A Sunburn in February 

The freakishly warm weather has continued, and the only way I can tell it’s actually February is by looking at the date. The Lowe’s garden center has been packed the past few weeks, and it’s filling up with all sorts of plants. I’ve been busy in my yard, because after living here for almost 2 years I finally have my vision.

I stocked up on supplies and a few plants recently, and I have yet to complete the job. In my head, I tell myself to just stick to one section at a time and to rotate around the yard. In reality, I have 5 areas of focus: 1) the damp back corner 2) around my mailbox 3) the patio 4) the front 5) the patch of dirt by the backdoor…. plus a few smaller projects. Despite being all over the place, I’m making good progress.

I haven’t completed or really touched the damp back corner. I keep putting it off because I know it’s going to be a lot of work to lay the pavers out. I need to fertilize and mulch the azaleas and perform massive weed control. 

Speaking of weed control, this weekend I concocted the natural weed killing recipe that is floating around pinterest. I would say it worked better than the expensive chemical treatments, plus it killed ants as an added bonus. The wind blew a little in my eye and it burned but I’d rather get this in my eye than the weed killer that basically promises death.

I purchased a bunch of violas from Lowe’s to put around my mailbox. My mom always called them Johnny jump-ups, and even though they say they’re annuals I remember them popping up everywhere. My mailbox is shameful. I get embarrassed every time I look at it, which is multiple times a day. 


I mean… it looked nice when I first put the bricks and rocks out but oh my goodness it does not look nice anymore. I cannot wait until I can share an after photo.

One area that’s coming along nicely is the patio. Once I discovered last summer that grass and dirt had covered about 6 to 8 inches of it I knew I had to reclaim it this year. This has not been an easy, overnight process. First, I raked. Then, I rinsed it off with my hose on the jet power. For the past few days I’ve been using my trimmer to whack all the weeds and caked on mud. Today, I used the leaf blower to clear the dirt off. After I did that, I stood there with my hands on my hips and stared at the progress, you know, like homeowners do. I want the patio to be a big reveal so I’m sharing no pictures until it’s ready.

I went into Lowe’s on Sunday to buy another camellia to place with the one I already got. I ended up buying an abundance of violas, pansies, and poppies. I had previously purchased a pack of 2 climbing roses from Costco  (for $13!!!!!). I had a few epiphanies as a result of this purchase.

First, last year I attempted to plant a climbing rose and clematis on the left side of my porch, which is covered in shade. They both died. For some reason, I thought I would attempt to do this again this year. Like, I disregarded everything I’ve learned and thought they’d live now. Roses and clematis don’t like shade, though. Camellias like shade. The left side is shady and the right side is full sun. I should note that I bought a trellis to prop against the house so I needed the roses to be by the house. And I wasn’t sure where I was going to put the Camellias. EPIPHANY #1: plant the Camellias in the shade and the roses in the sun. 

Where the Camellias will go (after I dig up the holly and azalea bushes)
Where the roses are, with a baby hydrangea in front

It was a little viola, and the roses, that gave me EPIPHANY #2: I want my yard to be in shades of purple, orange, yellow, and a little white and red. If they grow, the climbing roses will be peach. The camellia will be white. The hydrangea will be a surprise because I don’t know how acidic the soil is. I love lavender, Salvia, echinacea, pineapple sage, lilacs, and have bought purple and red morning glory seeds. It came together so easily! Now when I go to the farmers market I can focus on perennials in those colors and it will look uniform and glorious. 

The little guy that inspired the color scheme of my garden

Finally, my plan for the patch of dirt by the backdoor is simple. I’m going to mulch and fertilize the lilac, and then throw down a bunch of echinacea and black eyed Susan seeds and call it a day. Maybe I’ll throw in some tiger lily bulbs because they are really the only lily I like. That corner needs COLOR.

Help me I’m so dull 😦

So I’ll be plugging away over the next few days or weeks. But believe me, I don’t see this as tedious work. I freaking love this. I treat it as a workout and a way to release stress. The machete is back in action. 

Let me leave you with a poppy.

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3 thoughts on “A Sunburn in February 

    1. I highly recommend investing in a leaf blower, it was probably one of my best purchases. There’s some reasonably priced ones out there. I didn’t know where to start either so I sketched my plans and they helped me focus so much!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have a leaf blower but were still too lazy to do anything this fall 😂 we have a pine tree which requires leaf blowing and raking to get all the needles out of the yard. Everything about the outside of our house is a mess. The siding, the garage, the yard, the driveway. I should put some pictures on the blog this spring and talk to my landlord and maybe that will motivate me.

        Liked by 1 person

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