Tuesday, August 3


This weekend my dad and I got started on another project from my list. We picked up a couple truckloads of free mulch from Tulsa's Greenwaste Site and started rescuing my flowerbeds.

In Tulsa, the city shreds greenwaste such as tree limbs or debris to create mulch. Anyone willing to come out to the Greenwaste Site can pick up as much mulch as they'd like for free. This was great for my budget since I was creating new flowerbeds as well as filling in the the existing ones. (The greenwaste site also has free firewood if you're willing to cut it yourself.)

Fair warning: in case I haven't mentioned before, I hate gardening. Unfortunately, while my home was beautifully refinished, the yard was a blank slate. When I moved in last year there was one lonely flowerbed with no plant-life, the grass was spotty and weeds were slowly overtaking my fenceline.

I have since planted bushes and fought back the weeds along the fence, but I have a long way to go before my yard looks how I want. Meanwhile, my lack of interest in gardening means that I was slowly losing ground in the front flowerbed, thus the mulch.

Front flowerbed, weeded and mulched.
When the weather gets as hot as it has been here over the past few weeks, the ground often has a hard time retaining moisture. You have to be careful watering the plants during the hottest part of the day since you can end up accidentally "steaming" the plants. Mulch helps insulate the ground so that it stays moist longer, giving plants a better chance to soak up water before it cooks the roots.

In the front flowerbed we cleared out the weeds, many of which were taller than the bushes, and spread the mulch about six inches thick. After the mulch was down we dragged the hose around and watered everything really well. (Watering in the front is a pain because my only outdoor water spicket is in the backyard.)

Then Dad and I started hauling the mulch around back. Here's what I've got so far:

The new flowerbed will stretch from the edge of the porch (right) to the fence in the corner (left).

Beginning of the back flowerbed. That owl is Italian.
Eventually this flowerbed will stretch along the entire length of the house. I've already got two azaleas and a hosta planted (although they look pretty pitiful, don't they?), but I need to wait to put more mulch down until after the stump gets dug out and I plant things. I'm not even sure what I'm planting yet. Maybe elephant ears and more azaleas and hostas. Mainly my goal is to plant nothing that requires regular upkeep.

At the top of this post is the area around the tree in the backyard. My original plan was to create a "retreat" under the tree with the bird bath and the hammock. However, after a week under the tree my hammock was liberally decorated with bird crap. So after cleaning it I changed my plan and moved the hammock. I may add a bird house or feeder to the area instead. Dad and I plan to build some edging to keep the mulch in place. The area behind the tree slopes away so the mulch is almost a foot high back there!

Altogether it was a successful weekend. There is still a ways to go before this project gets finished though. Maybe I should take some construction classes...

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