Monday, May 24, 2021

So Happy

 It's so wonderful to have this project come to life and to (finally) really be able enjoy it. There were a few moments when doubt creeped in that I had made the right choice but now that it is finished, I am certain it was the perfect solution for us. 
 As soon as I could I got the compost in and began to install the plants. It took most of one day, but it is my favorite part of gardening so I took my time and enjoyed the process. The planter is 12x16"deep but the trim leaves the opening only about 9-10 inches visible. I can actually sit on the that edge if I wanted to, but also can reach the whole bed from the yard side since it is the perfect height. 

 The plants have been in over a week, but I just held off my 'big reveal' until I felt everything had settled in nicely. Plus I had to wait until the workers removed all the debris, the cement mixer and wheelbarrow, and had laid the new sidewalk, which took two tries to get it right. For about 10 days we had no step down or concrete pad to walk on and it was dangerous to exit out the front. I jeri-rigged a gate to keep the dogs in, and had a step stool for access. Not good. 


And then it was decisions about phase two...what shall I put in the yard to complete this landscaping? My sister volunteered her pickup and we went to Lowe's and as luck would have it, I found several shrubs that fit the bill. Note: I have been 'at school' on Youtube watching a great bunch of videos from Garden Answer which have been a vital teaching tool for me. The host, Laura, led me down the garden path so to speak and I was confident on what to buy from all that was available. I now pay close attention to height and width, what color I can expect over the seasons and whether the plant can be planted in full sun, shade or a combination. I get all excited over things like being drought tolerant. ha!

 I was lucky to find three ninebark on half price, and then two ball 
arborvitae and a big Autumn Blaze Maple tree (full price, darn). You can see the maple tree tucked into the front entrance, to prevent it from falling over in the yard due to high winds. I will be consulting with Audelio my landscape guy about where he is going to place all these shrubs, which in the meantime have had a Little Lime hydrangea and a Black Lace Elderberry, and three red hibiscus added to the mix.

Now for the best part. Neighbors drive by and crane their necks to look, and some even yell out "looks great!" The dog walkers and joggers also must comment and that was my goal, to be a part of the neighborhood and meet people here. One gal (also formerly from Chicago) told me that the previous owner had beds of flowers in the front yard and that solved one mystery for me. I was afraid she had planted trees which may have died and that I would be finding it difficult to keep things going there too. But I was so happy to find out I was wrong. Then my neighbor two doors down (whose garden I covet)  came over to see the deck and we will be getting together to talk gardening in the future. So happy!
I am still waiting to have my hose reel installed, despite multiple promises from the contractor. Sigh. It's always something.


  1. was worth the wait to see the finished deck because it is beautiful! A little "class work" certainly was the right thing to do for helping chose the right plants. You are so right...working in the yard is a great way to meet the neighbors. We live on a corner lot in town and try to keep the yard as perfect as possible, just so people can have something nice to look at..... and from comments we hear they do enjoy it! Good work, Melody, now you two can enjoy a little outdoors time.

  2. Beautiful! I'm sure you will enjoy many happy hours on the deck.

  3. Beautiful, Melody!  You are a true garden maven, and I always look forward to seeing your projects!

  4. Came together great..... glad to hear the "tree" is not staying in that place..... your hose reel looked like just the thing and I looked form one at my big box store..... did not find... but......


  5. It looks beautiful. I can't wait to see it mature.

  6. Your deck is perfect!!!! I love the flowerbeds. The tree will give you some shade down the road plus the height element.
    I love watching you do your gardens!!!! Enjoy!!

  7. Oh Melody, you deck looks lovely! We have just moved into our new home on 3 acres - so lots of garden to plan and plant. But I am being conscious of not wanting to make too much work for the future, while still planning a garden and lifestyle for what I want for now. I have been following your progress over your many moves and love how you always seem to make each garden your own. Beautiful!

  8. So nice! I LOVE to read about your garden projects (and other topics, too). It looks so inviting. Now you just need some type of shade cover over part of the deck where you'll sit. Costco sells those triangular Coolaroo fabric shades that would be excellent! Then Dave would be more comfortable out there. In any case, it's lookin' good.

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