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Friends, it’s been a shitstick of a week so far (meh, bound to happen sometimes, right?). But rather than dwell on the negative, I decided instead to dwell on the ugly: moving backyard plants before they start budding again for spring. Ha!
While that doesn’t sound like much of an improvement, and honestly probably won’t even look like much of one until spring and summer rolls around, I decided to make a few changes in the back yard in preparation for the eventual upgrades I’m planning later this year.
Those of you who have been following along might recall that a few summers ago, I
let bugs fall down my bra tore out a ton of overgrown ivy that had been plaguing my trees since moving into the house.
After that, it was cutting down a sh*tload of branches from my neighbors’ overhanging trees that were blocking sunlight…
And then, cutting down nearly every pine tree on my property (with a little professional help)…
I started to beautify things a bit with my gardenia garden beds along the long-forgotten fence on the right side of the yard (owned by my neighbor, so I didn’t really want to deal with the expense of replacing it, but I did want to make it look more appealing from my side. I think I’ll probably tack up a few replacement boards on the really broken parts this summer. I have some leftover pieces from my own fence building project so it’ll be a free upgrade!). The majority of the filler came from the ground-out stumps that had been left in a large mound where the trees used to be.
But, there was still another project I knew I’d need to get to before it warms up again: moving the azaleas, roses, and rhododendrons from a now-awkward placement (sitting next to nothing) and placing them next to the fence.
When the trees were there, it was less of a problem. These plants (I assume) were a part of a more elaborate elevated area that the previous owner had planted around each tree. It had long since overgrown by the time I moved in, but I didn’t mind quite so much when things were in bloom!
Now that the trees are gone though, having these plants in their original spots just made things a little inconvenient. Since Charlie can jump the 6-foot fence, she has to be on a loooong leash while she is outside. And since she’s not a natural problem solver on her own (sigh, the pretty ones are always dumb), I frequently have to untangle her leash to keep it from ripping out one of the bushes. Sometimes, I’m not quite so quick to get to it before her strong legs yank them out of the ground:
So, the task was pretty simple: gather ye rose bushes while ye may — and azaleas and rhododendrons, respectively. (In fact, until I cut down the trees, I didn’t even notice the rose bush!)
Between the crush of the tree removal and Charlie’s snarls with the leash, the battered and tattered plants were looking pretty bleak by this point (but they had survived a lot already, so I’m confident they were at least okay enough to try to replant). Since the roses had finished blooming and the azaleas weren’t due to bud until closer to spring, each plant was unearthed, divided (to create multiple plants out of the bigger bushes), and planted separately along the fence line until they start thriving again. Online forums told me not to fertilize them during winter, but I think I might do some light-handed feeding just because of the shock from moving them. If you are meaning to move plants of your own, do some quick Googling to find out the best period of time to move each plant. Typically, it’s during dormant months (as in, not blooming or getting ready to bloom). Here’s some general info I found helpful, and you can look up charts like this for your climate zone.
It’s not a permanent placement necessarily, but having them out of the way frees up nearly the entire mound of soil that they were all sitting on top of, which will make room for moving all of that soil toward the back of my yard to help fill up the sink hole. I know it won’t be enough soil by itself (I’ll probably have to buy some fill dirt and rent a mini excavator too — fun!), but it will go a long way toward leveling out all of that square footage.
Still left to do before all the dirt-moving begins:
- Dig up the rest of the decorative stone edging (a small amount that wasn’t removed when the trees were)
- Peel up a bunch of that frayed landscaping fabric (it seems to be swirled into piles now… either by the tree removal process or Charlie, take your pick)
But that’s for another day when it’s not quite as cold outside. And then: some badass building plans can begin!
(And on a completely unrelated note, or I guess since it’s cold outside and people like to hibernate and watch TV in weather like this: some blog friends and I were just talking about this a few days ago, so I thought I’d pass it on here too. If you were hooked on Making a Murderer on Netflix, you’ve got to see Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. Honestly, it’s an incredible documentary. Heart-wrenching… also on Netflix, FYI. Here’s the trailer. No spoilers in the comments please if you’ve seen either one!)