Aaaaahhhhh…..that’s the sound the other five shrublets made when they finally got their mulch.

I finally finished digging in the old landscape timbers (as edging), putting down landscape fabric and mulching on Friday. The landscape timbers were in the yard already and since they are still pretty decent (and not too rotten or anything) I figured they were a good source of free edging.

I stopped at the corner of the house because I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do next. I am thinking I will continue with the landscape timbers around the corner all the way to the chain link fence and maybe either plant another shrub or two or just mulch so that weeds won’t grow along the side of the house.

I would also like to move the Hostas back along the chain link fence. There isn’t much sun back there and the grass is not growing very well. There is also a weird “hump” in the yard there that I am guessing is a buried tree stump or something and it is not easy to mow what little lawn grows there anyway. Having a shade garden might be just the thing to perk that part of the yard up. As far as the tree goes, having just a small mulch or stone area would be nice because it would allow you to see the shrublets better.

The new mulch makes the front entry look much more welcoming…

While I was mulching the shrublets, something weird happened…

The weed-flower bloomed.

I’m not really sure what it is, but it must be a weed. It has a thistle like stem and leaves and it almost looks like it hatched out of a milk weed pod. Anyone know what it is?

It is really kind of pretty…a fiery orange color with a sinister black center and black markings on the outside petals…part of me thinks it is cool and the other part of me thinks it must be no good. It just sprung from a patch of lilies…weird.

Anyway, now that we have the in with the new part of the post done, what old thing is outta here?

Remember this massive shrub that I have already cut way back? Well it is blocking the soon to be path to the garden and it had to go. Saturday morning I started pulling weeds around the shrub to prep for the arduous removal task…

I found some lannon stone that seems to have been edging a garden along the back of the house. I am guessing it was from the first owners since it was completely covered up with dirt and plants. I’m not going to use the stone here, but it is good stuff and I can surely find a nice place to put it to use!

Once I had the weeds cleared away, I used my handy clippers to clip all the new growth off of the old shrub. When that was all done, I could see what I was dealing with. I started using the hand saw to saw off chunks of the shrub right down to the roots. Then I dug all the way around the shrub with my shovel. I tried prying a little at the root ball and totally bent the shovel. Rats. Wouldn’t be the first shovel that died during a shrub removal project. Luckily I have since purchased a cute little hatchet. I started hacking away at the shrub stump, chipping little bits off at a time and letting Leo drag them off into the yard. I have to admit, I felt a bit like a psychopath. I was angry about bending the shovel and so I channeled that anger into my inner lumberjack. Finally when most of the shrub stump was chiseled down to nothing, I used the bent shovel to give the roots one more pry and they popped out! The whole ordeal took me an hour and a half from first weed pull to final pry, but in the end, this is what I had left…

…a giant shrub hole with no giant shrub in it!

And a clear path to the garden!

…minus yet another giant peony…

Now I have a blank slate for my walkway to the garden! This is the best this part of the yard has ever looked!



12 thoughts on “IN WITH THE NEW, OUT WITH THE OLD…

  1. Hi Kate- Yes, the “weed” is a poppy. I have some and they are beautiful.
    The flower looks like it’s made out of paper.

  2. Awesome poppy! I hope it is spared the fate of the peony–do you know how expensive peonies are? If you decide to get rid of the other one, mail it to me, just kidding–I’ve certainly purposely killed a few plants in my yard. But seriously you could dig up the roots and give away to friends or neighbors. See more at
    I saw your link on YHL and love seeing new garden–especially at ranch houses!

    • Hi Val!

      Glad you like the blog!

      I have definitely been trying to give away all the flowers I dig out to friends and neighbors. One of my neighbors has a sister that has taken 80% of the lilies that have been dug out thus far (she is coming back for the rest soon she says!)

      Now that I know the Poppy is not some invasive weed thing that is going to take over the entire yard (there are a lot of weeds in my yard that look like the spiky part of the poppy but never bloom and they are EVERYWHERE!) I think I will transplant it into my garden (and will make sure to label it so I know what it is next spring when it comes up).

      I tried and tried to give away the big peony I dug out to make way for my new shrub but alas, had no takers. It seems like everyone in the neighborhood already has a ton of peonies! Or they are like me and not a fan of the flower. I do have a few other peonies in the back yard (one is in the way of a walkway I want to put in) and the plan for those is to either find a new home for them or transplant them to a far corner of the yard (I hate ants!). I do feel guilty “junking” perfectly good plants so I do try to give them away when I can, or reuse them somewhere else in the yard.

      Too bad you didn’t live in the area, you could have all my peonies for free!

  3. I know how it is–I am just obsessed with peonies! Good luck with e garden. You’re off to a great start. It is nice having a “nearly” blank slate.

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