Pre-Spring Garden Clean Up {Hardscape & Shrubs}

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Oh this is the bain of my existence every year.  I really love gardens and flowers, but I feel like the love doesn't translate into my yard.  I will say it has been seven years since we planted this garden.  It was originally a full-sun landscape, but as trees and shrubs have matured, it has become a mostly shade garden.  But my plants and my grass aren't really shade tolerant, so it has not done well the last couple of years.   On top of that, several of my favorite shrubs got nearly twice as tall as the tag said they would, so they were very over grown.

I attempted to hire my neighbor's landscaper, but he didn't come back for the appointment.  So I decided to copy some of what they did next door.  I noticed his crew did a deep cleanup of the planting beds, removing all of the old mulch and leaves that had blown into them over the winter.  So I did a deep cleanup of all of my planting beds and collected 13 bags of yard debris.  They also removed some shrubs not doing well next door, so I cut down and pulled up four overgrown, half-dead shrubs.  I thought it would be really difficult, and it was hard.  But once I got one up, I figured I could do the rest of them.

I also have retaining walls that had peeling paint, so I cleaned them as best I could with both a wire and regular brush, then pressure-washed and repainted them.

after scrubbing and pressure washing

with a new coat of paint

 Now the patio floor...I mean, it just looked dirty no matter how much I cleaned it.   We have put in french drains on both sides of the patio to alleviate the water that runs across it to no avail.  So I cleaned and pressure-washed it and gave it a fresh new coat of paint.

I used the same color as what is on the pergola, but unfortunately it reads a lot cooler on a horizontal surface, so I feel tempted to repaint.  I also planted a few new plants (that will hopefully cover the ground and prevent the soil from washing out) and put new mulch down around the patio and along the tops of the retaining walls.

In other news, I have finally ceded that, in Georgia, grass will not look good without the help of professional weed control services.  I still want to have new sod put down, replace the shrubs I pulled (with hydrangeas depending on the light), add more new plants along the top of the retaining walls (I'm thinking dwarf lorapetalum, creeping jenny, and lantana/verbena!), and finish mulching the planting beds... but that will have to wait until later in the spring.  (Thank goodness because this week's worth of work nearly killed me!)  The house needs to be painted badly and I don't want a paint crew stepping all over freshly laid sod and mulch.   I also want to let the trees fill in so that I can get a feel for what the light will be like, since I had one of the larger trees limbed up last fall.  So that is next on the (never-ending) list of home maintenance.  What spring projects are you up to?

Psst..if you want to see the garden in its (semi-)glory days, 

check out these previous garden posts!  I'm feeling more hopeful already!

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