Working in the Garden

We started working in the garden again! Our wonderful neighbor Christy told us about a place in Loganville where you can get plants for cheap. We all made a trip up there and came back with some great stuff for the yard. Steffi and I have also finally come up with a half decent plan for the backyard, so we are slowly working on making it happen. We also dug up a ton of concrete!

Check out the hostas from last year. They came back STRONG!


We dug up a lot of concrete – now we just need to figure out how to get rid of it.

Pile of concrete

We started by making some small flowerbeds along where the path will go.

Flower bed

Here’s another one of the flowerbeds. They will eventually all become one big flowerbed!

Flower bed

We planted some Jasmine by the shed. We aren’t sure what the colorful plants are in the front – they had no labels!

Flower bed

This is the start of our “woodland garden” behind the shed. Nothing but hostas and ferns! It should grow in nicely.

Woodland garden

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Garden Updates

Since we were going on vacation for a little while Patrick’s mom volunteered to come by the house to water our plants so they wouldn’t die while we were gone. Naturally other items continued to grow as well though…

The neighbor’s unstoppable kudzu managed to get all the way to our house!

Invasive kudzu

The Hosta’s look like they grew quite a bit – one of them even grew flowers! And the Red Fountain Grass must have gotten somewhat of a beating from thunderstorms – usually it perks back up, but this time it appears to be permanently down. We’ll have to tie them together or something so they won’t stay so droopy. (Compare to pre-vacation photo)

Fountain grass

The sunflowers were such a success. Yeah…well…or not really. Next time I’ll know better than to plant sunflower seeds on a west-facing wall. Those sunflowers took one beating after another. Some of them were doing alright in the beginning (See photo), but every time it rained those poor fragile little plants were beaten to the ground. Plus the ones facing north must not have received enough sunlight because they slowly but surely shriveled up. The only ones really going anywhere where the southern-most ones…and even though a few of them are at least blooming they’re not exactly standing up tall and strong! Like I said, I’ll know better next time…


Aaaaand the lavender. My sweet, sweet lavender. We’ve gone through a bit with these little ones too. Originally we had planted them in our “pond” spot where the Hosta’s are now located (See photo). We transplanted them to this (above) location because the area is much, much drier. The one on the left was the “Hidcote” variety that I had picked out; the one on the right was the “Sweet” variety that Patrick had picked.


Now that we returned from vacation I was sad to see that my poor lavender didn’t make it. Perhaps we had transplanted it too late? Unfortunately it had to go to plant heaven.


They still had some lavender’s left at Lowe’s, so we planted the “Province” variety that we also have at the front of the house.


We added some more flowers at the front of the house. Earlier we had planted the Japanese Boxwoods and some yellow annual flowers. Patrick’s mom forgot to water this flower bed, so one of the boxwood’s isn’t doing to well and we’re considering replacing it (the others seem to be doing ok after watering). Funnily enough the annuals grew bigger than the boxwood’s – perhaps because the rain still hits them but not the boxwood’s behind (See previous photo). We’ve added these white “Mum’s” because they’re quite beautiful and because they’re perennial’s. That way when the yellow annuals die the Mum’s will be there to keep the flower bed green.

Foundation plants

And lastly we have a new buddy around the house. To our shock our right-side neighbors had moved out while we were gone. They had only moved in in April, so we didn’t expect them to be gone when we got back. Unfortunately they have abandoned their two cats – momma cat and her teenager (born right around the time when the neighbor’s moved in). To make things worse we discovered that momma cat is expecting again. We are considering keeping the little teenager (above) around, but are not up for the task of keeping mom and her soon to be family additions. We’ve tried to contact animal rescue place after animal rescue place, but they are either full or claiming they can’t accept cats and to go through the city’s animal shelter instead. We’ve been hesitant to call the animal shelter because we know they put cats to sleep if they don’t get adopted within a certain time frame and we can’t bear the thought of that. So we’re in somewhat of a dilemma about what to do with this abandoned pregnant cat. :(

Neighborhood cat

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Productive Weekend

So you know how it goes…it’s the weekend, it’s been a busy week and all you want to do is kick back, watch a movie, go out for a few drinks and food or hang out with friends. While those weekends are ever so fun they don’t get too much accomplished around the house. This weekend I felt like we were really productive and got a number of things from the to-do list accomplished (and still managed to have a few beers at a friend’s party!).

Exterior – Fence Removal:

Though the vines looked nice and grown-in and green on the fence the whole thing just isn’t part of our long-term landscaping plan. Plus part of the bushy greenery consisted of poison ivy! So the decision was made to get rid of the rusty chicken-wire fence.

Garden fence before

The view after the fence has been removed. Or at least the majority of it – we left a small part that was covered with the poison ivy which we have to kill before removing.

Removed garden fence

Patrick proudly displaying the “lovely” removed chicken wire fence.

Removed garden fence

Exterior – Flower Bed:

The front of our house has been looking a bit bland. We love our hedge that separates the street/sidewalk from our lot because it’s makes a natural fence, but the sight right by the house has just been lacking. Not to mention it has the remains of a holly bush trunk that must be as old as the house! I can’t stand that big ugly thing, not to mention I’m not a big fan of scratchy bushes either. So this picture shows the left side of the house and what we started with.

Before foundation plants

This picture is what we ended up with some 24 hours later. So much nicer! It already helps the ambiance of the front of the house.

After foundation plants

Awwwww, how nice. I know this is probably nothing for the average gardener, but like I keep pointing out – we’re newbie’s! So we’re kind of proud of our first nice looking flower bed. I think our previous problem has been that we would go to the store, fall in love with what ever plant and then get home not being sure where to plant it. A week would pass and we would start stressing out about needing to put the plant in the ground. That’s when plants have ended up in places that may not be the most ideal for them or where I later decide that the location would be more optimal for something else in the future. With this project I have really wanted a hedge by the front of the house. So we got these Japanese Boxwoods to make up the background and then some little cute annuals to add color in the foreground. Additionally we came across this neat looking “Asparagus Fern” that adds a little bit of variety (though it may not survive the winter).

Foundation plants

Interior Projects:

Additionally we accomplished some interior work…the kind that’s not so exciting though (which is probably why we’ve been procrastinating!): hanging up blinds. We now have blinds over the six windows in the office. Which also means the boxes aren’t lying on the floor anymore and we don’t have to climb over them to reach the phone. We scraped paint off some of those office windows – too bad a ton of paint is also still on the outside part of the windows.

Another thing was unpacking our toiletries. We’ve still had them filled in boxes inside our bathroom built-in. Since we’re not sure when we’ll get to finishing it off we decided that we may as well unpack our items and not live out of those boxes anymore. Since all of this is pretty boring I’ll spare you photos of which shampoo’s I store in there. :)

I want to say there may have been a few more things we checked off the list, but I can’t remember them now. Oh well.

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We’re Proud Parents…

We’re Proud Parents…


…of tomatoes! So this may not be as exciting to some out there as it is to us, but as first time gardeners it’s pretty exciting when you find your very first tomato growing! Not only that, but yesterday we found a second tomato on the same vine. And this morning I was also very excited to find a tiny green bell pepper growing. Woohoo, we’re going to have some of our homegrown veggies before long. For good measure I took a picture of our first tomato with the port-a-potty in the background. Patrick put it on Craigslist, so hopefully we won’t be owners much longer?

Further Updates in the Garden…

A bigger view of our vegetable garden shows that the scrawny little squashes that we planted about a month earlier have nearly taken over the entire vegetable bed! (View photo from a month ago) In the far left we have the “Bigger Boy” tomato that has yet to create any tomatoes. In front of that is the green bell pepper, as mentioned above. Of course it wasn’t until after we planted the bell pepper next to the tomato’s that I read not to plant them next to one another – oops. In front of the bell pepper are the six squash plants, and in front of that (closest to the camera) is a honeydew melon. On the far right is our champion tomato that my parents gave us. In front of that is a zucchini plant, and in font of that (about to be overtaken by the squash) is our grape vine.


After planting the rose the yellow flowers turned brown and I made my first attempt at pruning. Initially I was scared I had done something wrong – nothing was happening. But about a week ago I started to see tiny growth, and before I could blink the tiny growth had grown some 6 inches on one particular branch! It looks like it’s getting ready to develop a new flower bud, so I’ll be pretty excited if it does.


Patrick likes the decorative grasses, so we planted these red fountain grasses by the back door stairs. They’re not super bushy and round, but when we planted them they were only about two cinderblocks high – now they’re a good four cinderblocks high with a ton of the little fuzzy “cat tails.”

Red Fountain Grass

On the morning of Independence Day we decided to plant the bulbs we bought at Sam’s Club. While we were shopping there the other day they sold a variety pack of 250 bulbs for $13! We just couldn’t resist and only thought about the fact that it wasn’t really planting season until we got home. What was even more confusing was that we then also realized that it said these bulbs were for the spring planting season. If anything I would have thought they were going to be for the upcoming fall? In any case, we decided to plant 110 of them underneath the Yoshino Flowering Cherry tree we had planted this spring. We planted 60 Dutch Iris (“Blue Pearl”) that are supposed to bloom between May and June, and 50 Acidanthera that are supposed to bloom between August and September. Now the question will be if they will ever bloom at all since we planted them smack in the middle of the hot summer. We still have 4 different bulb varieties left to plant in the next few days.

Planting bulbs

The sunflowers seem to be doing ok. I had planted them in three different sections and only a few were dug up by squirrels. The southern most plants seem to be doing the best. I think the rain really took a beating on them, so the majority of them are kind of mushed against the ground, but the one batch seems to be holding strong even after the rain. We also planted some cute annuals in between the sunflowers to add some color until the sunflowers will bloom.


Kudzu Update…

And lastly I thought I would display an update on how the neighbor’s “garden” is holding up. The kudzu has now completely encompassed the gas meter (if there were one that is – but there is not). In addition it has crawled up the electricity meter and is presumably touching the fascia board by now. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the kudzu in the back yard was waist high! (View yard about 1.5 months ago)


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