When to Ask for Help

Does everyone remember the straight line I had in my front garden and how much I wanted to rid myself of it?  Well, it is straight no more.  The landscaping guys came today, and they were generous and wonderful to work with.  They moved all of my beautiful deciduous shrubs to a new spot and got right to work on the gardens.  I know the photos are small, but if you hover over them and the little blue symbol, the blog will bring up a larger photo.  You can also click on them to see a larger one although it will open in the same window.

After the last post, several people wondered why I hired a landscaper since I also do design work.  Sometimes, you just need to know when to ask for help.  By hiring someone who hasn’t gazed upon the same two places for the last 20 years, you get the benefit of  a fresh eye.  Let him/her work on the design problems which have been driving you mad, and if you like their ideas, say “yes.”  It is worth the money to stop making mistakes.  How many times have you bought plant after plant trying to get just the right look, and you find it doesn’t work because you still have the same design problems?

Also, see those gorgeous, mature Ilex x aquipernyi ‘Dragon Lady’ hollies?  There’s great value in a strong, young back.  After remodeling the house with HH for four years, I just don’t want to work that hard anymore.  Those guys popped my shrubs out of the ground in minutes.  Besides, I got to pretend I was Martha for a day.  I just pointed, and pretty soon my favorite deciduous shrubs were moved to their new homes.  It would have taken me hours, and I’d be ingesting Aleve for a week.

The boulders were also a consideration.  Tony and his crew delivered and installed five, lichen-covered boulders, placing them so that they looked like they were always there.  See that one sticking out just slightly into the sidewalk?  That was Tony’s idea to further break up the lines.  Now, all I have to do is a little tweaking.  Tomorrow, I’ll replant all of my bulbs and other perennials languishing next to the house.  The guys even left me some empty spaces to place them because they knew I wanted to keep them.  Any others they dug up in the planting process were placed in empty containers.

Then, I’ll place my angel in her spot and the fountain in the other garden.  You won’t see it immediately, but what a nice surprise it will be.

We now have more winter cover for the birds and berries for them to eat.

Oh, and the guys left me the smaller containers too so I can divide some plants in the spring.  Thoughtful, fast, courteous.

Can I just be corny and say “pleased as punch?”


  1. Looks great and won’t you be enjoying your gardens this Spring?? We’ve been enjoying some (mid-winter) nice temperatures lately! 😉

    Shady Gardener´s last blog post..We See-ed ’em, but I Didn’t Seed ’em!

    SG, oh yes we have. I’m afraid the garden is going to be fooled into thinking it’s spring.~~Dee

  2. linda says:

    It looks really beautiful Dee! I couldn’t agree more with you about knowing when to ask for help. It’s so hard to be objective about our own gardens, and it’s wonderful to have a fresh eye.

    linda´s last blog post..Too Cute!

  3. I keep thinking I need some fresh eyes for the front yard. As you say, I’ve stared at it for so long, I just can’t see it anymore. I know it isn’t the best it could be, and in fact has gone downhill over the years, but maybe if someone else took a look at it and offered some suggestions, I could revive it.

    To my eyes, your front entry looked good before, but now is so lovely and inviting with that curve there.

    And is that a log home you live in? How wonderful! I’ve always wanted to live in a log home…

    Susan Tomlinson´s last blog post..Split personality…

  4. Ooh, pointing sounds good. And the boulders sound a bit rocky. (Sorry.) Who needs to gobble aleve for a week? I say you done good, girl.

    themanicgardener´s last blog post..Doing it Right: Pearl Fryar’s Vision

  5. VW says:

    Dee – I’m glad to hear you have a dwarf spruce! Now if only my neighbors had a dwarf as well – their blue spruce is poised to take over part of my front yard in a decade or few. But how to politely ask them to remove it? They’re the kindest neighbors and I’d hate to offend them, so maybe I’ll keep quiet. Best wishes, VW

    VW´s last blog post..New Hardy Agapanthus for Zone 5

  6. kerri says:

    How wonderful to have help and play Martha for a little while! The path and gardens look terrific. They did a great job. Don’t overdo putting those bulbs back in the ground. Slow and steady wins the race…and saves the back 🙂

    kerri´s last blog post..Our Feathered Friends

  7. Pam/Digging says:

    Ah, to be Martha for a day. It all looks beautiful. I love the blue-greens of the pyramidal trees. They play so well off the color of the curvy sidewalk. It looks terrific! Congratulations.

    Pam/Digging´s last blog post..Going in circles: Designing a circular lawn

  8. Catherine says:

    It turned out great!

    Catherine´s last blog post..Good Morning!

  9. Zach says:

    Wow! It looks great!

  10. Marnie says:

    Love your sidewalk. Looks like they did a wonderful job.

  11. Gail says:


    It does indeed look great! Sometimes we do have to ask for help~~especially, in my case, it’s not just a fresh eye, it’s someone who can visualize when I can’t! gail

    Gail´s last blog post..Jennifer Juniper Lives Upon The Hill

  12. Oh I think it looks lovely Dee and I totally get the needing ‘fresh eyes’ approach.

  13. Brenda Kula says:

    I’m about to that point. I know I wouldn’t try to construct or remodel my house because I just simply don’t have the know-how. What makes me think I can do the same outside?

    Brenda Kula´s last blog post..Walking The Neighborhood

  14. Cindy, MCOK says:

    Dee, the new beds look great and I’m sure they’ll be even lovelier when you add your own touches. Your landscaper and his crew sound like a dream team. I’m happy for you!

    Cindy, MCOK´s last blog post..Happy Groundhog Day!

  15. commonweeder says:

    Wow! what a project! And what wonderful documentation. I love those boulders.

    commonweeder´s last blog post..Groundhog Day

  16. carolyngail says:

    Didn’t know I was repeating VW’s concern about the size of the Spruce! Sorry 🙂 That’s great that’s it’s a dwarf but even those can be 15 feet tall and 6 wide so it’s always good to leave some space between it and any structure, as you no doubt know.

    Aren’t you lucky to have so much free advice?

    carolyngail´s last blog post..GARDEN BLOGGERS’ MUSE DAY

  17. CurtissAnn says:

    You speak profound truth– there comes a time, and generally sooner is best, when to have help for these types of construction. How wonderful that you have learned to instruct– imho one of the most valuable of skills.

    CurtissAnn´s last blog post..Sites About Writers

  18. Okie Sister says:

    Love it.
    I want lichen covered boulders at my house too.

    Okie Sister´s last blog post..I Got a New Attitude

    Okie Sister, I’ll be glad to give you his name and address.~~Dee

  19. carolyngail says:

    Dear Martha,

    As you like to say : That’s a good thing 🙂

    Looks lovely, Dee but I do have one concern : How big is that Blue Spruce going to be eventually and how close is it planted to the house?

    carolyngail´s last blog post..GARDEN BLOGGERS’ MUSE DAY

    Hi CG, I’ve been promised it is a dwarf variety. It was one of the first things I asked him. I need to ask which cultivar it is so that I couldn’t put it in my garden journal though. He is supposed to give me a copy of the design and a list of plants, but he has to redo them because his computer crashed.~~Dee

  20. Lovely result Dee.
    You are so right about asking for help, sometimes a different perspective is needed, it is easy to get a tunnel vision in our own gardens

    Karen – An Artists Garden´s last blog post..Dinner Date

    Karen, I like the words tunnel vision. That is so true.~~Dee

  21. VW says:

    Looks so lovely! That path is so much prettier than plain concrete. How nice to have some strapping young ‘uns to do the heavy lifting. I assume that’s a dwarf form of blue spruce planted so close to the house? I’ve heard much grousing from friends who planted blue spruces too close to their homes and greatly regretted it a few decades later. Was I just sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong? Oops! I hope not! Regards, VW

    VW´s last blog post..Happy Anniversary, Little Blog!

    VW, you are always welcome to stick your nose in here. 🙂 Yes, I’ve been promised it’s a dwarf plant and won’t get much bigger than it is now. The ‘Dragon Lady’ hollies are also at their premium size. Thanks for asking.~~Dee

  22. deb says:

    It looks great Dee. I have some help scheduled to get my place into shape as well.

    Ooh, Deb, I can’t wait to see what they do to your place. You will show photos right?~~Dee

  23. Robin says:

    I wish the pictures were larger too. You’ll have to show us more! I’m thinking about all those bulbs, and can’t wait to see spring at your place.

    Robin´s last blog post..Window Bird Feeder

    Hi Robin, I’ll take more photos once I put the bulbs back in their spots. I’m afraid it’s all going to look like fruit punch next spring because, although I tried to keep everyone together, it was difficult. We’ll see.~~Dee

  24. mss @ Zanthan Gardens says:

    That’s fantabulous! I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to have someone with some design sense and the muscle-power to boot rearranging my landscape for me. How very cool!

    mss @ Zanthan Gardens´s last blog post..Brassica oleracea ‘Premium Crop’

    MSS, you have a nice, big city lot too. Just think of all the wonderful plants. I like dreaming about other people’s spaces too.~~Dee

  25. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Girl, I would be pleased as punch too if I had some hard working young men moving bushes for me. Yes, I can certainly ask for help. Do I know when to? Well, it is usually after a half dozen Aleve are ingested. 😉 Love the look of the walk. The boulder inching into the walk is a great touch. It will make people slow down and enjoy the scene. Well done Martha, uh I mean Dee.

    Hi Lisa, yes, me too. I had to ask HH for the money to help make the move, so he also get kudos for the help. I need to be sure and mention that. 🙂 Believe me, I already have days when I take several Aleve. With bulbs to move, today may be one of them.~~Dee

  26. Frances says:

    Hi Dee, they did a beautiful job, it looks great and your back has been spared, as long as you don’t overdo it replanting the bulbs and perennials. The Dragon Ladies are regal!

    Frances´s last blog post..Wait Nancy!*

    Thanks, Frances, now to get some muhly grass for the sunny deciduous area. Don’t you think that would look grand?~~Dee

  27. Diana says:

    That is fabulous, Dee. I love the new curved walkway. And what a great canvas you have now to make it all yours. “Guys” are great to come do the heavy lifting. I love having someone to use when I just can’t do it. Looks great!

    Diana´s last blog post..Chicago Spring Fling

    Thanks, Diana. We’ve got to save our backs. I say, always get some help, and these guys were so fast!~~Dee

  28. Oh, I do wish the photos were larger. Still, from what I can tell in comparing the new design with the straight line from before, it’s much improved.

    Yes, I agree that there is much value in the young, strong back. Sometimes, you just need to know when to ask for help, indeed.

    Now, can you send those fellers over here?

    Robin Wedewer

    Robin Wedewer´s last blog post..Consumers say "organic" is good–but too costly

    Hi Robin, I’ll try to post larger photos after I place the bulbs in the ground and add some more pansies and violas. I’ll be glad to send them. Don’t you wish we could teleport?~~Dee

  29. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    It looks terrific! One again I have serious boulder envy. They found some beautiful ones for you. The hardest part is knowing when you need to seek help.

    He did find some terrific rocks, and he threw in two extra. He’s a great guy.~~Dee

  30. It looks wonderful. I couldn’t agree more, ask for help! I had a similar situation not long ago, when I just couldn’t recon what the problem was. I asked a friend for his perspective and just like that, problem solved.

    Hi Helen, a fresh approach as we like to say, huh?~~Dee

  31. Liisa says:

    It looks wonderful!! I just love the Colorado Blue Spruce, and the lichen-covered boulders. Beautiful!!

    Liisa´s last blog post..Montreal Botanical Garden

    Thank you. I also like how he reused my ‘Little Rascal’ hollies in front. It will all grow in and be much fuller later.~~Dee

  32. Willi says:

    Your lovely, revamped front yard is such an inspiration! I love all the new stone.

    Willi´s last blog post..Different Perspectives

    Thank you, Willi. It was a fun day.~~Dee

Comments are closed.