Posted by: fireweaver | September 3, 2008

dig it!

generally, when i have a long weekend, it’s spent loafing with a cocktail in hand.  while some of that did happen this past weekend – Diana had a super fun blind wine tasting at her house saturday – i was actually constructive this weekend.  i’m achy and tired and sore, and i’ve been mercilessly chomped upon by vicious mosquitos:  i landscaped!

this house was so attractive when i bought it because it was pretty much done.  nice new floors, newish very functional appliances, and mature plantings front & back meant i just had to paint the place (nature abhors a white wall) and move in.  “done” is nice to have when you’re lazy, which i was at the time since i’d just slogged through boards and moved.  but sometimes, this place doesn’t feel entirely mine because i haven’t bled into it enough.  digging holes in the dirt helps a lot with that need.  before:

you see there we have some shrubbery.  and it’s all ok shrubbery, some nice thick hollies and some azalea & rhododendron to give a little texture, but it’s all uniformly deep green and that’s it.  the only color happens in the late spring for 2 or 3 weeks while those azaleas burst into pink, but other than that, meh.  it’s respectable but plain.

but after this weekend:

there’s a fantastic irregular little brick edger holding back all the new color & texture.  Chris had never attempted such things before (as evidenced by his half-worried, “you’ve done this stuff before, right?” every time i’d tell him what the next step in the project was), but those bricks are dead-on straight and all the curves are smooth.  nice job, buddy.

since it’s the north face of the house, and that tree overarcs most everything in the top 1/3 of the yard, it was shade-loving plants or nothing for this project.  i had planned on hostas and hoped for inspiration to strike.  which it did in the form of this little cutie:

you’ll have to trust me that the color is a much splashier peachy pink when a)in person b)not covered by light mud splatters.  this is the “georgia peach” cultivar of heuchera, which screamed “pick me up!” from across the nursery.  now that i’ve ended up with 5 or so different ones, i’m hoping that heucheras are as easy-tending as the nursery crews said they are.  oddly, every single nursery i was at this weekend had a collection of fancy named cultivars of these guys…but not a single hardware store had one at all.  hmm, wonder why?  they’re US-native, making them theoretically easy growers once established, and most of ’em are evergreen so they’ll still be extra cute in the snow.  plus, really nice little sprays of flowers on top of the lacy pretty foliage, and many varieties are unusual colors from black to bronze, what’s not to love?

right now, this means i have a handful of baby hostas and another handful of baby heuchera.  both of which grow up to be low little domed hillocks when they’re mature, but they have very different color & leaf texture, so it should be complimenting/contrasty nice in a year or two or three.  in the meantime, there’s some impatiens camping out in between for splashy late-season color.

now for the back yard!



  1. That looks marvelous. I love the curviness and asymmetry of the bed.

    And I’m impressed by your gardening know-how.

  2. so cute !!

  3. thanks v.much guys! you know it’s all about the mad skillz my mama gave me!

  4. Looks great! Even though Steve and I are still renting, we have made the backyard “ours” with a garden the past two summers. There’s just something about plants- flowers and veggies!

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