Chicago, Illinois, US
October 15
I enjoy riding my bike around Chicago in my free time, perusing art and gardens, enjoying good beer, and musing on the wackiness of life.


JULY 17, 2011 5:45PM

dropping out in plain sight

Rate: 5 Flag

Sorry I've been so out of touch for a while.  It's not you guys, and it's not all the OS technical difficulties.

I wrote a couple of previous posts about the major landscape makeover we're doing at our house.  We also threw in a few non-landscape house projects because it made sense to get them out of the way before investing a lot of time and money in planting new things that could get destroyed if the other work was done later.  It's a very satisfying project, but it's pretty much consuming my life for most of the summer.

To give you a summary of the various pieces of the overall project, we have:

* had old concrete patio and paths removed
* had old side fence removed
* had gutters and downspouts replaced
* had new side fence installed
* had new bluestone patio and paths installed
* had a big trench dug along one side of the house for masons to use
* had masons repoint the first few courses of bricks and apply waterproof sealer to the foundation
* had the trench refilled

While all of this has been going on, we've been working with a landscape architect to develop plans for replanting the front yard, side yard, and the portion of the back yard around the patio and paths.

I started planting the front yard a while ago and am almost finished with it.  I've started on the back yard and side yard.  The biggest work is ahead - a 20' x 45' area in the side yard that is almost a blank slate.

My routine for most days includes spending a couple of hours outside in early morning continuing to plant and watering the recently planted stuff, putting down weed barrier and mulch in finished areas, and a couple of hours outside in afternoon, doing more of the same.  Some of the work is timed to take advantage of shade, especially on the hottest days.  Yes, I have been outside working  on most of the hottest days.  There's so much to do, so many plants still in pots from my April "free plant" expedition (digging a lot of plants from a friend's back yard planting bed), and a limited window of time to get so much work done before October, so that all the plants have enough time to establish roots before the cold weather returns.

Here are a few short video tours of different garden areas around the house:  front yardside yard, and back yard.  (I wanted to embed these, but OS's HTML editor wasn't integrating the code properly into the page.  :(  I hate it when technology continues to fail here.)

Get buzzy with bumblebees visiting the white rosa rugosa in the back yard.

Next year I want to add a raised planting bed near the side gate for more veggie garden space.

This week's project:  go out and buy a lot of shrubs and grasses for the side yard space, then start digging some big holes.

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Ah, dirt therapy, I understand. We put in a retaining wall and are doing a patio. We are doing it mostly ourselves and it is quite consuming. We are getting a lot of things together that needed to be done for awhile. Just never have time. Project central, here in the boonies, fun for everyone!!!
jealousing here. I got annuals sitting outside withering cause i haven't had enough time to get them safe to bed
Yes, dirt therapy. Enjoy! ~r
Sheila - Sounds like plenty of dirt therapy there.

Julie - I hope you can get yours planted soon. I've got some plants that have been sitting in pots since April (mostly daylilies and hostas). Nursing those along because they're getting really potbound. Fortunately I'll be able to plant them soon, because their new home will finally be ready.

Joan - Oh yeah!
Manual labor beats sitting in front of the computer in the summertime. Best of luck!
Yeah, I find it tough to concentrate on the class I'm taking right now. In general, I'd rather be outside when the weather is nice. Our current hot weather is an exception though.
I love how Sheila puts it: dirt therapy.
Such good endeavors you have going, and more space for a veggie garden is always a good idea : )
We're halfway through a patio ourselves...