Sunday, July 12, 2015

Catchup post

I haven't posted in a while, but not for lack of material.

I've been busy obsessing. 

Ever since I heard about the ree-DONK-u-luss Whittlesey decomposed granite sale ($25/yard!), it's taken every ounce of willpower I have NOT to order it. The only things holding me back are:
  1. The fact that I'd need to remove the "sod" in the backyard, and thus would need to rent a sod cutter. Loud machines make me anxious (the blender, the vacuum, the lawn mower) so I procrastinate using them.
  2. This: 
    The tiny hole on the left is my exploration to confirm that the pvc is under the roots on that side.
In case my iPhone photo isn't the greatest quality, that's pvc for the sprinkler system and it has a giant oak root growing underneath it.

The instant-gratification part of me says "Just put decomposed granite right over it! You've already turned that zone in the sprinkler system off, and you plan to turn off the entire back yard and just use soaker hoses! Dooooooo it!!"

The long-range planner in me says that's a bad idea, if for no other reason than someday we will sell this house, the future owners will find that, and think the terrible things about me that I say about the former owners now. (Because if you're doing the math that I am, the oak in question is at least 30 years old. I'm just sayin' this didn't happen overnight.)

But I really, really, really hate the scrubby weedy green crap we have in the entire back yard. It tickles my ankles and makes me think bugs are on me, and it looks unsightly. Crab grass has even popped up on the far right side.

So I got firm with myself/struck a bargain: I have to finish edging the newer beds and putting down mulch, and then I can start the granite project. [Which necessarily involves hiring someone to first address that pvc issue, further postponing my use of loud/scary equipment.]

Which brings me to my next update: I've decided not to use the brick for edging. I like that it has substance to it, but the gray brick will clash with the tan granite and I CAN'T HAVE THAT.

Yesterday I went to Rock N Dirt Yard and bought unfinished metal edging. I like the industrial look of it and I think it's more in keeping with what I'm going for in the back.
  • Bonus factor: I don't have to spend hours and break my hand pulling off those spikes like I did for the Home Depot coated edging. Plus I won't be annoyed in 10 years when it starts to rust and the plastic is peeling off.
  • Bummer factor: all the corner pieces the guy gave me go the same direction (maybe that's all they carry?), which ultimately means that the spikes are on the outside of the bed, and that aesthetic bothers me. Hopefully I'm the only one who will ever notice. Lesson learned: don't buy stuff on a Saturday from a place closed on Sunday.
I'll get that done today (removing the bricks from the left-side bed is a project for another day), add at least 20 bags of mulch (hauling home 10 bags at a time from Barton Springs Nursery), and then hopefully finish the epic mulching project by the end of next weekend.

In other news, I've also been doing a lot of planting in the bed against the house (where I've got the stock tank). I read a blog post (I wish I could recall who/where and link it here, I suck) that challenged gardeners to buy more of the plants they already have, rather than buying a bunch of different varieties.  She talked about how nature generally doesn't plant one or even three of something, and it's more soothing to the eye to see big swaths/masses of plants. I realized that in my desperate attempts to find plants that will work in shade, I was a little guilty of the one-and-done haphazard planting. I've made some edits/additions and am surprisingly pleased with what is turning out to be a mostly-green foliage bed. I'll post pictures later today after I finish the edging.

And last but certainly not least, my garden's armpit is done! [It's probably more accurate to say that I'm done until I decide to change something, but let's both pretend I've really achieved the exact effect my little pea brain imagined, and further edits are never warranted.]
Brahea armata from The Great Outdoors

There have been other additions/edits to that corner, so later this year I'll do a full before and after with details. [Probably when I'm feeling depressed about the sun baking everything, or that palm dies.]

Okay, Ryan is making a mulch run for me because he's a good guy, so I guess I need to quit goofing off and start the edging project again.

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