For those of you who have followed my blog over the long haul, you'll remember that last year around this time, I was spending all of my time outside, replanting all of the flower beds in our front yard.
First, here is an excerpt of a post from May of 2006:
In other news, today I finished replanting all of the beds in the front yard. This was a huge accomplishment and I am so relieved to be finished. There are two large beds right in front of the house, two medium sized beds running along the small circle drive in front of the house and then one medium sized bed around the mailbox. In all I planted 14 boxwoods, 17 azaleas, approximately 20 or so day lilies, approximately 9 or 10 blushing butterflies, 4 meadow sage plants, 6 Firewitches, 4 other low-flowering plants that I can't remember the name of now, 40 blue lily turf plants, 2 muley grass plants, approximately 20 mondo grass plants, 2 lily of the nile plants, 2 vinca minor vines, 16 petunias, 12 impatiens, 1 red bud tree and 1 Japanese maple tree (My husband planted the trees and I helped:), and a partridge in a pear tree. Whew!! AND, first we had to remove all of the overgrown shrubs that were there to begin with. I did some of that on my own and then my husband helped me the rest of it (he did the majority of it). I had to use a pick to dig up the large roots and rocks and turn over the soil to prepare it for planting. The azaleas had to be planted with some special dirt stuff that was like a powder until it was watered down (so I had it all over me from head to toe for 4 days!...well, I did take showers after finishing each day). I also put down some weed cloth around the boxwoods and azaleas and then I mulched all of the beds. I have been to three different nurserys and have been a regular at one of them, to the point that they know me, know my project and have given me lots of advice on my many different visits.
It's taken me a while but, I promised I would show some pictures of my efforts at some point, so here they are, in all of their glory.
This first set of pics is from this spring, when the azaleas and phlox were in bloom. Our new little red bud tree looked real pretty too but I didn't get a good picture of it.
This picture gives you an idea of the different beds in the front yard. There are two large ones in front of the house, on either side of the porch, two medium sized ones just above the circle drive, on either side of the brick steps and then there is one bed around the mail box, which you can just see half of in this picture, bottom right.
In this picture, you can see some of the purple phlox in one of the medium sized beds and a long distance view of the azaleas up near the house.
Getting closer to the azaleas. We had a pretty bad winter here, with some deep snow and bad ice. Unfortunately, it was bad enough to keep the azaleas from blooming on the tops and it also almost killed many of the boxwood bushes along the house. I have taken a wait-and-see approach with the dead-looking boxwood though and it is paying off. They have surprised me at how they are coming back in.
Another picture of the azaleas and some additional phlox that I planted this year. I did not cut the azaleas back at all this year, in hopes that they will be really full and beautiful when they bloom next year.
And one last azalea picture, really close up, so you can see how beautiful the individual flowers were.
And the next set of pictures are more recent, within the past week or two.
Here are many of the day lilies and blushing butterflies in bloom in the beds along the circle drive. Actually, I should have taken a couple more pictures today because they are blooming even more now. Every day I am amazed at how many blooms there are. It is really incredible and very rewarding, after all of the hard work I put in.
Here are the pretty flowers around the mailbox. There are also three miniature crepe myrtle bushes behind the mailbox that are so small they are hard to see in this picture. I just planted them this year so hopefully they will be blooming later this summer. This area tends to get very very wet at this time of year and it killed some of the things I had just planted last year but, so far, it seems everything here is thriving this year.
Another view, close up, of some of the flowers in the bed around the mailbox.
Here are some of the day lilies in the beds near the house. You can see some of the damage to the boxwood, just in front of the house.
Here is another view of the same two beds in front of the house.
And, this is my window view from inside of the house. It is hard to tell from this small picture how many of the flowers I can see but it really is a beautiful view and I find myself going in there frequently during the day to look at the flowers outside. If you click on the picture, you might be able to see them better.
This small bed is in our side yard, although the windows are the main living room windows so we see this view a lot also. This Japanese maple tree was already here when we moved in and it is really a pretty tree.
Here is a close up of the bed. I replanted this one too but I did it last fall. We had to lower it because the prior owners had made the beds cover the lower part of the house, which is a big no no. This is an older picture and these little plants have really grown a lot this spring.