Ah! The last two days in Nashville, the temperatures have been in the mid-70s. I had to scrape ice off my car windows Friday morning before work, but things quickly warmed up and I could hardly stand to work in my windowless office all day while it was warm and sunny outside. As soon as I got off work, I went to Home Depot and got some shrubs, flowers, mulch, garden soil, and a garden hose.

Then Amy James (a friend from church ... I always refer to her by her full name; I'm not sure why.) asked me if I wanted to meet her and her toddler, Hudson, at the zoo. So I met up with them and it was fun. We stayed until the zoo closed at 6, so it was getting dark and I didn't try to do any yard work Friday night.

Before picture.
Nate was away Friday night and Saturday morning at ITG, so I slept in Saturday until 9 and then got some tools together to get started. All the overgrown grass had to go. There were some weeds and lots and lots of wild onions. I think we have wild onions clumps all over the front and back yards; eh, a problem to deal with on another day.

raking up dead grass
Once the big stuff was out of the way, I used a shovel and a trowel to loosen and break up the dirt. A tiller would have been faster and easier, but I don't have one or easy access to one, and also I was working around those daffodils and didn't want to transplant them. So this was the hard, tedious part. I pulled out lots of weeds and roots by hand. Then I mixed in a bag of Miracle Gro garden soil and lightly sprayed weed killer. While I was at it, I sprayed the rest of the front yard for weeds.

Pulled more weeds after loosening up the soil
Finally, I started planting. Oh, and I decided I like this warm weather, but I also liked the bit cooler temps last weekend and the weekend before because there weren't many bugs out yet! I can handle anything slow that doesn't jump on you, and at least spiders generally run quickly away from you. I was startled by a couple crickets and a beetle, and I pushed some worms out of the way, but some little buggers kept landing on my arms; maybe flying black ants? They are super annoying. Though not as bad as mosquitoes, I guess.

making progress
I put on two bags of brown mulch. Spread it by hand. (I'm glad I didn't have a bigger area to work with!) I probably could have put on two more bags; it's only an inch or two deep now. I'll probably pick up a couple more bags whenever I get back to Home Depot.

Ta-da! Finished.
(plus Otis photobombing in the window)
So the taller yellow plant at the back left is a shrub—a swamp jessamine. It blooms in the fall and is a climber, so I want to get a tall, thin trellis to put between the shutter and downspout for it to grow up. The tag says it gets 10- to 20-feet tall and 10-feet wide, which is gigantic, so I'll keep it trimmed to a reasonable size.

Then next to that in the back is another shrub—a golden euonymus, which is an evergreen. It's supposed to get 4- to 6-feet tall and 3 feet wide. It's such a little guy now! I like the yellow and green leaves.

Then spaced around those and the daffodils, I have eight more plants of three varieties. I have two pincushion flowers that will bloom in summer/late fall with "pink mist" flowers; three tickseeds that bloom yellow flowers in the summer, and then I have three more pincushion flowers that have "butterfly blue" flowers.

I didn't think about putting on sunscreen in early March. I worked in jeans, boots, a ball cap, gloves, and sunglasses, but thanks to my T-shirt, I'm sporting the start of a farmer's tan. Pink forearms and triceps which hopefully will tan out.

Nate got home from ITG just as I finished up and I wobbled into the house feeling like an 80-year-old woman. I took a shower and got some food and water and a nap. Nate wasn't home for long before he had to leave for a closing shift at work. I said, "Be sure to appreciate the landscaping as you leave!" :)

I've still got half a front yard of bushes that need trimmed up, but I am done for this weekend. We have people coming over for lunch after church, and then Nate's mom, grandma, and sister are coming next week for his birthday, so I've got a lot of cleaning and laundry and dishes to do tonight and maybe a trip to the grocery store tomorrow. But right now I'm watching basketball and the widows are open. I'll clean when it gets dark. I love spring!

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