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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Working on the Weekend

Remember this image from a  couple of weeks ago?  I was laying the stepping stones in the foundation border at the front of the house and was lamenting the sad performance of the holly bushes up against the house.


I had been torn between seeing if they fared better if I tried improving the soil around them or just ripping them out and starting over.

Well -- I decided with the latter course of action and this morning headed out to pick up some dwarf Burford hollies to replace the unknown variety that were there, as well as organic compost and top soil to mix in with the existing soil.

As soon as I got the first holly out of the ground, I could see what had caused their demise...

 As soon as I pulled it out, I could see water sitting in the bottom of the hole and the bush had hardly spread any roots in the 18 months it has been in the ground.


And so, I spent a pleasant few hours, digging out the existing shrubs, enlarging the holes (hauling off a lot of clay in the process) and playing in the dirt, mixing and planting, making sure that the new bushes would have a better chance than the last ones did. I won't be up to doing this kind of heavy work in the heat of a Houston summer because the heat really gets to me, so I was really glad to get the chance to do it today.

As I worked, I was serenaded by a chorus of mockingbirds in the trees. It made me smile almost as much as when one was on the roof near the chimney, singing his heart out, and we could hear him clearly indoors because the flue was still open from the previous night's fire.

Et voila! All six planted and mulched in a few hours.

For lovers of color, fear not, I have plans for some more perennials to go in between the shrubs, along with the daylilies that are already there and coming up.

Today was a good day -- I'm tired, but I have a great sense of achievement.  And to top it off, my non-gardening husband took me out to dinner. It doesn't get much better :-)

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


Kathleen Scott said...

Going to be pretty. And berries for the birds. A good day.

Kyna said...

That looks awesome already, even without the colour! But I'm a colour-lover so I can't wait to see the flowers too lol. You have such a beautiful home :D

Sue Swift said...

So that's what a mockingbird looks like. I've often wondered. One of the joys of reading US blogs is seeing how different the birds are. Bet you miss a good old European robin though :)

Jayne said...

Your so right, Sue. The American robin is nothing like our little English robin redbreast - I do miss them!

Annie in Austin said...

It looks great, Jayne - a very good day's work.
Does everyone miss the birds they grew up with? Mockingbirds were new to me when we moved to Texas from Illinois and now they're the ones I expect to see while the American Robin so common up north has only come to my Texas garden one time.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Nan Ondra said...

Thanks so much for sharing your project for this month's GGW Design Workshop, Jayne. The final result will definitely be worth all the work!

Town Mouse said...

That was a good day's work! Congratulations, and I'm looking forward to the Perennials.