Monday, June 10, 2013

Cont...Retaining wall & Gardening....

This Yard is at our home in AR.  We purchased the home in Aug 2011 and have been busy painting and upgrading the inside and out!  The inside and front yard were the most important.  Now, it seems that I have the front beds full and the relocation of some retaining wall blocks sent me to the back yard.  Landscaping is really not in the budget at this time.  Each trip I have carried over plants that I have divided or traded for.  BUT, then I stopped by Lowes....and they were having a major clearance on plants. I hit the Lottery on this one.  I purchased four Azaleas priced at $18.95 for $2.00 each and some perennials for $2.00 as well. My total bill with tax was $27 for over $120 in plants.  That makes a girl that likes to play in the dirt, Happy!

Golf cart gone mad! Today it is a landscape wagon and sometimes it is a fishing buggy....  Some of my plants from home and some purchases.

The back of the house has had nothing done to it and the ground is crappy.  When in investing in plants, they need to have good dirt.  In your case, that means buying some dirt/organic material to add to the bed.  In my case that means loading the truck down with horse manure from my mulch pile.  It is wrapped in a tarp to make the 4 hour trip. I needed one more tractor bucket load...:(

 First, I got them spaced out the way that I wanted them.  These are Herbert's Azalea and the label said that they get something like 4 x 5, but the guy working at Lowes that day said they get more like 7'.  Of course you can prune them.  There are things along the back wall that I did not need to block, a dryer vent, sewage clean out, vent for under the house and water faucet.

Here is the bed and what I had to deal with...Rocks and Roots.  My husband was mowing the grass, but he took a break to come check on progress and made the comment that he was glad that I wasn't getting paid by the hole.

 Normally, I like to dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as needed.  Then I fill good soil back in to bring the depth of the hole up to were needed.  This gives the roots easy access.  But I only got these holes just the depth needed.  What a work out!

Not deep enough yet!

A common mistake is putting your plants to close to the house.  I allowed 36" because these plants get big and if we needed to access something on that wall.

Like to open or close this
Finally deep enough

The dark stuff is horse manure and shavings that have been sitting in a mulch pile.  I mixed it with the dirt that came out the hole to fill in back around the bush.  I used the rest of it to mulch around everything.

 NO, the retaining wall is not finished.....This was not a planned project, but a matter of moving these blocks from the front of the house to back.  I was only going to use them around the trees and my project grew. And of course I ran out!  I brought one the blocks home with me to see if I can find some that match or I will go with something with a contrast.(Check back to see what happens!)

See the rocks piled up against the tree....The hostas brought from home, except the center one.  I bought it.  It is a different variety than the ones I have.

It is starting to look like a back yard.  All in due time.  I can only get so much done on a weekend.  It wouldn't be much of a vacation home, if ALL we did was work.  Sometimes, it does fill like that thou.
The blocks stop there, because the ground is still rising.  I would have to go another row higher all the way around and it still wouldn't bring them up to the house.  That is if you wanted them level and I do.

Here is a red block that I am considering using......

I added some of the rocks that I picked up to complete the circle.....
This was the first retaining wall that I did.  Again, it stops on the side....As you can see the grade of the ground just keeps getting higher.  To complete the circle, would require going several more rows higher. I going to guess that I would have add at least 2-3 more layers.  This is an established tree and I don't think it would be wise to start covering the root system up.

A few new plants and a Lilac bush that came from my mom's house.  Now to watch it grow.

This is at the back of the deck.  The Hydrangeas  were planted last fall and came from a Garden Swap group on Facebook.  Check it out, there may be one in your area of the country.

more rock

Another tree.  I don't know what these are....but they love the shade.  I got this last year from the Garden swap.  One poor little vine with no roots.  Lanie, said "Stick it in the dirt and it will root."  Well, it did and it multiplied to the point that I had to thin it out.  I have heard Pope's hat or Potato Plant.  I don't know what it is.  It has cute little white flowers on it too.  If you know what the name is....let me know.

Do You need Help with a Project?  Contact me!