Apr 28, 2014

In the Front Yard

As the weather warms up, the front yard is starting to look decent again. I still need to dig up a few dandelions, but the crabgrass preventer/fertilizer we put down on the lawn a couple of weeks ago has really greened the grass up nicely. We’ve had to mow twice already it’s so lush and our neighbors haven’t at all. We freshened up all the black mulch with a fresh coat and it looks so good. Then Mike dug a trench between the garden beds and the grass to create a nice clean edge and we added another layer of mulch (which is why it’s two-toned, the fresh stuff was still wet when I took the pictures). The trench was a huge pain but it will make a big difference when doing the edging on the lawn and keep everything looking really sharp.

One strange thing I noticed while mulching was that my boxwoods were making noise. I’d noticed they were browning and looking very sickly, I figured they were damaged during the brutal winter (most of our bushes lost quite a few branches sadly) and might have to be replaced. But when I was near them, it sounded like a bowl of rice krispies. I thought I was going crazy, but Mike confirmed the weird rustling sounds. I googled “noisy boxwood” and it turns out to be a real thing - boxwood leaf miners are inside my boxwood leaves eating it from the inside out. Great. Apparently they are very hard to get rid of. They look awful.

After noticing ours, I’m now seeing it on boxwoods all over the place. They are brown and dead and dying everywhere I go - so it must be an epidemic. It’s frustrating - boxwoods are expensive!

We’re postponing our mailbox garden. As I mentioned last week, the new plants arrived, including the ones I want to use in the new mailbox garden. We temporarily planted them in the backyard for safe keeping and I’m glad we did that because we realized over the weekend that we have to hold off on this new front garden. We still want to move the mailbox soon - I already called to have our gas lines and water lines marked, but our street is slated to get Belgian block curbing this spring/summer. We were told by the town engineers that they might have to rip up and replace up to 3 feet of our driveway. So if they do that much damage to our driveway, they could do that much damage to our front yard too. It would be a really bad idea to plant a nice garden with beautiful plants, only to have them rip it up. So the plants for the mailbox garden will remain in the backyard until after the construction. In the meantime we’ll just move the mailbox to start.

Last but not least, more flowers. I might have a problem. While buying more mulch at Home Depot over the weekend, I saw columbines on sale - 2 for $5. How could I resist? Since they are part sun to part shade, I planted them in the front yard (which gets less sun than the back) by the porch steps. Aren’t they so pretty? One will probably get moved to the mailbox garden later, but again that’s on hold temporarily.


  1. We've got the same problem with our boxwoods. I had to dig out the three on the side by the driveway, but luckily the other three haven't been effected (yet!).

    1. It's so frustrating! Our lesser-effected one seems to be doing better, but the ravaged one still looks pretty awful. I'm giving it a couple more weeks and then I'll probably have to dig it up like you! Such a bummer - boxwoods are so expensive.