A small garden "jump start" for spring

I'm living in a construction zone. Nearly two weeks ago a landscape crew, from Joy Creek Nursery, arrived on Monday to begin the renovation of the seven-year-old garden in the front of our home. Word was that our place was to be on a garden tour this summer for a regional landscape designer association conference and some changes needed to implemented. Some major pruning took place and the lawn was totally removed. The next day it snowed five inches and the ground was frozen solid. Thankfully most of the 700+ bulbs planted in the garden haven't noticed the weather much.

Last week a contractor was here all week sheetrocking, plastering and finishing the wall in our bedroom where Ed and I had installed French doors out to our new garden in the back (which was unveiled last summer). The deck is still to built for the hot tub and cafe table. I need to get in gear and order the wood mini-blinds, paint the bedroom and reconfigure the layout of all the furniture in the room.

This week the Joy Creek crew is again here and all the neighbors are wondering what the hell is going on. The garden cleanup has been fairly drastic. The old, woody lavenders (which were taking over the sidewalk) have been removed and will be replaced with new plantings. A new tumbled paver patio is now being installed where the lawn once was. Large flagstone steps will connect the patio with the driveway and the steps to the sidewalk. With the mature plantings blocking the view from the street, the patio will be another great place to sit and privately visit with guests. I plan to accesorize it with large pots of plants, a couple great Adirondack chairs and a table. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, we also learned that our garden will not be toured until the summer 2008 conference.

The garden in the back is getting a major cleanup as well. A sick, damaged lilac was removed. A huge, old rhododendron was taken to its new home among others in the 4.5 acres of show gardens at Joy Creek. The squirrels are ticked off because the pink dogwood has been pruned - making their jump from the garage roof to the tree to the roof of the house a bit of a challenge. In the past the route has been a squirrel highway.

The planning of Ed's outdoor kitchen area is on the fast track as the crew will be here most of next week. All the plantings have been pulled out of the area, exposing part of the house we've never seen before, and we need to formulate a plan in the next couple of days. A "parking area" needs to be designed for Ed's manly stainless steel barbeque - commonly known as "The Penis Extender." We also must consider the installation of an outdoor sink and electrical. With the new kitchen area comes the planning for additional planting beds and a garden water feature.

Over the next ten days, lots of changes will be taking place. Then, upon return from a vacation, it will be time for my gardening passion to kick it - after all, it is my job to "make things pretty." I look forward to working with the existing plants, as I add new annuals and perennials to the mix. (The previous plantings are mentioned in bLog-oMotives entries here and here.) The new additions should include some interesting plants as we continue to serve as a Joy Creek test garden. I'll post some "after" images later.

Of course, all of this work creates additional projects for me. I now need to rid the yard of all cyclone fencing, and design new gates for the side of the house and the driveway. It's always something...

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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