May progress report

Let’s see how many excuses I can come up with to explain my attitude towards working outside during most of May.

  1. Weather was cold and rainy.
  2. My Dad jetted off to England.
  3. The tractor still had the snowblower attached to it up until the middle of the month.

Despite sounding like a big whiner, I actually did accomplish a few things this month. In fact, I surprised myself by how much I was able to cross off my ambitious list of landscaping to-dos for May.

Here’s how I did.

Turnaround

  • Weed the flower garden half
  • Spread wood chips on flower garden – I nearly didn’t get to this one, but knowing I had to report back to all of you made me get my butt in gear.
  • Make a top for the bird bath – I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do for this one. The idea that I had for the top is a little bit… well… little.

Trying to find a basin for a bird bath

  • Put the bird bath in place
  • Place the bench
  • Continue to fill in the garden with more plants

Garden with a brick path and park bench under a big tree

The turnaround is looking awesome IMHO. It’s turning out even better than I expected. Obviously the plants still need to fill out a bit (okay, a lot) more, but I think it’s going to be beautiful.

Front garden

  • Edge the garden
  • Transplant a few bushes, trees and other plants out of this bed and into some of the other gardens
  • Fill in the pit from the woodstove chimney
  • Fix the downspouts
  • Weed as I go

Trees

  • Pick up fallen branches
  • Cut branches to firewood lengths
  • Split firewood
  • Burn brush – We have three massive piles of brush, but the wood is still a little damp and isn’t that interested in catching fire.

Matt got an in-depth hands-on session with his new chainsaw when his Dad came over to help us with the clean up. This to-do was definitely a team effort. Lesson learned: The chainsaw is heavier than you think, a fact that becomes obvious after working with it all day. Second lesson learned: Your wife doesn’t care that you just learned how to use a chainsaw. She’ll still send you up an extension ladder to trim branches off the pines outside the kitchen window, all so that she can have a better view of the pond. Third lesson learned: Baxter was a big help, as usual.

Baxter supervising ice storm clean up

Grass

  • Add top soil beside the front stoop and seed
  • Overseed in front of raised bed under the dining room window
  • Rake solar trench smooth and seed

Wop-wop. Big fat nothin’ on the grass front. We did mow before it got knee-high, which is an improvement over the past two springs, so I guess that’s something.

Hoses

  • Turn on water to exterior taps
  • Install hoses at side and back of house
  • Install a proper hose bib at the driveshed, so that the hose isn’t laying on the ground. – My Dad’s going to help me with this one, but he couldn’t do very much from England.
    1. Shorten waterline
    2. Attach to waterline to wall
    3. Install a splitter so that I can someday add another hose bib at the opposite corner of the driveshed
    4. Reinstall tap on shortened waterline
    5. Install hose hanger
    6. Hook up hose

Hose coiled in the grass

My plan to focus on one area per week (or weekend) went a little off track due to weather, support crew and motivation, but I still feel like I put a good dent in this year’s landscaping plan.

Work is ongoing and will continue for a few months (years) yet.

What progress have you made outside so far? Have you learned to use any new equipment this spring? Are your four-legged friends as helpful as Baxter? How do you handle your hoses?

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6 thoughts on “May progress report

  1. Hey, you still got to check some things off! That is an improvement! I have not done very well outside. I did plant a couple things and transplanted a rose that I dug up from my grandpa’s house. He planted it years and years ago and he passed away in 1994. I have told my parents that I wanted a start of it for years and finally got around to it!

    I was reminded how little I actually got done on my flower bed when my boyfriend’s daughter said, “Sarah, you should plant some flowers here and make it look nice.”

    Point taken!

  2. I really love how the pathway, bench and plants are looking! Job well done! And before you know it the plants will be growing like crazy!

    When we take out our pool we are now planning to put in a brick circular area with garden around it and one day build a screened in gazebo (mosquitoes are crazy around our house right now!). What did you use in between the bricks? Did you put down some barrier to keep the weeds down first or a base layer of sand or gravel?

    I’ll keep my eye open for a bigger bowl for you birdbath! Good idea….just maybe a bit bigger and you’ll be all set!

    • That sounds like a great plan for the pool spot. I think screened porches or enclosed areas make so much sense.

      Right now the bricks have just plain sand between them and underneath them. I didn’t put down weed barrier and weeds have sprouted. They pull out fairly easily, but I may spray some of them. I also have some bags of polymeric sand which is supposed to set to a rubbery, yet sandy-like substance. It locks the bricks in place, but doesn’t crack and is supposed to not let weeds grow as much.

  3. The circular flower garden with the bench looks like it’s been there forever! How gorgeous.
    I had an idea for your birdbath: what if you made the hypertufa form around that dish you already have, then left the dish in it as the part where the water goes? Might work.
    You’ve made a nice dent in your landscaping plans. And the summer is just getting started – if you do that much every month you’ll get pretty far on your list. 🙂

    • I’m thrilled you think it looks like it’s meant to be there! That makes me feel very proud. Thanks for your suggestion on the birdbath top. I just need a mold to make the base. I have a few barrels that might work. Just need to focus my motivation in that direction.

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