This is a project that has taken us what seems like forever, but I have to remind myself this wasn’t supposed to be a fast projec,t and no project is speedy when you have a 15 month (and now nearly 17 month old) to watch. I can finally say that all of our existing flower beds are finished. Other than planting annuals, I’m hoping never to have to mulch, plant perennials or put down weed blocker again.
If you remember at the end of this post, I showed a picture of what our back flower beds looked like in the beginning stages of “Operation Never Mulch Again”. It was pretty sad and weedy, but it’s looking a lot better these days!
The back patio and flower beds after putting down new weed blocker and mulch. A cute puppy always helps things look better too.
We decided to go with a typical large river rock that was somewhere around 1.5″ in diameter. We got it at our local nursery Country Arbors. After doing some bad math and thinking we needed somewhere around 11 cubic yards, yes it’s hard to compute inches to feet and feet to yards, we finally realized that we needed about 2.5 cubic yards, but figured we could get away with 2 c.y. My parents came up a couple weekends ago, and my mom watched Tyler while Dad helped us tear up old mulch, put down the weed block, and shovel in the new rock. As we worked, it became obvious we weren’t going to get everything done. We got all of the back done, the small beds around the garage door and the front door, and about 2/3’s of the way through our 33′ front bed. We needed another load of rock.
How far we got with our first load of rocks, starting planting of our shade plants and what Tyler, Guster and I did while Eric planted.
The next weekend we went back out to Country Arbors and ordered another cubic yard of river rock. While we were there, we decided to look for shade plants. We have a huge maple tree in the front of our house. It shades the entire front yard, which faces east, in the morning while the house shades the front in the afternoon. We had had a few hostas there that had died at some point as well as tulips which do great but are dead by the middle of May (if we’re lucky), and also some irises that evidently don’t like all the shady time either.
Our show stopper middle of the bed plant. A beautiful purple clematis (hopefully it grows in the shade!)
Our short filler plants. Two Japanese grasses, a blue hosta, berry smoothie heuchera
We ended up spending a good $125 on plants just for our front bed. We ended up getting 4 berry smoothie heuchera plants, 2 blue hostas, 4 Japanese grasses that evidently don’t like water very much, and 1 other hosta to match one we already had. We alternated these plants around a “JackManni” Clematis. We had a wonderful person guiding us through the plants at the nursery who said the “JackManni” was the hardiest, most difficult to kill vine they had. We wanted something tall that can actually be seen from the road. We got all of our plants in the ground that weekend. We took turns planting and watching Tyler. While all the plants are pretty short at this point, it adds a little interest to the front of our house.
The front bed filled with rocks and finished!
We got our final load of rock this past Monday and were able to finish it up this weekend. Our total price breakdown was about $320 for the rocks, about $125 on new plants, and around $50 for the new weed blocker liner. In the good news, we are done with the flower beds!! Hopefully now we’ll never have to touch these again! No new mulching every three years, no nasty pulling up old weed blocker and hopefully no new perennials! All of that is totally worth nearly $500. Our landscaping is done…well maybe we still have this pile of rock left after putting down all the rock we needed…
The rock we have left over from our second order of rocks! I see a new flower bed in our future!