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Old man winter finally moved out of my gardens, and two long-awaited updates took place this week. I invite you to sit back and enjoy the labors of others.

Despite manic weather, the months of March and April are always brightened by the smiling faces of my heirloom daffodils. These beauties that formerly went to market as revenue bouquets are now filling my home and herbaceous borders with color and scent. I retired the end of December and now wonder what life holds and whether the transition will be smooth. As long as I remain a homeowner, my “needy box” beckons.
The fifteen year old split rail fence developed issues last summer, when the center line post rotted off at the ground, causing a lean that had to go. Propped up for weeks this winter, I was glad to see my talented fence men arrive with a new post. Unfortunately, they brought the wrong post (a two-hole rather than a three-hole post) which required a return visit. While they were here, we examined the rails. We agreed that they also should be replaced. After they left, I spent some time on the phone with the West Virginia post manufacturer to file a claim under warranty. They did not warranty the rails, but the office approved a $50 credit towards the purchase of six new rails. That reduced my expense to $40. Good start!
Days later, while the two men removed the old post and rails, I enjoyed standing back with my camera. This same company built my “Great 90′ Privacy Wall” fence a few years back (see that blog), and they continue to make any effort look easy! The man on the right is the owner who has built fences since he was a boy, and now his son-in-law (seen left) is learning the ropes. Neither wear gloves, despite the rough, pressure treated timber.
The new line post and rails: Three of the six rails were not acceptable with obvious flaws for this highly visible location, and those will be replaced ASAP. At least the old, rotten timber is history. By the way, if you noticed the lichen covered privacy fence in the rear of this photo, it was built years ago by my neighbor who is a juggler not a fence builder…and it shows. The “Great Privacy Wall” fence you see in the background below, was built in 2015 by these professionals seen above.
Meanwhile, the “Slope from Hell”, is finally getting sod. For the past 22 years, I tried many plants and perennials here, and most failed to thrive. Mulch always ended up on the attached patio, and pea gravel failed to smother weeds. Therefore, both materials are being raked and removed, to expose clean dirt where the sod will lay. If you recall from recent posts, this “Slope from Hell” was home to a dozen peony plants that were dug/sold and relocated to another garden in November. No wonder my hips are toast.
Shifting a few border rocks, and much grooming, in an hour, the bed was prepared for sod.
The blessed sod, grown locally, and harvested recently.
These men constructed my lower patio retaining wall in December (see post), and they enjoy their work; smiling, joking, and talking in melodic Spanish as they labor. I am SO grateful to have this team for garden projects!!! Joy is so absent in much of life these days; anytime I witness a genuine smile my hope is restored.
Less than two hours later, the transformed “Slope from Hell” displays fresh sod. Regular watering on my part until established, will hopefully encourage healthy turf for years to come. The strimmer will keep it tidy and Virginia Green will zap it with their monthly brew, killing any weeds, while nitrogen will green it up to match the established turf. Rain before and after sod installation allows time for blogging today and eliminated the chore of linking/dragging hoses to water this patch by hand. Completing as many garden chores as possible early in the season is my goal, as spring too quickly fades into summer…delivering the good old unpredictable hot, humid central Virginia climate.

Next on my list of home chores for 2022 is the staining of the new patio retaining wall. The day after I purchased the stain the end of December wet, cold, icy winter weather set in. So again, Mother Nature dictates the timing for exterior projects. The 300SF concrete patio also needs restoration with a pressure wash and applications of Rescue It! by Olympic. I normally enjoy exterior painting/staining, yet weather conditions remain the challenge. Do you think I will get it all done this year?

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Copyright 2022 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved