I didn’t mention last week that when we found that awesome estate sale, I had also convinced the folks hosting the sale to give me a shovel full of Myrtle from the home’s front garden. It was lush, flowering little purple blossoms, and I thought it was the type of shade-loving ground cover that my yard might just soak up. I love me some maintenance-free ground cover. And I love me some free perennials.
And then I found more. At Pete’s parents. And they let me take some home. Clarification: they let us dig up an entire recycling bin’s worth -WHOA, that’s 6-layers thick in the next photo. And truth be told, you can barely tell; the hole in the middle of the garden was immediately consumed by remaining Myrtle. It just grows like that.
Of course this meant I needed a place to plant it, pronto, so Sunday morning bright and early I conjured up a real plan of attack for starting work on that front garden that I had written about here. I’m not going to run out and buy some of the big shrubs I was hoping to splurge on, but having new plants to put in the ground gave me the courage to start something… anything.
First things first, I removed the tulip bulbs and transplanted them into the garden in the backyard; I realize this is a major no-no considering they had just barely finished blooming (and the ones that weren’t finished were trimmed and are sitting nicely on the mantel). Secondly, I weeded my little heart out until the front garden (from the vantage point of the porch) looked like this:
And then I started getting crazy.
All along, I’ve wanted to make the garden wider, but the driveway’s a big obstruction in that. Of course, I also had been wanting to reduce the driveway from 3-cars wide to a more balanced 2-car width, and having all these new plants that needed to get into the ground lit a bit of a fire under my butt to do it the way I wanted to the first time. And that involved ripping up a bit of asphalt.
I’m not sure what Pete was thinking when he came home to me with a sledgehammer and small pile of asphalt; I was sledging myself into a major state of head-achey and arm-achey but the asphalt was so hot and melty from the nice weather that it actually peeled up from the rock base pretty easily, and tore into manageably sized pieces in a way that I can only compare to breaking apart warm brownies. YUM.
After a little while, some ibuprofen and water, we had this:
Of course, we had a little bit of work to do to get the finished end looking straight, and had to figure out a way to get a couple of posts from the original deck out of the ground, so we kept on working. Pete employed a trusty angle grinder to gouge a straight line into the asphalt; it happily gave us enough of a crack to effectively sledge and have it break right on the line.
In another fun feats-of-strength-esque moment, I caught Pete on camera in a series of poses that only could be compared to something out of Power Rangers or Karate Kid. I think this earns him a black belt.
And again? Just for fun. Because I’m impressed with him and my shutter speed.
Oh, and the posts did successfully make it out of the ground and I’m happy to say that the previous owners had built the original porch correctly with the posts 48″ under the earth completely surrounded by concrete. Read: this removal was not as easy as Pete makes it look.
I won’t get into the ordeal that is removing 40 sq.ft. of rock that lays 6″ deep as a base for the asphalt because that wasn’t easy in the least (and it’s boring, and I still have a headache when I think about shoveling grindy rocks)… but it’s gone, and in its place is 19 bags of sale-priced top soil (that seems mysteriously to be mixed with lots of bark, Home Depot). Thank goodness for Memorial Day Weekend savings at those stores; the whole buy didn’t cost more than $25 thanks to a 10% coupon I had saved.
The Myrtle was successfully transplanted and we’re looking forward to it getting it’s sea legs (or, roots) established so we can see some growth and expansion in the garden space.
We made another big change to the front of the house yesterday, but the photos aren’t quite uploaded yet. I’ll share them as soon as possible! All I’ll say is… it’s finally looking SO GOOD.