27 June 2011

Business up front

Now that it's summer, we're finally getting pleasant spring temperatures instead of the summer weather we had during spring. Thanks, global warming. Time to get into the yard!

I'd been waffling over what to do with our front flower bed. Because we live in an historic district, we don't have the setback that modern subdivisions have, so no real front lawn. Our front steps run right to the sidewalk, leaving a 6' x 18' strip of grass/weeds to one side. I've wanted hydrangeas forever, so hydrangeas I shall have! To make my hydrangea dreams come true, I had to remove my irises:

They were in desperate need of division, so I did that. I ended up with 44 plants! My mother-in-law mentioned a few months ago that she wanted to try some purple flowers in her yard, so I gave her several divisions. The remainder will be replanted somewhere in the yard, as soon as I figure out where. There was also some bishop's weed living in the bed:

I haven't found it to be particularly invasive or troublesome, and I think the foliage is pretty, so I moved it to the side yard on the other side of the front steps. I spent some time pulling out other weeds from that area and wouldn't mind this stuff taking over instead. May the best weed win!

Once the area was cleared of grass and weeds, I broke up the soil and added a couple bags of compost. The hydrangeas (whose pots I soaked in buckets of water while I was doing the site prep) then got planted and mulched.

Homigo hydrangea

Hopefully they'll eventually grow wide enough to touch each other

Within minutes of being planted, several people stopped to tell me how wonderful they look! I just hope my green-thumbed luck continues and they keep looking great all summer. After waiting 6 months for my bulbs to bloom, I was happy for some instant gratification with the hydrangeas!

We also (almost) finished trimming the front bed with bricks. I have yet to determine what else I'll be planting, but all of the grass will eventually be removed. I thought the bricks would make a nice edging material along the sidewalk, and we certainly had plenty laying around to do the job!

Clearly we have some weeding to do (this part has been done for a month or more), but we're pretty happy with how it turned out! The sidewalk makes a 45-degree turn to meet the house at the bay window, leaving a gap where the bricks change directions. In this area we'll pour a little bit of concrete.

It'll be like a keystone and a heck of a lot easier than cutting a brick to fit the space. A monogram or tiny handprint may or may not show up in the cement.


glenna said...

I was thinking that you should cut two bricks (or maybe just one) to fit the spot until I continued on and read about the possibility of Birdie's hand print showing up in the space. I think that's a good idea....will it include the new baby's too,....and/or Zibby?

Hydrangea's look great...those are some awesome flower heads. They do need lots of water, might want to invest in a soaker hose, or make one for that matter to keep you from watering by hand all the time. Roadside recovery is always a good source for hoses. MOM

Christina Banker said...

If it is business up front,does that mean there is a party in the back?!? Your hydrangeas are gorgeous and I am tres jealous.

Sarah said...

This awful heat has not been kind to the hydrangeas despite twice-daily watering, unfortunately. And the back yard is ALL party - a frat party. Not good.