Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wishing for a green thumb...


Remember that line from Titanic when Rose gets mad at Jack for explaining ice fishing and he replies by saying, "Sorry.  You just seem like more of an indoor girl."

That is me.  I'm an indoor girl.  I don't mind cleaning house and I certainly love decorating, but working outdoors is not for me.  That doesn't fly too well up here in my newly adopted state, where few people have gardeners and even painting and construction is often a DIY project.

To top it off, as much as I love our house, it needs a lot of work.  A new paint job, new windows, new gutters, new lawn, and a whole list of expensive things that can only be accomplished little by little.

The yard has turned out to be a job that neither Eric or I anticipated because of its size and because we are on a corner.  While looking at the inside of the house (time was not on our side while we were house-hunting) we didn't pay much attention to how much mowing, edging, and general maintenance and beautification lay before us.  All we were thinking about was how great it was to be 4 houses up from the lake and how well my furniture would fit.  Not to mention the upcoming wedding and interstate move.

But now we are running out of excuses.  The last moving box was unpacked 30 days after we moved in.  The weather is getting better (apparently July 5th is the marker for clear skies until the week before Halloween) and my residual tiredness from 13 years of teaching is long gone. 

So now we are going to start chipping away at that very long To Do list and start doing what needs to be done a bit at a time.  Eric has his priorities, I have mine, and we have ours.  Naturally we notice different things, which define those priorities.  I notice aesthetics, and he notices structure.  First up?  Structure?  The rain gutters.  Aesthetics?  A new paint job (after the gutters are installed.)

Meanwhile, I have been wincing every time I see bare areas around the house that are just crying out for some attention and some color.  If I had my druthers and if funds were unlimited, I would replace all of the blocks used for the planters around our front door, tree, and driveway.  But, alas, other things have to come first.  Instead, I used what was there and cleared away the dried up remnants of past plants.

To me, this is all about knowing that some progress is being made.  If it is something that I can do, I'm going to do it.  So, I did it!

 The area by the garage.  The only place in the front that gets sun.

 The Zinnias at Freddy's were just stunning!

 There were some nice, healthy marigolds there too.

 The other planters are all in shady areas.  Finding colorful shade flowers isn't easy, so I stuck with the old standbys of begonias and impatiens. 

Today's project was the 4 planters by the front door.  This involved pulling out some azaleas that rarely bloomed and another leafy plant I didn't like.  I got some sun plants for the front and all begonias for the back.  Between clearing away the old plants, smoothing out new potting soil, buying the plants, arranging them, and setting them into the ground, this took a lot longer than you'd think!

And with all the planting, that was actually the easy part!  The hard part for me is keeping everything alive.  I come from several generations of green thumbs, but my generation got skipped somehow.  Can I do it??  

I'll post pictures again in a few weeks and we'll see...


Tricia said...

Wow! Yay for you! They're beautiful.

Kristie said...

Thank you! I hope they last!

MOM said...

Did you feed the soil at all? You might do that in a couple of weeks...just keep an eye on them, watch for snails, bugs...whatever is prevalent up may have different ones. I think you did great to stick w/begonias and least here, they thrive. Not that attractive to bugs, bloom well in the shade...I thought I saw some coleus also...that's shade and they do really well all summer, then die in the fall, but they grow so much during their time, they're quite spectacular...I want to see everything in a couple of weeks...Good luck and GOOD JOB! (Lots work!!!)

Kristie said...

Absolutely. The potting soil is Miracle Grow and it has food in it. I worked really hard to condition the areas the best I could before planting. I will post pictures again in a couple of weeks.

Karen said...

That looks great, Kristie! Now you can fly out here and work your magic on my empty flower beds. =)