The wonderful news is that Monday afternoon we finally got the call that our doors have arrived! And yesterday morning the truck dropped them off at our house!!! Now we just have to find the time to install them. Then find the time to seal them. Then find the time to paint them… But they’re here!!! AND our last light arrived on Saturday, woo-hoo! And the replacement glass arrived yesterday. Yay!!!! PROGRESS!
So with that progress and the prospect of a before and after looming I decided it was finally time to plant our succulent garden in the front. When we first moved in, the house looked like this
And as you know we posted the palms on Craigslist and they got taken away for free, hooray! But then, like so many things around the house, the front planting bed sat only partially worked on for months. Until Saturday, woo-hoo! I was supposed to hang out with my mom Saturday morning with the girls, but plans got shifted around a little bit and she ended up not being able to frolic with us, so I decided to take the girls to Annie’s Annuals. Who knew going to a nursery could provide so much entertainment for small kiddos?
Merritt of course was incredibly handsy and tried to rip everything apart. She finally got obsessed with one particular succulent so I decided to just let her destroy that one and keep her off all the others. The employees chuckled when we purchased it, but I didn’t want to have my 1 year old hack the shit out of a plant and then leave it for them to deal with.
I didn’t really have a specific plan about which ones I wanted in particular, we just wandered up and down their 10-12 aisles of succulents and picked ones that looked pretty awesome and some that were also pretty cheap 🙂 I want this planting bed to be beautiful, but I also didn’t want to spend a shit ton of money.
When we got to the end Zoe took a liking to one of the workers and wanted to help him count things up. Merritt joined in on the action and helped hand off the plants. It was pretty adorable
When we were walking to the car Zoe asked, “Why do me and Emmett love each other?” (that was the employee’s name.) I just about died of adorableness.
When we got home it was time to work on digging the planting beds out. In the pest report there was some drainage issue that was called out in this area of the lower floor’s foundation and we were thinking that we wanted to weather proof the planting beds
Of course this was a job for the three of us (apparently it’s kind of difficult to keep a 1 year old from eating dirt)
I dug for about an hour with Zoe and Merritt’s help, and then another 30-60 minutes at nap/quiet time
I wasn’t coming close to any bottom, but I was hitting the house’s foundation on the left side in the above picture. When Chris got home from work we went out to the front and checked things out. We resolved (after all that digging) that the water penetration issue must actually be from the front of the house not having any gutters or downspouts. Water from about 1/3 of the roof pours off the front of the house and then DIRECTLY into this planting bed. There is no waterproofing so it seeps down into the foundation – not a good thing. We had thought we would weather proof the planting bed, but it didn’t appear to have a bottom anywhere near where I was. We resolved that we would just put our gutters on the house sooner rather than later and this would divert the water and hopefully eliminate the water issue. It’s already been on our to do list, but this will just make us do it a little sooner rather than later. It’s difficult to understand why they never put gutters anywhere on the house, but luckily it will have some soon!
So after all that digging Saturday I woke up at 5:45 on Sunday and decided to shovel all the dirt BACK into the planting beds and get it ready for planting
I added pumice to the soil (as advised by Annie’s) and mixed it in. After that I laid out all our succulents (I got all of these for $188)
I wanted to add some sort of weed blocking element before planting. In all of our gardening experience we have found cardboard to be the best weed block. I fucking HATE all weed block fabric and have never found one that actually works for longer than 6 months. We used specific landscape cardboard in our front yard at Picardy and it was awesome. 3-4 years later we still really had very little weeds. I could not recommend cardboard as a weed block more. The unfortunate thing is that a roll can be a tad pricey, but luckily we get A LOT of boxes delivered to our house
Between purchasing materials for various jobs for work, going to Costco, and buying tools we are never short on cardboard boxes. So I decided to save these for a while to use as weed block 🙂 It’s a little unsightly, so I also took the opportunity to break down the ones we didn’t use into a much smaller pile so our neighbors don’t hate us as much (although the nice thing about where we live now is that our house is set back more from the street and there are only 7 houses on the street so we get a lot less traffic). I broke down some smaller boxes and laid them out in the planting beds
Classy fruit snack weed block 🙂
I cut out holes for each plant and then got all 26 succulents into the ground. Then Zoe wanted to help me water
By this time it was about 9:50am and I had to leave for work at the A’s at 10:15, so it was time to take a shower, make my lunch and head out. But we still had the rocks to buy. On Monday I went to a newer landscape place in Oakland for us (we go to Larm’s a lot, but they can be a little frustrating to deal with and some of their products are over priced). I checked out what they had in terms of rocks and settle on Pea Gravel. I also asked about their pricing on pavers and various other landscape materials (we’ll pave a patio area in the backyard in 1-15 years 🙂 heheheehe). They were SUPER nice and incredibly helpful and had really good prices, so I would really recommend Oakland Landscape Supply if you’re local. I was hoping we’d get the rocks picked up this week so we could check the progress off the list (I don’t want another partially completed project on my hands…) but we haven’t had the time yet Monday or Tuesday. HOPEFULLY today or tomorrow we’ll be able to pick them up and get this project done!