A couple of times a year I post about the yard and it is slowly coming to shape this year. It didnâ€™t winter well and looks horrible right now.
We had a large cedar shrub get split in half this year because of the snow accumulating on it. When we looked at it, it was dying from the inside out and had to be removed. Other than that, our shrubs and trees did okay but not great. Some fertilizer and lots of water and it should be okay.
Our grass along the side of the house took a tremendous beating and is all dead and will not come back. The dogs are on it all winter and the grass seed I planted two years ago just couldnâ€™t handle it. I planted some Kentucky Blue Grass and some other quick growing nice looking varieties which look great but canâ€™t handle the traffic of the family during the winter. We looked at a couple of hardy grass seeds like the new stuff from Canadian Tire. I went over to Earlyâ€™s Yard and Garden Centre and they have the exact same grass seed at half the price. It has a lot of red fescue in it, is drought resistant and known to take a pounding and a lot of traffic. It is the same mix of grass seeds the city uses in itâ€™s parks and boulevards. Time will tell how it handles the abuse it gets from two boys, two dogs, and a lot of entertaining. One of the mistakes I made in the designing of the backyard are a couple of narrow entrances which means a lot of traffic. If this doesnâ€™t work, I may have to consider adding in some paving stones. In addition to replanting some grass seed, we are moving our sidewalk away from the house and re-grading along the side of the house. New window wells and window well covers are going in. The new sidewalk will just be pavers. I am not sure what I am want to do there so until I do, this will work in the interim. We had something similar growing up and once the grass grew up around them, we really liked it but this area will gets a lot more traffic.
The lawn in the back is okay but the dandelions from the abandoned lot behind us is killing us. I went over the other day and spread a bag of weed and feed all over a 15 foot swath of weeds which I hope makes a bit of a difference. I plan to do it next week as well. It is impossible to keep weeds out of your yard when you have millions of them 10 feet away. After spending a lot of money last year to fight dandelions and some noxious weeds, I am tempted to see if the Saskatoon Church of God and our other neighbors want to start up a Weed and Feed Cooperative so we can get better prices in bulk because that is what it is going to take.
Wendyâ€™s perennial garden looks okay and survived the winter well. She also added a flower bed of wildflowers from seed and we will see how that turns out. A couple of gardeners have told us that it is a great way of getting perennials over the years as you can just transplant them out.
The biggest news of the year is that we finally have some rhubarb. We have tried and failed to grow rhubarb for years and last year we planted some in a big planter and it is thriving. I assume it is a combination of being warmer and better soil but hopefully it will continue to grow well into rhubarb crisp season and we can transplant some it to other places in the yard.
Our pond is working fine. For years we have had to replace the pump for the pond at about $70 a piece. A couple of years ago we got a pump from Peavey Mart that is still going strong that cost us $35. This year we added a floating solar pond light from Jysk that changes colors all night long which is a cool effect.
In addition to those lights, we added 16 $2 solar LED lights from XS Cargo. The secret of buying LED lights from XS Cargo is accepting the fact that you will have to bring about half of them back. We had to exchange 4 or 5 of them. If they work for 2 days, they will keep working but itâ€™s a tough 48 hours. I bought these instead of the $3.44 copper and silver ones from Wal-Mart because they donâ€™t stand out as much and I am hoping they wonâ€™t be stolen as quickly. We will see how that works out. At the cabin, we donâ€™t have to worry about it and we went with some nicer stainless steel ones.
It is the year of painting things. We have to paint the picket fence, the trim on the house, the deck, and the fence. Of all of those things, I dread painting the picket fence the most. Anyone who wants to come over and suffer with us, let me know.
The painting will be done by early July but I donâ€™t think the grass will look that great until fall. The plan is to baby it as much as possible over the summer, hit it with fall fertilizer, and see what the spring of 2010 looks like.