Thursday, July 16, 2009

Before and After: Landscape Edition

We've done a few landscaping projects this summer. Chris did all of the yucky hands-in-the-dirt type stuff and I tackled the picture taking, encouraging, child wrangling, and water fetching. It worked out well.

 I love before and after shots of houses and landscaping. For this reason, my TiVo and HGTV are well acquainted. While inspiring, before and after pictures make things seem too easy. Things that once you begin, you realize aren't really very easy. Or quick. Or inexpensive.

First project: planting flowers:


I've been wanting to plant hydrangeas for the longest time so for Mother's Day we bought three bushes and some flowers for our front flower beds:

Our dog never relaxes. We put him on medication. He's still a nervous wreck. I wish he could relax.

The best "helper" anyone could ask for, it's hard to find such enthusiastic help these days:

Look at our little pathetic flower beds. First lesson in flower planting: you need lots and lots of flowers (or lots and lots of patience) if you don't want your flower beds to look pathetic. It took Chris all day to plant these:  

These pictures are from today. This is where the patience part comes into play. Much bigger and better, huh? I think next year I will plant a mix of all white flowers instead of having different colors. 

Our hydrangeas aren't looking so well these days. My friend tells me I need to water them more. I'm wondering if they need more sun. Any suggestions? And to add insult to injury, everywhere I look this summer: huge, beautiful, white hydrangea bushes. 

Our other BIG project: trees!

We desperately needed some in our backyard for both shade and privacy. These are before pictures:

The little flower pulled up a chair to watch all of the action from our deck, what better entertainment for a toddler?

The truck went back and forth thirteen times.

Our poor grass (it recovered quickly)!

And the finished product:

Much better, although not as much of an impact as I had thought. This is what I was expecting (photo from via google images):

Apparently that is the backyard at Buckingham Palace. Nice, right?

I wonder how long it will take for my trees to get that big? Twenty years? Will my trees even get that big? I can see the before and after photos now. Grow trees grow!

Lastly, remember these birds? Well, they all hatched and left the nest:

But not without a fair share of drama. As I mentioned we checked on the nest every day. One morning I went to check and they had all left the nest. As I was walking away something caught my eye. One of the birds was hanging by it's foot from a branch. It had somehow gotten a piece of string/twine of some sort wrapped around it's foot (I think it had been used by mama to make the nest) and when it went to fly away that piece of whatever got stuck on a branch. 

I couldn't just let the poor thing hang there until it died or it's leg came off, so I put on some gardening gloves and got to work bird rescuing. I was able to hold onto the bird long enough to free it from the string but it was obviously injured and eventually fled under a tree.

 I like to think it's little bird family nursed it back to health. That some day, possibly while watering my hydrangeas, I'll be visited by a little Robin with an odd but able gait. She'll sing me a song of gratitude and then fly away.  

I'm thinking I should rename my blog The Bird Whisperer.


Stephanie said...

Okay, that picture of what you were expecting from the trees just cracked me up. :) I LOVE hydrangeas but killed a few of them myself. My neighbor's are thriving (of course) and they get lots of sun & water. But I heard they don't like too much sun. ? :)

Donna Boucher said...

Your yard looks beautiful! You have done a fine job! Love the picture of your little gardener :o)