A Small Piece of Heaven

I past weekend, I tackled my first big gardening project. At the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, I had picked up a good deal on verbena (5 for $20!). I’ve also had my lilac waiting to be planted for months now, and after considering where to plant it I finally decided where I wanted it. There’s a little plot off the mudroom in the back of my house that I’d quickly grown to despise. It looked like an overgrown mess:

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Before: early Saturday morning
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A closer look at this hot mess

I hate hostas with a passion. They just don’t do anything for me. I had no idea what the tall, leafy, grassy-looking plant was but I decided I didn’t care. I wanted it all gone. Except the Creeping Jenny, the Creeping Jenny could stay.

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During: exhausted by Saturday afternoon

I ripped everything out. Roots, plants, more roots, dirt, pine needles (why do Southern gardens use pine needles? I hate them too). I relocated some bricks to the left-hand border. I wasn’t sure what the big green plant on the far right was, so I posed this photo to Facebook:

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Is this a weed?

Yes, this is most certainly a weed. I learned from a friend that this is pokeberry. Apparently, I have pokeberry growing all over the place and it is a beast to get it out. I had to snip it in several spots because it was so tall. Then, the roots are basically cemented to the ground and spread all over the planet. I spent a good part of Sunday morning getting this and the rest of the roots out of this little plot of land.

On Saturday I had taken a trip to Lowe’s to pick up a few things. I love echinacea, so I picked up a few of them on a 3 for $12 deal. I spent most of Sunday digging holes and planting things. Here’s how it turned out:

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So proud.

I’m quite happy with how it turned out. It doesn’t look like much, but it was a lot of hard work. I believe I was in the negative calories by Sunday evening, so I treated myself to a juicy burger. I’m definitely planning on planting more perennials throughout the season, but this is a great start. I learned a lot from this experience.

Things I Learned From This Experience

  • It’s hot as hell during the day. I probably put myself in danger by working on this during the day. It hasn’t been below 90 degrees in over a week.
  • I need a wheel barrel. Wheel barrow?
  • Southern soil is definitely different from Northern soil. It’s very red and very clay-ish. One of my plants is already looking not so good, but I’m hoping its just from this insane, blazing heat.
  • This is the smallest section of my yard. I don’t have the budget to continue to work on the other sections, so the rest of my summer will be pulling out plants to get ready for next years project.
  • Cedar mulch smells awesome.
  • Pine needles are a waste and a fire hazard.
  • Hawaiian Tropic SPF 15 sunscreen is hard working. The only burn I got was on the spots of my back that I couldn’t reach.
  • Pokeberry sucks and I hate it.
  • Hostas are boring.

I’m really excited about my next 2 projects. I’m going to take up all the pine needles from a plot that runs along my house below my bedroom window and plant a row of lavender. It’s too late this season, but I’m also going to plant sunflower seeds for next year. I also bought some wooly thyme, and I’m going to plant that alongside my driveway where there are some bricks and weeds. I think the thyme would look great growing over the bricks and might choke out the weeds. I’m going to tackle that when I get back from my vacation.

So, what do you think? Here’s a review:

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BEFORE
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AFTER
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3 thoughts on “A Small Piece of Heaven

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