Saturday, May 28, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend - Walk About

Since it's been quite sometime since I've just posted some random pictures of our property, I figured tonight I'll document what our property looks like in Spring of 2016!  

C'mon... and take a walk around with me!

Main Door entrance floral grouping

Finally.. the gardens are starting to "green up" and look lush again.

Everything is still pretty small... May 28 2016.  We added the stone border around the beds this year.

Myrtle Vinca was planted around the large trees in the front yard this Spring.  Since the area is permanently shaded and grass simply won't grow there, we figured why fight it?  Let's just put some myrtle there and mow around it.  
Driveway Urn
My favorite thing to do in the Spring is plant the urns on our new driveway pillars!  The pillars make such a statement ... they were one of the best additions to this old property!

The new birch trees that we planted last Fall next to the pillars are also doing well.

Iris' in bloom... ahhh, just take a deep breath of that glorious smell.

Vegetable Garden - May 28, 2016
The vegetable garden was planted just this week (a little later than normal). 

We're going to have a very 'fragrant Spring' with our honeysuckle that is growing on our garden shed.  It's loaded with buds that are about to open up.

The clematis that was planted last year is also doing well as are the perennials that were planted at the base of the clematis to keep the roots cool.  

Spring Gardening Project - Back Deck Bushes

Boxwoods don't do well in full sun.  We found this out the hard way... we've had them along the back deck, facing South, but they would always start to turn brown (burned).  We wrapped them in burlap this winter (of course, it was a mild winter), but they still didn't look like that neat hedge I wanted.

Without any hesitation, the man at the nursery suggested the Mountain Fire Japanese Evergreen Shrub.  It does very well in full sun, is hardy, and has multiple colors in the Spring with little "lily of the valley' flowers.  And.. because it's a evergreen, it stays green all year.  While it's not the look I was going for, I was pretty impressed with all the features and interest that this bush will provide.

So, these bushes are being planted around the deck and we'll trim them back when needed.  We are also using all of our 'extra stones' for bed borders.. we have a lot of them!

While our home is looking pretty great from the outside.. it sure is a lot of work.  A condo is starting to sound good!

Spring Gardening Project - East House Bed

It's been an interesting Spring... this photo of snow coming down was taken on May 14, 2016.  

May 14, 2016
This photo was taken yesterday (May 27, 2016) as a fierce, but brief, storm was about to roll in.
May 27, 2016
And this photo.. today, May 28, 2016.
May 28, 2016
You just never know what Mother Nature will bring here in Michigan.  Now that it's Memorial Day weekend, we finally feel like summer might actually be here.. at least it's supposed to be!

In between the snow, sleet and rain.. we're working on outdoor projects.  The first project is landscaping on the East side of our house.

April 25, 2016
Some of the specimens have already been removed.. but this is what the East side looked like.  There was this "cedar-type" tree (on the left) and a beautiful large lilac bush on the right.  There were other bushes behind this that were pulled out as well as a decorative Japanese tree which had been damaged from when the basement went in.  Unfortunately, we couldn't save it.

April 25, 2016
There just wasn't any symmetry or flow on this side of the house and much of it was overgrown.
May 23, 2016
The cedar tree has been removed.  The lilac bush was originally a "dwarf bush" says the prior owner, Fran... ha... we both got a laugh out of that!  Thing is.. I absolutely LOVE that lilac bush.  When it blooms in the Spring, the scent around the home is nothing less than amazing (but that also includes all the Iris' that are also in bloom).

May 23, 2016 
So, we will wait until the lilac is done blooming this season, cut it way back, and move it to the other side of the house.  We will still be able to see it and enjoy the smell.. if it survives the move, but we believe it will.  That will open up the East side of the house with a "blank slate" for the landscaping.  We are cutting the bed back about 1/2 the size it was (yay), and it will tie in with the front of the house which is a back row of boxwoods, then Annabelle Hydrangeas, then some pops of color here and there for each season.  Peonies will be included for sure, hostas and maybe some Iris, Corabells and a few other blooming perennials.
May 28, 2016
Here's the hard-working man of the house getting the boxwoods in!  And yes, he is hoping to finish the stone on the foundation of the house this summer.  That was a pretty big project!

Steve saying "hi" - May 28, 2016
Before you ask, we got all of our plants from the annual West Olive Plant Sale.  This is a wholesale nursery that has a sale, a BIG sale, every Memorial Day weekend.  It's wholesale prices.. on sale!   Like any garden or landscape, it will evolve and plants will change and be moved, but this is a far better plan than we had before.
May 28, 2016
We laid down sod instead of planting grass seed.. we needed some instant gratification.  This entire area was all landscaping bed before.  We are trying to reduce the amount of maintenance around this place if you can't tell.

May 28, 2016
This photo shows just how large the lilac is.  Once the lilac is removed, it'll sure look different.. but within a year or two, it'll be filled in and looking good.  It's a "work in progress" as the peonies won't be transplanted until Fall.. and we have many other specimens to fill in the front of the Hydrangeas that will be lower in height.

May 28, 2016

Next... different bushes along the back deck!