Pfew, I am sore! I spent the weekend battling with our yard and every muscle in my body is aching. Hubby took care of The Cute all day long, giving me the chance to tackle several areas in our yard (and if I haven’t lost 35 pounds with all this work, I will be very disappointed!).
I made a new flowerbed while tackling the issue of fixing the slope from the house at the same time. Added curb appeal, it’s cleaner, neat and looks inviting.
Total cost? 24 dollars!
When we bought the house, there were two Rhododendrons, a handful of Irises (blocking the access for the oil input), a few Daylilies, some ferns (?) and a lot of weeds, growing randomly. This is the before:
Notice that under the Rhododendrons,
there practically isn’t any flowerbed and the whole area looks unkempt.
Another angle shot to show the old “curb appeal”.
The Cute and her Daddy, took care of the shopping and even took several trips to get me gravel and topsoil. I dug and carried and cleaned and chopped and got dirty but I am very happy with the result.
First I pruned slightly the Rhododendrons, especially the one that was blocking the window. I use the 1/3 rule to slowly cut them lower every year until they fill again (or until I budget to remove them and plant new ones – whichever comes first). Meanwhile, that window gets a lot more light in and my husband can mow the lawn easier.
After digging out all the unwanted plants (those Irises were pretty stubborn) and raking well, this is what I had. A clean-ish area with a clear slope (on the right of the photo) that had to be filled and leveled. You can see I have already started the process by adding gravel along the wall and under the porch.
We happen to have a very handy gravel pit (random gravel in the middle of the lawn) on the other side of the house and it provided a lot of material but we also bought pea gravel. Both are going to help with drainage.
I filled the area with gravel and topsoil and then leveled with the rake, sloping the flower bed away from the house. This is seriously one of the two best ways to ensure a dry basement: fix the ground to slope away from your house. To my experience, every little bit of correct slope helps.
Once I was satisfied by the much improved base, I covered the ground with newspapers (to act as weed barriers) and finished with red mulch. Notice that the mulch is not touching the siding or the walls at all. If you have a flower bed adjacent to your house and you have to have the mulch touching the walls, get cedar mulch to avoid mold and rot.
I added the little hosta from this post under the window, for balance. The access to the oil tank is now free from any obstructions so, the refills are a breeze and the worker does not have to stomp on plants in order to do his job. I finished the area with pea gravel and I have to tell you, it looks beautiful! The gravel has beige undertones that are a perfect match for the brick red mulch.
This is the first flower bed I ever made and I can’t describe how proud I feel! Took me seven hours, gave me a lot of exercise, I made a couple of mistakes (that were easy to fix) but, the result is fantastic and I am very happy with it. 😀
The cost included: 4 bags of pea gravel ~$15, 3 bags of red wood mulch = $6 and 2 bags of topsoil = $3. Extra soil and thicker gravel came from the backyard (free), newspapers for weed control (free – actually made money from them because of their coupon inserts), the plants I used came with the house, trimmed and transplanted from other areas =$0 and finally, hours of elbow grease =$0.
Total cost = 24 Dollars
Remember where we started?
(Don’t forget to PIN IT if you liked the result!)
The poor Rhododendrons, look so straggly now but, they should do much better from now on since they won’t have to compete with weeds. I may still have a brown thumb but things are improving!
I hope you had a happy and productive weekend, too and if you want a flower bed, go ahead and make it. It’s easy!
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