May 23, 2012

My Rock Garden

Its been absurdly nice weather in Minnesota this year, and I am thrilled one year later to be out of our big project house and outside sacrificing myself to the sun Gods.  Not that it's all flower picking and hammock lounging, (let's face it, I'm borderline incapable of relaxing.)  But getting a nice workout in while making my backyard pretty is my idea of a good time.  So without further ado I bring you the next platform in our crazy backyard retaining wall adventure, which I affectionately call the "Big Daddy Weed Mess."

Not sure what we're looking at here? Big arrows and labels usually help me.

Here's a close up of that mess-o-weeds.  It may not look that bad now, but that's because it's only May.  Some of those weeds got 6 feet tall last year.  I'm not proud of it.

Getting it all cleaned up was like an "I Love the 80's" TV marathon- never ending.  That's because the bed was not only filled with weeds, but rocks.  Lots and lots of rocks.

Picture Indiana Jones' go-to line, but instead of snakes I was all, "Rocks.  I hate rocks."  So began a five day process of rock excavating.

Let me start by saying that yes, I am in my fifth month of pregnancy, but I'm a firm believer in staying active and healthy.  Everyone is different, but for me that means I still run 3-5 miles about 3 times a week, do some sort of cross fit type workout (cardio/lift) twice a week as well as prenatal yoga.  I'm not crazy, or doing anything dangerous like riding my bike or horseback riding, I'm just continuing doing the exercise that I was used to before I got knocked up.  I ran well into my 8th month when I was pregnant with Ryder and I had an incredibly comfortable pregnancy, no back pain, no swollen ankles, etc... I can only hope for such an easy experience this time around.

All that is to say, I did a lot of work on this platform.  Basically it consisted of me scooping shovels full of rocks into a bucket, filling it until it was about half full (so it wasn't too heavy), carrying the bucket over to our fence and dumping it over.  Times a thousand.  (We own the land on the other side of our fence too, so its not like I was dumping it in the neighbor's yard.) I could only do about a dozen reps before I got tired, so I used downtime to watch my little man hit the baseball.  Slowly over the course of a week the area went from this:

To this:

There were a half a dozen nice flowering perennials on the far side of the bed, so I pulled the rocks and weeds around them and laid down weed block to prevent the disaster from returning. 

Some mulch to top it off makes this garden look like the real deal!

I added some extra top soil to the other side of the bed, since I had removed quite a bit in the Big Rock Shakedown, and then planted what will hopefully be my favorite part of the garden, my flower cutting garden. 

Not too impressive now, but hopefully this summer this bed will be abundant with colorful Zinnias.  I've always dreamed of having a Martha Stewart style garden full of fresh flowers that I could pick at my convenience to use in my home and as gifts.  I thought I would start out easy this year with Zinnias as they are pretty hardy and easy to maintain.  If all goes well I can always expand my flower options and plant-able areas in future years.  (Lord knows we have the space.) 

Through the magic of the internet, my dreams are already starting to come true! 

As for the rest of the backyard, its starting to  fill in and look like the real deal.

 I've got a bunch of blooms that look like they are just ready to burst, so hopefully my yard will be filled with bright and happy color soon. 

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