Working Outside the Box

Today we concentrated on working outside in the yard. Shayne ripped out 2 shrubs in front, and my mom and I worked on pruning the bushes, weeding and rearranging the WAY overgrown flowerbeds, and planting a few new flowers. I don't really have any before pictures, but these in-progress pictures show a HUGE improvement.

When we started, the flowerbed by the air conditioner was completely taken over by mint. It was everywhere. Think seaweed, but on land. As we started ripping it out, we found that there were 3 different varieties, plus some chives and a lily hidden inside it. We also found this little guy, which made us happy, since we are planning on putting in a small pond in a year or so. I know he's a toad and not a frog, so we probably wouldn't see them much except at mating time, but it's still nice to know that we have amphibious critters around.

On the side of the house, we ripped out lots of coreopsis, which had really taken over. We saved only 1 patch, but I'm sure we'll get plenty back next spring. We also found some gloriosa daises and a Shasta daisy, which we separated from the coreopsis. An echinacea and an ornamental grass were also liberated. Hiding under all of the crazy plants were 8 12" patio blocks. I moved those near the water faucet, and we put the hose on them instead of in the dirt. Then we ripped out more grass and pruned the shrubs bordering our neighbor's fence. All in all, we worked for about 6 hours, so that should give you an idea of how bad things were before.

Tomorrow we'll be tackling the remaining 2 shrubs, as well as putting in a very low retaining wall. The grass is pretty aggressive, and I don't want to have to pull it out of the flowerbeds again next year. I may also weed the former vegetable garden. I'd really like to do something with the flower bed bordering our neighbor's fence, but there is too much grass and raspberry thicket to mess with it now. Maybe in the fall or next spring, when I can actually see in there to work.

As for now, I'm going to take a well-deserved (and much-needed) bath.

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