry these pics are in such a random order and I am failing to explain all of this adequately.

Oh, and a quick look under our deck...if you look really, reaaaaaaally closely you can see our job foreman keeping close watch on us while we do our job:

Oh yeah...remember that veggie garden I was yammering about? Here's some of our materials to make our raised bed for that area thanks to some wonderful advice from Anita over at Pink Thumb. (not sure what the concrete is for, but you can rest assured it isn't for some crazy raised bed building, it just wanted to be in the picture):

Yeah...and here's our foreman. He was pretty dissatisfied with our performance today as is evidenced by his cranky-puss face:

Anyway, we got to work placing our plants with some pavers as stand ins and then dug up some holes for the peonies. Then we added some water to the bottom of the holes and poured in a mixture of peat and compost to make a very wet mud:

Then we dug up the peonies and planted them in the holes and back filled them with more of the peat/compost mixture. Here's my husband placing the second peony in the second hole:

The foreman started to get super whiny, so we brought out a better perch for him to supervise us from:

Then we dug a super big hole for the hydrangea plant and did the same thing with the water and mud and placing the plant in and back filling with peat/compost:

And here it is...our newly planted hydrangea with the two iris' up front and two peonies rounding out the rear:

Of course, then the foreman REALLY got cranky pants so I picked him up and carried him in our Lillebaby (like an Ergo but your kid can face forward too) to get a better view of our work:

But I didn't mind because that left the not-so-pleasant job of moving the compost pile up to my husband...he did a super great job:

So here's a bird's eye view of our newly planted hydrangea:

And a glimpse over to the rest of the garden alongside the house. Our super, crazy-go-nuts awesome peony plants thrive in the area just to the right of the house over on the left of the photo, so I am excited to see them grow in the new planter box as well:

The new compost area on one side of the driveway and my space for vegetable gardening on the other:

By this time the foreman decided he needed a nap, so we banged out another project while he was indisposed...we oiled up our teak table...sadly I only have a before shot, but you should know that it looks much better now:

Next week we're on to vegetable garden raised bed building!!

What were you up to this weekend?


  1. Wow! That looks great! We started on our garden last month (granted, I live in Louisiana) and we are so excited to see our hydrangea bouncing back from the wnter! :)

  2. Your yard and garden are so beautiful! I can't wait to see what it looks like when all the flowers are blooming :)

  3. SO JEALOUS!! I have zero yard or garden space here in NYC and I loved seeing your space! I'm coming over for a BBQ! LOL

  4. Oh, I have garden envy! Everything looks great :) & Little G is such a cutie pie!!

  5. Miriam,

    Everything looks fantastic! You guys did a great job with all of it. Btw, you can divide that Iris up (now or wait till the Fall). You can make a "ring" of Irises and then it will fill in and create a bigger, fuller bundle of Irises next year. Don't be surprised if your Peonies don't bloom this year. I love your brick path and your yard!