April 7, 2014


What a difference a year makes. Last spring our labors were focused indoors gutting the kitchen and  removing seemingly never ending sand textured paint. This spring, as much as the interior of the house needs serious attention, I've decided to unearth the gardens on the property. The ultimate plan is to incorporate native plants and trees into the landscape to decrease the ginormous area of lawn. For now, I'm focusing on excavating the existing gardens that have been neglected for years in an effort to see what we have to work with. And focusing on these defined areas of the yard helps to stave off feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of the job ahead.

The weather cooperated for a few days to dry things enough for me to rake leaves out of some of the gardened areas and remove long dead stalks from previous growing seasons. In a round garden out front, I unearthed daffodils and what I think might be tiny shoots of day lilies. I remember lilies growing there last year. The woody growth is a mystery, not even sure if they're there on purpose or if they are volunteers / weeds.
Towards the back of the house, I found this pleasant surprise lurking under a deep layer of dead leaves. The rest of the tree has only just begun to bud, as pictured below. The blooms are at the ends of weepy branches that drag along the ground. A little preview of what's to come.
The blooming tree stands at the edge of the paved driveway, where it abuts a concrete patio. The patio is partially enclosed by a screen porch attached to the back of the house. A large, semi-circular area roughly following the perimeter of the patio / porch was at one time landscaped as three connected garden beds. Between two of the beds I uncovered this walkway. It's hard to see under all the overgrowth, but it consists of railroad ties alternating with white gravel. It leads from the patio, down a slight incline, to the back yard.
Even more exciting than the walkway, was the discovery of this old shovel - hey, I'm weird that way. We had an inkling there was a walkway or a stairway buried in there somewhere, but this shovel came as a complete surprise. I don't know how long these gardens have been neglected, but certainly long enough for the handle of the shovel to have rotted all the way through. How long would that take?
Further along in the 3-part bed is this large clump of something or other. There are also a large number of these, whatever they are, in an overgrown area along the edge of the backyard.

This is so exciting, waiting to see what will be revealed.

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