Day 128: Transformation of the front yard
"Balance is a moving target."
That's one of my favorite quotes, and you've probably heard me mention it many times in the past.
Today, that balance started out like this:
I opened my eyes in the early morning, rolled over to see the green lights of the alarm clock read 5:30 am. Instead of energetically getting to my feet--like most days, ready to start my yoga practice--I turned back to my left side and closed my eyes again.
The main reason for this: my body is tired.
Last Wednesday Jet Blue cancelled all of their flights heading to many northeastern states due to the incoming storm. This included my planned Thursday visit to see my sister in NYC.
While I was disappointed, to say the least, in the cancellation of my trip, Steve was thrilled to have me home. Not only does he enjoy my company, but he really likes to have me as a helper on many exterior house projects.
He is the king of his domain--the garage and yards.
With us having been away for the past two years, the yards were really out of hand when we arrived.
With the humidity and rain of the natural Florida climate, I was quite pleased at the fact that I couldn't really kill any plants here. Normally that happens even when I attend to plants, as I'm not much of a gardener. In this case, the unruly bunch here was alive and well (even though I had been gone).
Since the day we purchased the house, nothing in the front yard had been changed, minus the planting of a few cordyline and grasses by the fence.
Little did I know Steve was about to change all this.
Conveniently, this coincided with my newly-emptied calendar for the weekend.
Friday afternoon, Steve informed me of his plan. He had the landscapers remove some small trees to the left of the driveway, and I was requested to do the following:
- Remove the root masses of the remaining bushes and trees.
- Remove the bark from the existing front planter bed. Mind you, this task alone involved filling the 2-yard trash bin a total of five times, and wheeling that bark to the furthest corner of the backyard to fill that planter bed.
- Dig trenches and install the new bender board, which was set to separate the mulch-filled plant areas and the river rock.
- Assist in Steve's digging holes with the auger, which really did make the planting of our new items much easier.
- Assist in building planter boxes.
- Plant the new hibiscus, azalea, elephant ear, grasses, bougainvillea, ixora, and oyster plants.
- Shovel 2.5 tons of shell base from the driveway into the newly set areas in the yard.
- Cut and lay black plastic as the weed barriers over the shell base.
- Shovel 2.5 tons of river rock from the driveway and place over the black plastic.
- Spread 9 bags of shredded bark over 9 bags of new top soil.
- Spread 7 large bags of pine bark in the planter boxes, and
- Set the half-ton of paver stones out to extend the pathway from the front of the house to the side gate.
Wow! It almost makes me exhausted again just thinking about all of the work that's been done in the past week!
We pieced this project together daily, except Saturday, which I declared as a day all for myself. I took a drive to Orlando to eat at my favorite restaurant, get a pedicure, and do a little shopping.
That day off allowed me to stay connected to my center. It gave me a sense of perspective as I got my hands back in the dirt. It also gave me a way to appreciate the focus and heart required to transform our yard in such a drastic way (especially when landscaping is not my favorite activity in the world).
With the satisfaction of a job well done, it's nice to revel in our recent accomplishment.
It's once again refreshing to return to a slower pace of living.
It's also exciting to give my back a rest, and let my mind go to work--writing, creating new mocktail recipes (a fabulous refresher to be posted shortly), and setting up the yoga studio to film a new, post-landscaping yin class (which will also be shared in the next few days).
With life always in motion, isn't it nice to cherish those moments of balance amidst it all?
As I write these words from my peaceful yoga space, looking out into the beautiful front yard, I sure think so!