First of all, I have to say, I don't know if it's because I've been living in some sort of new baby parallel universe, but while everyone else has been lamenting the weather, I've actually been feeling like this winter was... not so bad. I mean, yes, there have definitely been cold days and we did have one miserable snap when Callum was a week old (and of course exactly when my parents were here visiting) where the temperature was below zero and it was gray and snowy for days on end.
But overall it's been mild, I think. I'm pretty sure our average annual snowfall is around 60 inches, and I don't think we've gotten anywhere near that this year. We've had lots of sunny warm days, even shortly after Callum was born in January, where we were able to take him out in the stroller for walks. I've had a standing date with a woman from my childbirth class to go for a walk in the park once a week for over a month now, and we've had lovely weather for every single walk. We've even gotten some rain, which is a rare treasure here in semi-arid Colorado.
Anyway, with things feeling springlike for awhile now, we've taken the opportunity to do some work in our yard. Like homeowners. Adults. Isn't that weird?
It started with a few things: a gift, a Groupon, a gift card, and a windstorm. And now we are thinking of all sorts of things we'd like to do, and assessing which of those things could be feasible on our budget.
First, a very dear friend gave Callum a redbud tree as a baby gift. Actually, since she lives far away, she gave him a gift certificate to a fabulous local nursery with a request that we use it to purchase a redbud tree, which of course we did. It's now planted in the yard. It's still teeny, and just starting to bloom. Once all the blossoms open, we'll take a picture of Callum next to it, and turn that into an annual tradition so that we can watch him and the tree grow together. The same friend gave the same gift to my sister's baby, so Callum and Morgan can have matching redbud photos throughout their childhood.
Here's the tree currently:
Of course, while we were at the nursery we discovered all sorts of wondrous other plants and yard things that we'd love to have. So we had some discussion and decided that since someday when budget and time allow, we'd like to relandscape our yard completely, rather than planting a whole bunch of stuff in the meantime we would do one barrel of flowers on our front porch. So we did:
Then along came a Groupon for another local nursery. And once the redbud tree was planted, we thought wow, we should really put a couple more trees on the lawn so it doesn't look so bare. But not giant ones, because we don't want it to be overwhelmed. So maybe shrubs would work well. And the nursery just so happened to have lovely small lilac trees and snowball bushes for almost exactly the price of the Groupon:
Conveniently, some lights Torsten's parents bought us at Lowe's last year turned out not to be what we were looking for, so we returned them for a merchandise credit and used that gift card to buy some mulch and tree edging, as well as some fertilizer and grass seed so that we can reseed our yard, which as you can see is very much in need of it. We also finally got around to calling an irrigation company to check out the built-in sprinkler system in our yard, and learned that it seems to be nearly functional and should (knock on wood) be fully functional, or close to it, with just some minor repairs, which will hopefully be happening tomorrow.
We also pruned down our rosebushes and put new mulch in the front flower bed where the tulips grow (still waiting on them to bloom, but when they do, they'll be red and yellow):
And in the backyard, we had an awesome wildflower garden last year. Some of them are perennials but others are not, so we put down some fresh seed on top just to make sure it'll grow back nicely. Most of it still has a ways to go, but some lovely purplish blue flowers have already bloomed:
Oh, and the windstorm. Well, that sucked. We had a fence that looked like this (and still have this fence on one side of our yard):
But then it was super windy one night and when we woke up a giant panel from the fence on the other side of the yard had blown over and was lying in the grass. The whole fence was rickety and nearly 50 years old to begin with, so we knew it really just had to be replaced. Luckily our neighbor agreed, and there was no fighting or anything about who had to pay. We split the cost 50-50 for the side fence, and Torsten and I of course paid the full cost for the front part of the fence with the new gate, since that is on our property only, and just a few days later our fence looked like this:
Of course there are still a lot of other projects. Most of them we're holding off on because wow, this stuff is so expensive and time-consuming. But, Denver does an annual mulch giveaway for residents, all created from the Christmas tree pickup, and it's this weekend, so we're borrowing a neighbor's pickup truck and going to get as much mulch as we can carry, so we can mulch the treebeds by the driveway (and also maybe prune the bushes?)...
...and the treebeds where the aspens grow in the backyard:
Of course, there's one staple that we absolutely love and have no intention of changing, ever, and that's our willow tree:
Isn't it lovely?
What are you guys doing in your yards this spring? Or what would you like to be doing, if time and money were no object?
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