Monday, May 4, 2009

A Good Balance of Work And Play

We've spent the past couple of weekends doing some atypical outside work.

Last weekend, in addition to my fun with electric hedge clippers, we purchased some new seating for the deck. The set we had was bought by DH before we met, so it was pushing 10 years old and the frames and fabric were showing every one of those years. The old set of round table and four chairs took up a significant portion of the deck, and I can count on one hand how many times we used it for dining vs. sitting on one chair and propping feet on another while lounging and reading a book or enjoying the weather. It was also to the point a couple of the chairs were no longer safe for anything more than foot propping.

After careful consideration, and analysis of the cost vs. benefit, we purchased a set (on major sale) that consists of two reclining chairs with matching ottomans and a single side table. True they aren't the color I would have selected but it's inoffensive and shouldn't show too much dirt. But they are perfect for lounging, and if we want to sun on our deck instead of going to the pool we now have a comfortable way to do so. And we have more room on the deck to add more chairs if needed.

This weekend we took a short trip to the same local garden center where we get our Christmas trees to look at plants. It was very dangerous. An hour or so and $150+ later we walked out with enough plants to redo one bed and get a good start on another two. If they had the plants we had originally gone in to look at it would have been double.

One thing we did that DH has wanted to do for several years now was take out three "Heavenly Bamboo" Nandina at the foot of the stairs to our deck. That stuff spreads so quickly that cutting it back every other week wasn't always enough, and the top heavy growth pattern definitely was not an attractive focal point for the walk from the drive to the steps. After digging out the roots for all three plants I have to say that if whoever named it had to dig it out, the name would certainly have been hellish instead of heavenly. That was just one more example of how our landscape designer screwed up.

(Short story, the landscape company we used had developed a questionnaire/survey to understand what clients were looking for - the designer only followed our answers enough to do exactly the opposite of what we wanted. Request for no purple? Let's put in all purple leaved and purple flowering plants. Request for animal safe plants? Let's put in plants known to be toxic to dogs. I need to just let it go, but we are still fixing his errors and having to improve the soil in the beds where plants were just dug into holes instead of all the soil being tilled and amended before planting. And don't get me started on the sod prep which required replacing the sod in several locations because it died thanks to crap soil with serious compaction issues underneath.)

Sunday between rain showers we planted the remainder of our purchases - including moving three shrubs from one bed where they have been more unhappy than thriving into another. And I managed to burn my shoulders in the brief time the sun was out.

We also had time to watch a couple of movies we hadn't seen "Penelope" (last weekend, reminded me of "Ella Enchanted" in ways), "Narnia: Prince Caspian" (not as good as the first), "Journey to the Center of the Earth" (Brendan Fraser is either really type cast as the bumbling confused guy who gets it all straight in the end, or he can't act and that's the way he is off screen too), and "Made of Honor" (can someone please explain why Patrick Dempsey is supposed to be hot, because, no. And don't get me started on how he's supposed to be in his early-mid 30's in the movie because, also, no.).

As DH said, it was a good weekend.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the opinion about Prince Caspian. As for the demon shurbber from Fleet Street, sounds like a nightmare! There's nothing worse than paying for shoddy workmanship. I hope all your new leafy friends flourish!