Saturday, April 6, 2013

Outdoor Projects: Flower Beds and Vegetable Gardens

Mark and I were super excited to wake up to some sunshine this morning! We had grand plans for our yard today and to see the sun beaming after yesterdays rain definitely helped start the morning off right.

The last few weeks I had been trying to figure out a way to line our front flower bed. My dad works in the lawn and landscaping industry and I had asked if he could come up with a cost for making a retaining wall out of stone like below:

Unfortunately, the price of building such a wall, even with the great discount my dad would've been able to get, was still a weeeeee bit out of our yard renovation budget. So my grand plans of using these stones were relegated to some pavers that we found on sale at Home Depot. But thats okay, because know what? I think it turned out pretty great and I think our bank account would agree. :)

If you don't remember from LAST summer when I cleaned out the flower bed from the crazy jungle that had grown there, you can read about it here.....

Or you can just look at this before picture :)

This was our front bed after I cleaned it up last year. It looked decent. Well enough to be a respectable home in the neighborhood. But it wasn't quite living up to what I had in mind for it. Thankfully this year we got an early jump on our flower bed.

Here are the after pictures from today:

The pavers were on sale at Home Depot today for $1.58 per brick. We purchased a total of 43, bringing our total to $67.94 (My first idea would have cost us close to $200). I love the way the bed is raised up a little more than before. It makes it more defined and helps it to stand out a little.
We also bought some hanging flower baskets for the front porch and you can see we've added a flag pole since last summer. We're sporting Mark's alma mater on our pole right now. :)

We bought a tray of Pink Begonias, one White Azalea bush and then I planted my some Star Gazer Lilly bulbs along the back. I want to get a few more filler plants like Hosta's or Lariape's and then put some mulch down. (Mulch was on sale 5 bags for $10 today at Home Depot too, score!)

Mark surprised me with these a couple of weeks ago. He had ordered my favorite flowers in bulb form for me to plant and enjoy all summer long! He's the best. 
They're supposed to bloom mid summer...can NOT wait to see these beauties!

Out in the back yard I finished up my vegetable garden. Well not really finished, but completed about 90% of it.

Here's what the raised flower bed looked like when I walked outside this morning. 

The first thing I had to do was dig up the grass and put some more pavers down along the end of the bed. The bed was sitting on half grass/half dirt like you see in the picture. The dirt area was filled with other pavers that I had previously dug up when I decided that was where I wanted the garden to go. I used those pavers to line the grassy area in front of the bed.

After the grass was dug up I sprinkled some baking soda down on the dirt to keep grass from growing up in between the cracks. It's something I found on pinterest... apparently it changes the pH balance in the soil so nothing can grow??? I don't know, but I thought I would give it a try. :)
Also, I had no idea how hard it would be to put 6 pavers down! It took forever trying to get them level enough so they wouldn't tilt when I stepped on them!

Here is what it looked like at the end of the day. : ) We bought some gardening soil that was on sale for 4 or $10 at the store as well. And then of course some Marigolds to line the garden. We got 2 different tomato plants to start our garden off. Big Boys and Early Girls. There was no research that went into the best tomato plant to buy for us, we just liked the idea of a Boy vs. Girl competition on who can produce the best tomato. We'll see who wins ; ) The only thing left to do is plant the seeds for the other veggies.

Mark also worked on a special project today while I was gardening. He has been getting his feet wet in the world of carpentry and getting pretty darned good at it, and I'm not just saying that because he's my husband. :) I can't wait to share his finished projects!

Hoping that your outdoor season is getting off to a great start!

Any new projects for your yard this year?

Are you planting a vegetable garden? If so, which veggies do you plant?

Any advice for getting my Early Girls to grow bigger BETTER tomatoes than Mark's Big Boys??

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