So, as you know from my previous posts, we had a hard winter here in the northeast. Here at the beach, we had three blizzards and two noreasters (with the noreasters happening in a two week period). Not only has my back suffered, but my yard suffered because of too much water, blowing winds and general yuckiness.
It definitely needed some TLC after this winter!
This was post-raking/seeding, but the yard still looks sad. I should take an updated pic with the baby grass growing!
I started in the front yard – I picked up mulch (two separate weekends – four bags the first time, and eight the next time. That’s about the limit for a MINI Cooper’s trunk). I raked out the beds in the front, taking out the old mulch. Last year, I’d mistakenly picked up rubber tire mulch. It does look good year round, but I learned from watching Yard Crashers that the point of mulch isn’t just to look pretty – it’s to give some nutrients to the plants. “Oops,” I thought and decided to get rid of the old mulch and put down some better stuff.
After raking, I cut back some of the plants a little bit (they had become overgrown) and finally put down the mulch. This made me neighbor of the year, because I share a big section in the middle of the front yard with my next door neighbor (the “yard” is mostly stone) and I mulched that too – they said it’s the best it’s looked in years.
This is why I'm neighbor of the year. My neighbor has promised to cut that back once it's bloomed
Can't wait until my neighbors mention wanting to paint those shutters again and I mention hating that color
Because I have stone, weeds are really obvious when the grow, so I had to get some weed killer and spray that on the front stones. I do it when I know there isn’t going to be any rain for a couple of days, and in the morning, so it’s dry by the time I take my dog out front for a walk later in the day.
I also picked up and planted a new rose bush in a planter on my front stoop – I used to have two beautiful rose bushes, but they didn’t survive the move, so I’m hoping to get back to my rose gardening this year! And I put out a hanging basket with pansies in it. Very spring-like. Plus, I love pansies because they look like little faces.
The backyard was another project and a half. I do have grass back there, but it’s being slowly destroyed by a very cute basset hound and endless amounts of rain and flooding. On a dry day, I raked the entire yard to get up any old grass and the leaves that came from my neighbors’ yard. I had picked up a little aerator at Lowe’s and decided to aerate and seed the entire lawn, which was not an insignificant amount of work. The aerator involved a lot of elbow grease to get through my tough dirt, but I managed to do it and put down grass seed the day before a big rain.
The grass seed package said it would start growing in 5 days. When it didn’t I was bitterly disappointed and resigned to having a yard with bad grass. But lo and behold, about a week ago, grass started sprouting up in the thin patches – I’m very excited! Of course, that’s the one spot in the whole yard that my dog has decided he needs to sleep in while enjoying the sunshine, but I’m hoping the little sprouts are hardy enough to survive.
I had two pots sitting on each side of my deck stair that had formerly been home to gerbera daisies. I dumped out the old dirt (you can always re-use this if you mix in some new dirt, according to Yard Crashers, but I didn’t go that way) and put in some new potting soil. I added two new gerberas to each – I just think they look like such happy flowers – and watered them. I dumped out a third pot with a since-dead tomato plant in it, and put pansies in there instead. The fourth pot I reserved for future use and put that in the shed (which I’d cleaned out earlier in the day).
There’s so much more to be done outside (more on that later), but this was a good start in de-winterizing my yard and making it feel much more spring-like!