Monday, April 4, 2011

When The Earth Quickens and Winter’s Silence Ends: Claytonopolis Yard Makeover

“The earth was emptiness, but by a word spoken, it became full of God's riches, and his they are still. Though the use of them is allowed to man, they are from God, and to his service and honour they must be used. The earth, at his command, brings forth grass, herbs, and fruits. God must have the glory of all the benefit we receive from the produce of the earth. If we have, through grace, an interest in Him who is the Fountain, we may rejoice in him when the streams of temporal mercies are dried up.” (Ge 1:14-19)

Each day our little piece of the American dream becomes more glorious and more our own.  Here is what our yard looked like when we moved in at the beginning of December. 


A couple weeks ago we called a nursery to get an estimate on landscaping.  We already had sod. That came with the house.  The nursery gave us ideas and a quote to do all the work.  It came to $850.00 to put in two garden beds. Yikes! About 60% of that total was labor.  So we took some of their recommendations and said we would do the work ourselves.

Andrew borrowed a power tiller from a co-worker.  Our neighbor helped him pick it up.  When they placed the tiller in the garden bed, the men started stirring and tinkering and grunting.  Before we knew it our garden bed was tilled and prepared.  Who needs to hire someone to till, when your neighbor skips his workout to get a workout with the tiller.



The next morning I was anxious to go to the nursery and pick out the nice plants before everyone else did.  Andrew is not much of a morning person and we arrived at the nursery around noon.  It was a joy filled moment to finally buy the plants for our garden.  By the time we arrived home our dear friends, Peter and Chaleigh, had arrived for a visit.  They were passing through town on a cross country trip back to Northern Idaho.  I thought we would just unload the plants and commence our visit.  But as it turned out, they were feeling game to do a little planting as we visited.  Who needs to hire someone when you have friends who like to play in the dirt.


I think the best recommendation from the nursery was the iron trellis and star-jasmine.  It was the perfect point of interest for our garden bed.  From there we chose everything else in this bed.  Andrew chose a variety of peppers: habaneros, jalapenos and hot banana peppers.  Now when he is jones-ing for a habanero, he can just go to the front yard.  Then I chose a variety of herbs: rosemary, oregano, basil, coriander, tarragon, chives, mint, orange mint, chocolate mint.  Finally, I chose a few perennials to pump up the color.



I had not planned on having any roses in our yard, because I had heard they can be delicate and difficult.  But, apparently this variety of rose blooms all season long and does very well in Texas.  The other bushes are Hawthornes.  I would like to get two more rose bushes to put in front of the girls room window.  It faces the street and when the nice thorny rose bushes get big enough they will serve as security.  And as a bonus, the girls will not be able to sneak out their window when they are teenagers ;-) No one can get in and no one can get out.


Another helper


The After Shot – Bellisma!



Kayleen said...

aw Renee - how gorgeous. And how great to be adding a little more each day to your little patch of paradise. I do really like the roses...hopefully they will be low maintenance for you. Now do you have to have a sprinkler system for that grass since it's so hot there?

I really like the outside of your home. I love the brick and it just looks so bright and cozy.

Renee Clayton said...

No! We decided to put the sprinkler system on the back burner and wait another year. We decided to pay down some debt, because we didn't NEED a sprinkler system.

It is St. Augustine grass and it does very well here in Texas with very little water. Although watering is a constant chore around here.

anne said...

tres chic! oh la la :)

be sure to watch the mint carefully, since it can tend to take over and sent out roots + shoots elsewhere..

can't wait to garden together someday...