It’s snowing. Very lightly, now. It will stop and turn to rain later this afternoon. A pleasant, gray, dreary day. My favorite. I’m a winter gal and love to be tucked away with bad weather outside. I do myself a zen.
Got several projects to work on. I started altering a pair of jeans yesterday; put a dart in the waistband and took them in a scant half inch. Possum was in a mood yesterday, and highly energetic so I couldn’t just sit down and finish the project, I have high hopes today will be a good project day; hope springs eternal and all that. This morning, after the novelty of chasing snowflakes wore off, he wanted to come back inside and sleep. He has a rib bone from last night’s dinner…he’s so little the bone looks like a Fred Flintstone brontosaurus rib on him!…he seems content enough to just gnaw on that, so maybe *fingers crossed* I can finish the jeans. I have 2 pair to alter like that.
And there’s the pegboard frame I could finish. Son just left to run errands so I could get out there and paint the backside of the pegboard what with his truck out of the garage. I’m still planning on crackling antique white over the gray, but need temps of 55 degrees, at least. So, either bring it indoors to finish that and fight Possum to keep him off it or wait. Since points are given for degree of difficulty…I’ll bring it indoors and fight to keep Possum off. Also, I’m not a patient person. I want to see the pegboard up and in place.
I’m doing the backyard this summer. Turning it into a traditional English Country garden, I am. I’ve been very unhappy with my backyard for a few years now, when it was *the* place in my house I loved to hang out in. The house was built with an odd…geometrical curbing design around it in a wavy, curvy pattern and then filled with rocks. I hate the rocks like poison. Always did but the builder has done that to all the houses here so meh, what are ya gonna do. The wavy, curvy outline extended in the back to surround the septic system, and when we bought, there were 6 gorgeous, large willow bushes planted around the septic curbing. The bushes also provided some privacy for the back patio. I could sit out there and drink my coffee in the mornings in my pajamas and…I loved that.
Right up to the time the septic company came out and recommended I remove the one and only part of my landscape that I loved, because the roots were growing into the septic system. Can I just ask…what kind of a professional landscape gardener plants bushes with a prolific root system around a septic tank??? Further…in regards to the landscaping in general…to me, it looks like this guy loaded a bunch of plants on the back of his truck, drove around the house kicking them off and wherever they landed, that’s where they went into the dirt. There is *NO* rhyme or reason to the planting. There’s no design, there’s no outlines or focal points, it’s just a random, chaotic mess. AND ANOTHER THING…these are some of the ugliest bushes I have ever seen. The only other place I have ever seen any of the bushes that were used to landscape my house is in commercial parking lots. Walmarts, Lowe’s, Home Depots…..strip malls…
Two of the trees are dead. Now look, it may seem that I’m grousing and bitter about all this but secretly? I’m not. I have longed to do the English Country garden for years now. I tried it when we bought our first house in Tampa, FL but Florida is really just a sandbar. I couldn’t get anything to grow there. Then in Maryland, we bought a townhouse and didn’t have a yard. There was a very small postage stamp of a a bit of green right outside our door but it really belonged to the HOA and was professionally maintained. We weren’t allowed to plant anything.
This is my first yard. And I’ve been chomping at the bit to do it. So really, even though it cost me the willow bushes, and 2 dead trees, this is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. My husband (I still have not come up with a suitable pseudonym for him here) would never, ever, ever have let me start ripping up healthy landscaping, because thousands of dollars, on my own, on a whim. Pulling the willow bushes out, though, left a huge ugly spot in the back. The rocks were still there and they soaked up the sun all day, making the back patios just unbearably hot in the evenings. I had those moved out and I replaced the rocks with red mulch. Huge mistake. The mulch didn’t get hot like the rocks, but it’s not pretty. It’s pretty horrifically ugly. I think because the area is too big. Mulch is good for a smaller area and as an accent, not a focal point. I started buying up large planters and filling them with flowers. A good start…I started playing around with color schemes, such as, last year I planted pinks and purples. But just that shape of the curbing around the septic area…I simply could not envision a plan and everything I did looked amaterish and uglier than before. Here…this is what I’m talking about:
In the back where it extends out, that’s the area over the septic. Those 2 rows of bushes in a V-shape, those are the bushes that had to go. And there’s nothing that can be done with that shape that will restore my backyard for me.
This is me trying to do something within the existing shape of backyard curbing. I planted Honeysuckle into half barrels and was hoping they’d grow to cover the trellis. Honeysuckle also have a very invasive root system, hence the barrel to contain. But they never did grow as full as I would have liked them to. The hummingbirds, however, LOVED them! I had hummingbirds all day every day.
Enter, Sean King’s Landscaping. The fella who sprays my yard recommended this young man and I am really taken with him. We hit it off right from the get-go. Sean walked into the backyard and his first comment was “Let’s remove the curbing and change the shape completely.”
I was gobsmacked. …change the shape….get rid of the extended nipple and…do something different. The answer was right there in front of me all this time…I just couldn’t see it…but now, I see everything!! I can see the garden I want. Imagine…what I can do…if I can remove the limits of the existing curbing…!!
Here was my sketch to Sean:
Sean’s sketch back to me:
I’m so very, very excited about this. Sean is coming over tomorrow with his wife to measure and talk more about the project. I should probably be prepared to write him a check.
I ordered these 2 garden statues for it:
Love gargoyles in a garden. So, I spend time in the evenings looking at online nurseries for the flowers I’d like to have. I’m going to go with traditional English Country garden plants at first. Traditionally, everything in an English garden had a purpose. The peasantry couldn’t afford the seed or real estate to devote to purely ornamental plants. So every plant was either food or medicine. And for right now, but subject to change, I’m looking at a blue and purple theme…and herbs interplanted with the flowers.
Ok. That’s kinda it for now. Possum is sound asleep curled up next to me. I almost hate to get up and disturb him but I got things what needs doing so, sorry, Possum, you’re going to have to deal.