Monday, August 13, 2007


What you ask? No, I'm not going to tell you about our experience with Peter Cottontail last April. If you are familiar with this term, then major props to you! I had never heard of it, but then again I have yet to find the gardener in me; shall we say my green thumb is dormant most of the year round. However, since we have purchased our first home I have started to at least get more of an interest in making our yard look "pretty." So, to say that the yards had been neglected is an understatement. There are two types of grasses growing, several overgrown shrubs and some roses in desperate need of pruning and cutting back. We have slowly started this process...getting the grass back to health and rid of weeds and foreign grass invaders, cutting trees back and I took on the daunting task of the front beds. When we moved in, there was a space, about 7x4, in the front that was one BIG...I'm talking HUGE...bonsai-looking, juniper box shrub of some sort. It was hideous mainly because it hid one side of the house. So, Richard literally wenched it out of the ground and I was left with a big, ugly, blank space of red dirt! For the last year I have been trying to figure out something to do with it. One of my coworkers gave me some Vinca vine to plant..."oh, it will spread anywhere..." Ha! I planted it and it spread only in the shady spots...the rest died...even with all the rain we have had this year. Frustrated, I made my way to the local nursery and begged advice from the owners. She recommended the Cotoneaster (pronounced Cuh-Toe-Knee-As-Ter). It is an spreading, evergreen shrub. The best part is it will produce red-purple flowers in the winter and could produce red festive! Here is a link for more information and pictures. I needed something meeting these requirements: 1.) I could plant it at the beginning of August and it would be okay, 2.) I wanted an evergreen, 3.) It had to spread quickly b/c I'm having a party at the house 9/22, 4.) It had to be easy to take care of, and 5.) It had to be attractive. This meets them ALL and I couldn't be happier! Here are a couple of pics of the front to give you an idea of what it looked like then and now. After some root stimulator, compost, mulch and lots of water and sun, I think it has taken off! Yay! There are still traces of vinca that I decided to leave and see what happened.

Before: When we moved in last year, you can see the juniper shrub to the right of the sidewalk up to the house! Both it and the barrel are now gone!

After: My beautiful COTONEASTER...hopefully it will spread enough to cover the black edging we put in to keep the dirt from sweeping out in the rain or sprinkler system.

I also potted some potato vine that has just TAKEN OFF! AND, Rich devised this pot to keep our hose in...he didn't want to attach a hose reel to the front of the house, so this was his solution. It is a plastic plant pot from Wal-Mart. He cut a hole in the side and fed the hose through and then just coiled it inside. Once we get those shrubs and that part of the yard done, it will look even better but for now it is a great way to keep the hose from tangling and looking trashy!

Oh, and in the pie shaped space on the other side of the sidewalk, I decided to leave it blank for now (besides mulch). For the party I will just set some potted plants in it, or leave it like it is but then next Spring I want to use it for some colorful flowers...petunias, pansies, something like that.


  1. Dave and I have really gotten into "beautifying" our yard in the last couple of years. I will have to post about what we have done, especially in the backyard. It really is a lot of fun and can become an addicting and expensive hobby if you aren't careful.

  2. What a fun yard. Good call with the cotoneaster...I will have to look into that too! Where do you guys live?

  3. Hmmm...we'll have to add cotoneaster to our list of possibilities for our spring yard adventures next year.

    How exactly did Richard get that giant juniper out of the ground? We will definitley need some tips on removing overgrown ugliness from the flowerbeds.

  4. sorry I've been a bad blogger lately and I missed my tag, but don't you worry I'll do it! Your yard looks great. Are you ready for school?

  5. hey charla! could you please email me your address?

    thanks chica!

  6. oops...sorry, didn't know i was logged in under joe! it's suz!! ;)


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