Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So this weekend, when it finally stops raining, I will go collect the last load of bricks, and then I will be ready to launch side yard schemes! I figure that if I do an hour of work on it every day over the next month or so I can probably manage it by the May long weekend, aka mulch and planting time.

* bash up cement in current walkway, dig up fieldstones
* disassemble current "deck"
* dig up pavers
* lay out and dig new walkway
* lay down and tamp aggregates
* put down interlock
* concrete toe

 Need a way to get rid of all the (very heavy) garbage this is going to generate...particularly the dirt. Can probably freecycle the pavers, at least, and I'm sure I'll come up with a use for the fieldstones. Maybe there will be little enough concrete from the walkway that it will fit in a bagster with the lumber from the "deck". 

Also approaching: the Experimental Farm's plant sale. w00t! I needs must marshal a shopping list...
* colourful shade plants - e.g. bergenia, epimedium, japanese kerria
* hellebores
* lespedeza
* some sort of tall ornamental grass for the back wall bed, as per my sister's awesome suggestion
* interesting small evergreens
* mid-summer bloomers

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The sawflies are back again, those little fuckers. Apparently I can expect larvae in 3 weeks or so. Posting to note a GardenWeb member's recommended solution: "a mixture of 16 oz, 70% rubbing alcohol, 16 oz water and a couple of tablespoons of dish soap."


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Goodbye, lilac - hello, design dilemmas

Before (in the fall):




Looking at this confirms for me that I at least liked the sense of enclosure/surprise the lilac generated by mostly hiding the garden from view. Going straight in the way it does now seems bland. But what to do instead???

Fine Gardening has a shot of a lovely side yard along the same lines, albeit a little longer; the path ends in a big japanese-style arbour and gate. I'm not a fan of that style, but could I do some sort of arbour or hardscape entrance by the shed, or would that be silly/redundant, given the (admittedly not exactly stylish) gate into the carport?

Entrance viewed from the other side:


Ugly-ass air conditioner needs to be hidden somehow, too. And an additional problem:


Big-ass swath of bare shady dirt, aka weed factory. I mean, my eventual deck would cover it, but that's not happening this year (to put it as optimistically as possible). If worst comes to worst I'll just throw a pile of mulch over it, but bleh.

Preliminary scribbly brainstorming for what I might do:

For this spring, anyway:




From the other side:


Which eventually would become:


I had schemes for a japanese maple back here -


- but I'm not sure how the eventual deck would fit around that.

Please weigh in intarwebz! Other ideas??

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

First picture post of the year! w00t!

Front yard!


Compare to last spring:

Gone: all the grass! New: a sprinkling of colour!

Backyard views to follow when spring cleanup has rendered it fit to be seen.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The latest issue of Fine Gardening features this fabulous plant, "Wissel's Saguaro" false cypress (chamaecyparis lawsoniana, for the record):

6-10' tall but only 2' wide and a super-cool branching shape. ZOMG PRECIOUS WE WANTS IT. No idea where to find it, though, since even the Rideau Woodland Ramble doesn't list it in its catalogue.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I called in a company that deals with trees to pick their brains about the lilac. The guy recommended getting rid of it, since it is right in the way as you come into the yard, and pointed out how much of the old wood is rotten anyway (he actually reached up and pulled out a chunk by hand - yikes!) And as it turns out, getting the thing dug up would only cost me $150.

So I think it's pretty much got to go. The question is whether to replace it with something else or leave the space paved/open? Have to re-evaluate my throughway plans. I like the "sense of discovery" that comes from not immediately seeing through to the yard, but I don't so much want to cross that line between generating sense of discovery and having arbitrary and annoying obstacles in your way. Maybe something with a cleaner vertical line (vs. an expanding forest of stupid suckers) would do the job in the same spot without getting in the way. Or I could try some sort of arbour over the path as it comes up to the shed, although again I'd face the question of wtf to have climbing on it with so little sun in that spot.

Must do some doodling to facilitate thought-experiments...