For the most part, Chip and I have put most of our yard work efforts in the backyard. We spend way more time out in the back so naturally that’s where we decided to focus our first few projects (getting grass put in, staining the fence, planting a garden). But we still talked a bit about the work we wanted done in the front yard and had only done one project there so far. We tried planting flowers once before around our big tree, but those have since died… we (mainly me…) didn’t do a good job keeping up with the weeds that had originally covered that area and within a couple of months, they had reclaimed that base for themselves. We have plans to pull those suckers out again and then cover that section with newspaper before laying down some nice mulch, but we haven’t made that little project a priority yet. Instead, a lot of our conversations had turned to the actual flowerbeds we have in our front yard. We had cleaned out one side months ago and tried planting some blue plumbagos, but I accidentally loved them too much and overwatered those poor plants… oops. The other flower bed had two large green bushes that we just didn’t like at all and had no intentions to keep. So over the course of a couple of weeks, Chip did some serious work digging out all those plants and starting to shovel out some of the bad clay dirt we get here in San Antonio. All of that early prep work made it much easier for us once we actually got started on these two flower beds over Labor Day weekend (thanks, Chip!).
We both had a four day weekend from work for the Labor Day holiday, so we got that Friday off to an early start with a trip out to Milberger Nursery. If you live in San Antonio and haven’t been there yet, you really should go check it out. I was a little overwhelmed the first time we went there, but now really appreciate the huge variety of plants, flowers, grass, dirt/compost and anything else outdoor related that you can think of that they have there.
We had a pretty good idea of some of the flowers we wanted, but we still walked around the entire property at Milberger just to make sure we knew what all our options were for some easy flowers. The staff there was really helpful and gave us some tips on what other plants we should include so we would have green in our front yard year-round. We also bought some Texas landscaping books that the ladies working the cash registar highly recommended (hey, I need all the help I can get!).
Here’s what the flower beds looked like when we got to work on Friday: not pretty.
Now that we’ve had a few rounds of yard work projects, we’ve become a little more experienced in the planting process. Our official steps are:
1. Shovel out a good chunk of the clay and rocky dirt. We did several wheel barrel worths for each section and then brought in an organic topsoil/compost mix.
2. Rake out the new topsoil/compost mix to level out the area.
3. Space out the plants (probably my favorite step).
4. Plant! This part has gotten pretty fast for us as Chip has become a pro at digging holes for all my plants :)
5. Water, water, water. We were advised by the staff at Milberger to give these plants a really good soak the day of planting and then wait a couple of days before watering again. These are supposed to be low-maintenance flowers, so hopefully we will only need to water 2-3 times a week.
We were able to add mulch to the flower beds later at the end of Labor Day weekend and were really happy with how it all looked. They’ve lost some of their blooms since then, but I have faith that they’ll be fine (definitely getting enough water with all this rain!). We’re still hoping to add a nice stone border around these flower beds, so hopefully that will be one of our next projects!