I wish we'd taken a before shot of all the ancient evergreens in the front of the house under the livingroom window, so we'd have the contrast on record.
One late winter day, balmy temperatures and a bit of sunshine went to my head and I manically started hacking at the dead stuff. A small pair of rose nippers can only take one so far, unfortunately, and so far I've resisted J's efforts to teach me to use the chainsaw. By the time the adrenalin rush wore off and the muscle aching began, the damage was done. As J pointed out, it hadn't looked THAT bad before, and was certainly not high on the priority list. Now it needed serious attention.
Then this spring's intermittent snows came and went, our 152 other outdoor projects beckoned, and our front yard had become a real eyesore every time we walked past. One day while I was so sick, J finally got out the chainsaw and whacked off a bunch more roots and branches. The first day I had enough energy to open the front door, I offered to pay the kids by the hour to deal with the debris under my supervision. They worked hard, even Rz had his little work gloves on and hauled branches to the wheelbarrow!
We pushed the piles of needles around, trimmed up the last stray branches, planted a few things, then watered it all down thoroughly. One thing we had never realized is that the bed is full of hundreds of dollars worth of decorative boulders (don't laugh, if you don't live in a city and get them for free from the field!) that were just languishing under the dead firs and cedars. The one Rz is standing on in the photo below, we refer to as The Basking Rock.
There's still lots of gnarly little stumps we didn't have the energy to dig out but it looks soooo much better all cleaned up! The stumps will eventually disintegrate or be planted around. The caragana is pruned back into submission, the Costco apple tree is front and center, and we've planted four gooseberries, some wintergreen and three new shrubby roses.
Besides peonies, there's also some other green flowering things growing that I don't have a name for, but didn't see any reason to dispense with since they've survived this long under such hot, dry conditions. We also cut up a sedum tile and nestled the pieces into the dry dirt. Hopefully, the ground cover makes itself at home before any amount of weeds do since I gave my word to Joe that I would keep this area weed free.
|A Little Refreshment Mid-Job|
It's got a long way to go, but by summer's end I think it will look a lot better!