Monday, March 23, 2015

Sprucing Up For Spring

We were busy last week and got our front yard spruced up, plus Jeff cut down a dead tree in our backyard and then I cut it into pieces for trash pick up.  Can you tell we bought a new toy and we both wanted to play with it?  We bought a Sawzall - it's a reciprocating saw, and it's quite handy for cutting smaller trees and limbs:
I just checked the stats and it weighs over 14 pounds - no wonder my arms were tired after using it!
The dead tree was right outside my office window - it probably died because of the drought we had a couple of years ago.  Our backyard is in a fairly natural state, but it needed to go because we didn't want it to come crashing through the window during a strong storm.  Jeff rigged up a rope for me to pull on as he was cutting the trunk, so the tree would for sure fall away from the house:
 Two views of the rope arrangement.
Thar she goes!
And it's down.  That's when I stepped in and cut the tree into pieces, plus I cut all the branches off of the trunk.  It was quite fun, and I fully admit that the Monty Python "I'm a Lumberjack and I'm OK" song was going through my head as I sawed away!
My view afterward.  I also trimmed off some dead branches from some smaller trees and the yaupon shrubs.  I had to stop myself from going overboard, because the plants are just beginning to green out, and I didn't want to mistakenly cut anything live.


Our front yard is looking really good, if I do say so myself!  As I mentioned last week, we decided to switch to decorative pots for the area near our front door, due to poor drainage - our plants were always drowning.  We had some pots, bought a few more, and went from an inkling of an idea:
To this:

Since we aren't trying to keep that area as dry, we took off the ugly plastic downspout from the gutter and bought some river stone for the water to drain onto.  About an hour after I took this picture, it started raining once again (seriously, we're good - send this rain to California!), and the river rocks were underwater.  We might build it up a little more (Jeff said something about putting a layer of lava rock underneath the prettier gray stones), but it seems to be working, and it sure looks nicer.

We bought all perennials, and except for one, everything requires only part sun.  Luckily, Lowe's has a one-year guarantee on their plants, so I'll put the receipts in my gun safe (LOL) and if anything doesn't make it, we'll replace it for free.  Here's the close up:
Top left: Cordyline; bottom left: Asparagus Fern;
Middle top: Cleyera; middle: Canyon Creek Abelia; bottom: Galaxy English Daisy;
Far right: Flax Lily

I have more to show you, but this post is long enough, so I'll save those pictures for the Friday Mishmash.  Thanks for making it this far!


  1. I bet it felt very empowering to use a saw. I like your
    plants on your porch very pretty. For spring this year
    we have planted our first above ground container vegetable
    garden. It is so exciting to go check it daily! I can hardly
    wait to eat vegetables that I grew myself!

  2. Looking good girl, the new plants. I am so glad with what the gardener did with our garden and our pond. It looks so good. Now some new plants in it and keep it clean and I'm good for Spring and Summer :)

  3. Oh and I guess Paco was kept inside for his own safety since I don't see him photobombing any pictures LOL

    1. He was hiding in my closet! I was wearing flip flops when I went out to pull the rope, but decided I should change into shoes before using the saw...went inside (the back door was open) and found him tucked away from all of the scary noise. Smart dog!

    2. He's such a baby sometimes but a smart baby :)

  4. I really like your pot idea and it looks great. We have a similar problem in our front yard, so I pinned a picture to show the hubby.

  5. I want one of those saws!! Although I don't have anything I cut cut up with it. Love your planters. I just now pulled mine out and placed them in the sun. I'm hoping that some of the plants come back again this year, but if not I will be making a trip to the nursery once I know we won't get anymore snow. It has been a pretty dry month, but Utah weather in spring is so unpredictable.

    1. I was in Utah this time last year for a surprise snow storm, so yes, I agree your springtime is very unpredictable, lol! The saw is so cool...I bet if you get one, you'll find plenty of things to cut!

  6. That looks fantastic! We keep saying we are going to do some pots on a narrow strip of yard on one side of the house. Then we go look at pots and Mr. Helen gripes about the cost of the pots themselves and we never do it lol!

    1. Pots are expensive, no doubt! We had four of them (Sam's Club had some decent ones at a reasonable price a couple years ago), and we bought three - ouch. But now we have them, so that one-time cost is over, thankfully.

  7. You made me look! That is an expensive toy! But I want one. There are so many dead branches around here, and I could use a regular saw. But I never do. That sawzall would make it fun!

    Your yard looks great!. Those plants are all so pretty and colorful. And I like the variety of pots too.

    So that tree in the back yard--was that the one the squirrel used to play on right outside your window? And is it the one that the woodpecker was working on?--I ask that because that's all I ever see the woodpeckers on around here--the dead pine trees.

    The Monty Python song--my brother (younger than me) used to sing that. I never saw Monty Python, so I didn't know where it was from!

    Did I put enough exclamation points in this comment for you?!

    1. I think a Sawzall would be perfect for you, considering your yard and all!

      Thankfully, the dead tree was not the squirrel/woodpecker tree - that one is a huge oak, and I would be crying right now if it died. This one was a smaller tree, not an oak (but not sure what it was, to be honest).

      Jeff's college mascot was the lumberjack, and their band is the Marching Lumberjacks...I've heard that song A LOT!

  8. Those are gorgeous Shelley! I get the reciprocating saw thing - those are heavy and the constant vibrations using it.

    Joke for the day. John always calls the reciprocating saw the saw that loves you back. (lame, I know).

  9. Your plants look great! I can't wait till I can get out and start yard work. It's still a bit too cool here yet!

  10. Looks great. I love landscaping pics.

  11. We're switching one of our beds to pots this year too. It's just easier to keep clean and maintain that way. Your new set up looks lovely!


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