Digging and Planting

I am really enjoying the work I’m doing in the yard.  I much prefer yard work to house work.

I decided to take a break from all the branch cutting and removal and work on another project that I have thought about for years – but never done anything about it.  The area in front of my deck is clay mixed with stones and nothing grows there except an occasional piece of grass and some weeds.  I was thinking that some bushes in front of the deck would be nice and then maybe some fresh soil to get grass growing.

The main problem with most of my yard is that the sun seldom reaches the ground due to the trees.  The deck area is completely shaded by a huge Elm Tree.

After deciding on Saturday that the branches were going on a back burner, I started to dig for bush planting.  The ground was like cement and the first few shovelfuls were not very full, but by the time I called it quits, I had a hole that was a couple of feet wide and about a foot and a half deep.  My shovel is not really designed for work like this.  It is quite small – maybe 3 feet tall with a small but sharp blade.  It is perfect for the little bit of digging I normally do in the soft dirt in the flower bed.  If the stores and/or garden centres opened earlier on Sunday I would have been out buying a real shovel first thing in the morning – but nothing opens until noon around here on Sunday.

So – Sunday morning, I continued to dig with my little shovel until I had a 7 foot long hole that was 2 feet across and 1 1/2 feet deep.  Most of the clay and stones were moved over to low ground around the house since the bushes would need good dirt to grow and it needed to be built up around the house.

Often when I turned my back on the hole, Chester would be in to check it out.  He is still so very helpful.  🙂  He didn’t help dig or anything.  I think he was checking to see if I buried any treats in there for him.

I had no idea what kind of bushes I would be getting, but I headed over to a garden centre when it opened.  One of the employees picked out a few that would do well in the shade and I settled on 3 Dwarf Burning Bushes.  I had been thinking that I would get the 2 outer ones the same with something different in the middle, but decided that 3 of these would be great.  They are supposed to turn red in the fall and they grow to be about 3 feet tall.   I also got 2 bags of dirt and some fertilizer.

I headed for home and got them all in the ground, only to find out that I had nowhere near enough dirt.  There are closer garden centres, so I went to one to get 2 more bags of dirt.  These were bigger bags, but I could still use one more, so I picked up another one when I went out later.

Chester getting a drink of water before we start work.
Chester getting a drink of water before we start work.
Chester checking out the hole
Chester checking out the hole – he’s a bit blurry, but then he often is.
Hole is finished
Hole is finished
Bushes, Dirt & Fertilizer
Bushes, Dirt & Fertilizer
Dwarf Burning Bush
Dwarf Burning Bush
Not Enough Dirt
Not Enough Dirt
Planted  and Watered - but still not enough dirt
Planted and Watered – but still not enough dirt

Well – that was fun.  Now to think about the grass in front of the bushes, but I’m a little stiff this morning, so I might limit myself to getting the grass cut and doing some watering.