Monday, July 30, 2012

I was just going to hose off the patio....

Have you ever had one of those days when you get completely sidetracked and start tackling something greater than the project you originated with? Or a particular project just snowballs into something much more involved?  Well....I had one of those days. Or two.

See if you can keep up with my train of thought....

We've started the planning process for Ada's upcoming backyard birthday bash. The back patio is a perfect setup for a shindig. It has access to the basement (potty) and plenty of beautiful sod to play around in. But due to the lovely crepe myrtles lining our retention walls the patio was looking a bit "snowed" on. That and the fact we had yet to clean up the place since we moved all our yard belongings on it. So....I thought I would hose off the patio.

I managed to get the patio almost finished before I started up the brick walls... Surely a party would require me to hang a banner up there. But not long after we moved in Alan cut down some creeping vines coming from the other sides of the brick retaining wall over onto the patio. This left moss on the walls. As I washed the patio and then started up the walls I noticed the moss was coming off with the hose, as was some loose mortar (apparently moss eats mortar. yea.) There definitely wasn't enough mortar flaking off to be concerned about, just enough to keep me busy. So washing the walls I went.

As I washed the green off the bricks, the wall led me to the flower beds. If I was going to have a party out here I would want to hang some lanterns and have the shrubs looking their best. So to the flower beds I went... I started by snipping a little off the top and sides. That didn't last long. I quickly grabbed our serious pruning clippers and did some thinning. The flower bed wraps around the back retaining wall from the bottom to around to the top. So around I went.

I clipped and clipped until my fingers felt they were permanently in the clinch position. I managed to get just up around the corner before I called it. Six hours later I managed to have an almost clean patio, brick wall and a thinned out flower bed. Six hours. (there are no before shots because this task was never thought of in the first place.)

That was day one.  You still with me? Fun stuff I know.

So the next morning I decide I better get back to what I started and finish that flower bed on the top.  Since Alan had cut back all the creeping vines right after we moved in, all that was really there was some new growth and a few weeds. Since we're wanting fresh starts around here I decided to keep pulling the vines up to get them back to their origin. It was really misleading to see the vines on top of the ground. That was not where they lived. They lived about two inches under the earth. So I pulled and pulled all day. And now my fingers are cursing me as I type.

But I think I managed to get everything pruned back to it's original source. 

And as if pulling up everything under the ground weren't enough, we (Alan helped me on this one)tackled another monster as well.

On the opposite side of the patio is a very large rose bush and butterfly bush combo. While beautiful when they bloomed, Alan and I wanted to also give those babies a fresh start. So a punning we went.

Now, even I am surprised as to how far down we went. But there really wasn't any other choice. Once we started clipping we realized if we just clipped the top off we were really just left with a large bush of sticks. To really get a newer, stronger bush we had to cut it down and allow it a do over.

It will be exciting to see how everything grows back. In the mean time I think I better plant some annuals....We have a party to make pretty.

So there you have it. Two days (and two wasp stings) later I completed some projects that weren't even on my to-do lists. All because I wanted to hose off the patio.

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