My Felco shears. I am in love.
I spent my long weekend deciding what to do with my backyard. I can't for the life of me find the true "before" photos... when I find them, I will post them. Suffice it to say that they are profoundly worse than the "before" photos you see here. How can that be possible? It is, trust me. If you're joining this blog in progress, let me catch you up: We bought a fucking shithole of a house; there are SO many things that need to be done with it that I can actually spend (waste?) a three day weekend just deciding which tragic room I can tackle next.
Even though the kitchen needs more love than almost any room, I am choosing to ignore it for now because I love summertime, and having a happy little backyard to relax in is pretty much priority one this year. Plus, I want to throw big barbecue parties this summer with "Bring Your Own Meat" as the theme (because it's both naughty and fun to say) and I can't really host people with my yard in its current state.
So, today, the (almost) mother-in-law came to visit, we made a plan, and the fun will start in a few weeks.
A few weeks ago, I had a landscape designer come give me a quote, but decided that for $3,000 for just a plan, I could use that to make it nice and pleasant for at least a few years. I mean, $3,000 is a hell of a lot of money to tell me what my yard needs, and what it needs is this:
Quit looking so ghetto.
This is before we had a fence installed. (Duh.) And this isn't even the true "before" photo. Seriously. It was worse.
See? $3k saved right there. Now I can spend it on 3 tons of bluestone, some cheap Craigslist labor, and enough hydrangeas, lilies, lavender, hellebores, & lilacs to make the bee-allergic run in fear.
With all this work ahead of me, and with rowdy shrubs needing to be tamed after 30 years of neglect, I splurged today on the Cadillac of hand shears. I felt like Mr. Miyage, snipping off all the useless little branches and turning my fat lilac bush into a regal lilac tree (of sorts).
Yes, this is the "after" photo. Or at least the "in progress" photo of the lilac. Trust me, it was in much worse shape before I hacked away. It's about 2 months from blooming, I am very excited.
I am not really a "pots" person, as a rule... this is just a mess of them until I get the yard finished and can arrange groups of these, spread out. The baby bath is not going to house plants (they're just kickin' it until they get planted in the beds). The baby bath will be the ice bucket for all of the summer BBQs I intend to host. I am hoping we can do one with fried chicken from Ezell's, and 40s and tall boys of Pabst shoved in the baby bath/ice bucket. Sweet.
Back to business... see that nasty grey cement-ish business on the side of my house, under the brick? What's going on there? Did they run out of bricks? What am I supposed to do to pretty that up? Any advice would be appreciated.
In Seattle gardening news:
If you live in Seattle and haven't been, I recommend Swanson's nursery on 15th past Greenwood/Ballard. I got the best service there and the plants are pretty dreamy. Not to mention, there is ample signage (when did that become a word, exactly?) so that a novice can really shop it unaided and still get great info on everything from soil prep to choosing the right plants/trees, etc. And when I did need help, the staff was super friendly and competent.