I had to chuckle this morning when I heard on NPR that China has spent over $10 billion trying to clean up all the pollution in Beijing before the Olympics, because I can relate. This weekend is my 30th birthday party at our house, and Bryan and I have certainly been doing the same thing China has--huge clean up projects before the guests show up!!
Thankfully the house is in pretty good shape inside, but over the weekend we decided that one of the things we needed to tend to before the party is the... hmm, what do I call them... not flower beds, not landscaped areas... uh... those places in front of the house that were supposed to be landscaped areas? :) With the bushes and stuff? Yeah, that part. Bryan bought our house in March 2003, and apart from a couple of feeble attempts on my part to plant flowers, no attention has ever been paid to these areas. The builder put in a couple of boxwoods and some other bush, most of which did nothing except sit there, hardly growing at all. And then I came along a couple months ago with the Round Up and killed a few of the smaller ones. Yeah. So, like I said, we had some work to do.
Sunday we went to the dump and got free mulch (smart move!), and set to work clearing out the crap and moving some stuff and REmoving some stuff. Mostly it was me standing there watching Bryan pull bushes out of the ground. And then the boy got all Farmer Brown on me and decided if we were doing this, we were doing it right. So we had to go to Lowe's to get a pick axe so that he could turn up the soil in the beds... because it's not soil. It's clay. And it does not budge when you try to shift it with a shovel. After a few hours of watching Bryan swing that pick axe like he was working on the railroad, we got the mulch down, but that left us with empty, mulched beds.
Last night we headed back to Lowe's (oh, THIS is how homeowners do it?!) and gathered up some plants and some top soil and some pretty mulch and headed home to complete the project. It took a lot longer than either of us thought it would, because we decided we'd go all out and put down that weed-prevention paper and plastic flower bed liner and all this bull crap that BETTER KEEP THE WEEDS OUT. So when it got dark, Bryan brought out the lights he uses when he works on the cars, and we kept on going until at least the front bed was done. Tonight we have to plant the azalea bush we bought for another spot, then put the pretty mulch on top of the free dump mulch, and we will be good to go.
I gotta say, it is rather satisfying work. Lord, what is happening to me? First basketball, now gardening?! Yes, this must be what your thirties look like... ;-)
I meant to take a picture with the real camera, but forgot it, so here's one I snapped with my cell phone on the way to work this morning... those are hostas and begonias if you're wondering... :)