Wednesday, July 23, 2014


I have always wanted a larger piece of land for my garden. I had grown tired of carving out little spaces for my vegetables in an already small space. I'm not sure that I had intended to own 5 acres, though. Now that I have them, I'm beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed by it all. I suspect that I wouldn't feel quite so daunted by the task ahead of me if the previous owners had given their land proper care. As it stands, I can't really work on laying the foundation for the vegetable garden until I get other pressing issues cleaned up.

The front of the house needs a lot of attention. It just seems so plain to me. I thought that the two blue planters that accented the entryway at the Orlando house might give it a little punch, but they seem terribly small now at the base of the massive steps.

The planters are lost in the overgrowth and steps

I decided that I would just go for immediate pleasure on my second try by pulling out all of my hanging baskets and planting them with colorful flowers. They've basically had the same effect. 

Where are the hanging baskets?

Basically, I can only enjoy the fruits of my labor when I stand on the porch and look out. Even when I try to enjoy the nice addition of the hanging baskets, though, I can see the foundation plantings screaming for my attention. They are officially the elephant in the garden. The front of the house will never look right until I rip out most of the overgrown plants and replace them. But that's a major project.

The baskets lead to the overgrown Loropetalum climbing
through the railing
With so much to do, it's hard to decide where to start. For a person who wants everything done at once, it is pure torture. I'm painfully aware of a cooler planting season on the horizon, so I would love to skip the front porch issues and move on to getting the vegetable garden structures in place. 

That area presents another major problem. The previous owners left me two large piles of debris right in the middle of the space. We first thought that we could just burn the piles, but a closer inspection revealed that they are filled with scrap metal and plastic, along with wood and weeds and who knows what else. I have to clear them before I lay the clear plastic to solarize the soil. And I have to do that before I till the soil and build the structures. Like I said, it's all a bit overwhelming. 

The future vegetable garden

In the meantime, I ordered 150 bulbs for planting in the fall. Because, you know, planting so many bulbs in Georgia clay is a lot less challenging. 

I might have to develop a 10-year plan for this place.


  1. I feel your pain. When we moved into our Atlanta house, I was overjoyed. Then we started trying to tackle the yard. It was an acre that had not been cared for in 4-5 years. We were only in our house 3 years and managed to get the English ivy (4,5000sf of it) under control. And get over 1,000 bulbs planted. The bulbs were the easy part. I highly recommend using a trenching shovel to attack the red clay. It'll take time but before you know it, you'll have it thriving and gorgeous.

    1. Thanks for your empathy and for your vote of confidence! I'm considering a device that attaches to my drill and makes holes for bulbs. All the reviews say it's great in clay…we shall see!

  2. Wow! Okay, I see what you're saying with the massive front steps, but that house and lawn are gorgeous - I can't wait to see what you do with this (quite daunting) blank canvas.

    1. I went nuts with the saw last night, so you'll see some progress in next week's post. I just couldn't take looking at the mess. I do hope to pick away at this area for the next couple of months.