uch to my dismay, Twitter has trained me to only have witty, entertaining thoughts in 140 character spans. This makes writing blog posts a humorless and rambly process, especially if I don't crank out a post immediately when inspiration strikes (whaBAM).
So now here I am, three weeks after starting an ambitious yard rehabilitation project (it's impossible to phrase that in any clever or alliterative manner. Cookie to anyone who can) trying to remember what I wanted to say about it.
I guess the first thing would be "hire a dang landscaper with a backhoe," if you can. The yard I'm working with is (according to Zillow.com) 0.13 acres, maybe half of it taken up by the house, but with a good sized front yard and considerable backyard. When we moved in, all but maybe, maybe 20% of the backyard was either underwater or overgrown. I wouldn't want to lose the topsoil by having heavy machinery rip out the overgrowth, but regrading would be easier, nay-doable with something more efficient than a shovel.
Anyway, having thrown my back out doing too much of that by hand (and the upcoming birthday doesn't make me feel younger, either), I'm going to wait for it to actually rain again before reevaluating the drainage situation. I improvised a rain garden with existing daylilies and added irises, bee balm and a willow stick which will hopefully sprout (they always do when I don't want them to...) and a little slope and dip for water to accumulate in.
Mostly, the rest of the work is ripping out vines (english ivy, poison ivy, virginia creeper, roses, that variegated purple flowering thing and whatever else) and hopefully getting grass to grow. The new lawn needs to be tilled and aerated, but there are so many roots and bricks (which is great, I'm planning a patio, too, but at 30+ bricks randomly strewn around the yard under the grass...) I'm not sure a rototiller is a good idea. So for the moment, turning over a new garden bed, an existing one and getting my seedlings in will take top priority.
After all of that, I'm (understandably, I hope) anxious about getting everything to grow. The addition of (free!) composted horse manure that I lugged up from Lorton (yes, by myself, in contractor bags, in my little honda) should be enough to improve the soil and feed the plants. For exciting realtime updates, just follow the hashtag: #gardenvarietyanxiety. 1
1. Note that because twitter is stupid, the hashtag isn't searchable. Yet.