DIY : Red Dirt Ranch, one year later – Thoughts and deeds – Medium

Last year I posted when we moved into the red dirt ranch. I showed you a lot of the interior work that Tim did — installing the tile floors, painting, and more painting. I painted too — mostly the bookcase and the kitchen hutch. I also did a little gardening in the front yard, but as I was in a hurry I took some shortcuts and to be honest they didn’t look very good.

This summer I decided I would do things differently. I would not take shortcuts and I would prepare the beds with the necessary supplies so that I wouldn’t constantly have to keep fixing things.

Here’s the result. I’m really proud of how it all turned out, and thanks to my good friend, Michael Quintanilla, I have created a little garden of zen.

Last year I decided to cover the front area with mulch and rock because the grass is very spotty. But all I did was lay down rock and mulch without any weed cover. Big mistake. The grass and weeds immediately started popping through and it looked really bad all year. This year I put down weed cover and then I created some curving designs for the rock and the mulch. I don’t know where I got the idea from but it just seemed to happen and I am pretty pleased.

If you are thinking of doing something similar, here is what I used (supplies found at Home Depot and Lowe’s, but can be found elsewhere):

One roll of basic weed cover, about $13; three bags of black mulch (you can catch a great sale of 4 four $10) about $3.50 a bag; four bags of rock (you can use whichever you like), about $3.50 a bag; four large bags of potting soil (get the best you can, but I got the pretty basic stuff, about $7 a bag).

We have lots of trees, so this is a shade garden. It can be tricky to find a variety of shade loving plants that provide both color and texture. And so, I go with the old favorites: impatiens, hostas, begonias and a variety of grasses. Last year I planted astilbe and one died but the other one came back. The label says it only needs 1–3 hours of morning sun, but I’m still not sure I have it in the right place.

Railroad ties will need to be replaced at some point but for now I have planted some flowers.

The waterfall came with the house and it provides soothing sounds in every season.

The waterfall is surrounded by mostly rock and pebbles (I need to add some more) but a few plants poke out here and there. Tim planted some fern that he found elsewhere on the property. It seems to be thriving.

Down the drive are some benches I placed for design purposes only.

The bench on the right is from Timeless Curiosities Farmhouse Vintage, a family owned company in Piedmont, Oklahoma, who repurpose furniture. So is the Welcome sign in first photo of the house.

I tucked in some plants and flowers here and there all over the place. The hostas I planted last year are doing well, and the ferns are coming back. I tend to underwater, so I am trying to remedy that.

The bottom two photos are from around the side of the house.

Finally, I’m using lots of Tim’s pottery. He has some great pieces!

NEXT: The pet cemetery. As you read in my last piece, my cat, Rudy, died. But he’s not the only one who’s past on.

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