8 May 2012

Spring Has Finally Sprung

I hate to even put this out into the universe because I am scared it could cause the Gods to become angry and send more snow, but I am going to take the risk and declare that spring is finally here.  Who doesn't love spring? We've been in snow for 6 months, and driving around yesterday it looked like some Albertans are ready to show some skin! By the way, why is it always the crazy people in Wal-Mart that want to show the skin and not the guys that look like Ryan Gosling?

I noticed the other day that my tulips are starting to pop up. I get a little sense of pride every year when they manage to survive the deep freeze and emerge again - I must be doing something right if they keep coming back.

Tulips Emerging

Fin is ready for some nice weather with her shades on:

Fin in Shades

And her bike helmet.....which she hates as much as a baby can hate anything...but it's a non-negotiable while in the bike trailer, so we make her wear it around the house so she can get used to it. Yup, this kid is going to need therapy some day.

Fin with Bike Helmet

With all of it's wonderfullness though, spring also brings a bit of a problem for me. It's this:

Front of House Under Windows

Here's a close up so that you can really get the picture.

Planter close upJPG

Really nice, eh? We especially love the dead plants from last year - they're peony plants if you can't tell.  Each year we have a big debate on whether we are supposed to cut them or just leave them, and by the time we had decided, the snow had hit so we just ignored them until spring....and now we have to face it again.

I can't say that I really like the planter area, but Mr. Swell, oh he hates it with a passion. We've been in this house for 2 summers and for 2 summers he's wanted to change it.  The first year we planted a couple of trees in the backyard (which we just about killed the first year, but somehow managed to save) and last year we had a newborn, so this is finally the year that it's going to change.  I don't even think it's because of the plants that he hates it so much; it's mostly because of the wavy edging and how it's 'inconvenient' to mow the lawn in a wavy pattern.

The plan is to yank out the spirea (I think that is what that ugly thing in the middle is - sorry if you are a spirea lover) and the peonies.  I love peonies but they don't seem to love growing in our yard, so unfortunately I am going to have to say good bye to them, and then fill in the empty space with something green and idiot proof. We went to the garden center this weekend and the green-thumb lady had two suggestions:

Birds Nest Spruce

Bird's Nest Spruce

And Barberry


I like the look of the barberry, but am not sold yet on the color.  What do you think? If anyone has any experience with these plants, I'd love some suggestions or pointers. Are they idiot proof? We need idiot proof in this house.

The other plan is to tear out a strip of grass along the sidewalk and plant some flowers there in the summer. Probably something easy like Petunias.  I don't even really like Petunias, but I know they tend to live though almost anything, so that makes it the right plant for me. We are also going to either repaint the front steps or replace the boards with Trex decking. In the winter the painted wood is very slippery and I am worried that a fearless toddler and slippery painted steps are going to be a bad combo in the winter, so we have to do something about it this summer.

I have to say that it is sort of hard to get inspired to do landscape work when we aren't planning on staying here for too many more years.  Why is landscaping stuff so stupid expensive? It's a plant for goodness sake; I have no idea why it needs to be over $50. But, in attempt to stand out from the rest of the ticky tacky houses on our street, and to make our house have slightly more curb appeal (because it has zippo right now), we are going to tackle these projects this year.  Wish us luck. If you drive by and we are out there digging in the dirt please stop and say hi, and don't just drive by laughing at us.

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