The Start of Some Spring Cleaning

Monday, March 4

Hi friends! How was this past week? I was a little MIA - Danny and I took a much needed mini vacation up to northern Arizona. Some people would call us crazy - we left beautiful, breezy, 70 degree sunny weather for freezing cold mountains and snow. But Danny and I have a soft spot for cold and snow. And besides, our vacation looked like this: 



It was pretty amazing. We stayed at a snowboard/ski resort, but sadly had to leave our snowboards at home. I ran Ragnar the weekend before and ended up bruising/possibly stress fracturing the bottom of my foot. We were bummed that snowboarding was out of the picture, but we enjoyed the lovely gorgeousness all around us and had an amazing time. We also hit up the movies while we were there. Has anyone seen Warm Bodies? Hilarious. Seriously - we loved every minute of it. 

Anyways, it's March!! And that means springtime and sunshine and only another month or two before it gets ridiculously, unbearably hot out here! Haha - but really. Last year around April it was over 100 degrees. Crazy, I'm telling you. While the weather is still nice and cool, I've started into full spring-cleaning mode. First up, Danny and I wanted to get our yard done. We're renting our place right now, and we opted to do yardwork on our own instead of hiring someone else to do it like the tenant before us. Let me just say that yardwork is something I've grown up with my whole life. Mowing grass, raking leaves, tending a garden - you got it. But taking care of rocks? And desert plants? It's been a learning curve. 

Back in November, Danny and I cut back our lantana bushes in our front yard. Our landlord told us to cut them way back. We thought we had cut them far enough (they covered our entire yard - and they were beautiful), but then a freek freeze came through and killed all of the new growth. So we were left with this:


Not very pretty dead bushes. I wish I had a before picture when everything is in full bloom - it's beautiful! The flowers cover most of our yard - purples, and reds, and yellows. I can't wait for them to come back. To promote healthy growth, though, we had to give them some tough love and cut them all the way back to the nubs. Now our yard looks like this:


A lot more polished. It looks nice when you drive by it, but I'm itching for the flowers to bloom. I really think that we have the prettiest yard on the street when everything's flowering and out.

Speaking of flowers and plants, I have a confession - like many other poor souls out there, I have a black thumb. I can't grow anything to save my life. Yard plants are fine - they are hardy enough to endure my care. But potted plants haven't always fared so well under my hand. Luckily, though, I have an amazing friend named Sandra who is a plant whisperer. Some of her potted beauties she's had for 15+ years. 15!! We have a planting urn by our front door that has unfortunately sat empty since we moved in last year. I really wanted some bright pretty-ness to fill it up, so Sandra took me under her wing and showed me how to plant things the right way. 

We went to Home Depot on an early Thursday morning. I love early morning garden store trips. The light sun, the dew on the ground, the birds singing, the smell of grass and dirt... heaven, in my book. 


We passed these adorable succulents down one of the aisles. I just about melted. I really want some of these cuties lining our kitchen windowsill in brightly colored mini pots. I'm going to have to make that a reality sometime soon. 

After browsing around a while, we finally settled on some lovely red petunias:


Sandra helped me pot them in the urn. She told me all about petunias and how to take care of them. We talked about soil, and watering, and sunlight. She even figured out our automatic watering irrigation system so we could test it out and make sure it would water the plants ok. 


She bought some gorgeous yellow and purple pansies and a white flower like baby's breath for her own pots. She thought the colors would go beautifully with the petunias, so she so very nicely added a few to my urn!


And voila! They are so beautiful. I can't wait until the flowers start growing up and out. I already love them sitting beside our front door. And with the lovely Sandra's help, these little guys should survive just fine. 

Now, it's on to the rest of our spring cleaning! We tackled some of the back yard, but we've still got a little ways to go before it's cleaned up the way I'd like it to be. I did most of the front yard when Danny was off on a med school volunteer excursion, but this time he took charge of the back yard.


You can just barely spot it, but in the back between the two palm trees is a pretty little bouganvilla plant. It used to be huge and beautiful with gorgeous red/pink flowers all over the place... until that nasty freeze came in. And then it died. And it looked horrible. So I researched online about what to do and came across an article that said to cut it back. So I did. And then I found out that bouganvilla's typically go through 3 months of ugliness in the winter before they bloom again. Sigh. At least I didn't kill it, but I'm sad that it is going to take a while to grow back to how big it was before. 

Hopefully all yard work will be done in the next day or so. Then, it's on to the house. Which definitely needs some work. When I get into spring cleaning mode, I tend to pull out every.single.thing in every closet/drawer/cupboard/basket in the entire house. So right now our bedroom kind-of looks like this while I'm purging out our drawers, which isn't Danny's favorite. But hey - I usually only have to do a major revamp like this once a year, so I'm good with it.

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5 Responses to “The Start of Some Spring Cleaning”

  1. I love the pictures of your trip. And It looks like you're doing a great job taking care of your yard. I bet the landlords love you guys. I love bougainvillea. SO beautiful. Can't wait to see what it's like in full bloom. Oh, and I would have no clue on how to care for rock gardens/yards. And lastly, I'm very impressed with your spring cleaning. I'm trying to dejunk while getting us ready to move. I wish I had done it more all along. Miles and I have gotten rid of at least 50% of our closets too!

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  2. i'm jealous of your vacation! i could use some sunshine.

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  3. oh no about your foot! i hope it is ok now. your vacation looks wonderful, i wouldn't mind spending a few days up in the snow too

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  4. Spring cleaning is great for the soul, it always fills my heart with hope of a beautiful warm season ;) I love the flowers you chose, especially the purple pansies!

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  5. This has inspired me to do some spring cleaning! But I don't have a green thumb ;) I've nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check out my post here:
    http://www.somuchbetterwithage.com/2013/03/liebster-award.html
    Jamie
    www.somuchbetterwithage.com

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