The front yard began to look pretty grimy as we transitioned into full-fledged springtime in Rochester. The change in seasons always kind of hits like a tornado, prompting the 400,000 maple helicopters that fell last fall to sprout into 4″ trees with a single rain shower. Their presence timed nicely with TV marathons of Desperate Landscapes that made me quite honestly feel like an absentee homeowner with an uncared for yard, and I found myself rushing to The Home Depot to buy my first ever trunkload full of rich mulch.
Hello, terrible curb appeal. Where’s Jason Cameron when you need a hand? Aren’t I supposed to get some kind of preferencial treatment now that I do projects for DIY Network? Pick me! Grumble, grumble.
My mom, lavish gardener that she is, has always had mulch delivered in bulk (you know, 5-10 yards or so dumped onto a mat in the driveway so she could service and maintain her expansive garden beds year after year), but after last fall’s triumphing top soil delivery, I wasn’t quite ready to go that big yet. I started with a simple $20 investment, loading 6 bags of $3.33 Scotts Brown Mulch into the back of my Jeep hoping that it would be enough to start to cover the cracked and angry soil in the front yard bed.
Three bags actually went a long way. That’s a thin skim-coating of mulch, I wasn’t going heavy-duty, just enough to give the garden some much needed polish.
With three more placed, this project took all of a half-hour, and left us with a miraculously transformed curb (first on the street to get all mulchified, may I add, cough-cough).
Side note: We’ve been happily working in the sunroom again the last few days. Bright, airy, and warm like a cozy greenhouse from morning to night.
While I was playing yard savior, I also brought this new* Black & Decker string trimmer out to clean up the sidewalk edging a little bit. Looks better in picture than I happened to capture, actually leaving a 1/4″-1/2″ space between the grass and the edge of the sidewalk.
It worked pretty well, although I will say that I still had a similar problem that I’ve had with other brands and models – the string just did not want to keep feeding out automatically and did nothing when I tap-tapped it against the ground. (Note to Pete: Let’s work on my technique, I might have been doing something wrong again.)
Finally, most of the new plants are looking lively, having survived their first winter out of plastic pots. The trio of inkberries in front of the house have been flagged as all-stars; leafy, lush, happy plants. And I’m pretty sure the Cardinal Dogwood Bush is about to blow my mind, I don’t even know what to expect and I’m not googling to find out what its blossoms or fruit look like. Nothing like a little ignorance and a great springtime surprise. What’s been most enjoyable so far is that the previously bright red branches have slowly changing to bright green; Cardinal Dogwoods are definitely the iguanas of the plant world. Am I right?
The winterberries, I’m hoping, are just behind on the plant development curve and will begin leafing-up soon (like beefing up, but leaves, right? Right). I had kind of expected them to begin budding a few weeks ago after the bright red berries shriveled up into raisins, but only this weekend they began to show faint green buds, so hope is not yet lost.
*Yes, Black & Decker did generously give me that 36v cordless string trimmer free of charge after the March #KICKGAS event, but I was in no way obligated to photograph it, write about it, or even use it. My thoughts are my own. I saw that it retails for $169 at Home Depot, and it absolutely has power comparable to the scary gas trimmer that Pete owns.