I’m becoming a gardener! Or at least you’d think so by the number of gardening books I have out from the library and the staggering amount of time I’m spending with my hands in the dirt.

For example, I spent about 10 hours on Saturday in our front yard, mostly ripping out weeds and transplanting. We’re about to have some major plumbing work done on the north corner of the front of the house, where apparently the house has partly settled onto the service line and has been causing minor flooding when I run the clothes washer. In order to do that plumbing work, the plumbers have to bring in a backhoe and dig up the yard near the house.

So I wanted to transplant as many of the plants in that side of the yard as possible before they do it. We had four tufty patches of monkey grass that we wanted to use along the front of the yard sort of like a hedge, so I dug the holes, and, with Karsten’s help, dug up the monkey grass for transplanting, carried each one to its new location (they’re HEAVY!), planted them, spread mulch around them (thanks to my neighbor who offered his mulch), and watered them.

Now all we have left on that side of the yard are one gold-and-green euonymus shrub and two dark green shrubs I haven’t identified yet. (You can see them toward the back center of this photo, to the right of and slightly behind the euonymus shrub. I may try to get some better pictures in the next few days and see if anyone can help me identify them.)

Karsten and I also went to the farmers market and picked out two 6″ pots of echinacea purpurea, which I planted just behind the newly-transplanted tufts of monkey grass.

I really need a picture of all this.

Anyway, while I was weeding, Karsten took the metal bars down from all the windows on the front and south sides of the house (we had our security system turned on last week). Talk about an eyesore! We’re so relieved to see those go.

After the plumbing is done, we’re looking at having an electrician see if he can relocate or rework the wiring on the outside of the north-front downstairs window. After that, we’re going to have the front of the house painted (it’ll be a wash of red paint mixed 50/50 with water), and then Karsten will work on the lintels (the “eyebrows”) above the front windows. We wanted to replace the wood with stone, but we’ve been told it would be very expensive and very risky to the brick. A guy from the historical commission suggested cutting fiberboard to fit over the lintels and painting the fiberboard a light gray to look as much like stone as possible. It looks like that will be do-able, so that’ll happen after the painting is done.

And we’re hoping this will all be done by October, when the Historic Germantown neighborhood has its Oktoberfest celebration, and we want to have it looking good for that.

Better Home and Garden

3 thoughts on “Better Home and Garden

  • August 1, 2005 at 11:38 pm

    ha! I love it! Maybe get some Blue Salvia to fill in the front garden. I started with 4, now have 6 as they are hardy and I cut the root and replanted. They are showy, colorful, bloom from early spring to late fall and makes it seem that you are a seasoned gardener. Azalea and hibiscus are good colorful plants as well. And most of all, Mums. So many colors and varieties, hardy as heck and spread easily.

  • August 2, 2005 at 9:06 am

    Ooh, yeah! I dig the blue salvia. Reminiscent of lavender, which I love.

    I’m sort of going for a largely purple garden. 🙂 They’ll fit right in.

    Not likely to become president any time soon; looks like the neighborhood association is doing fine without me, which is just as well since I don’t have anywhere near the energy to volunteer for anything right now. Maybe next year.

    Thanks for the garden tips!

  • August 10, 2005 at 11:06 pm

    Hey Kate…I’m fixin’ to head down in your direction in a couple of days, and will be around the area for a couple-three weeks or so. I’d like to get together while I’m there to see your house and stuff if you’d like to. What do you think? My cell phone number is (978)877-2527. My schedule is fairly flexible. Let me know either by email (agua.clara@gmail.com) or give me a call. :o)


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