After just about a week of work, we’ve got the front garden planted.
We started by tearing the fence out and pulling out the ivy for about 3 or 4 hours Sunday afternoon. I worked Monday and Tuesday nights after work for a few hours digging up and tearing the roots out and turning the entire bed over to get it ready to plant.
Rachel went to the Franciscan Monastery Saturday for their legendary plant sale (not a whole lot left at 11 a.m.) and then to Johnson’s over on Wisconsin and Van Ness to get plants for the front yard. I started stripping the concrete stairs and the porch joist behind the garden that was chipping and peeling with old paint. Hours later, I had one step stripped pretty well, and we had a porch full of plants to put in the ground.
Late Sunday afternoon we started planting the front yard with a little help from our good pals and neighbors, the Johnsons. It took just an hour in an on/off spitting rain to get all the plants in the ground. Justin had gotten two containers of mulch for us from Ft. Totten on Saturday while at the dump, which really helped things feel finished at the end of Sunday.
We’re saving some spots in the garden for some hardy shade-loving plants we’re getting from Rachel’s parents’ yard when we’re in Atlanta in June, including the empty spot for the second azalea to the left of the current one. (It’s empty right now so the plumber can get back there to replace the spigot and water supply line this week. The supply pipe under the porch has a big hole in it, rendering it unusable.)
It took only about 4 solid days of hard work and $130 or so to make this transformation and rock a little curb appeal for the front of our old rowhouse.
I’m planning to paint the front joist on the porch this weekend (you can see it mostly stripped in the right photo above) and stripping the rest of the concrete steps. In another few weeks we’ll have all that stripped and painted. Then we’ll start painting all the yellow/beige trim on the deck and windows white to match the upstairs windows. (The roof trim might take awhile.)
The big project for the porch after that will be replacing the entire front railing. I have a replacement top beveled handrail piece for the top that I found at Community Forklift for the ridiculous price of like .50 cents, but I’ll need to get some replacement spindles or rip ’em from new pressure treated wood.
First things first: let’s just enjoy this new front yard for a bit.