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Worked all weekend on projects, made a lot of progress!

Monday, February 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Man, am I tired! The past 9 or 10 days have been like a never-ending full body workout.

Redesign of the bed with the new Foxtail palm tree is complete.

Redesign of the bed with the new Foxtail palm tree is complete.

Lisa and I spent practically every waking hour outside working on projects over the past weekend, and we completed several big items from my Spring Project List.

I started off my Saturday by redesigning the bed from which the dying Queen Palm was removed. I’d already replaced the Queen with a Foxtail Palm, but the rest of the bed needed some work.

Check out the pictures for how things turned out. Of course right now things look a little sparse, but once the flowers and shrubs grow and fill in, I think this bed is going to look spectacular…

I decided to leave the Agapanthus (foreground), because they will provide height and beautiful color in spring (they will be blooming very soon). When the Agapanthus are done blooming the multicolored Pentas I planted will be about 2 feet high, very full and lush. The Pentas will be taller than the Agapanthus foliage, and will look very dramatic against the yellow Jack Frost Ligustrum bushes (which I will grow into a solid hedge) in the background.

Those are Geraniums in the planters by the large stone columns, and a Camelia (which will soon bloom) sits just in front of the clay pot under the rain chain. Finally, there are Duc de Rhone azaleas in front of the two stone columns.

Closer shot of the redesigned Foxtail bed. The Pentas will create an unbroken field of multiple colors about 2' high in a few months.

Closer shot of the redesigned Foxtail bed. The Pentas will create an unbroken field of multiple colors about 2′ high in a few months.

I also cleared out some stuff to the left of the walkway (a few Loropetalum bushes, a few Viburnum and some unruly Iris) to open things up a bit and clear the way for some more colorful annuals.

It was slow going working on the bed from which the Queen Palm was removed: despite spending hours removing roots when I first took out the palm, there was still an incredible number of roots remaining throughout the entire bed. That was one seriously established Queen, such a shame that it died. But I’m very happy with the new bed, and pleased to have a Foxtail Palm as part of my landscaping. In fact, I’ll be adding at least three more Foxtail Palms to my property (more on that soon). 🙂

While I was working on the bed out front, Lisa was out back pulling weeds. Once I completed the front bed, I spent the entire rest of the day trimming plants in the backyard and around the pond, and pulling weeds. It was a long, long day. I have never seen so much winter growth and so many winter weeds–one of the disadvantages to a mild winter, I suppose.

On Sunday Lisa and I decided to tackle the backyard gardens and pond area mulching. We spread a total of 5 yards of mulch, and everything is looking great back there now. I love the look and smell of fresh mulch.

We also added a bonus project. The big fence gate was always difficult to open because the turf grass is so thick and healthy. So late last year I dug that area out, and planned to install a stone transition there. I never got around to it, and so there was just this depressed 10’x10′ section of bare dirt there. Yesterday Lisa and I decided to purchase the stone and get that project out of the way. I leveled and tamped the soil, and Lisa was a master at getting the stones to fit together nicely. It came out great! I do need to do some minor leveling adjustments to a couple of the stones and add some paver sand, but apart from that the stone transition is finally done! I’ll grab a picture once I finish the last couple steps.

Eventually that little transition will be expanded into a stone walkway that wraps around the entire pond.

With a couple of exceptions most of the really big projects are done now. We still need to plant all of our annuals and mulch the front gardens (about 10 yards of mulch), and that’s a full day. Cleaning the garage is a pretty big job, too, but I like to do that last.

Also, and I’ll talk more about this tomorrow, I’ve decided to make a fairly noteworthy change to landscaping around the pond. 🙂

So here’s the updated project list.

These items have been completed: 🙂

  • Pressure wash the paver driveway and walkway
  • Pressure wash the sidewalks and street-side gutters and back patio
  • Pressure wash the backyard fence (front facing)
  • Pressure wash the house and the rain gutters
  • Pressure wash the backyard fence (back facing)
  • Pressure wash back patio
  • Thoroughly clean grill
  • Pressure wash and clean all patio furniture
  • Fertilize all plants, trees, fruit trees, palms and flowers (front yard)
  • Check function of automatic irrigation system for peppers, herbs and tomatoes
  • Weed all flower beds (front yard)
  • Trim all plants, trees, fruit trees and palms (front yard)
  • Clean and adjust all outdoor security cameras
  • Fertilize all plants, trees, fruit trees, palms and flowers (back yard/pond)
  • General pond maintenance (replace/clean filters, check auto-fill/timer function, adjust rocks, adjust pond and path lighting etc.)
  • Trim all plants, trees, fruit trees and palms (back yard/pond)
  • Weed all flower beds (back yard/pond)
  • Spread 5 yards of mulch (back yard/pond)
  • Re-design and add plants to flower bed to right of walkway (where the Queen palm was removed)
  • Install stone walkway leading into backyard at fence gate.

Remaining to do:

  • Clean all exterior windows/screens
  • Caulk and touch up paint exterior of the home
  • Clean all outdoor lighting fixtures, check motion sensors, replace bulbs as needed
  • Check entire sprinkler system for coverage and leaks, adjust/repair as required (10 zones)
  • Spread 10 yards of mulch (front yard)
  • Select and plant this year’s crop of peppers, herbs and tomatoes
  • Plant hundreds of annuals and assorted other plants
  • Clean and organize entire garage/bike shop
  • Wash automobiles and do full Zaino treatment

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “Worked all weekend on projects, made a lot of progress!”
    • No mulch pile this time. I bought the mulch in bags because it was on sale and so the price difference between bagged mulch and bulk mulch was negligible. Also, having it bagged made it much easier to transport to the backyard and spread around (plus I didn’t have to load the mulch into the wheelbarrow one shovelful at a time!)

      In fact, it was so much less work spreading the bagged mulch that I may do the front yard the same way (1 yard = 14 bags, so that’s 140 bags).

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