First up, repairing and expanding the pea-stone parking area. The snowplow did a number here and I realized it needed to be a bit larger to provide enough parking and turn-around maneuverability. Once this was done, they could bring the whole area (and all around the house, in fact) up to its intended grade. This took 3 large truck loads of topsoil that Bill had been stockpiling for years, as well as 2 truckloads of gravel and 2 more of pea stone. They seeded the lawn areas and put down mulch on the areas that I intended for perennial beds. (I'm not a huge fan of this type of mulch, but it is really necessary to help keep the weeds down until I get all the plants in.) Unfortunately we were in a drought, so I had to haul hoses and sprinklers around to water the grass for a couple of weeks. It came in very nicely, and the renters have all been very understanding of the "work in progress".
|expanding the pea-stone parking area|
|seeding lawn area|
|mulch for future perennial border|
|mulch spread on perennial border, |
future lawn area between it and driveway
Then Todd came with his fence crew and put up the privacy fence behind the patio, between the house and the garage, creating a nice outdoor room. They had quite a challenge, as the underground propane tanks, gas lines and electric lines are also in this area. They had to dig their post holes very carefully, and a couple of them were on ledge, so they had to bring their jack hammer!
|patio area pre-fence|
|bringing in the fence posts|
|jack-hammering a post hole|
|the completed (to be painted) fence|
Once these professionals were done, it was my turn. I had help from UPS, which delivered baby perennials I had ordered from two of my favorite mail order plant outfits. I've created several gardens this way, and though the plants are small when they start out, they are not pot bound, like most nursery-bought plants, and in 3 years they will be the same size as the larger ones purchased from nurseries (and will probably have a healthier root system). No "instant landscaping" for me: you have to use your imagination, but it will be fun to watch the garden grow.
|baby perennials waiting|
|daylilies come bare-root|
|use your imagination, and check back in three years|
Finally, last night we got a good heavy, soaking rain. I had gotten the last of the perennials in yesterday (except the ones that will go right next to the fence; those are waiting until the fence is painted after it weathers a couple of weeks). I reckon I have put in about 250 plants in the last three weeks. I am happiest when I am digging in the dirt!
Hartland Designs, Inc. http://www.hartlanddesignsinc.com/
New England Fence http://www.newenglandfencesite.com/
Bluestone Perennials http://www.bluestoneperennials.com/
Gilbert Wild Daylilies http://www.gilberthwild.com/