Monday, April 19, 2010

It's Starting to Shape Up

We now have two complete sections of our backyard planted, mulched and finished with border edging. We can really see how beautiful our completed landscape will be. Sunday's steady rains made our plants very happy. It also replenished our ran barrels, which were nearly empty.

We still need a few more coontie, and a bunch of giant liriope (which we are using as an inexpensive, easy-care groundcover) but all other backyard plants have been purchased. We still need to plant the 12 anise bushes that will border our wood fence, and we still need to install a few more muhly grasses. The roots continue to make planting very slow going, but now we have the end in sight -- at least for the backyard. Our front yard is much smaller and does not have so many tree roots so it should be a breeze compared to this!

I also have my butterfly garden planted alond the side of our back deck, and the milkweed just hosted the first monarch of the season! I'm still looking for purple coneflower and few other butterfly plants but the bed looks colorful and, hopefully, enticing to the "winged wonders."

By the way, Rick says that anytime a product is touted as "EZ to Install," it actually means just the opposite. Such is the case with this snap-together edging we bought. We need 150 feet of edging just for the backyard so we purchased this product because it didn't cost a fortune. The picture on the product wrapper shows a tiny little woman putting the edging together without even breaking a sweat. Hah! Rick had to dig a trench (through roots, of course) just to get the stuff installed at an even depth, then snap it together ( usually multiple times before he could keep it in place), then pound it into the ground with a rubber mallet. Nothing ever seems to be as easy as we hope, but it does look good and it will definitely keep our mulch from floating out of the beds into the walkways.

Speaking of mulch, we tried to get melaleuca mulch because we loved the idea of finding a positive use for a highly invasive plant, but the nearest supplier of any bulk quantities was in Ft. Myers, and the delivery charge was a bit excessive. I guess this is because there really isn't that much melaleuca in the Tampa Bay area -- though there is gobs of it further south, from Lee County into the Everglades. So we settled on medium-size pine bark mulch as a nice-looking, fairly durable and reasonably priced alternative. There is now a small "Mulch Mountain" in our front yard that we are gradually whittling away.

One member of our family, our cat Belle, is extremely interested in our yard makeover and feels that it is her duty to supervise our progress. Belle stays right with us as we work, hiding amid the muhly grass, and napping in the newly installed mulch. She seems completely fascinated by the yard transformation.


  1. Hey Nanette - your transformation is really taking shape - looks really great so far. I have always found that the projects in my yard take way longer to finish than I planned. Keep up the good work!

  2. Wilcox Nursery in Largo has FloriMulch, but it's in bags, not in bulk. It would be nice to have a bulk supplier here in the bay area.

  3. Yes, you're right about the Florimulch, Jan. I priced it and it was just prohibitively expensive to buy it by the bag instead of by the cubic yard. But I would highly recommend the Florimulch if you don't need a huge amount of mulch.

    Thanks for the encouragement, Pam! You are an inspiration and a source of fantastic advice.