Landscaping on a Budget: part 2

Welcome to part two of landscaping of my front yard! Just to recap, the front yard of my little rental cottage in Wallingford is a disaster. Unfortunately, I don't have much in the way of money or time to make it look great so I will be chronicling my attempts here!

After our first morning in the garden, we had spent 2.5 hours of our time and $0 and had succeeded in removing all of the errant hyacinth, irises, two rose bushes and an assortment of weeds. Our next task was to delineate the bed in order to encompass the parts of the lawn that won't grow, replace the rock boarder, and condition the soil a bit with some compost. In this round we (AGAIN) did battle with the rose roots as well as some other root systems we hadn't seen the first time. We dug up as many as we could tolerate before going completely nuts and cut off the rest with garden shears.

Using a step-edger (half-moon tool in the lower left corner of the photo), we drew a new line for the bed and began digging a trench with spades for the rocks. We decided the bottom left corner of the bed needed a small rockery due to the amount of roof-runoff that corner endures. All the rocks were either previously part of the garden or dug up from under our porch & side-yard. 


Once the rocks were in place and we were happy with the arrangement, we laid out the bags of compost, cut them open and dumped the contents. Then using a manual tiller (THE CLAW!) and a spade, we stirred the compost into the existing soil. 

Over the next 6 or so weeks before it is warm enough to plant, the dirt packed down into the grass from all the work should lift out and the rain (because it is April in Seattle, after all) will help to pack down and mix the soil and compost thoroughly. When we are ready to plant, we will add a few bags of top soil as well just to ensure there is plenty of nutrition and moisture. 

So far we have expended 5 hours of labor (for two people) and $20 for 5 bags of compost (on sale $3.99ea at Fred Meyer). Now we just have to finalize what we want to plant, getting some great ideas from the Better Homes & Gardens website, Swanson's Nursery in Ballard and Urban Earth in Fremont. I am so excited to see what May holds for our little bit of earth!


I want to see your spring-cleaning projects so send them my way via the intertubes with the hashtag #SpringCleanBetaTester