What’s New? A Garden and a Furnace …

the garden plan

The garden plan–edging bricks and purchased plants laid out.

Today, two nice gentlemen from a local plumbing and heating outfit arrived to replace our furnace.

It’s been OK for us for 10 years, but two years ago we had to have the blower serviced, and considered it a sign. The furnace that we had was the one which was installed when the house was built in the mid 1960s, so it was time for an update. It will take a few years, but the efficiency of the new one means that it will lower our heating bill enough for a not-outlandish payback time.

It should also give a boost to our AC, which will now have a new furnace blower to work with, and hopefully have a bit more effect as hot weather is again due.

Anyway, blog fans, the furnace is not all that was new. While they worked inside my basement, I worked in my backyard.

I’ve lost the battle of the front garden, for now. Earlier, I blogged about putting in a garden at the edge of the rocky area in front, but Audrey has vetoed the idea. She accuses me of wanting to eliminate all yard and turn our lot into a giant garden.

I suppose there is some basis for her attitude, although she describes the planned front garden as a “giant” excursion into the yard, which is not what I had in mind.

Be that as it may, she OK’d a new back garden in a corner of the yard by the chimney. There is an area there where grass doesn’t grow, and we planted bulbs last fall. So Tuesday night, we bought some edging bricks and plants at Menards, and as other men installed the new furnace, I put in a new garden.

I laid out the area. Then, I dug a little trench for each brick and pounded it into the ground. I left them only about halfway into the ground—I’ve used these edgers before. Not only do they sink a little with time, but there’s more useful in partitioning off a garden if they are not flush with the ground.

What did I plant? While, like the French police official in Casablanca, I rounded up the usual suspects. We purchased two pretty day lilies for the front, sunniest part. It’s really a mostly shady garden, but day lilies, while they do need sun, do seem to do well in partly shady areas.

We also bought what my pal Steve Haviland called on his garden blog a bush that is “beyond common.” A hydrangea. We have one blue one in our lower yard that stubbornly has not bloomed much, but this year is finally in flower. Both Audrey and I agreed that we liked the blue color and would not mind it in the upper garden.

We also bought a coral bell and a bugleweed. In spring, this area should have daffodils, crocus and tulips—it will be mildly sunny since the trees will not have leafed out. Then, later on, the lilies and hydrangea can bloom.

Audrey suggested getting some hostas, but we didn’t—yet, in the end, I did divide and installed some plants from our other gardens—another day lily, a native Iowa lily, and, for the shadiest back corner of this new garden, a fern, a hostal and some lily of the valley.

First, I dug up what little grass was in this spot. Then, I collected my donor plants from other gardens and from behind our fence (the fern and lily of the valley are back fence escapees from near our back garden, not actually form our gardens), then I planted. After that, I mulched and watered.

And when I was done, in the afternoon, surprise, surprise, so where the furnace guys.

The install, which was to take until 5, was wrapped up a little early. As was my garden.

The finished garden

The finished garden.


1 Comment

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One response to “What’s New? A Garden and a Furnace …

  1. Cate Sheller

    You can turn my yard into a garden anytime. It’s my long-term ambition.

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