For ages I've had it in mind to put in some kind of flowering bushes next to the cheekwall of the steps down to the front sidewalk. I can never get the grass there mowed properly, and I hate having to come back with shears or the edger to make it look nice.
A couple months ago I found out that crape myrtles might be the sort of flowering shrub I'm looking for-- right kind of shape, easy to grow, and with a long flowering season. I've put an order in for six of them, and they should arrive later this week.
Yesterday I drew up a plan for the bed by the sidewalk-- four myrtles of various sizes will go there. Today I did the digging.
Got it all laid out with stakes and string. Then I hit a snag: I couldn’t make any headway with the digging spade. The neighbor who lives in the house on the corner was vacuuming out his car: I asked him, Did he know the best tool to use for cutting sod?
He hadn’t a clue. They use a landscaper.
(Pleeeeeeeease don't tell me I gotta go buy a special sod lifting implement to finish this job! Pleeeeeeaase?)
Deep breath. Go get the shovel and the garden fork. Apply garden fork to sod at edge of sidewalk . . . Hurrah! It did the trick! Lift the sod strips up all round the edges, and peel it up and make like it's a chocolate jelly roll!
A very heavy chocolate jelly roll.
I now have four rolls of sod (about 16 square feet worth) lying next to the back porch, and what I’ll do with them, I have no idea. I'd use them in the thin places in my back yard, but I'm too lazy to dig up the dirt so the grass will all be even. Besides, winter isn't the best time of year to lay sod-- is it?
No sign of grubs or anything nasty in the roots, I’m happy to say.
I've put stakes (green, metal, hard to see in the photo) in where the bushes are to go. And now I merely have to wait for them to arrive. Hopefully before the weather gets cold and grotty again.
Before I'm done I'll need to get some bricks to edge the new bed. That was the theme as I found it here, and it looks neat enough. One of these days I’ll go down to the local brickyard and see if they can sell me colors to match what I have now. I’ve seen Lowe’s selection, and it won’t make it.It wouldn't hurt to ask the brickyard guys at the same time what it would cost to have the steps replaced. The concrete’s so full of holes, I get volunteer annuals growing there in the summers and you'd think it was a planter.
Meanwhile, the brick pieces at the toe of the now-denuded slope are there to maybe-- I hope!--keep the dirt in. Forecast says it might rain tonight.
(Of course. And me with bushels and bushels of dried maple leaves that still need mulched!)