Tuesday, June 21, 2011

FATHER AND THE YARD

Old Miniature Roses Climbing
Through the Rails of Our
Handicap Ramp -This Bed
Has Been Renovated
Since I slightly missed Father's Day,  I decided to tie a tribute to him in with our current yard projects.  Dad or Daddy as I called him, was in charge of the yard, whatever that was at any given time. I once remember we took creeping sprigs of carpet grass from a neighbor's yard to nearly cover our own yard in Texas. There are several varieties, all coarse, dense and weed deterrent growth; I loved it, especially since grass burrs did not creep in, so barefooted days were a delight. It required lots of water, but its weed deterrent properties and bug/fungus repellent properties made the watering worth while.

We lived on a corner lot with a lot of hedges, trimming of which was my Dad's duties on weekends. Occasionally, he still found time to take us fishing, pony rides, fishing, etc. As my brother became a teenager he became adept at some of the yard work for which he received more allowance.
We rarely missed church unless we visited relatives, most of which were 60 mi. away. During WWII years I remember many flat tires on those trips. With 3 grumpy siblings trapped in the back seat, we, the flats, and Texas heat certainly tried his patience. There were no spare tires, just inner tubes and patches. I was fascinated by the patches which reminded me of patchwork quilts, as the patches proliferated on the inner tubes.

He was my confidante, because discussion of difficult matters did not become emotional. I am not a teary, emotional person as my Mother was. I liked to get to the heart of the matter, no matter how hard, and move on. Almost all consults with Mother ended in her crying; whether happy or sad; she could not help it. It just translated as all sad to me. Other members of my family are the same way.
Disregard Blue Flats:
This Wide Angle Somewhat
Shows Our Simplifications;
Left and Right Front Beds.
We have added solar lights.
Both were the best parents they knew how to be. Dad was from a family of 8; Mother was an only child raised by a grandmother and two old maid aunts. They believed in the hierarchy of the traditional family and strict discipline. Did they make mistakes? they both admitted they did. There is no handbook of parenthood that is approved, as far as I know.

Changing subjects, I have previously alluded to our on-going attempts to make our yard less maintenance intensive.  I'll have some pictures, too. The purpose of the expense of renovating our landscape was self-maintenance.
Again disregard blue flats. View to to
Left facing house. Hope to Have Better
Photos Later.
We first hired a lawn specialist who advised we "start from scratch" with several variable sized beds already in place. After swallowing my pride in losing long self-seeding and low maintenance flowers, I agreed. I had no choice. My prosthetic knees are no longer conducive to kneeling and crawling on ground, nor is my osteoarthritic, osteoporosic spine.
The beds were dug and dirt clods broken up and raked near level; the weeds, flowers and debris were haul to a refuse area to be burned. I stayed inside so as not to witness the destruction. Then a black landscape material which allows drainage and weed deterent for about 5 years was laid followed by 3" of enhanced soil and 3" of mulch were layered on top of the cloth. We bought a weed deterrent mulch for most of the work. All the mulch will have to be renewed in a year.
We kept several shrubs including forsynthia,  miniature roses, some climbing roses we inherited with the property purchase, and small foundation shrubbery.  In addition we saved 5 nandinas in whiskey barrels for future plantings. They will recover in the barrels for a season. I have two Japanese red maples maturing in whiskey barrels, too.
The Right Bed near Street has 5 Whiskey
Barrels with Transplanted Nandinas in them.
The Windmill and Barrels have Solar lights in
or around Them.
After three beds my husband and neighbor felt confident they had the methodology learned so we hired a neighbor's 16 yr. old son. He has turned out be an excellent worker. He is saving his money to buy a bicycle and open a bank account. I personally am impressed he is aiming for a bicycle, not a car....at his age!!!

The street view is virtually completed as soon as I decide we have enough landscape lights. Some would think I am a little overdone on the lights.

Now we are working around areas not necessarily in street view, but still messy like around the Hidey Hole storm shelter.

I  would like to pave driveway, but am waiting for a concrete or asphalt war...no gypsy deals. Besides drainage have to be determined and done expertly, or the surface will soon deteriorate.
A Different View of Coffee Can Begonias
We dec9ded to try to Keep Hanging Baskets,
Whiskey Barrel Plantings, etc. for Color;
I can still Prepare Most of these Items
Each Spring.

10 comments:

Arkansas Patti said...

I totally agree about making a yard maintenance free. I would plant all ground cover if I could. Looking good at what you have done. Your young worker sounds like a keeper.

faye said...

wow... landscaping is a huge task..
guess I am just too lazy and it is
easier for me to ride the mower over
everything in sight.

Small City Scenes said...

My goodness your yard projects are pretty extensive---but coming along. I hope everyone will be satisfied. A nice Dad tribute. My Dad died while I was quite young so I don't remembered if he was a yard person or not. My Mother says he was.

The catarac surgury sounds like it is coming along fine---good for you.

MB

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Good for you guys for doing this.
I think with your back and knees you will be glad you did.
It also turned out really nice.
After my fall last year I have just plants in containers right now no beds. Hopefully maybe next summer
hope your having a great week. We actually got rain here last night ...boy did we need some.
Love
Maggie

Amber Star said...

It has been so hot and dry this year that we haven't gotten much done...that and my back have kept me from doing much at all. Your naked ladies are out there, but I'm not sure if they have bloomed. I can hardly walk out all the to the back of the yard. We planted them were they would be seen, but I have to walk around the corner. I didn't think about that last year when I was planting and going all year. I just have to get reports from my husband now days. I still have hope and am going to try to go back to water aerobics.

Amber Star said...

Oh yes...forgot to say that everything you have done looks really nice and joint friendly.

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

You've done a lot of work. You are smart to make things maintenance free. It all looks nice.

Lorna said...

You continue to amaze me---but while I love flowers and landscaped lawns, I'm quite content for them to be someone else's.

Pat - Arkansas said...

Looking good! Many things have changed since my visit two years ago.

One of these days, I will get to work on low maintenance. My current sore back was directly caused by a currently high maintenance bed (the one where your Lycoris are planted).

I wish I had a similar young worker to assist me. He's a keeper!

rosaria said...

Yes, as we age, we need to simplify our lives and our structures. We are getting smarter too.