Spring Cleaning!

A couple summers ago, Kevin decided to do some work on the gutter and drainage system.  This involved digging up a big corner of the yard by the house to bury a drain pipe.  We turned it into another flower bed. It didn’t get a lot of of definition – or attention for that matter.  I put it a lot of well established plants from the front garden which seemed to be spreading easily.  I also put in a few things that needed to be moved or were given to me and I didn’t have a place in mind yet. It didn’t help that I was also pregnant or had just given birth for most of this poor little plot’s existence.

Overgrown mess by the end of the summer

Overgrown mess by the end of the summer

Cleaned up in the fall

Sort of cleaned up in the fall

It has been moved to the top of the priority list for this year. Starting with some definition. I weeded and cleaned out again this spring, loosen up the dirt as I went and looking to see what was coming back.  One of the challenges of this little space is the lilac bushes.  You can’t even imagine how badly this whole area had become overgrown with lilac shoots and weed and bushes when we first moved in.  I have been trying to keep those shoots at bay by clipping them back as far as I can along the root.  So far the trees are handling it okay. We also dumped in several wheelbarrows full of top soil to cover up the bright white drainage pipes.

Then I tried to define the edge of the garden which did mean pulling up some grass and weeds and removing some of the large mum that has taken over the front of the garden. The mum will definitely have to be moved.  It is way too tall for the front and spreads like crazy!  But I am waiting to see what comes up in the back just yet.

Defining the space and making sure I had enough bricks

Defining the space and making sure I had enough bricks

About the bricks…  They are Keene bricks. Apparently made in my hometown and have been in my family since I can remember.  Yes, my family held onto these bricks.  My dad even moved them from house to house to house.  My stepmother kept them up in the back of her yard and generously offered them to us.  So Kevin went and retrieve some of the ones in the best shape.  I had come across this post via Pinterest and used the final product as my inspiration.

First, I just laid them out to make sure I had enough to to do the whole area.  I had just enough!  Two were left over and Connor has taken to moving them around with his ever growing rock collection. Then Kevin went in with the trowel and dug out the right shaped trench to get the bricks flat and even.  I filled in the back with dirt to keep them nice and tight and then watered in the whole mess.  We haven’t had any rain in a while and the dirt was pretty dusty.  This way I could clean off the bricks too and wash any loose dirt in to keep them in place.

Laid in a little more tightly

Laid in a little more tightly

I was very pleased with how it came out!  It really looks nice looking out the window from the house too.  Next will be some serious mulch and possibly some gravel.  I need to keep the dirt and water away from the framed lattice so I wanted to fill in that back edge with something that will keep it dry.  We had just moved in when we did that work and didn’t use pressure treated wood.  I also need to get some grass seed to fill in the outside of the garden that was either torn up from when we first started digging or got trampled in the process of putting in the bricks. These last photos were taken at the end of the day and it is just getting full sun.  I will be looking for some partial sun perennials to fill in once we see what comes back.

Watered in and Amelia approved!

Watered in and Amelia approved!

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