Our autumn weather has been quite beautiful lately. We've had several chilly nights that leave me longing for central heat, but I just remind myself that it could be worse (i.e., regional church winter campouts at Bakers Acres, for those of you fellow adventurous ones)! We'll get the HVAC guys out eventually, but we still have some plumbing and electrical changes to make first.
In the meantime, I've turned my attention to landscaping, as fall is the perfect time to establish new plants. At our last bungalow, we applied the first time and money expenditures on the interior. Mainly because the exterior stuff is so expensive! But at the farmhouse we are taking a different approach. It's been neglected for so long in so prominent a location in this small town that we wanted to give back to the community, in a sense. The interior things are mainly selfish, because they make our life better and easier. But the outside is for the neighbors and passers-by, primarily. It's an opportunity to really let our light shine and truly "love thy neighbor".
All of this love has to be done on a budget, however! The exterior painting and trim repair are being completed by professionals. It's expensive but worth it for the time savings (not to mention the safety aspect with all those ladders). So I've been stocking up on clearance plants at Lowes, driving around town to pick up free horse manure to amend the soil, and will be making a trip to our local landfill for gratis mulch sometime next week.
Keeping the plants watered and warm while I wait for the painters to stop trampling around the house is quite a job. An ever-expanding job, since I continue to find great deals on more plants!
I visited a local nursery and worked with one of their staffers there to draw up this plan for the front foundation beds.
I'm also drawing on a lot of the things I learned in the Master Gardener class about soils, planting techniques, shrubs, lawns, etc. I am learning to be patient because I want my little two and three gallon plants to be full size already (which will take at least five years)! It's so hard to remember not to crowd them in there to give a full look now, only to have trouble and unhealthy conditions down the road. Oh the lessons to be learned from agriculture!