The start of it all...
This spring I wanted to make the most of what I have. So much of my previous work had disintegrated over time, which happens, especially in the yard, if it is not maintained. It really does require an almost daily upkeep of some sort and I'd not given that attention to my yard over the past year. I had gotten very frustrated with my lack of ability and lack of finances, too. So in this year of "Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can," I decided to do what I could. If that meant I could only work 15 minutes a day then I would get it done in 15 minute increments. If it meant I could only spend $5, then I'd spend $5 now and $5 the next time I had it. As things worked out, I've had a little more energy and money than I'd thought I'd might. Happily, Mother's Day fell in this time frame and my son's gift was 10 bags of mulch plus he had a leftover bag from work he'd done on his own yard.which made for a mighty good start on the outdoor work. He also put in new screening on the windows and storm doors. We'd bought a couple of rolls of screening and splice as did he and he provided the labor in getting them all replaced. I was given $20 to use towards the purchases of plants as a gift from Mama for Mother's Day and John gifted me a bird bath for our anniversary.
My next project was the rose bed...well that was out of hand and had been for some time. I did not even take a before photo of that one as it was just a weedy mess. The massive roses at the left there are still a big issue, as is the lantana growing out of the front of them, but I'll get that done in time. I didn't want to sort them out while they were blooming. I was so pleased with what a difference working this area made. It honestly heartened me but it took hours of labor and I mean that sincerely.
Now the Tiger Lily and Gladiolus are starting to bloom.
The watering can was slightly altered so that the crystals didn't just lie in the mounding Mandevilla. The shepherd's hook somewhat blends into the black chair which was my intent. I am hoping the white verbena will bloom again. I've not had much luck with verbena though I do like it. I am on the lookout for white mounding lantana which will bloom copiously from now until late fall.
I also managed to get the bed at the corner of the porch/patio mulched. Maddie dug out a hole I'd filled in where water tends to pool in rainy days. I'll concede that spot to her at the moment as an alternative cool spot for resting. I hope to do some more planting in that area and thin the Day Lily out to fill in some of the blank spaces along the edge, but that can wait until later when they are no longer blooming.
There's nothing spectacular about it but it truly does make a huge difference just to add mulch and edging to a flower bed, even if you can't divide or plant it right away. It looks better in fact than it does in photographs, or I'd not even bother to show this photo. It's convinced me to continue working my way around the house and lay out beds in which I'll eventually be able to add plants.
I potted up the rest of my purchased plants for the steps under the pecan tree and found they did very well in just a few days. Painting the steps was not done as I'd hoped but I'll perhaps get to that later on. In the meantime, it's nice to look out the living room at the blooming pots on the steps, which was my intent to give us a 'view' of sorts. This is also where I chose to place the bird bath for now. It might get moved in the future but I like seeing it from the window.
I went to work on the front porch once more. I got quite a few things done but it's not quite finished. That is one project that stretched out over more than a year in time. Fall and winter rains and an inability to find items I wanted held that project up. The before and after shots really point up how awful it got before I could start that oh so slow progress, but that is another post.
I really wanted to work on cleaning the mold/mildew from the back porch but there was a nesting bird...and yes, I will give up the back porch for a bird! This year she's raised her family in the cupboard which seemed to be a less friendly spot for Maddie or the cat to reach and it was a delight to me to hear the little birds cheep when Mom and Pop came to feed them. Soon they'd grown enough to attempt flight. At last I can do that task. I'll be touching up the floor paint (after family is gone and over one of those 24 hour periods while John is working. I want to paint the cabinet which really did not fare well over the winter, but washing down siding and railings really did improve the looks of the porch overall. I need to touch up the paint on the café set. I didn't realize how many spots I'd missed in painting it last year. I have discovered that painting an item in sunlight makes it difficult for me to see anything but sunspots!
Well I won't finish those two projects this week by any means and with this Memorial holiday it means that Spring projects are at an end. I'll do another post when I have another lot of work done in the yard.