Hurry Up Spring!!!

I keep looking out my window to see if the snow is almost melted yet. I have lots of big plans for my garden and yard this year. They are actually many of the same plans I had last year but never got to because of all of the rain. Let's see- I have boulders to build, a labyrinth to construct, a few outdoor "rooms to furnish with concrete "Faux Bois" furniture that I of course will be creating myself! I also plan on making a bunch of raised beds so I can actually grow the veggies I threatened to grow last year, pile a few fieldstone (Pennsylvania) walls, and build a few floating decks for my outdoor rooms. Oh, I forgot about the greenhouse I am going to make out of my falling down shed! Just to make sure I don't make things easy on myself, 

 I will grow a yard of pretty flowers from the hundred packets of seeds I bought last year and never had a chance to plant.  

The thing I forgot to mention, was that I have ZERO budget to get my fantasy yard in order. I have, instead, to rely on good ol' fashioned ingenuity and creativity when it comes to getting what I want.
You see, it all started out fine last spring. I went on craigslist and found a bunch of bricks, my aunt was moving and uncle Bill gave me a palette of bricks that I loaded one at a time into the back of my Honda Ridgeline- much to the dismay of my "don't use the truck for things it is made for cause it will get scratched" husband!  

I became a "brick sleuth", taking small loads whenever I could and quickly unloading them before the hubs came home. I even snuck a yard of dirt in the back of my truck to save the delivery charge by carefully lining it with landscape fabric and he was none the wiser!

There are lots of things I would like in my garden... like rocks and boulders! I have "hardscape envy" of anyone that has had the good fortune and budget to adorn their yard with big, heavy, gorgeous boulders! Big ones, small ones, Mexican river rocks- small, medium and large, pea gravel, bluestone, flagstone- I dream of them all. Now when I lived upstate, this stuff was everywhere and you could pretty much drive down the road and come back with a free truckload of whatever you could pick up and put in your truck. But I lived upstate in the 70's when I was a teenager and my idea of great rock came in the musical form with big hair, tight pants and had absolutely nothing at all to do with geology. EEK!

Back to boulder building. 
So I was online drooling over pictures of designer hard scapes when I came across a guy from Australia who creates boulders and slab staircases out of concrete!

This was perfect for me...a girl with limited lifting skills and no bobcat. I sent away for the instructional videos that taught me all about sand mix and pigment powders. 

 I got a bunch of free concrete rubble that the guy even delivered for free, 
and also got to listen to my husband tell me that I "was never gonna finish and we would be looking at that pile of broken sidewalk next year."
  I scoffed at his lack of imagination and vision for the future paradise I would be constructing with my bare hands! HMMPHMPH! " I will show him" I thought. 

 I then enthusiastically had 5 yards of topsoil delivered on a big pile on the side of the driveway. It was as beautiful as dirt can get- rich, black and crumbly. I couldn't wait to get started!

I actually DID get started, I put in four beds in the back and started creating my "waterfall brick " walkway entrance to the back yard "gardens".
Then came the rain. I looked on the cheery side and said to myself "great-I will see how the water makes it's way thru the yard so I can plan more efficiently". Well, I pretty much spent the entire summer waiting for it to stop raining or dry up enough to do my projects! I couldn't start concrete if it was going to rain, all of my boulders would wash away!
All of the rain made my pile of topsoil grow and start looking eerily like a huge lawn chia pet.
As it grew more from the plentiful rain, it actually started looking more like an abandoned burial mound. This made me very reluctant to put it into my beds at that point because I really didn't want to do THAT much weeding!! 
 I think my topsoil was probably made out of decomposed weeds because I had become the proud owner of a lush, green weed chia burial mound. 
Yay. Just what I wanted.
By then my husband was having quite a jolly time reminding me about my broken sidewalk project and the big weed grave in the front yard! He kept on threatening me that he was going to get preen and kill everything before the neighbors started whispering about us, but I really don't want all those chemicals messing with my backyard wildlife. Not to mention, I had bought a hundred packets of seeds with leftover grocery money (shhh, don't tell!), and the preen would make it impossible for anything to grow!
  Now that the weather had a few stretches of workable dryness, the mosquitos were having a block party and I was the tequila.  
Not a big fan of encephalitus, I chose to remain inside in the air conditioning and crackle finish my vanity instead.

Before I knew it the summer was over. I finally weeded my front lawn chia pet in time for the fall clean up. 

 Right now, the blanket of snow keeps my broken concrete project a secret to those who don't know, and my box of seed packets patiently wait for me to Johnny Appleseed them into my beds and so they can take a chance at life. 

 My rich, black crumbly topsoil peeks it's weedless head innocently out of the melting snow, silently saying "put me in your garden beds"...but I know better- it thinks I will forget and let it chia pet my entire garden this year!

Heck, maybe I can start a new trend- the chia garden!


  1. Thanks so much for visiting me today. We can hardly wait for spring, to get back out in the garden, either. Hope you have a happy weekend,

  2. Cute post! We are seeing signs of Spring but unfortunately they are calling for another snow storm this week....ugh! Go away snow....i want green grass. Thank you for stopping by my blog and becoming a follower. Hope to see you often. :)

  3. enjoyed your sharing this story with us, tobi! sure glad your hubby didn't get his way with the preen... how would that make the fairies feel?! pretty unwelcome, i'd say! surely they're thankful you're protective of their playground. (o: hope you post pics of your project this summer!