oh what the neighbors must think of me.

auntyara(5a)November 9, 2011

I've been living here for 18yrs and I'm a compulsive gardener/plantaholic. I've redone my front ditch garden so many times over the years and now I've gone over board.

In the last few months I've ripped out a long row of over grown hideous privets(I left one clump for privacy, now I wish I ripped that out too). chopped down 3 gigantic mulberry trees, put up a 48foot picket accent fence and put down 12yrds of mulch.

Now It's time to carefully plan my planting. I walk up and down the street staring at my yard from every angle. I stand on my front porch just staring and staring trying to get ideas. My neighbors already think I'm nuts, but now it's irrefutable.

I can't make up my mind on what to plant and where.

My DH says it doesn't matter because I'll only rip it all out next year!

Does anyone else garden this way?

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natalie4b(7b GA)

Yes - I recognize the symptoms - describes my behavior perfectly!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 8:41AM
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We ALL garden that way. I'm the batty old lady with the garden in progress. The garden that's always in progress. It's never done, is it?


    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:17AM
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If I had neighbors, they would think I was a bit crazy...especially when I stare at the arches, walking back and forth and moving one about 1/4 of an inch...and then staring some more. LOL

Your new garden sounds like it's going to be wonderful! What are you thinking about planting along the fence? Are you planning on any arbors? Maybe some climbing roses or clematis...even honeysuckle? I'd love to see some pictures :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 11:44AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Lavender, you now qualify to become a member of 'The Constructive Staring Society' of which I am a charter member :).


    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 12:41PM
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My DH in the before pic. notice all the over grown shrubs.

I just took this one.
Please do notice my shingles are falling off thanks to Irene. They won't be fixed till spring. I try not to look at them :(

I have weigelas, day lily, spider wort, siberian iris, peony, butterfly bush, 2 kinds of beauty berry bushes, knock out roses old fashion roses, delphiniums, mums, spireas, potentilla, ornamental grass, lots of daffodils etc. BES. lupine, red beebalm, lobelia, snow in the summer creeping forget me nots, rosy glow barbarry, and a dwarf alberta spruce on the one end. I sounds like so much but it looks so empty. I'm thinking a bird bath on the other end but I'm paranoid some jerk might steal it.
I'm taking lots of pictures for the before and after thing. Any suggestions would be wonderful!!

who knew those ugly trees would give us so much fire wood LOL

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 12:57PM
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I have not ripped anything out yet, but had a huge sweetgum tree removed because of the balls that fell continuously from October through March. It would have been nice if all of them would have fallen in a couple of weeks. Then a one time raking would get the job done.

Now I have a wide circle of bare ground that was once in its shade. Just an open canvas of dirt waiting for some new life.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 9:28PM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

I too am staring at open space wondering what to do with it next spring. We had two large apple trees taken down from the back yard last week. Since we won't spray the apples were always full of worms, good only for deer food. I will miss the spring blooms but not picking up apples all fall.

The birds are wondering where the feeders went...not far away on a pole where they always spend the winter. (I used a pole for winter as there was a slight slope which made walking to the apple tree hazardous when snowy and icy.)

Removing the privet hedge really opened up that side. I am interested to see what you decide to do with your new space. Have you considered making an L shape with your fence, even part way up the corner?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2011 at 10:09PM
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My neighbors seem to be terrified of the outdoors so they think EVERYTHING I do is crazy simply because it takes place outside! haha.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 12:43AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

In April I started ripping up more grass to make new flower/veggie beds in the front and back, then realized a double-trunk holly tree was not coming back to life for the summer and chopped it down. Then I thought "these trunks would make good borders for my new beds." The size of them didn't match the new beds well but by then it was way too hot to keep digging up grass and I had already re-injured my slip'n'slide injury (lower back) by digging, really had to admit I just can't do as much as vigorously as I used to. So I've been using some sheets of metal to smother the remaining grass to make everything fit and I assure you, that's not pretty. Luckily I found a bunch of bricks at an abandoned house and replaced the trunk border in the front yard but I haven't moved the metal there yet, waiting for the leaves to fall so I can cover that spot with them. It's ironic that the last small patch of grass being smothered wasn't killed by drought like almost all of the rest of the yard.

When I started messing with the front yard this spring, everything looked "ok" to the casual observer, but now it looks terrible, like some awful gardening disaster has happened, much worse than if I had just left it all alone. The lawn is dead, there's sheets of metal, and as of tomorrow morning, the flowers will probably all be dead too. Oh well, in my mind's eye, I see beautiful bunches of flowers, lovely foliage, yummy veggies... I promise it will be a reality next year! (But the "lawn" is still on its' own!)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:34AM
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I know exactly what you mean purpleinopp,
but we got to have that ugly rip out and destroy period to get it "just right" lol like that will ever happen.
I found this picture on the inter net a few months ago and I was so inspired. well more like obsessed by it.
If you look closely you will see that the fence is just a strip and not connected to anything. How cool. If this gardener can do it? than so can I.

Here is a link that might be useful: my inspiration

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 9:56AM
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I know the neighbors, who can't tell a hosta from a '57 Chevy, think I must be insane. Sometimes I see them staring over at me from their trashy yard, I just know they are wondering what the heck is the idiotic thing I'm doing now. And people drive by on the street really slow sometimes when I'm working out there--not sure if they are looking at the pretty flowers or the crazy old lady with the pruners and the shovel!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 11:02AM
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Annette- LOL!

Auntyara- Your fence is beautiful and what a nice inspiration picture! I saved it to print and show my mom...that is exactly her kind of cottage garden :)

You have so many wonderful flowers and shrubs already...all I could really add is maybe some phlox. My mom just put in a beautiful butterfly border (I knew I should have taken more pictures) and it has lots of butterfly bushes, three big Ispahan damask roses, bee balm, coneflowers, coreposis, catmint, dill and lavender...and mock oranges on each end. The butterflies seemed to love it...I can't wait to see how it looks, next year!

Purple- What we see in our mind's eye is why we garden...and why our gardens eventually turn out to be so pretty :)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 7:15PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

Auntyara -- You have a terrific beginning! And so I looked at the link to the photo that was your inspiration. I see the inspiration to your picket fence, but one big difference: the fence in the magazine photo had larger more formal posts between sections, and maybe even an end post piece, larger, that couldn't be seen in the photo. These larger posts between fence sections establish a graceful visual rhythm to the fence length. I'd recommend that you add a square post slightly taller (3-4") than the pickets, to each end. It's like the difference between a complete sentence ending in a period, and a long phrase going on indefinitely


    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 9:41AM
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I don't worry what they think, and most of the time after I've done something new or different to my garden I'll drive down the road a couple weeks or months later and see that the neighbors have copied what I've done! It sounds vain, but I know for certain of one that does this. She has more money than I do, so hers is always a notch above in materials. It always makes me smile.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 9:55AM
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Thanks everyone :) You're all so nice here.
I know/hope it's gonna be really pretty when I'm done.hahaha, done.

Carol, It does look pretty weird at the ends. I'm hoping when the shrubs and spruce grow bigger it will all tie in, but I probably still need some kind of end columns. oooh maybe I can put a birdhouse on the top of each one.
It will have to wait for the Spring. Days are getting so short and it's dark by the time DH gets home, and he sure doesn't want to "waste his weekends" on my gardens lol.

Lavender lass, I put in some butterfly bushes a few years ago and this summer there were so many butterflies it was like an invasion! My sweet little killer of a kitty was so entertained. I felt so bad watching her stalk them. But she is what she is.

schoolhouse, post some pics of your gardens so I can steal your ideas too :) It's the sincerest form of flattery you know.
:) Laura

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 1:05PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

Folks, you are NOT staring! You are ENVISIONING!

There now, doesn't that sound better? It certainly makes me feel better when I do it!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 8:33PM
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Auntyara- Butterfly bushes are one of my favorite shrubs...they're like summer lilacs and the butterflies do love them!

I know what you mean...a few of the barn kitties try to chase the hummingbird moths, around the pots of star jasmine and white petunias...but without much luck. They sure enjoy watching them, though. Sometimes, I'm pretty sure they think I do all of this, just for their entertaiment. They do love sitting in their shady spots, in the fairy garden :)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 8:46PM
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Ok... so to continue with how oblivious to the outdoors my neighbors are...

I was out working in the garden one day this summer. Hot as Hades. Had been working on the gardens for about six hours. Finally worked my way around to the front of the house--about to drop over from the heat--and my neighbor comes out with a teeny watering can to water his THREE HOSTAS. He looks over and says, "Man, gardening takes a lot out of you, huh? Gotta water the plants though!"
I seriously thinks he views our "gardens" as about even.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2011 at 10:45PM
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pat_tea(PNW, Van,WA)

Oh yes Aunty. . . we gardeners should be like our gardens. Always growing and ever changing as we go through the seasons of our lives. Keep growing!

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 11:31AM
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If I were you, I'd go back and rip out the last privet. You can certainly find something you like better for the privacy.


    Bookmark   November 16, 2011 at 5:18PM
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scully, lol My neighbors don't even do that much. The only plants they have were there when they bought the place.
Not to be critical of them of course. They are the nicest people you could ever meet and I love them dearly, that being said, They haven't a clue why I work til I'm heat exhausted. Only a gardener can understand.

rosefolly, I agree. I'm kicking myself for leaving it. I should have just ripped it all out like a bandaid. But it blocks a direct "shot" of my neighbors garage. He runs a home based business fixing cars. And he's a great mechanic with fair prices so he's ALWAYS busy. I don't want his customers to think I'm staring at them while they wait. And vise versa.
I bought 2 nine barks to plant there. I hear they grow fast and tall. They gotta look better than that UGLY privet. My "helpers" Don't want to help in the cold weather. So it gonna have to wait til spring. RATS!!
:) Laura

    Bookmark   November 18, 2011 at 11:23AM
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mnwsgal 4 MN(4)

Remind your helpers that trees/shrubs grow better if planted in the fall and that you don't want to have to spend the $s to replace them next fall. Talking $s often helps a nongardener helper be more agreeable.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2011 at 11:51PM
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herbal(z7 MD)

I actually feel stressed when I garden in the front of my house. My road is pretty busy, though it is only for those living in our community because it dead ends. These people drive by, slow down, and make me feel like I have to wave hello. I'd never get any work done, nearly 40 cars pass in 2-3 hours. Everyone is so interested to see the young woman ripping out grass. (Of course, there are only two out of twenty houses with trees in the front yard, and NONE with plants other than hostas. So, do I rudely ignore them, or do I continue on? It's especially perplexing when I'm "contemplating", I'm sure they're thinking, "She's just standing there, looking my way, I'm sure she sees me, why doesn't she wave?"

    Bookmark   November 23, 2011 at 8:17PM
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, "She's just standing there, looking my way, I'm sure she sees me, why doesn't she wave?"
now how did I miss your post? I'm cracking up from reading it :)
My road is 55mph and cars beep at me all the time, I just wave, barely even look up any more.
:) Laura

    Bookmark   August 3, 2012 at 10:27PM
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