Mar 21, 2014

How To Make Your House Bigger, In Two Easy Steps.

Step one, cut down the bushes completely covering the garage.  Step two, haul them to the curb for bulk trash pickup day.

We have not finished--I planted three bushes and fifty four pots of asian jasmine ground cover today and my back said ENOUGH--but we'll finish up tomorrow.  This is the last of the ginormous overgrown bushes that were here when we bought the place, and I can't wait to have them gone!  I've cut all the front branches down, and most of the branches on the end bushes, but you can see how the middle ones are all up in the eaves!  There's actually a window back there, and maybe a third of the rest of our house!  Granted, it's only the garage, but still.

Maybe a third of the way done?  Piles of brush...our neighbors don't love us right now.

See the window peeking out?  Now we'll have to put blinds up in the garage.  :~)

This is from last summer...a few weeks after trimming that @#$%0 hedge.  There's a garage behind it...not that anybody can tell.  There's also maybe 30 x 10 feet of planting space in that area, and I am reclaiming it!

The irises are coming up up up, and while the grass hasn't greened yet, the flower beds are becoming colorful with snap dragons, herbs, and roses getting ready to bloom. 

Crystal Fountain Clematis (I think that's its name) getting ready to bloom!

Thrift.  A flower named after one of my favorite activities.

Tomato plants, with Sweet Alyssum to attract bees.

Lemon balm and (I think) Siberian Iris.

Same bed, with St. Joseph's lilies & amaryllis...and Schultz's furry behind.

That sprawling thing is the Peggy Martin rose.  She's come a long way from the 18" start a year ago.

The corner bed, with verbena and iris blooming.  The blank areas will be full of lantana, oxeye daisy, coreopsis and Dusty Miller in a while.

The Irises!

Rabbit's keeping an eye on the society garlic.

We spent yesterday afternoon out on the deck.  Or, I did, while Phil practiced his chip shot from one end of the yard to the other.  The cannas in the back are starting to grow--they're only six or eight inches tall yet, but they seem very enthusiastic (if you have access to Medina Granules organic fertilizer, give it a try.  It is wonderful, even if it smells like catfish stink-bait the first few days.)

Our favorite place to hang out on a balmy late afternoon. 

 If you're still stuck in a winter zone, I hope the photos brought you some hope for Spring!


  1. Pretty. Lots of work. Love all the flowers and the house looks great. I bet your back was killing you, that is a lot of plants at one time. I imagine your neighbors are enjoying your flowers now too. Great pictures. I enjoyed looking at everything.

  2. The neighbors will come around once they see how nice the place looks without the big bushes. You already have so much blooming...Wow! Your irises are beautiful. We planted three apple trees today. Love digging in the dirt!

  3. Jan… my back "aches" for you and the labor of love that is going into this transformation. We did much the same thing one year ago, this past fall… removing overgrown yews along our entire back wall of the house. There were five windows virtually "hidden" by these overgrown bonsai! This is now the second "spring" with light pouring inside and low growing perennials enjoying their place in the sun on the outside.
    Your gardens look marvelous… and so far ahead of us this year, here in South Jersey. We had snow again last night; though most of it has melted today. It has been the 2nd snowiest winter on record in the area. Your flowers are inviting and your iris just stellar! Enjoy! Daryle


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