Operation Deck Overhaul

I’m not sure why I’ve waited so long to create a border of flowers around my deck. I’ve lived in this house 16 1/2 years, about 14 of them with a deck. Up until now I’ve never even thought about landscaping around it  but now that I’ve had the idea I can’t not have it. It’s like learning something; once you know it you can’t not know it. Or like turning on a light in a once dark room, now that there’s light it’s no longer dark. Not trying to sound crazy, just another way I think about my experiences.

boring deck - before cleaning, sealing and operation overhaul

boring deck – before cleaning, sealing and operation overhaul

 

Digging a hole for Rainbow Knockout Rose

Digging a hole for Rainbow Knockout Rose

I am a firm believer in letting the universe know my intentions. I’m always amazed when my intentions are fulfilled and never surprised when they look slightly or very different from the way I envisioned them. For the last two years I’ve been thinking to myself and saying out loud that I would like to work with a landscaper, would like to work on a farm. When I had my backyard ripped up and reseeded I asked the landscaper who owned the business if he needed help on the weekends.  I could haul mulch, move dirt, weed, dig holes. He said ‘yes’, he was extremely busy and needed help but the job never materialized.

Last summer when we vacationed in Southern Utah we had two meals at Hell’s Backbone Restaurant. The farm to fork restaurant is located in Boulder, Utah, population 180. The food was fresh, creative and delicious; I looked into working there for a season when I got back to CT.  Not only did the reality of being back on the east coast with its buildings and lights and people rushing from one destination to the next in racing cars, horns honking, hit me squarely after being surrounded by green meadows, walls of rock and a sky black as ink and bursting with dazzling stars, so did the realization that I was not going to quit my job, sell my house and leave everyone I love to work in a restaurant halfway across the country for nine months when I could probably do that here if I really, really wanted to.

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Planting Knockout Roses as first step to beautification process

Last month I attended a fundraiser for New Haven Home Recovery, a local non-profit organization I am involved with.  I bid on and won a consultation with Dawn from Forager Farms. Dawn came to my house and walked the yard with me; we discussed how I could improve the curb appeal from the front and, more importantly, how I could beautify the back, a clean slate, no flowers or shrubs along the back fence, back side yard, garage or deck. My neighbors are working on the border between our properties with mostly green shrubs and small trees and I will probably underplant some flowers eventually. The three Miss Kim Lilacs I planted last year along their drive are thriving.

Closeup; Miss Kim Lilac

Closeup; Miss Kim Lilac

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fence line view

Dawn sent me a document chock full of plant recommendations for sun and shade. Once I poured over the information I decided to start with the deck which needs plants liking full sun. I picked Knockout roses to anchor my design; they are hardy, bloom all summer and are low maintenance, an attractive characteristic to me. I dug a hole, mixed soil and Rosetone fertilizer and planted a rose bush…..six times. The soil in New England is extremely rocky and my shovel and I fought against thick roots and lots and lots of rocks, some big as baked potatoes, as I dug a hole deep enough and wide enough for each bush. As I was toiling away, over the fence, my neighbor introduced me to a couple visiting them; she was a master gardener and offered up yet more suggestions for my project. Free professional advise. That happens a lot. Intentions.  I loved every minute of every shovelful of dirt I dug up and tossed into the wheelbarrow. I loved every minute of every shovelful of dirt I tossed back into the hole and around the roses after placing them in their new snug space. After watering them I stepped back to view my work, wiped the sweat off my forehead with my sleeve and smiled.

When I said I wanted to work for a landscaper or on a farm I imagined getting up every morning and clocking in to turn soil, pull weeds, plant row after row of vegetables and pick row after row of vegetables. I didn’t know I was going to win a consultation with Dawn, receive lots of good advise and hit my local nursery, my head full with the possibilities. Of course I’ve been noticing every garden I walk by, cycle by, drive by, have googled deck and border gardens online and am getting lots of ideas to complete my deck overhaul.

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Work in Progress

I love how the universe works!

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