Friday, May 25, 2012

May 2012 - Front Yard Reno

Over the past few years, the periwinkle in my front garden had advanced and advanced until it now fully controlled the garden bed. Never having had enough time on weekends to keep the spreader at bay, it just slowly took over.
Well - I have the time now because I am retired. And I am determined, that even though I have lost a few battles so far, I plan to win my front garden back!!
I first assessed the situation:

YIKES!!!! Yup, just as bad as I thought.
So one May morning, I woke up determined to get right out there and start digging it out.
Bad idea.
I wasn't even strong enough to get the shovel in the ground. Dry soil plus a dense plant with lots of roots = no success.
I thought about it and realized that I could ask my Godson Rob for help. Sure enough he was able to come over on the Sunday of Victoria day weekend and give me a hand.
Look what he managed to achieve in 2 hours!!

He piled all the dirt, plants and roots into our little trailer, where it will be hauled away to the dump tomorrow. (We added some pruned shrub branches as well!)

I bought one of those big yellow bags of triple-mix so that I would have plenty of fresh, new soil to work with.

I dug out many wheelbarrows full and filled the area. I knew I had several really nice medium sized rocks that had disappeared beneath said ground cover so I managed to find those and get them to the new area without putting my back out :)

Then I brought my selected plants and placed them to see how they would look: 2 Barberry bushes, Blue Oat grass (I split up a plant that the periwinkle had swallowed in another section) and lots of annuals: petunias, Geraniums, Dusty Miller, Ageratum and allyssum.

Starting to look pretty good! Then I added mulch and was all done. My summer job will be keeping the area watered and keeping the invasive periwinkle at bay.

So, now that the front garden is "finished, let me take you on a tour:


debsgarden said...

I know periwinkle very well. i can say it is a great ground cover that definitely doesn't belong in a bed amongst annuals and perennials, though bulbs like tulips and daffodils do OK. I like the pretty area you have carved out of the periwinkle sea, but if you turn your back the periwinkle may quickly return.

It could be worse. I had a hillside of periwinkle under the trees in an area of the woodlands. I thought it was beautiful and loved the blue blooms in the springtime. Then one year I realized the periwinkle had been smothered by the invasive English ivy, which swamps everything on the ground and then climbs upwards into the trees. It truly rivals our notorious kudzu.

Astrid said...

Hi Deb
Thanks for the warning - I will keep a very close eye on the periwinkle ;-)
So many ground covers are attractive to novice gardeners and I have definitely become the victim of periwinkle, ajuga and goutweed. But your English Ivy sounds vicious. Yikes!

Nadezda said...

Astrid, you're retired now and will do a lot of work in your pretty garden! I loved geraniums, petunias, and allyssum. They grow fast and decorate a garden.

Astrid said...

Hi Nadezda
It's amazing how much I have accomplished in the garden since Mid-April! I love retirement!! It's wonderful to be out there every day. I too am a great fan of annuals - they provide colour all summer long.

Alistair said...

Yes Astrid retirement is great, and don't you just laugh when people say, do you get fed up sitting around doing nothing. How satisfying to get the area in your front garden cleared, and its all looking fabulous.

Jennifer said...

Hi Astrid, I have periwinkle too, but lucky for me it is in a controlled location. Goutweed and lily of the valley on the other hand are out of control in two spots. What a nightmare! The home's previous owner planted them, not me, and I am paying the price. So much work to dig them out! I feel for you with the periwinkle and can absolutely appreciate how much work went into your renovation.

Astrid said...

Hi Alistair
Thx for the compliment. I am quite pleased with the front now. After years of looking bedraggled, it finally looks neat and colourful. And as for retirement - I have no idea how I had time to work! I am so busy now :)

Hi Jennifer
I have goutweed too and it's bad in places but now that I have some of these huge spring clean-up jobs done, I'll be able to keep the other "bad" plants in check. Thx for stopping by!

rozsaszinpaprika said...

Astrid! I love reading your blog! Always looking forward to your updates! I learn so much, and love your style of writing!!! Amanda Paal Medeiros <3