Ah, That's Mulch Better ~ Summer Landscaping

Happy Monday morning to you! I feel like I've been away so long! While I thoroughly enjoyed having my AZ bff come to town and spending some time away from the computer, I did miss sharing with you all. Fortunately, Deb is a little dynamo. She loves tackling projects and never shrinks away from a little manual labor. In addition to other projects, she helped me do a little landscaping work in our front yard that had me saying, "Ah, that's mulch better!"
Summer Landscaping with Mulch
We have been tweaking the front landscaping little by little ever since we moved into this house almost 6 years ago. It's never anything shocking, just enough to make the maintenance of it a little easier. I have been wanting to add mulch to the front flower bed from the very beginning. I have met with quite a bit of resistance from the hubby, and for the most part, I had given up on ever putting mulch in the bed.
Flower Bed without Mulch
I totally understand his viewpoint on why it would be a bad idea, but I have had a hard time passing by the flower bed and not longing for it to be made pretty.
Flower Bed without Mulch
I love my hubby with all my heart, but his perspective is coming from someone who grew up in AZ where most yards are filled with rocks. His arguments against mulch are these:
1. With the bricks lining the bed, the mulch is going to flow into the grass with the first rainstorm we have.
2. The wind will blow the wood chips into the yard.
3. How will we clean up the trimmings from the bushes without picking up and/or mixing with the mulch?
4. Not worth the expense/waste of money.
Flower Bed without Mulch
Well, after visiting another friend last week and seeing the difference some fresh mulch made in her flower beds, I started really considering doing this project on my own, in spite of hubby's objections. In fact, my friend was telling me how inexpensive the mulch was and even joked that she would pay for it...just to have me stop complaining about how much I disliked my flower beds. That's a true friend, right?
Flower Bed without Mulch
See how sad looking the bricks are? You can barely even see them. And what's with all the random rocks and broken bricks thrown into the mix? Pretty trashy looking, if you ask me. The cost of the mulch not really being that much of a deterrent now ($3.33 a bag), I was determined to squelch the other objections too.
Putting Mulch into the Flower Bed
With my team assembled (2 kids and a bff), we set to work about 7:45 one evening last week. First, we cleaned out the bed, picking weeds, removing large rocks, etc. Next, we moved all the bricks away from the flower bed and dug a trench with a shovel. Then, the roll of black landscape edging was pushed into the trench, creating a border for the bricks. Finally, the bricks were set up on their edge instead of laying flat as they were initially. Placing the plastic black edging around the bed will hopefully keep the mulch from flowing through the cracks of the bricks, and it will keep the grass from invading the bed as well. This took the four of us just a little over an hour to complete.
Summer Landscaping with Mulch
In case you are keeping track, that is now 3 out of 4 objections to the mulch that I have found a solution for.
Summer Landscaping with Mulch
I am really pleased with how it turned out. I will probably add in some sweet potato plants for a pop of lime green and perhaps some other flowers too. Right now, however, I am just enjoying the fresh look of the dark brown mulch covering up the dirt and weeds. Ready to see a before and after?
Summer Landscaping with Mulch Before and After
That's a pretty big difference, I'd say! So, I was thinking a makeover like this would cost me over a hundred dollars and a ton of back-breaking work. Instead, we spent only $40 for 6 bags of mulch and a roll of landscape edging. The labor was free ;-)
Summer Landscaping with Mulch
Not too bad for $40 and an hour's worth of work! I'm sure I'll be picking weeds out of the mulch (since I didn't lay down any kind of landscaping weed-preventer cloth), and I still need to figure out how to clear away the clippings from the bushes. But, overall, I couldn't be more pleased with how this project turned out.

So, where was hubby during all this work? He was at a work meeting for the evening. When I went to pick him up, I told him we had been working on a project in the front yard. "You got mulch, didn't you," he said. "Maybe," I replied, "you'll just have to see for yourself." I'm happy to report that hubby was pleasantly surprised at the transformation and at the price tag. Have you ever gone ahead with a project that your spouse was less than enthusiastic about? What were the results? By the way, do you know how to clean out the trimmings of bushes from mulch? Just curious...
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10 comments:

  1. Looks beautiful and it really makes a difference!

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  2. That looks great! You are so blessed to have such sweet helpers!!

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  3. It looks so good! We mulch 2x per year. The mulch keeps the moisture in the ground better...tell your hubby that little part. Keeps the weeds down too. My husband thinks mulch is as good as a fresh coat of paint - I love that perspective. :)

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  4. It looks fantastic! The mulch is an excellent addition to the landscape. As other commenters have said, not only does it look so nice, but it also keeps moisture in the soil for your shrubs and other plants. Regarding the shrub trimmings - what I do is I lay down some plastic sheeting on top of the mulch before I trim the shrubs - kind of like a Christmas tree skirt - and then the clippings can be gathered up in the plastic sheeting for removal. You could use a roll of plastic from the home center, or dollar store shower curtains, or even just some large black trash bags that you cut the seams apart to make bigger. It's really not too much trouble and the mulch has so many benefits, it's worth the extra step when trimming the shrubs.

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  5. Wow, what difference! As mentioned, mulch keeps the weeds down so you don't have to weed as often. It is also good for acid loving plants. I bet your trees will enjoy the addition of the mulch.

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  6. Much better, thank goodness you didn't listen to hubby! Now I'll give you some tips from a avid gardener for 15 years. Vinegar yes one gallon of vinegar needs to be added to your garden tools. Pour vinegar on the outside of your bed, it kills weeds, and depending on the type of grass or sod next to the border you may not have too weed eat it or trim it with the trimmer. #2, Mulch compacts after a few good watering's to keep weeds out, so generally grass clippings can be blown out with a small blower or simply turn the trimmer so the shield is at the top....that helps too. and lastly,.... you have a substantial border around your beds, and as long as those are firmly in place, and until your mulch compacts down the mulch won't go anywhere unless you get hard flooding or your rain gutters are shooting water inside your beds....

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  7. mulch is like the instant refresher and finisher of gardens. love the way you added the edger, too.

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  8. Your landscape looks absolutely lovely! What's funny is in my post this week I utilized the same mulch! Lol. Visiting you from The Dedicated House.

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  9. Everything looks beautiful! Mulch always makes such a huge difference. I just wish it lasted longer. Thanx for partying and be sure to add a link back to the party please!:)

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  10. Yes, mulch makes all the difference. It looks really nice.

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Thank you so much for stopping by to leave a comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to write your words of encouragement. Your sweet notes make my heart smile! Have a delightful day!