Yardmageddon 2013: Part 1 – The Landscaping Death March

THE MISSION:  De-fugly this backyard!


THE FUEL:  Factory Donuts!


THE FULL DISCLOSURE:  We’ve never planted anything before.  We have no idea what we’re doing outside of a few hours of web research on this topic.

We kicked off Saturday with some early morning planning in the backyard.  Here I’ve used bricks and spigot covers to demonstrate where the arborvitaes might go.


I later revised this down from six to three for these reasons:

1)  They were too close together (I decided putting them a full 3 feet apart was better)

2)  Planting six is gonna be hella grueling

The mockup was still a good idea though because it gave us a much better sense of where the trees will go.  It also helped me illustrate it to my husband better than pointing “over there” ever could.  With the number determined, we drove to Factory Donuts for OMG BEST DONUTS EVER and then drove to Molbak’s in Woodinville for three arborvitaes.  They keep their arborvitaes in the dirt until sold, which is different from how Home Depot packs them tight crowds of potted plants.  I don’t know much about plants, but it seems like the arborvitaes that came out of the dirt would be better than the ones sitting in pots.  I hope it’s worth the $20 or so more per plant that Molbak’s wants (Home Depot $25 each, Molbak’s $45 each) .

These trees are HEAVY!  Fortunately, Molbak’s is well staffed with tough guys ready to toss trees into hatchbacks the way I might toss a hamburger wrapper.  Obligatory Subie action shot:


And we’re done, check it out!


Lol, just kidding.  We Jim actually had 45 minutes of back breaking digging ahead of us him.  (Stay in school, kids, digging holes sucks ass.)  BTW, ignore the holes closer to the fence corner.  We dug there first and found too many roots, prompting us to change our placement plans.


We dug the holes to be about twice the volume of the arborvitae root ball and lined them with several inches of a mixture of fresh garden soil and compost.  Garden soil and compost were separate bags, and we mixed them at roughly a 2:1 ratio of garden soil:compost.  We didn’t get too pedantic about measurements –  it’s just dirt, after all.  Once lined, we dropped the trees into the holes and packed more soil and compost all around followed by a 1″ thick layer of mulch all around.


Repeat x3 times and you have:


High on success and packed with donuts, it was at this precise moment that I went COMPLETELY. INSANE.

I ran off to Home Depot and Molbak’s to purchase a half dozen more plants to place all around the yard, another shovel, a ton of mulch and more dirt.  Here is just some of what two motivated people can accomplish in a brutal weekend long yard work marathon.

Side of house, before:


Side of house, after

  • (I forgot the name of this evergreen, I’ll put it in here when I figure it out):


Front yard, before:


Front yard, after:

  • Blue Chip Juniper in mound
  • Yedda Hawthorne to the right of stairs
  • Hetz Midget Arborvitae x 2  in pots by stairs (not yet planted in this shot)
  • Hosta (we nicknamed it The Buddy when we planted it a few weeks ago)


Also: Sami Salmon


Garage/fence corner, after:

This area was formerly an old stump and a ton of weeds.  MOST IMPROVED AWARD!

  • Degroot Emerald Spire is the biggie plant, the rest are annual accent flowers that will probably look like crap in 3 months


Back deck:

Formerly empty, now home to a menagerie of potted plants and yet-to-be-potted plants.


Front yard, by utility pole:

I pulled out a ton of weeds and planted this cute yellow/green shrub.


Many places:

I planted several instances of this stuff from Home Depot, which is supposed to spread like creep all over the place and choke out things like grass and weeds, making a low maintenance ground-cover.  Curious to see if it actually works…


Amazingly, this isn’t even all of it.  After posting this I realized I missed at least three more plants, and there are a few more left to plant before we can truly call this done.  From here, we water daily and hope this stuff takes root.  All in all, this wasn’t a bad first plant-something-in-the-ground experience, although it did take all weekend and we are both completely exhausted.

Secured By miniOrange