I’m sitting on the couch with wine in hand & a pillow under my achy hip, thinking, “Someday I will remember to take proper ‘before’ pictures.”
But today will not be that day. See, there’s an unhealthy intersection between ADHD hyper-focus brain & a hyper-mobile body, and I live in that intersection when I have lots of outdoor projects & only so many good spring days in which to complete them.
I keep forgetting about documentation until I am too sore, shaky-handed, and covered in muck to snap pics. Ibuprofen & hot shower always win.
ANYWAY. I do have a few pics at the bottom, if that’s what you’ve come to see.
The new yard is coming along. All the beds I’m going to dig are dug, except…okay, all the beds I’m going to dig for a while are dug…okay SOME BEDS ARE DUG AND I HAVE PLANS, ALL RIGHT?
Ahem. This yard wasn’t exactly a blank slate. A blank of bare soil would’ve been easier. The drainage in the back is abysmal because the soil is…not alive. It’s dead substrate. So. I can fix it, but it isn’t easy to work with dead clay that’s been overdosed with chemicals & compacted until it’s rock-hard. Complicating matters, that clay is beneath massively root-bound turf grass or scrappy invasive plants, depending on whether I’m working in the “lawn” or the “flowerbeds.” Turning this into proper prairie loam will be A Big Project.
Good thing I love big projects.
What’s been completed so far? LOTS. All the rusty, ugly steel edging that had stopped holding in bricks years ago but hung around as a horrible tripping hazard? ALL OUT. Mulch is down on the beds that most need it, the summer bulbs I planted have all popped up, a few seedling veggies are in (more on that later) lettuces have sprouted, & hope seeds have been scattered.
What are hope seeds, you ask? Hope seeds are packets of assorted annual flowers I buy every year because I don’t have the patience to start seeds indoors but cannot resist a seed packet display. Every year I buy a selection, throw them into mulched perennial beds & wait to see if any sprout & survive.
Something always does. I get little midsummer happy surprises when they make their appearances long after I’ve forgotten I planted them. (No, I never mistake them for weeds. I know my plantses.)
I have also established a great big mulching zone under the back bird feeder, where the dying spruce used to be. All the dug-up bits I remove from other beds get dumped on the stump shreds & surrounding sad lawn area. It’s a big ol’ mess of hard turf hunks, chunks of uprooted hosta, bits of leftover holiday greenery, twigs & leaves that blow in from other people’s yards, potting soil sweepings, weeds pulled from the lawn… pretty much everything plantish is getting tossed there.
In due time bugs & bacteria & sun & rain will work their wonders on it and it will become topsoil. It isn’t…pretty…but it has a wholesome “nature at work” look. Plus the birbs & squirbs love it because there’s cover & nooks & crannies full of insects for them.
And! We had a hard freeze last night, but at least one of my l’il tomatoes, two of the basils and two of the chili pepper seedlings have survived. This pleases me to pieces. I’ll wait a few days & see if any new growth sprouts from the others before giving up on them. Roots are resilient.
If not, oh, well. I knew planting early was a gamble, and I also figured this was my easy chance to evaluate this yard’s microclimes. I tested several different types of coverage in different locations, and…now I know! So that was fun.
Here be the pics. They don’t show much…but each one represents a LOT of sweaty work. (They also get bigger if you click on them.)
There are many little green things in all those shots, but they aren’t showy yet. Not like the spring bulbs up front. Those are just lovely. Here they are again:
My right wrist, elbow, & foot, AND my left leg from the lower back down to the toes all hate me with a fulsome, fierce, and all-consuming hatred today, but that is a price I am willing to pay for feeling Very Much Accomplished. Fair value. A bargain, even.
Lots yet to do. The planter tubs will move into that bed by the driveway, (and I may need new annuals for them…) I want more mulch there, I need to reset all that flagstone so it’s about level with the concrete, I have a big list of perennials & veggies to buy — I have the right kind of sunny zones to plant cucumbers here! I could let pumpkin plants nest in the back mulch zone — and then I’ll have to dig holes for all of them… So. Many Ideas!
But there it is. For now, yard update complete.