Can you believe I have almost been at the Retro Ranch for a year now?  So much has been accomplished and still there is so much left to do! Take the front yard for example:

Remember when it looked like this?

This is what it looked like this morning. Huge improvement from last year. See those bags? That’s mulch…

I was getting really sick of constantly pulling the weeds around the “shrublets”  (which is what I affectionately call our new cute little shrubs that we planted last summer.) Since I had a stash of landscape fabric and mulch was on sale at Menards this week, I thought I should get the front shaped up a bit.

While I had already done round one of weeding on the garage side of the house, I hadn’t even touched the other side…I like to work my way from driveway to other end of lot so at least one part of the yard looks decent for a little while, and since I have been busy with the raised bed victory garden, I haven’t yet gotten all the way across the front of the house.

This is the other problem I have. That is a huge Peony. I already hacked it out once last year and it came back huge again. My problems with it are 1) It attracts ants and I do not like ants, 2) the ground is higher over by the mound of peony and therefore it backs up against the house during heavy rain, which is not good and 3) the peony is so large that it blocks the view of the shurblets and the edge of the house.

So what to do? I have been waiting to see if Mr. Peony will bloom for a few days and be all pretty before I hack him out for good, but Jim thinks Mr. Peony heard me threatening to hack him out right after he blooms and he has been holding the buds for weeks. I didn’t want to wait any more weeks to get this part of the yard looking better, so Mr. Peony got hacked out again. This time for good I think. The root ball was the size of a foot ball and did not come out easily…but when the dust settled I had found Mr. Peony’s replacement:

Isn’t he a looker?

Removing Mr. Peony allowed me to fix the drainage problem by leveling out the dirt and building it up by the house.

Mr. Dwarf Globe Blue Spruce is fast becoming good friends with the shrublets…let’s call him Bruce Spruce for kicks.

Bruce Spruce also looks very nice with the lamb’s ear. They have similar coloring which repeats the bluish hue along the front of the house…

(Please excuse the random cars in the shot, my neighbors were having a party)

The shrublets are happy with the new mulch. Well at least the ones on the left side of the house…

Did you notice I also planted zinnias in the built in planter? It is hard to tell what they are because they aren’t quite blooming…

Hopefully soon I will have a whole planter bursting with color from the profusion zinnias.

Sadly, I was running out of gas and daylight by the time I got to the right side of the house. I promised the other 5 shrublets that they would get their mulch soon!

Until then, the left side of the front yard is looking pretty good and is definitely a huge improvement from one year ago!


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