Outside Renovations

As the weather has warmed up and we have become comfortable with our inside surroundings, we have turned our renovation efforts outside. Landscaping, new garden and the lawn have been our most recent priorities.

Boxwoods serve many purposes but just not in our yard.  At least not in the areas of our yard that we live in.  A front hedge perhaps.  The patio in the back of the house was surrounded by very old boxwoods that could have been cut back.  However, I have a personal aversion to these shrubs – whether it is the smell (similar to cat urine) or the overly traditional appeal I am just not sure.

How best to remove the boxwoods was an adventure.  Our solution was the Subaru.  We love this car.  It performs beautifully no matter what we ask of it.  After several attempts at lassoing the unwanted shrubbery, we finally got the hang of it.

The rope should be sturdy and very strong.  We broke the first ones just from the tension. Matt’s technique was to double up the rope, loop it around the base of the shrub, get the rope taut and then rock against the strength of the shrub.  Much like rocking yourself out of a snow pile.  This all was accomplished without creating spin outs in the yard.

I am sure the neighbors think we are nuts.  I know the bulk trash removal guy dreads turning the corner to see what we have ripped out  of the ground each week.  But I must say it is the most satisfying feeling at the end of the day seeing the big pile of brush out front.

So here is the back patio today – we have planted tomatoes, basil, millet (for the birds), geraniums, salvia and veronica.  A few autumn joy sedums were transplanted from the nearby tree stump that will be ground out soon.  What we discover is how much of the patio was being covered by those shrubs. The slate stones around the edge were completely hidden and a nice surprise to uncover.  Once the arch was released from the strangle hold the ivy had on it, it was then relocated to the walkway.  If the chipmunks will allow the cardinal vine to grow it will be a nice entry walk into the rear patio.  The dogwood even seems to be bigger now that it is not swallowed by the boxwoods.

Just a few steps from the patio we decided to to put in our first garden.  The ground was very hard and the first round of rot0 tilling just about did Matt in.  But he persisted and eventually we had suitable soil for the garden.  We have many different varieties of tomatoes and a few pepper plants.  We planted bush beans but it seems the rabbits or ground hogs wanted them first.  So the next adventure is a fence, both for the garden’s sake but mainly for Zoe.