He regularly covers his eyes when he's sleeping during the day.
This is my new best friend, Austin Macaluso -- his newborn photos are about six weeks back in the moblog. We went to a party at Austin's Saturday night, for his older sister Madelyn, it was her 3rd birthday.
I held him for about an hour, he kept spitting out his pacifier. Too cute.
4 trips to walmart, three times to Lowes
49 plants including one 200 lb tree
7 bags of cypress mulch
4 bags of top soil
5 bags of organic compost
9 bags of rock
7 scalloped brick edging
1 gas grill vinyl coverlet
4 new sprinkler heads
2- 10ft PVC pipes, T pipe, putty, pvc glue
4 wheel barrels full of dirt
1 pint of osmocote
1 rubbermaid garden hose carousel
47 or so empty black plant containers
1 severe back of the neck sunburn
2 loads of the dirtiest laundry/shoes you've ever seen
1 steam cleaning of the white carpet/tile in the kitchen
1 borrowed chain saw
1 borrowed wheel barrel
I wish I could say I knew what we were getting into, I didn't. Bighead says he knew how much work it'd be, maybe it's just cause I'm a carpet and airconditioning girl, who knows. It's over now, for the most part. We still need to go to the dump and haul off all the dead shrubs/Juniper -- and replant the lariope in the back yard-- god.. the back yard.. did I saw that was next? Jeez.
As far as the budget for the project -- it really wasn't all that costly, the plants were the major expense, I wish I'd have bought the more heavy duty shovel from the beginning, but ah well.
I should wash the exterior of the windows to put the finishing touches on it all.. but I don't really forsee doing much of anything today except making dinner.
Jamie Oliver is fucking annoying. That is all.
These are closer shots of the new plants --
Top - this is the rock drainage beg Bighead made, it's finally complete (actually it was yesterday) I think it ultimately held 11 bags of rock including those that were already lurking in the yard. The before and afters on the rock work are just astonishing. Hopefully the liner under the rocks will enable the water to wash up/fill up and eventually wash over the sidewalk instead of emptying the waters into the beds and washing all of our soil away. Can't wait til it rains to see if it works.
Next shot is the little area by the front door -- with the Ti Red Sister and Farmer's Special, including the varigated lariope -- what you can barely see, is the small buds of the dark green lariope which Bighead spent much time yesterday separating the root buds and really saving this plants life -- it wasn't growing well how it was in the giant clumps and diving the roots, cleaning them and separating them were really the only solution to save the plant. We decided to line the walks with the lime green/varigated lariope/Aztec grass and put the dark green on the corners. It will likely take a few months for the dark green to start really showing up and looking lush, but I'm sure that's the case with most of the plants.
I was somewhat disappointed with the big empty spaces, I keep telling myself how the hedge will grow in. The information on lingustrum says to plant it 6-8 feet apart, closer if needed to fill in, so I wonder how long it'll take to grow in and start behaving like a hedge. Allegedly the Purple Queen (highlighted in the bottom photo) is a groundcover that spreads like mad and will eventually serve as a coverup for the majority of the dead/empty areas, I can hope, right?
The crotons -- man I wish we'd planted more of them, the four of them look sad and lonely, but they'll spread too, supposedly. I'm not gonna hold my breath.
I still have dirt under my nails, gah.
So there was no update last night when we were mostly finished, mostly due to both of us being too tired to take photos and basically do anything but pass out.
Top shot is an overall view of the new front beds, this is the giant Date Palm that was transplanted from the back yard, with the help of a truck, to pull it out of the hole, ha. Middle shot is just another view of the basic layout, there's still work to be done, but everything is in the ground and mulched around, so that's good, right?
Bottom shot is again, the Date Palm which we're so proud of, it's really going to look great there on the corner that was otherwise bare and just bleak lookin, I love it.
I don't think I've ever been dirtier in my life than I was yesterday, digging in the beds, planting, top-soiling, composting, planting, water tabling, top soil, rake, mulch, eww eww eww. There was one time in college when I mud wrestled, that's it, that's the only single time in my life that I was dirtier. The yard project was even dirtier than the 3 day off shore deep sea fishing nightmare. Never ever again.
I cannot convey how relieved I am that we're done.
So this is the general layout of the plants I selected, today I'm returning one of the lingustrums and buying up many more varigated lariope, which is that light green firecracker lookin plant that's going to define the perimeter of the yard. We'll also finish putting the last of the plants down into the ground, and finally, we'll mulch.
The bottom shot shows a big cleared off area in the corner of the bed, this is where we put the Palm, and she's beautiful there. I'm trying to think of a name for her; my Mom always names her favorite plants and although I've always thought that was just another example of her lunacy, I've grown to love that tree -- y'all just aren't going to believe how beautiful it is there -- just wait. My camera batteries died last night as we had just gotten the Palm in the hole -- it's perfect there.
Under the bay window -- Bighead plans on separating the fern into three main pieces and having it kinda jutting out under the window, that's one of my areas needing more lariope -- I hope it looks good, I thought we should probably just get another fern and kinda center both of them, but he assures me it'll work.
The area over by the front door has cause much debate -- Bighead seems to have a personal vendetta against my Red Sister Ti and claims it'll be too large eventually for that spot -- so I may have to come up with a better plan for that spot or either stand firm against the criticism.
On the bottom photo -- that second row of plants are crotons, fire pentacrotons and spotted crotons, we have more of these in the back, which I'm not sure if we're going to bring them forward, or just get s'more today -- but we're going to need a new more. Also -- that purple plant in front of the crotons, is called Purple Queen, it's supposed to spread a lot and act like a groundcover, I need to take some closer shots so you can see the beautiful colour it has.
Surely we'll finish today. Cross your fingers.
Three things first off -
1. I now know why they sell 8$, 12$ and 33$ shovels. It's clear now the 8$ isn't really for shoveling at all, more for .. girly things or pretending to shovel. The 12$ I'm not too impressed with either, though it didn't begin making that popping sound warning us it was about to split until it was put under extreme pressure. I haven't yet purchased the 33$ shovel and I'm trying to avoid it at all costs -- but the day is young and we have about 10 hours yet to go on the project until completion, and that's probably an underestimate at that.
2. The cutesy little turnstyle water hose roll up plastic contraptions? Those don't work, don't waste your money.
3. The patch of skin on the back of your neck will completely and totally transform into burned, seared, melting flesh if a. your hair is up in a ponytail, and b. you're not sunscreened up, so, take heed of this next time you take on a ridiculous household chore that by half way through it becomes painfully obvious you should be paying someone to do.
Alright -- so we've always had a problem with runoff water from the gutters washing the dirt over the sidewalk and basically just being annoying there on that spot next to the bay window. So Bighead decided he'd dig a 3 ft hole and fill it with drainage rock and fill it with a liner and box it in. Tip : You always need 3 times the rock you think you're going to need. But, you may want to overbuy so you can suck up project time going back and forth to Lowe's while others are doing the labor -- though, keep in mind the people at Lowe's are going to look at you funny if your arms and legs (and face) have dirt on them; especially if you've managed to spill a Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper down your light coloured T-shirt and haven't changed it, cause you're only going to get dirtier as the day progresses. I don't think I'll ever have bad thoughts about people in hardware stores who're filthy, ever again, those people are more than likely working very hard and shouldn't be discounted because they're covered in dirt.