Starting from Scratch

It’s been yet another weekend of sunshine, dirt digging and flower planting around here. Temps are forecasted to be in the 70’s all week! I’m SO excited that we spring forward on the clock tonight so I can get more time after work to get things done before the sun goes down.

The people who owned our house before us ripped out most of the old landscaping (read: fifteen year old established shrubbery that didn’t require very much care and water) and replaced them with new little baby plants that bit the dust within a few months of us arriving. In a way I’m glad that I get to start from scratch in this yard so I have a blank slate to do it my way, but on the other hand I’m kinda bummed. Especially when I do a Google street view of my house and see what all plants I would have had before he whacked them down.

Here’s what I would have had to work with a few years ago:

All those boxwoods and junipers are gone now. Those two big beds are nothing but leaves and mulch and a few sprigs of poison ivy now.

Oh well… Onward and upward. They were super boring anyway. I’m not a huge fan of precisely trimmed hedges. They’re way too stuffy and formal for my crazy eclectic cottage garden loving self. This is more of my ideal flowerbed:

Having so much shade is another thing that’s throwing me for a loop at this house. We are surrounded by acres of hardwood trees, so finding a spot for full sun plants is like finding prime downtown San Francisco real estate. There’s just not much room to squeeze things in. It’s a complete 180 from my old house where we had so much full sun and scorching heat and high winds that my plants sometimes resembled the creepy walking cactus from Rango.

To keep myself from going insane over how I’m going to handle landscaping all these flower beds I’ve decided to start small. One project at a time. Like a friend told me yesterday… Rome wasn’t built in a day. I know these beds will be here waiting when I’m ready.

So even though I would kill to have instant flowerbeds that look like this:

I know it takes patience and work to get there. I’m biting it off a small chunk at a time. It’s not so overwhelming that way. This month I started off with containers around the pool where pots are a must because everything in that area is tile, concrete, rock or asphalt.

Here is one of my favorites of the stuff I planted this weekend.

I’ve had this 2-tiered stand sitting around my house for years. Finally I filled it with spaghnum peat moss and flowers and it looks beautiful! I put succulents on top, trailing verbena and sedum on the bottom. And yes, I realize there’s holes that need to be filled with more flowers. I ran outta plants today. It’s on my to-do list. I still love the way this looks, though!

This sedum groundcover was growing all over the place when we moved in, so I have no idea what variety it is. Blue spruce? Angelina? IDK. Anyone?

Have I ever told y’all how much I love hens & chicks!??

Well, let me make it official. I super puffy heart them. They remind me of my mama. She always had a pot of these somewhere when I was growing up. These things are pretty near impossible to kill. If you have a evil succubus for a thumb, get yourself some succulents.

Here is another basket where I used that same combo of flowers. Love it.

These big containers on either side of my garage doors have a whole bunch of happiness inside:

White candytuft in the back, colorful snapdragons, white african violet in the middle flanked by creeping phlox on the sides. I can’t wait to see how these look when they fill out more over the summer.

I bought two healthy looking gardenias at my favorite nursery yesterday.

These guys have reserved seating next to my mailbox, along with a crape myrtle that I bought last week. I’m waiting to get the sprinklers fixed down there before they go in the ground, though. I’m going to try real hard for no more death tolls around here. That pretty little dwarf purple loropetalum is going to replace the camellia that’s been in my whiskey barrel for the past 4 years. It’s time for that camellia to put down some real roots in the ground now that we’re settled into the new house.

I put some basil and cilantro in my Down Under Pots again. I just love these pots for herbs. Here’s a pic from 2009 since I forgot to take one today.

And last but not least, my hanging basket with diascia, verbena, purple sweet potato vine and snapdragons.

So what are you guys planting this year? Wait, do you live north of the Mason Dixon line? My apologies if all these green stuff is making you green with envy. Just remember there is still hope underneath your record breaking piles of snow! You’ll see your shrubs again one day. Bless your heart.

In the meantime, ya’ll are welcome to come visit anytime!

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  1. Karen At Home says:

    So jealous of your warm temperatures Beth!!! It snowed a foot here on Friday!!!



  1. […] of Boppylon March 13, 2011 By Beth at Unskinny Boppy 10 Comments TweetYesterday I talked about all the planting I’ve been doing […]

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