Thursday, June 19, 2014

Making Our Bed(s)

This spring we've been working hard on the exterior of our house. First we got new windows (which included adding sweet black trim around them), then we worked on the front landscape (including a new walkway), we edged all of our beds (which we have way too many of), and finally finished things up with sprucing up our back beds. You may remember this is the same bed we worked on this past October. What we didn't do in October was lay weed fabric down first, so all the weeds we pulled eventually came back (gotta love that). It was time to do 'er up right. So while Mitch was at work one day, I got busy.

I edged the bed with a commercial-grade edger (thanks to our friend John for the hook-up) to redefine the space, then laid the weed blocking fabric. I was done with weeds taking over this space, darn it. Aren't our black-trimmed windows so purdy?

This bed has always bothered me cause it's just so "ho-hum." It needed some interest. So I built a small retaining wall to break it up a bit. I just dry-stacked the rocks...nothing fancy, just something to add a bit of visual interest. Plus I like rocks in gardens. We call this our rock garden now. Most of the rocks we had on hand, but later that day all of us went into the corn field behind our house to pick out some more.

When Mitch came home from work, he dug up a Barberry bush that we had on the side of the house (it was getting crowded where it was) to put in our new bed.

I picked up a couple things from the greenhouse down the road, including this Weigela that I planted inside the retaining wall. The only flowers I got this year went into the two planters that are in this bed.

Then Mitch went to the cornfield and got some dirt and filled in behind the wall. And yes, that's our "wheelbarrow." It's actually a little garden cart that's cracked and has a hole in it, but we still use it. One of these days we'll break down a get a nice "grown-up" wheelbarrow.

Then we used more of the free woodchips from my father-in-law as our "mulch." The extra rocks you see are the ones we pulled out of the field. It was an all-hands-on-deck project that the boys loved. Funny thing--literally later that evening there was a skid loader in the field pulling out rocks and dumping them at the edge of the field, so we were actually doing the farmer a favor by using these rocks!

I purposely kept things simple back here. I didn't want to plant a ton of flowers because I wanted to lay that weed fabric over the whole area, hoping to keep weeds at a minimum. I added color with potted flowers and the Weigela. There's also a Rose of Sharon there that blooms in pretty pinky-purple flowers.

(Do ya like the window sticker that's still on the boys' bathroom window? You can tell we don't use that room...soon, hopefully soon we'll get crackin' in there!)

This little garden stool thing is not only in the garden for looks, but it's hiding our propane tank as well. 


These pics were taken a couple weeks ago, so these pots are much more full now.

So that's what we've been up to these days. It feels great crossing this landscape stuff off our list. Let's just hope the weeds stay away long enough so that we really get to enjoy the fruit of our labor.


  1. What a nice improvement to you exterior! (I like building rock walls too, BTW.) Your post is inspiring me to put weed cloth down in our beds between the sidewalk and the street. They drive me crazy with the weeds!!

  2. It looks fantastic! Just one question, is the siding really water resistant? Because I know normally it's a good idea to keep the soil off the house.

    1. Thanks! Our siding is vinyl so it I'm thinking we're in the clear. We didn't really think that building up the bed there against the house would be an issue...but I guess we'll find out!

    2. Oh with vinyl siding I'm sure you're fine. I live in California, termite nation, and when they did our fumigation before moving in I got this major lecture about keeping dirt off the house. I was like, dude - I am MOVING IN... I didn't do it! hahaha.. anyway, the house is also like 100 and has wood shingles, so that's probably part of it. :D

    3. and I have no clue why this is coming up as anonymous, lol - I'm Jesse, from Nine Red :D

    4. Hey Jesse (wonder why you're not showing up??) (maybe I did something on my end...sick of all these spam comments I get!) I guess in CA they have regulations for everything, huh? Ha! But that's a good point about keeping the dirt away from wood siding...rot and termites are the last thing people need to worry about when working on their beds. Thanks for your input! :)

  3. What a difference from ho hum to wow! I have landscape fabric, just need to remember to use it, and not be lazy about it, lol...

    1. Thanks, Judi! Yeah, I'm so glad we went ahead and just did it. It takes time but I'm hoping the rewards outweigh the effort!


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