Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ah, spring has sprung and early here in north Alabama.  The bulbs were blooming weeks ago and all of the redbuds and cherries are in full bloom right now.  The Bradford pears have bloomed and turned green already.  They are native to this part and so much bigger and gorgeous than they ever were in Texas. I also noticed some Wisteria blooming purple yesterday.  I love the way they drape down and all the color.

Speaking of Texas, I never fully engaged in the landscape and gardening in Texas for some reason.  I think it was just too stinking bright and hot all spring and summer and fall.  Here it is different (sort of).  There are more delineated seasons which makes it easier to get into the "gardening mood."  The big trees that cover the mountains and look so dreadful all winter are in bloom and turning green now.

Here is the lovely landscape (not so much) that the builder Jeff Benton homes provided us...

Bed in front of garage
Large bed leading up to front door 12 x 33 ft, 4 roses and several azaleas

Gravel and large chunks of concrete in beds
root ball of poor bush

Smaller bed to the right side of house

The new house is wonderful but the bad thing about living in a new construction home is that the yard and landscape is nothing but red clay and large gravel.  The way the bushes and plants were installed is just pitiful.  I can just tug on them and they come right up.  Soooo, I have been loading up my Pilot with bags of soil conditioner and compost.

Raised bed for veggies
The first batch was just to fill the raised bed that #2 son built for me.  I am planning on planting veggies. Just as we were about to fill the bed one of the builder guys stopped and told me to check the HOA guidelines about it's placement.  REally? I can't have a vegetable garden in my side yard?  That's crazy.  We are going to put up a privacy fence which will hide it and so I filled it up anyway.  Based on a couple of experiences with residents of this fine neighborhood, I am certain somebody will complain about it before our fence goes up.

2 re-placed bushes
I will be getting another truckload of soil fixer for the front beds, which are huge, 12 x 33 ft, and plus 3 x 30  and 3 x 20ish.  I think I have decided to rent a tiller to work its magic.  My back hurts just thinking about trying to get it all mixed up.

I have already moved a couple of bushes.  I didn't know what they were, but one of them actually got a bloom today.  I think they are azaleas.  There are three more planted about 3 inches from the side of the house that I think I will move to in front of the a/c units but not too close, a couple of feet away since there are drains and what not  there also.

pea-sized hail pile
The weather here is so unpredictable so I think it best to not plant anything tender just yet.  The temperatures have been in the 80's during the day, but it could change drastically.  Just last week out of the blue we had a hail storm.  It was just right over us.  Kevin said there was just sunshine where he was working, on the other side of the mountain.

That is all for now.  This week I am doing some volunteer work for the National Children's Advocacy Center.  They train people from all over the world on how to handle children and interviews in a suspected abuse situation.  This week is the big conference.  I saw people from Australia and Japan and Alaska on the registry.  I just get to be a runner and checker-in, but feels good to help in some small way.

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