LOVELY GREENS….. by Tanya from The Isle of Man
20 Saturday May 2023
20 Saturday May 2023
11 Thursday May 2023
We are here today to complete our clients spring tidy. The Pansies made it through the winter and most everything came back except one (1) Salvia. The Shasta Daisy looks small but we are pretty certain it will fill in. Our last fall tidy took a lot of weeds out so her beds are fairly clean of weeds. She does have some left over spring blooming daffodils and we planted tulips last fall, so we need to do some cleaning up of the beds of those two early spring bloomers. And it’s time to remove all the Pansies. They served her well from late October until now. A good run forPansies, and she loves them
So Yesterday she and I shopped for plants. This year she wanted to add all “annuals.” So we found some pretty ones. The main thing is she likes color and instant gratification and she made all the pics herself. Waiting for blooms is not particularly her ”thang.”
Here is part of her area from last year, as a comparison after we added about 8 new perennials and finished her spring work
Sooo…. Please check back this evening to get a “birds eye view” of our progress.
We are still planting and moving plants around. Tidying up early spring bloomers and cleaning the patio furniture and cleaning the sand from the newly created stone patio. We will be back tomorrow to first off plant the two new yellow Rose bushes, finish planting the four new Canna Lily’s and four other annuals in the larger bed. Then we will mulch everything and take a final video.
We completed four hours today and estimate another four or five to finish. We can always move a few hours into Monday morning. Let’s see how it takes shape. One thing is for sure, the beds were full of weeds and creeping vines when we took on this project and we have come a long way. It is looking full and will definitely be pretty for our summer season.
(REVISED) Friday – 5/12/23 – 5:30 pm
Four (4) Hours today. New yellow Rose bushes planted in the sloping bed. Tricky digging holes on an incline. But we think we have them positioned quite well. Both a little higher on the slope than the one in the middle at our clients request. Everything in the main bed is planted and the entire bed is cleaned up of debris. All four Canna Lily’s in pots are yet to be planted. We need one more larger pot as Canna grow rather large and we don’t want them to tip over. We will check our own supply to see if we might have one in storage, but the owner is willing to purchase a fourth if need be.
We need potting soil and we will pick it up Monday morning on our way to the site. But they were thoroughly watered and with 90% chance of rain tomorrow, Saturday, they will be fine until Monday when we return. Finally to finish this project we will spread the mulch.
We had told our client we would clean up all the patio furniture and so our “wonder cleaner” baking soda did the trick. Not only does it clean grime, but it whitens and brightens. Can’t beat it for .80 cents per box. All her chairs had mildew and the baking soda eats away at it; just a little water and soda and a soft brush really cleaned them up. A wonder cleaner. Late fall we had gathered and placed all the furniture off to side of the yard so that when the patio folks arrived last week they had clearance to complete their job. And it’s looking really very nice. Great stone and great pattern the way they laid it. Still a good amount of sand is lingering on the surface, but when we finally wrap up the gardening project, we are going to clean it up well. No additional photos this week because we prefer to give you a “final video” upon completion. But it’s looking really great already.
”Contessa” says….. a big project…. but a fun one as well!
(REVISED) – 5/16/23 – Tuesday- 5:00 pm
This client had no garden when we met her. Nothing but invasive creeping vines. So this is year three and we have lots of flowers now and today we finished up all the finishing touches. Planted four Canna Lily’s and a very pretty ornamental Azalea for the center of her garden table.
We are home now….. and will be invoicing her for eleven (11) hours. Five bags of mulch, two bags of potting soil, and two (2) yellow rose bushes.
”Contessa” says….so lovely to work in and complete this pretty little garden!
08 Monday May 2023
Today we started a new client and a new spring project. Spring tidy is the plan and we will move one Hosta at our homeowners request, to create a border/anchor between our client and their neighbor.
The left side bed is pretty low growing natives and the right side bed was just full of weeds, so we tidied the bed up leveled all the soil and filled a fairly large area in the corner with soil, once we removed a square brick area that had been placed in this bed, by a former owner to accommodate a grill. We took all that out today. Our homeowner wants shade tolerant and low maintenance plants in the bed toward the back and some slate and two chairs more towards the front. A little “oasis” for them to sit and visit and enjoy the new common ground area that has been recently created by the PFX crews. Three (3) hours today.
We will be going back tomorrow to remove most of the slate and then see what kind of condition the soil is in under it. This will give us an indicator as to what kind of plants might be possible considering a lot of shade, the soils condition and low maintenance as our guide for success.
With the hope that the soil might be conducive to plants or shrubs, we will then visit the nursery on Sun morning to make a selection along with our client.
Now that it’s pretty much cleaned up, they have more of a feel for how much space they really have and after our digging up of some of the soil to see it’s condition, we will be better able to advise them on what to plant in the back one-third of this fairly nice sized bed. This area will hopefully become their “living” backdrop.
Hours going forward are at present undetermined until after tomorrows digging excavation. We just aren’t clear yet on how planting is going to be, and certainly no point in further planning until we complete the work.
So we’ll report back tomorrow.
“Contessa” says…it’s all part of the fun of our project!
(REVSED) Tuesday – 5/9/34 – 8:00 pm
Oh look at what we have unearthed!
We were asked to dig to survey for good soil that might be suitable for planting.This is what we found. A stone patio, each three inches thick and closely and precisely positioned to create a very nice small patio.
A trusted neighbor two doors down told us that the prior owners had hired a company to build it. Unfortunately our community association had not approved it and creating patios in your front yard is prohibited. So they were told it must come out. But the homeowner instead, after so much work and expense, simply covered it with mulch. The next owner covered it with dirt about two inches thick. So today we unearthed it. Now the decision is what to do about it.
Our primary goal today was to determine if our new homeowner can plant some bushes in this bed. And the answer is yes. Because the back third of the bed is just soil. And in fact a steel embedded border is deeply placed at the back of the stone creation.
We had begun at the front of the bed removing stones to see if they were continuous. And indeed they were. Our client decided to have us clear the whole patio of all the dirt so we placed it in the back to create a nice bed for planting. And this soil is marvelous to use for just this purpose.
It is now up to the homeowner as to what they want to do. Take all the stone out and sod the area, or plant the area or attempt to get an approval to keep the stone patio “as is.”
In the interim of decisions, we are meeting our client at the nursery on Sunday morning at 9:30 to select some shade tolerant flowering bushes, specifically for the back section.
Our client is excited about picking bushes and getting them planted, and we are happy to follow through on this part of their project, if indeed she finds what she wants.
About an hour ago we billed at 6 hours for the project, to this point. Let’s see what our next steps will be. We are here to follow it to conclusion, but into next week. Because tomorrow through Friday we are booked on another project about four blocks away. We are pretty sure it will all come together. Please do come back and visit us….to see how we finish up.
“CONTESSA” says…..it’s all very good!
02 Tuesday May 2023
Can you believe it… 6 hours. Why such a long time?
First off…. the bed is only about 24 inches wide. Over to the left of the sidewalk is a humongous tree with far reaching roots underneath the earth. Upon digging down even six inches we ran in to thick roots and tangled feelers about 30 inches long. There was no way the six Azalea bushes that had been planted there three years ago, could ever survive. No soil, no depth in the bed and no girth to allow for growth spurts once planted. These were planted by a nursery. The root balls were larger than basketballs. We had to totally soak them and used three different shovels to dig them out. This left huge holes to fill, and the bed had to be leveled properly. Our planting technique is to build beds up towards the middle. Less dirt on the edges near the way to close brick borders. In our opinion those six bushes never stood a chance. No sun there and no depth of soil.
So, very wisely our homeowner decided for us to dig them up today and just plant some pretty annuals for this summers growing season.
Today was cold. It was a very muddy job due to our recent rain and the fact that we had to soak them even more to be able to dig them up.
All the root balls and root feelers were set aside but to wet to bag. So tomorrow we will return to take everything and tidy up any muddy spots left on the sidewalk.
Today we were to have completed the back yard spring tidy as well. Time just did not permit. So we are working to schedule time with the homeowner into next week or tge following week
A NOTE: Folks always ask how long is the project going to take. It’s a normal question, but until we dive into a job it’s very hard to be sure. This job was one of those hard ones. Today’s work was living proof that until you start digging and get into the “nitty gritty” of a project, it’s really hard to give exact times. Once our homeowner saw the mess outside they had a very good idea that our proposed four (4) hours was in the end, not going to be enough time. But the good news is this bed is in much better shape than it’s ever been and together we will try to come up with a more permanent and longer term plan. We’ve recommended removing the brick borders as they really limit the capacity to plant. And a tidy flowering ground cover that is continuously maintained by us may just be the answer. Anyway we will work together to come up with a more permanent solution. In the meantime these very colorful and very pretty Begonias will look nice this summer. They were reasonably priced and certainly brighten up this very shady spot, as they are shade to part shade annuals. For now it’s looking fresh and attractive.
“CONTESSA” says….it’s all very nice!
20 Thursday Apr 2023
REVISED – MONDAY – 4/24
Tomorrow Tuesday, we will be back to complete this ten (10) hour job. So far we have six hours on the books. We will complete the final push to ready the beds for spring. Our condo crews are coming to trim the square large Boxwoods which creates a ton of leaf debris to tidy up and the perimeter bed which is quite large will be finally addressed to complete “neat and tidy.” The beds inside the courtyard will be hand “tilled” to turn soil and our liquid fertilizer treatment will be sprayed once the tilling is complete. Our Rose bush on the left-center-side is positioned on a sloping area in the bed so we are going to dig it up and fill that area of the bed with new soil to create a more level bed. We believe it’s positioned slightly low in the bed to do well. It’s a ”gardeners guess,” but generally our intuitions serve us and our customers well. We are going to “give it a go.”
We asked our good and gracious Lord for “rain” and on Saturday “HE” provided one full hour of moisture. Thank you dearest Lord. We really needed it for successful gardens. Your provision is accepted and we are so grateful.
We will provide a FINAL VIDEO, once our work is complete. Our technical issues are resolved and so we can post pics and video once again. Thank you WordPress!
Our property today has a number of (7)Pencil Boxwoods. We spent part of today hand trimming them. Early spring and they are “fluffy” with new green growth. So much so, they are branching out. So we used a regular shears to trim them. This is the photo (above) before the trim.
And the (below) photo is after the trim. Last year they weren’t so green, so our fertilizer treatment for them really worked, combined with our proper hand trimming, rather than with an electric trimmer they are looking so healthy. Hand manicuring makes all the difference. They are quite beautiful when given the proper care they “deserve.” These bushes are rare in residential neighborhoods and quite expensive, so keeping them in good shape is a high priority.
We were at this property for three (3) hours today and three last week. We have video to share once we can post it. Technical issues at the moment prevent our successful uploading.
Please visit us again soon. Stay tuned.
Tomorrow we are visiting the garden nursery and looking for specific plants for this client. Things in his beds are coming in slowly, but we think we only lost two plants this winter. They are slowly coming into season.
So far this spring tidy has been six (6) hours for this client location.
We completed our deep edgings around the perimeter of the outside of this property and tomorrow when we return from the nursery we will yet again, do some weed pulling. We hope we can work again tomorrow, but we are expecting 90 degrees so we’ll have to see how it goes. A little early frankly for it to be so warm. We aren’t even to Mothers Day yet and in Virginia that is the signal that we can now buy flowering plants for our gardens as any fear of frost/freeze has passed. A strange year so far with NO snow at all and moisture levels at a critical stage.
WE SO NEED RAIN. Oh great creator of all living things we could use your heavens to open up and bring us some moisture. And we know that when your timing is right, you will send it. Thank you our father God, Oh’ thank you!
(REVISED) Tuesday – 4/25
Oh’ a change in schedule today. Could not he helped. We worked a very hard day yesterday and were fighting allergies. Eyes and pollen and wind and muscle aches. Oh my gosh! We had to reschedule our client to tomorrow. We could barely see when we arrived home last night. Eyes very swollen from the pollen count. Fortunately we were able to move tomorrows client to May 2nd. So it has all worked out. We’ve been resting today and trying to stay indoors as much as possible. It’s been a tough couple couple of weeks with allergies and everyone is asking us….”are they crazy that they can’t “see” from all the pollen in the air. No they are not crazy. It’s been exceptionally rough to see. The weather will hopefully provide us with some more rain this upcoming weekend to clear the dusty/green air. Ugh! Can’t hardly wait for moisture. Regardless tomorrow we must press on. We are fortunate our customers get it. But….they are also suffering too. We all are. Such a really weird spring this year. Pretty of course, but totally off the charts with up and down temps, blooming like crazy flowering trees and plants, and wind to top it all off. Hang tight….one more rainy day and we should be good. I sure am optimistic. Never have we all wanted it to rain so much.
“CONTESSA ” is praying for buckets of RAIN!
(REVISED) – 4/27 – Thursday
Final Video/Inner Courtyard.
We need to possibly replace a couple items called Indian Pinks. At $30 each only two came back. And one is trying. The third is robust. And our Pink Muhly grasses along the center back are taking their time to come round. We know we need some filler items this year. But as this is our bachelor homeowners first year with an all perennial garden we will go slow, so get can choose his own filler-in-Ed’s. He is particular about his taste and so we are following his lead. We have recommended some bulbs be planted in the fall for next years spring blooming. And he liked the yellow Canna Lilies last year over by his Frank Lloyd Wright statuary, so he wants more of those tucked in behind where the Pink Muhly grasses will return along back the brick wall of the house. We repositioned a peachish colored Rose bush that seems to have lost it’s “vim.” But we moved it forward slightly, tended it’s roots and replanted it in new organic garden soil and raised and leveled the garden bed up just a bit. It was sitting in a low spot, and we think it might have been sitting in a water collection area. So we’ll give it a go for this second season. If it doesn’t come round we’ll replace. But I never give up on a plant “one time around.” I mean I just don’t ever kill a plant. So….as a forever optimist gardener I’m not tossing it just yet. We’ll see how it comes back and if it comes back. It did bloom and was a beautiful pinkish/peach fluffy flower. It just seemed to hug the ground rather than branch out and upward. Upward being the key word here.
During this spring cleanup assignment we ran out of approved hours to revitalize the bed circling the perimeter of the property. As a PFX crew is coming to trim the English Boxwood very tall bushes soon, we will secure additional hours to clean up the perimeter outside area and in and under these notoriously messy leafed bushes post trimming. There will be tons of debris to clear up. They are beautiful but you really have to keep up with them so they don’t mess up your beds. Leaves that drop and are left behind make a real mess on the patio, so we must clean everything up.
Yesterday our clients was billed for ten hours, plus the cost of some organic soil to level out the bed with the rose bush that not performing.
It’s all about bringing the property to “spring ready.” We are close.
18 Tuesday Apr 2023
We we usually take a BEFORE video, but this year we are here earlier than normal. Our huge trees in the community are in high frequency with pollen emission and “wings.” Wings are pieces of nature that fall from the spring trees. To put it mildly they are everywhere right now. So as a result it’s too early to clean this properties bed just yet.
So we used out appt time to complete tidying the lawn in front, cutting back dead growth from winter and trimming any dead branches from all the bushes and extensive watering just because the Azaleas and all the plants were thirsting badly. We have had no rain to clear out the flying dirt, pollen and pre-leaf material that falls from the trees.
When we left the property certainly looked better but we need about until the 15th of May to schedule a proper tidy. In the meantime we trimmed back the Boxwoods on the porch under the portico and raked the lawn. Everything is blooming except the daffodils which have finished their blooming cycle. When we return to complete the bed clean up we will need to knot the daffodils and lay them on the ground and cover with mulch. Our client said she thought they bloomed this year more than ever.
Still the property looks good. But our homeowner and great client had us come because she is anxious. But it really is too soon to do very much today. The air is dirty, the soil is very hard and dry and so much “ spring” is flying around it’s just not productive to clean it up yet. Frankly “spring” this year is having serious growing pains. It is still doing it’s thing.
May is our busiest time for this reason. Typically we are still having very cool early mornings, but our daytime temps fluctuate between 60 to almost 80. It’s a “messy” time of spring. But….flowering trees and shrubs are plentiful and superbly beautiful. Spring in Virginia is amazingly gorgeous. How blessed we are…even in the messy.
We completed 2.5 hours today on this project.
Video and Photos Feed is now restored! Yeah!
(REVISED) 5/17/23 – Wednesday – 11:30 am
We came early in the spring and did a quick tidy. But all the daffodils were still bright green, starting to lay themselves down now, but with so many in the bed we decided a later complete cleanup would be needed. She agreed. At that time we cleaned up the beds some, cut back anything dead in the beds, applied Neem Oil to the Rose bushes, and the Butterfly bushes. Raked the dead grass from the yard and pulled a few weeds. Our project that day is seen above in this post.
So today we were invited by our homeowner to complete a proper spring cleanup which should get her to about mid summer. The reason is, she likes everything looking good and prefers not to wait until fall for her beds to receive continual upkeep and attention. So here is our video this morning as we arrive. As you can see it’s time to take the Pansies out and really do our magic……and we begin!
It’s now 5:11 pm. We are finished for today. Returning tomorrow to plant fresh “angel wing” Begonias in peach and yellow. We cleaned all the beds today of debris, pulled out all the very spent Pansies, applied Neem Oil to the Roses and Butterfly bushes. Aphids are messing with both. When you see tiny holes in the leaves that’s them. They are “buggars” for sure, but the Neem Oil spray which is a gardeners answer to Tylenol for plants, is ready to rescue. No real gardener is any good without Neem Oil. We encourage all our client to purchase two spray bottles of it each year.
Tomorrow we will plant the Begonia plants and mulch everything. We will present a Final Video tomorrow afternoon. Please check back in with us. Four (4) hours dedicated to this project today.
(REVISED) 5/19/23 – Friday – 8:30 am
Yesterday we completed our property on Mt Eagle Place fir our Doctor resident. Her double unit we must say is the nicest property on her whole lengthy and winding cul-de-sac. And she is religious about keep it looking good with our contributions. Everything has been de-bugged, deadheaded, trimmed as needed, beds are cleaned if all debris, and we planted new “angel-wing” Beginia’s in peachy/pink and bright yellow. Just enough color until her Peony pops and her Butterfly bush dies it’s thing. We’ve a light floating of mulch this year as nature provided tons of tiny dropping from their leaf creation so it acted like a sort of grinder mulch and once it dies away it will provide added protection for all her plants. The Azaleas are past bloom and still drying on her bushes and the lilac and daffodils are past bloom as well.
And so we present you with our completion. A total of seven (7) hours for this handsome project.
17 Monday Apr 2023
Our lovely client on Beverley Drive, all on her own, went and picked out six new bushes for us to plant. Two white Butterfly Bushes, 3 Purple “Pugster” Butterfly Bushes, and one new Azalea. Together we established locations and we dug all the holes approximately 16” deep. Tomorrow we are at another location so we will return on Wednesday to complete all in progress work.
We will plant all the new bushes on Wednesday. Today we completed most of her Spring Clean Up Project. Putting her property back into some shape from the winter season. Lots of weeds, border edging were pretty much non-existent and most plants needed to be cut back some. We began tidying the edgings. We are hopeful for some rain so that we can complete a deeper cut/edge to make everything look really fresh. We removed all the porch items from under the Portico and cleaned every thing up. Pansies took a hit but are monsters so today we watered an cleaned around them. On Wed we will cut back all their dead growth and further shape them. They give a lot to the cause, because we planted them in a October and still they are producing tons of blooms.
We need to tend the Hydrangea on Wed and cut back any dead stalks and apply our Acidifier fertilizer and finish tidying up that side flower bed. All the mulch stayed pretty well in the beds, but needs to be redistributed giving a more uniform look. And the Holly Tree that PFX planted when our lady moved in needed water badly. We have cleaned out all the dead and yellowing leaves. It is looking much better. It so needed water.
Everything today was bone dry as over the weekend the rain we were supposed to receive just didn’t happen. So we watered each plant individually, for a good length of time. And we transplanted a White Anemone, one very small Gardenia and one purple Salvia. We had to make these relocations as the six (6) new bushes required adequate space to balance out the appearance of the bed.
We will report back upon COB Wed, once everything is completed. Please do check back to view our Final Video.
Today we completed six (6)hours for this project from 9 am to 3 pm.
IN PROGRESS VIDEO
“Contessa” says….. it all very good!
(REVISED) Wed – 4/19 – 5:31pm
Back today to complete our Beverley client. Four (4) hours today. All six bushes planted. All Pansies thinned out and deadheaded then gathered into clusters and outer lanky stems trimmed away. Frankly they now look like brand new plants. Deep perimeter “bed edging” completed. Redistribute mulch throughout the entire bed. Transplanted the White Anemone as it was being crowded by returning Daffodils. Fertilized the Hydrangea with Nutone Acidifier. Hosed down the front porch and used the leaf blower to tidy the entire property including all the sidewalks.
We will await instructions on how she wants to address the bed along the side of the house. And we need to purchase plants for her wire basket that sits on the top of her Etegere. Today she was visiting Ft Myers and may bring back Begonias that we usually plant in three or four planters for the Etegere shelves. We think everything is looking very nice.
We have some good video to post, but still technical issues persist in uploading to the WordPress site. We attempted to contact WordPress but all technicians are unavailable so once the issue is resolved we will post. Excuse!
We seem to be able to provide one photo of the Hydrangea and Pansy bed. Please check back on any updates and our additional work plus our Video.
12 Wednesday Apr 2023
In our world of gardening there are a couple ways to “edge” a bed. So what does edging do to enhance your garden beds. It provides a finished appearance, and it helps to keep your soil and mulch in the beds, and further, it helps keep weeds from crawling into your beds.
Many of our current residents use bricks or shaped brick edgers. My clients now all use my preferred method. A tool called an “edger” allows you to slice into the earth, then lift and toss the dirt into your bed. Then you use the edger tool to break up this soil and spread around the bed. What this does is build up the level of your beds. It’s a great curb appeal enhancement. Most often we convert our clients over to this method. We refer to them as “raised beds.”
Today we used what our client preferred. We created a four inch deep trench to fit the cement edgers into. They have the appearance of Soda cans tightly aligned. The goal being to embed them flush with the sidewalk so they look tidy and most importantly very straight and not buried too deep. This prevents weeds from growing between the sidewalk and the edger.
This project completed at 4.5 hours. We started it yesterday and finished right after the Noon hour. Very dirty and hard work…. but quite satisfying. And we also completed attaching her new retractable 100 ft fiber type hose and embedded into a trench so that neighbors could not see it. As every building shares the end of the building water faucet we added a dual outlet, Brass Faucet Adapter so her neighbor can hook up easily also. It’s a win-win. And previous to this fix, our client had to drag a hose over 100 ft to her yard. So difficult she rarely used the water source she is entitled too. Now she’s set-up!
$10.99 at Home Depot
”Contessa ” says…it’s a very good thing!
11 Tuesday Apr 2023
We visited yesterday with our client of three years to complete her spring bed tidy. As she is a very organized person with zero interest in gardening or learning to garden we are her “relief factor.” As a matter of fact there is a medicinal supplement called exactly that. It is used to control pain. And it does take pain away. Well…we are her pain relief. She does love her little garden and although she is gone all day, six days a week, she tells us that when she arrives home, she is greeted by her small condominium garden space and it just totally makes her whole day. Will””This client has a contract with us for upkeep and maintenance, so no worries about picking up a sticks or a dead leaves or spent blossoms. This is our enjoyment…..and it is our total joy and mission for this great repeat client.
So we began by taking a before video. The bed was full of sticks and leaf debris and dead material on five bushes that we planted in the late fall last year. So we began by pruning back the five bushes. A couple are looking very exhausted. Even almost dead. Water, being an issue in the late fall. And we did advise her to water new plantings every day for one full week. Hint: this is standard watering protocol. Green stems prevailed, even if there are few leaves, so we shaped them up. Removed any dead material from in and under them and then proceeded with the same treatment for all the other plants. We are eternally hopeful the bushes will fill in.
(REVISED) WED – 04/25
We purchased all the new plants:
Four Ostrich Ferns, Two Pink Astilbe, One Bleeding Heart, a beautiful yellow Columbine, and two Huchera/Coral Bells.
It did rain on Saturday so we nestled all the plants up on her covered porch to protect them from possible heavy rain and wind. So glad we did. Yesterday we planted everything. And transplanted a fern, and removed all the sprouting Hosta. Our homeowner doesn’t really like them and she wants a full bed of perennials. It’s looking full. On Thursday we will add Hydrangea fertilizer, blood meal and three bags of shredded hardwood bark mulch. And we have a Miracle Grow liquid fertilizer Wand which we will apply to complete this fantastic job.
We are at four hours plus a couple more on Thursday. It’s looking fresh and like “spring.” Our homeowner is now ready for the season, and on June 1 we will begin our “maintenance” plan continuous through November 30.
Upon completion Thursday, we will post our FINAL VIDEO.
“CONTESSA” says it’s all good’
We completed our project today for a total of seven (7) hours. Our client is thrilled.
“CONTESSA” says…,, it’s all very good!
(REVISED) – Friday – 4/28 – 8:30 am
Yesterday after we completed this assignment we created an in depth posting about this project. We are running two versions through our WordPress account which frankly has become very cumbersome. A new editing version is very difficult to navigate and so that lengthy post we created simply vanished when we made attempts to create edits. So today we will recreate what we thought was going to appear once we hit the post/update key.
Our homeowner has wanted more plants in her bed. And we would like this for her. But in the beginning of a client relationship, it’s never assumed by us, the creator, that the budget set is totally made clear. We never assume anything when it comes to a clients willingness to spend more. So gradually as we planted and built a working together “trust” over these last three years, little by little, it became clear that as long as it looks nice and we are willing to be responsible for all the selection and care, then our client has no issue with the cost.
We made some nice “picks” this year and because we are working in a mostly shady area we have frankly been testing different plants to catch the perfect formula for robust and happy plant growth. Her area is on a corner of a building with an expansive “side” common ground area. Used by many other residents walking their dogs, folks playing with children and it’s an area where folks also gather in the immediate neighborhood to “hang out and meet up.”
The winter months bring lots of wind and falling debris and all of it seems to blow up and fill our clients garden bed with sticks, large branches at times, pine cones from an overhanging Hemlock Pine and you can imagine her garden bed offers winter protection for….and is a community hangout for birds and squirrels.
So our challenge has been to provide plants with some resilience. We think we finally have it. But the down side is that come fall almost everything must get trimmed back prior to winter. So this means an empty looking bed until spring. Bottom line… our homeowner wants beauty in the spring and summer. Bushes are boring at times and she wanted perennial “plants” that can mature, and even though she has a primarily shady spot, our selection, as her plants grow and mature will be just lovely. We always tell folks when you begin cultivating a garden you add new things each year. It’s a process and you perfect as you go along. It’s like buying a new house and you move in with a couch, one lamp, maybe a rug, a bed and a dresser. The process is building upon what you already have. This homeowners bed had frankly nothing but Hosta and they were poorly placed. Large and healthy but BORING.
So we have come a long way. And by the way, NO MORE HOSTA. Gone. It’s looking like some planning helped pull it together and we even have new ideas to do a few more things. Her philosophy is “fill it up,” and fortunately she loves green, as many of the plants she has are shade tolerant and very “green.”
We have planted one Lenten Rose which after two years is finally taking its own shape. This is a strong winter bloomer and so we are very hopeful that this winter it will bloom. These plants range from $29 to $49 each but once established really take off. Hers is looking healthy and very green and lush this year and we are probably going to add a second come fall. And the new additions of a yellow Columbine and the pinkish Bleeding Heart add a lovely balance to her other bloomers. Two new Astilbe should produce some feathery looking pinkish blooms as we planted them as a fusion with ones that were already there. This lovely garden now has about $750 in perennial plants. A good size investment. But …., repeat producers and a great reoccurring investment in her garden. THIS PLAN IS WORKING WELL……
“CONTESSA” says….. it’s about as good as it gets. The creation has been all the fun. We are grateful for Gods provision of satisfying and beautiful labor. Amen!
09 Sunday Apr 2023
Scope of Project
We received a call from a local Bethesda resident to clear the back raised bed of existing weeds and plantings. Upon arrival we discovered a nicely constructed raised bed but very shallow and it needed a soil abatement. All existing plants and weeds were cleared and the plant material was set aside to use in the bed located under the tree that’s bordering the property. We added four (4) bags of soil to build the bed under the tree and planted the leftover existing Hosta.
We then proceeded to a abate the soil quantity in the raised bed under the back windows. We discovered a PCV pipe buried on the left side of this bed so an adjustment in bush placement was needed. Additionally this bed was full of tree roots so a deep excavation 18” down had to occur. Upon the completion of five (5) 18” sized holes we planted up the five (5), three (3) gallon Boxwood bushes that we secured from a local nursery. Added three bags of top soil and four bags of organic garden soil to the arrangement of bushes. Leveled the bed and finished off with two (3) cu ft bags of hardwood bark shredded mulch. A terrific final look and one that is clean looking and will be easy for the new tenant to maintain.
To complete and finish up this project, we used reserved mulch to fill the side bed near the breezeway fence and in the newly created Hosta bed to finish up this 10 hour job.
Back of the Property
As of last night, the Homeowner has requested we price out additional Hosta bushes for both the bed under the tree and the side bed by the fence. We will do so this week and most likely add on to the project, since he will not be listing it for two more weeks. And so delightfully….work will continue.
“Contessa” says….. it’s all good!
(REVISED) – Sunday – 4/30 – 9:30 am
Mr Fox ( pun intended….Ha!) insisted we show for his Open House yesterday. We arrived early and completed a last minute tidy before his prospective tenants arrived. It’s all part of doing great business. He lives in Bethesda but has had this rental property since 1986. He’s retired and the place has become his “hobby” as evidenced by his conducting his choice to rent it on his own. He placed these Fox biz card holders on his kitchen counter as he decided to promote my business during the 1 to 5 pm showing. A nice turn out of folks came through, with our break in rain, and today three (3) are returning for a second viewing. Sounds promising! The entire unit was gutted in December and construction was completed on April 1st. It is a three bedroom unit and just gorgeous inside, complete with a third bedroom converted into an office with built in book shelving and a desk. Very handsome indeed. I’m certain he will land a great tenant. He’s retired foreign service so he himself has leads from career acquaintances.
“Contessa’s” provided some outside help in bringing the property ready to show. We ended up doing extra and it was a pleasure to work for a homeowner who definitely wants his investment to rent successfully. He plans now to retain us quarterly to provide upkeep. It’s a win for us and for him.
Thank you Mr Fox! 🦊