It was 72 degrees on Saturday, which meant that after being stuck inside all winter, things got a little crazy. In an effort to completely forget how stressful last week was at work, I threw myself into projects around the house. It worked. I forgot. I even forgot how stressful this upcoming week is going to be by:
- weeding all the beds surrounding the house and cleaning the dead leaves from around the peonies and irises that are coming in.
- redoing one side of the front walk (more on that later).
- spreading more humus (not hummus) in the garden, along with 25 pounds of lime to help with acidity issues. Rob re-tilled the garden and we are officially ready to go.
- painting the trim in the guest room and re-painting the trim the bathroom. I would have taken a picture, but I couldn’t lift my arms. How Michelangelo survived the Sistine Chapel, I have no idea.
- removing all the ugly white gravel and plastic mulch surrounding the whiskey barrel planters by the patio (this will be a separate blog post when it’s finished so you can get the full effect).
- chatting with not one, not two, but 6 different neighbors who walked by. I love how friendly everyone is! One of them said his wife would have come over to say hi, but it was her special time of the month and, “Well, we know you ain’t lazy because you’re out here all the time working on stuff.” If he had seen the inside of my house at that moment he might have changed his tune.
Tonight, I am sore and tired, and so thankful that numbers were not on my brain during my days off. I am a firm believer in the separation of work and home life. So I freaked out on Saturday morning when I walked in to the laundry room to find MY FIRST TOMATO plant poking up through the soil! YAY!!! And the chives were also coming up, but whatever, those are
easy, it’s the tomatoes I’m really worried about. By the afternoon
several more little plants were showing up. This is promising! Look how tiny and vulnerable they are.
Now I have to watch out for fungus gnats, which are carried in the soil and emerge as plants are watered and growing. Also, damping off, which sounds like an STD for plants, but just means that they rot at the base of the stem and then die, a tragic end for any seedling.
So, let’s chat about the front walk. When I moved into the house, I redid the front walk by tearing out the ugly red begonias the landscapers had planted and planting all the perennials I’d been keeping at my apartment. You can revisit that adventure here. So on Saturday, I tore out the other side of the walk, removing the old mulch, gravel, and leftover liriope (lee-ree-ope). Ugly stuff. I fought a battle with those plants, but they finally admitted defeat and came out of the ground. I transplanted them to a side garden, but I need to come up with another solution…maybe around the base of some of the trees. Not sure yet. Here is the lonely, sad side of the walk, sans pretty flowers.
I went to Lowes and fell in love with these little pincushion plants called armeria (ar-mee-ree-a).
The “specialist” in the garden center at Lowes could tell me nothing about this plant other than, “My wife and I have these and did nothing to them and they grew.” When asked about pruning the apple trees I’d purchased there last fall, he replied, “You should look online about that. You’d be surprised what you can find on the internet these days.” Now, all of you have heard me rant about the garden centers around here and the lack of trained staff therein. I told my dad tonight that I immediately discredit someone when I realize they know less about plants than I do (I have a lot to learn). It’s not until someone says something that proves they have legit cred when it comes to gardening that I get excited. So I left Lowes and went online to check out armeria and apple tree pruning. Online armeria are described as “moderately difficult.” Drat.
Armeria are small, compact, and have fun little clumps of pink flowers. They can supposedly tolerate full sun, salty climates, and resist deer. I’m skeptical. I wish plant labels would specify the type of “full sun” a plant can take. Like, are we talking about a Long Island full sun, a Texas full sun, a Tennessee full sun??? Because let me tell you, I literally watched plants fry in the sun last year. Fry. Like a chicken finger. Or a kale chip (for all you vegetarians out there). The summer was brutal, and I dread to think what this summer has in store for us.
So if the armeria lets me down, I might consider hens and chicks, but let’s hope they can take it. This is how it ended up looking. Mini pine chips make everything look better. Huge fan of the pine chips.
The purple leaf plums in the front yard are just starting to bloom. They are beyond lovely! It is so exciting to finally be able to experience the house in the spring and literally watch it come alive.
More flower pictures to come!!! Daffodils are about to start blooming, tulip bulbs are sprouting, allium bulbs have surfaced…it’s about to get real, people.