It is kind of a dream to be back at this point in my life, and by dream I mean fog, it honestly feels like a fog in-between the last time I was building a garden from nothing and now. How has so much time passed since then and yet, I feel as though I never left.
After we had to sell our Farmhouse, we bought a new house for a few years, because we were about to have a baby and the market was empty…then Covid hit and we kind of got stuck there for nearly 3 years. That home was good to us while we had it and selling it is the only reason we were able to buy and work on the home we have now, so I am grateful to it really.
It has been 11 years since I started my first flower garden. We bought our farmhouse in 2011 and got to work…you can read more about that here and here….and here is what it turned into. Then we had to sell it in 2019.
So that brings me to 2022 where I am starting all over again, at a new old house. We have basically the same amount of property as we did at our last old house (about an acre) except at this house it is basically all front/side yard. There is some in the back but it isn’t much…which has its own set of obstacles.
The first obstacle were several huge nearly dead trees. We had two arborist come, and both gave us the same report, the trees were diseased and mostly dead. They told us that even the newer trees that had been planted were already sick and dying because someone had scraped them with the lawn mower every time they had mowed the lawn and allowed disease to get in. Cutting down trees especially old trees is really stressful, I felt so sick doing it. I felt like we were doing something horrible, but then a huge limb nearly took out our garage after a windstorm, and I knew it needed to be done. Trees do not live forever, and this property is very old. It isn’t our fault that they were not properly cared for, and it is okay to accept that we couldn’t fix what had been broken in this respect, but we will plant more trees and do our best to give them a good start.
The property was already in bad shape from neglect, but once we removed all the trees there were large gouges in the ground, so we new we needed to have it re-graded before we had a fence put in.
And yes, we fenced our entire property which was crazy expensive and I know seems nuts, but with having kids, dogs, and not in some secluded neighborhood, we felt it was the best thing to do. I really love fences too, I can’t help it, to me if you have property, you need to fence it, ha!
Then we had to put down grass seed, which if you want to start a conversation with an old white man (hoped nobody ever) plant some grass seed. They have LOVED stopping by and letting Andrew know all the things he should have done differently when planting grass seed. Nobody asked them, but has that ever stopped a man before? Andrew really did what he could. We didn’t have a budget worked out for re-grading or adding grass seed and with such a large amount of property, it was the best we could do, and honestly I don’t care about grass. If I didn’t have kids, I wouldn’t even have grass. However, the grass is growing, it is for sure a mix of what we planted and crabgrass, but after a few seasons, it should get to a place where all the men can sigh in unison relief and go back to yelling at squirrels.
Then we trenched outlines out for the start of my flower beds, I created 7 so far. Dug holes, and then I proceeded to plant 40 hydrangeas (I am not ashamed of my hydrangea love) and 2 lilacs. Then mulched around them. Then I died a little. But now I am ready for autumn and more planting!
So to recap the above we did…
- Cut down trees
- Re-graded our entire property
- Put in a fence
- Seeded the entire property
- Cut in flower beds
- Dug holes for 42 plants
- Planted 42 plants
- Mulched 42 plants
I have really loved being out there again planting and feeling the possibility only a garden can give you. Andrew and I have had to do it in at separate times. I go out very early in the morning and do what I can, then he goes in the afternoons/sometimes evenings and does what he can. That is the only part I miss, doing it along side him. But with young kids it just hasn’t been possible. Though our girls have truly loved helping, and that has been a very special experience. There is nothing quite as affirming then watching your children fall in love with nature.
Not pictured below are the rest of the garden beds/flowers. I will share more in another post.