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How I Spent my Labor Day Weekend

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I'm so thrilled to be feeling better! We've gotten so much done this weekend. My brother, who lives next door, has helped me widen my driveway and make it a circle drive. It was just a two car drive that was cramped. A purple smoke tree was at the end on one side and hung over the drive about 3 ft. A crape myrtle was on the other side and hung over about 2 ft. So just barely we could get two cars in the drive.

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Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I spent the last few days cutting down the purple smoke tree (that's it laying in the drive) and limbing up an oak tree that finally gives me shade, and digging out all the other plants, including a 3 ft diameter, 10 ft tall clump of pampas grass and magnolia jane.

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Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Once it was bare, my brother Terry scraped out the dirt next to the driveway and began filling the area with chat (gray gravel). We doubled the width of the drive.

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Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Once the drive was wide enough to suit me, we carried a "box" I made of landscape timbers to put in the center. Of course we argued over what was really center. He said Move it this way. I said It's fine right here. He said It's not center. And I said If you look at it at an angle, it won't look center. In the end we compromised and moved it a whole 6 inches. He's happy and I'm happy.

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Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Of course I had to test out the drive, just to be sure it was wide enough. And it really is! Y'all come see!

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Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

This is the completed driveway with the planter full of plants. I'm taking the picture at an angle, so that's why the planter looks off-center. It's really NOT. Of course I better not let Terry see this photo or he'll swear he was right all along. LOL

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Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

This is a view of the planter from the road. In the center is a Basjoo banana which is hardy here. It's mama is currently about 8 ft tall. I will love it when this one is that big. What a great focal point it will be I think. There's also a variety of sedums, some caryopteris, peonies, daylilies, dwarf irises, dwarf mondo grass, naked ladies, hen and chicks, and I can't remember what else I tucked in there. And a gazing ball.

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Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

This is a view of the planter as it faces the house. You can see the two solar powered fairy lights that my older sister gave me this summer. They're so cute and they come on at dusk.

I'm thrilled with the drive. And now I have all this space on each side to plant something wonderful. I wish I was better with design. I really want the front to be spectacular. So if any of you have any suggestions, they're welcome. I have about 300 potted daylilies and irises to plant, but I need some variety. I have a few butterfly bushes and cannas I can add in. But I want lots of color, lots of butterfly attracting plants.

Wow, the hard part is done!!! The next time I host a garden party, y'all won't have to park in the neighbor's field. You can park in the drive! LOL

NancyAnn (who is tired and needs a shower and some chocolate!)

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Great job, NancyAnn! So glad you and your brother teamed up for this job and did it so fast but then, that's you!

It looks great - nice and neat and that box is so perfectly centered!

Northern Michigan, MI(Zone 5a)

WOW, you did get a lot accomplished !!! Looks great....wish I had that much enthusiasm this weekend..lol

Congrats to you both on a job well done !!!!!!!!!!!

~Julie =0)

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Thanks guys! I love it! The whole front of my house looks different now.

Now Julie, you know, if I had a motorcycle, I wouldn't have gotten anything done this weekend except helmet-hair. LOL

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

holy cow girl, Ain't it grand to have the strength and want to do this, I am so glad your getting back onyour feet. your place is great looking, you've worked so hard since I was there last.

fantastic job

kathy

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

So proud for you, you are one hard working woman!!! Looks GREAT!!!

Judy

Hades, SC(Zone 8b)

What a terrific addition to your yard!

Long Beach, CA(Zone 10a)

Good grief girl! You sure don't waste one minute getting things done, do you? !!!! It looks great....Talk about instant gratification !!!!

I don't know enough (or anything for that matter) about your climate to make suggestions...but you're on the right track....I'm sure you'll think of some great ideas.

Now go have a well deserved DRINK !!!!!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I skipped the drink, JD, and went right to Baskin Robbins for a double scoop. I deserve it, I decided. Sure wish you were here with some design ideas...and some muscles. This place needs a lot of work!

Yes, Kathy, it's great to finally feel well enough to play in the dirt again. You know how long my to-do list is. So there's one thing I can mark off the list. LOL

Philadelphia, MS(Zone 7b)

Congrats on the accomplishment AND on feeling better! Hope you have a chance to take a deep breath and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Deb

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

I'll bet when you woke up this morning you went right to the window to view your driveway!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Yep, two minutes after climbing out of bed, I was standing outside the front door, admiring our hard work. And of course Sam had to go "christen" it. LOL

I'm pretty stiff and sore today, but I'm thinking of rebuilding the fence. I think you can see some of the lattice fencing in the pictures. It's trying to collapse. And I want build a ranch-style rail fence to replace it. I'll also staple on some rolled fencing to keep Sam in his yard, and I can grow clematises on the fencing. The way they grow here, they'll give my courtyard privacy when they cover the fence. I don't know if I'm up to digging the deep holes today, but I may go ahead and lay out the fencing and cut my lumber and get everything ready today. Then I can design the front bed on this side of the drive. Once I start planting it, I can get a lot of plants out of pots. I'm hoping before winter to have everything in ground.

So I'm off to play in the dirt. I hope y'all get a lot accomplished today.

N.

Moscow, TN(Zone 7a)

Nancy Ann, Glad to hear you are feeling better. It really has been a rough year or so fo you with your health. Your yard and house look great. I'll tell you what, load that little bobcat up and come on down. I've got lots of uses for a good driver and a little earth moving. lol Just kidding, but you should come down for the day and visit with me. We been talking about getting together either in Jonesboro or down here but never seem to make it.

Loretta

Moscow, TN(Zone 7a)

Edited to delete double post

This message was edited Sep 5, 2006 2:13 PM

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Hi Loretta,

I have been wanting to get back over to HOmestead Farms in Coldwater MS. Maybe we could plan the trip together. I think KathyAnn was wanting to go back with me. So maybe the three of us could work out a trip to go. What do you think? Have you been there?

I hope my medical problems will soon be over. The new drugs seem to be doing the trick. I love this new antibiotic I'm on. I have no side effects from it, like I do Cipro and some of the others, which make me sleepy and nauseous. If I get anymore infections, I'm requesting this antibiotic. I really think the anti-inflammatory is the main reason I am feeling better and able to work outside again.

We widened the driveway some more today. OMG it's just huge now! I have almost no front yard anymore. Guess I'll just have to move property lines again. (Look out big brother! LOL) Two cars couldn't pass each other at one point in the drive, so we made it bigger and now I think I can park my van and anyone who visits can still get thru the whole circle.

Everyone who has passed by said it looks great! My neighbor, who isn't impressed with much, really likes the planter in the center. I was surprised he said that, but he likes the whole new look of things. So do I. Now to get the sides landscaped...Why don't you come for a visit, Loretta and I can put you to work! LOL

Toone, TN(Zone 7a)

Wow....what alot you've gotten accomplished! Looks great Nancy Ann. You are an inspiration to us all.

Carol (forever digging out sod)

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Carol, quit digging sod and get some Roundup. I love that stuff! I've gone to the Farmers Coop and got a 2 1/2 gal of concentrate and I use it a lot. In days, the grass is dead, dead, dead. Once the roots decay, you can just kick a clod out of the way. It's so much faster and more permanent. If you have Bermuda, any little root left behind will start a whole new clump of sod. But if you spray it with roundup, it goes to the roots and kills them forever. My whole yard is now a garden, and I'm overtaking my brother's land next door.

We ended up making the driveway another 9 ft wider today. So from side to side, it's about 60 ft wide (wider than my house!), with an 8 x 8 planter in the center. NOW two cars can really go thru the drive side by side and I'm happy.

Can I host a planting party and you all come and help me design new gardens for the front and get them planted? I'll make my famous banana split pie! LOL

N.

Sand Springs, OK(Zone 7a)

Looks good and glad to hear your feeling better .

Adamstown, MD(Zone 6b)

Wow, that's an awesome amount of work. You must really be feelin' better. That's great. I can't believe how much you accomplished in a weekend!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I am feeling so much better. It actually amazes me! But I can't take too much credit. Every job will be easier and faster with the right equipment, and a bobcat (and a big brother) is just that equipment! LOL

N.

Toone, TN(Zone 7a)

Sounds like good advice Nancy Ann....roundup and a bobcat for me! I have to look over my shoulder and make sure DH isn't around. He'd LOVE to get another big farm gadget. (I'm trying to make him wait until the FL house sells before he goes nuts with that stuff.) Though as I spent a good portion of the day mixing in shredded leaves to the new bed - and finding MORE bermuda rootlets, I am dreaming of a tiller. (Any recommendations out there?)

Your planting party sounds like great fun. Perhaps you can host the Spring Roundup and require us all to bring you something nice and plant it. In the meantime, can I borrow your big brother? lol

Carol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Our Mantis is great but we only have under an acre.

Toone, TN(Zone 7a)

Thanks Pirl. Of course that's the one I am thinking of getting. The lighter the better, as long as it works.

Of course, I will have to use roundup to kill bermuda, rather than continue to dig it. (There is a big furrow-er looking thing that came with the property...and an auger as tall as I am, but since I am only making ornamental beds around mowing obstacles, neither of those boy-toys seem appropriate.)

OK one vote for Mantis.
Carol

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

We've had it serviced once in 15 years - just for maintenance.

Moscow, TN(Zone 7a)

Ya'll quit, you're making me tired lol. As for coming to your place and working.....you would'nt want me. It takes me all day to do the simplest chore...if I finish. The mind is willing but the body says ..uh uh! lol I dream of having earth moving equipment at my disposal and paid help. All I want for my birthday later this month, is a bobcat, a couple of laborers (who work cheap but real hard and heck while I am wishing, looking good shirtless would be an added bonus) ), and a day at a nice spa because I really need it, the whole enchilada, a manicure, pedicure, haircut, color job, and massage.

I strive to use as few poisons as possible so I never use Round-Up. Instead I try to either smother it or pull it. Of course I have grass and weeds growing where they should'nt. I have'nt been to Coldwater but would like to go or you and Kathy could come and we could go out to lunch.

Loretta

Birmingham, AL(Zone 7b)

Wow! You've accomplished so much! And in just one weekend. What a difference it made. Give yourself, and your brother a pat on the back. :-)

Judsonia, AR(Zone 7b)

I'd love to go back to homestead

did you ever get a chance to go to the botanical gardens in memphis?


it's better for me during the week though. and I think I just burnt up the breaks in my only vehichle since my daughter is using my car for college now, we're in the process of looking for one for her but haven't found one yet.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Carol, you can borrow my brother when I'm thru with him, but by then, he'll probably be worn out and have to have hips, knees and others replaced. LOL

I highly recommend a Bobcat. It's much better than a backhoe because it get in small places and it's easy to operate. I used to operate one in construction and they're just fun!

KathyAnn, I never did get back to Memphis. Was too sick. Maybe you can email me and we'll work out the details of another trip. We can stop and gather up Loretta and take her with us. A weekday would be fine with me too.

Loretta, what plants are you looking for for your gardens?

NancyAnn

Toone, TN(Zone 7a)

Hmmm....wonder if Santa would bring me a bobcat and a big brother? lol Yours sounds "used"! ROFL Perhaps you should pay him back with a professional massage. Make sure they give him some hottub time first. He'll be good as new!

Please count me in to the trip to Memphis Botanical Gardens. I've never been. A little late lunch at the Rendezvous after?

Moscow, TN(Zone 7a)

Nancy Ann-I need more plants like a hole in the head.....but since you inquired. Japanese and Louisiana iris, Greywood Farms daylilies, green or variegated sugar cane, bamboo, double pink brugmansia, a brug named Lexy or some of the newer pinks, and there are some lotus and tropical water lilies I would like. This wInter I will put in some more beds. We've come a long way though in three years. This is what my garden looked like when we moved in the house. It was basically an old gravel driveway.

This message was edited Sep 6, 2006 10:51 PM

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Moscow, TN(Zone 7a)

This is what is there now. I have quite a lot of plants to move and re-arrange. I have been so good about staying out of the garden centers and nuseries this past summer and concentrating on what I have already. Except for the 12 new Japanese Iris I just got. LOL

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(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Wow! You did a fantastic job. Congratulations. I'd never have believed it could be the same property. You've got the magic touch and have done the hard work to make your dream reality.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Wow, Loretta, what a difference. It's beautiful!! I'll have to come and see it in person soon.

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