Sunday, February 17, 2013

Clueless Landscaping

I was originally planning to write about cooking with tofu, but I spent a lot of time landscaping this week, so I thought it would be better to do a homeowner post about landscaping.

I know almost nothing about landscaping.  As a kid, we had a garden and we planted some trees.  As a teenager, I mowed the lawn.  That experience is about my extent with gardening and landscaping.  As an adult, I have lived in apartments and have rented houses, none requiring me to do any landscaping beyond mowing.  I have also had a few plants, but they generally die relatively quickly (as opposed to my pets, who usually live very, very long lives).

Now, we have a house, and we have to do the landscaping ourselves.  Luckily, my mom was willing to assist us in landscaping the front yard.  She flew down from VA, and she basically guided us through the whole process.  Before she arrived, we discussed plants and I sent her some pictures of our front yard.  She thought about plants that might work for us, and we went over it more when she arrived.  Next, we went to a couple local nurseries and looked at plants that were immediately available in our area.

We ended up picking gardenias (white flowers) and azaleas (red flowers).  We put the gardenias on the sides and the azaleas in the middle.  We also picked out an assortment of flowers for a flower bed in the front yard.

I didn't realize planting required so many steps.  I thought you pretty much dug a hole in the ground, tossed in the plant, put the dirt back around it, and watered it.  Of course, I did want to add edging and some mulch.  I learned that you have to prepare the bed, buy special fertilizers, and get landscaping cloth, among many other lessons and tips.

I'm not going to boor anyone with a full step-by-step explanation of everything we did.  Instead, I will show before and after pics.  Well, actually, they will be before and midway pics.  We were going to use landscape timbers, but we learned that these timbers are a termite's dream in Florida.  Now, I'm planning on doing a brick-like edging.  I hope to have it completed next week.


2/3 of the way through:

 (It was so sunny that I had trouble taking the mid way pics.  I hope to have better ones to put up for the finished product post.)

If anyone has questions about the process, I will gladly answer them.  I learned a lot, and I feel fairly certain that I will know how to properly plant things in the future, or that I will be able to figure it out with a little help.

As you can see the front yard looks soooo much better.  There is still a bit of a weed problem.  We plan on correcting it and adding some sod in the next couple of months.  When we removed the sod for the planting bed, we moved it to the bald spot, but we definitely need more sod.

I really appreciate my mom's help this weekend.  She was a great help, and I had a lot of fun planning and planting with her.

I must give a shout out/praise to my wonderful, sweet husband, who got me my favorite flowers for Valentine's Day.  He knows that I love blue irises, and he sometimes gets them for me for special occasions.  I  wasn't expecting them, and they really brightened my day.

I planted some iris bulbs in my new flower garden, so I will hopefully have more of these beautiful flowers later this year.   :)

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