Functional Exercise to the Max

Yard guy challenged me yesterday. He brought over the “scoop” of dirt from the nursery and got it all into the bed, even though it was raining. And then he said, as he left, “next time I come over, let’s get this yard cleaned up and finished, and then we can go on to the next project.” Now, I KNOW he did not mean that I was supposed to get it all done before he came over. But there is a LOT to do out there, and a lot of it involved MAKING DECISIONS (not my strong point.) So after a sleepless night where my mind went in an endless loop of “we could move this plant there” and “we could put this one in the ground,” I decided to give up my trip to the gym today in favor of some functional exercise. What I can’t show you is the huge pots that I dragged here and there to see if that’s where I wanted to put them. I emptied some of the pots out, and put the soil in the bed, because we didn’t have quite enough soil to fill in the whole area.

I pruned a lot of bushes and trees (decisions required…) and then I finally had lunch. After lunch I wanted to do something that didn’t require any decisions. So I turned this:


into this:


And then I did a phone consult with my landscape adviser (I had emailed her a picture of the big maple that started this whole project,) and she gave me the courage to go out and prune the big maple! (This poor maple was in that small box and really suffered the last two years. After seeing it looking so stark, I was afraid that it was just too misshapen to do anything with.)

So after my afternoon coffee break, I turned this:


into this:


That required getting the ladder out and taking multiple trips up and down the ladder to make sure I was pruning the right branch. I don’t know if you can see the difference in the photos. In person, it makes me a lot happier. I think there’s hope for it to get healthy now.

Here’s a look at the preliminary stuff I’ve added to the bed.


Noah LOVES THE new bed. I imagine he thinks he can do a better job of surveying his kingdom from a higher vantage point. He also cuts the corner and was mashing the poor little primroses that I planted, so I had to put a little fence up for a while.


All in all, a very good day of functional exercise. I bet I’ll sleep a little better tonight!

10 thoughts on “Functional Exercise to the Max

  1. I think pruning a tree is one of the hardest things for a layman to do – I might see that it needs help, but where to start practically paralyzes me. You did a good job with the maple – it looks refreshed without looking scalped. Way to go with your stair-stepper workout (aka the ladder)!

    Love the pots of color by the new bed! It’s coming along quite nicely!

    And that was one incredible wood stack you made. How’s your back feeling after all of that?

    • Thanks for saying that pruning a tree is practically paralyzing. That’s exactly how I feel. Once I start, I enjoy the process. LOL on the stair stepper. I was surprised that the ladder didn’t bother me that much. And my back feels great this morning, probably thanks in part to my little friend, motrin. Goal is to get another stack done today.

  2. Pruning is enough to leave me shaking! I hate pruning anything. You have to be so brutal with roses and I still never prune enough.

    Again, so jealous of your project. I wish I lived out there and could help you! I also love those stepping stones. Did you make those?

    • Oh yes! The rose pruning. I was pretty good at that back when I used to have roses. Hey, that reminds me, yesterday I was planning what I still wanted to do with the yard, and since this bed is mostly still a shade garden, I thought it would be really fun to build a similar enclosure and make it a sun garden. We’ll see what yard guy thinks about that idea. I could put a rose bush in there!

      No, I didn’t make the decorative stones. I am surprised at how sturdy they are. I just collected them over the years. I would like to make some myself, and have bookmarked directions several times. Why don’t you come out and we could do it together. I’m sure they wouldn’t charge you much for getting them back on the airplane!

      • Um, can i come to the stone-making party, too? (I’ll stack some wood to get an invite.)

        Seriously great workout, Debby. I prefer the functional workout over the gym any day of the week.

  3. wow, moving and stacking that much wood is insane! We chopped down a lot of trees when we first bought our place and dealing with the leftover logs is such a huge pain, but truly a good full body workout. Your garden area is looking so so cute!

  4. Looks good Debby, you had to have slept well after your day of landscaping and tree pruning. You garden is really starting to take shape.

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