Hands in the dirt

US Wealth Napolitano |

By: John P. Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, PFS, MST

I’m one of those guys that likes to get my hands dirty- in the garden of course.

Now that we are two summers deep into my newly designed landscape for the “still new” home, I’m very happy with our progress. In the front, we went with the small,

decorative lawn and a large, drought resistant planting bed look. After this summer, I’m glad we did. While I still pray for rain, I’m not hopeful that this drought will end soon. It didn’t seem to matter to the collection or ornamental grasses and shrubs that we planted. This was a banner year, and they are still growing.

Not to be outdone, this is the year of the back-yard… the way back-yard. When we purchased the teardown of a home 3.5 years ago, the formerly incredible gardens of a prior owner were overgrown and overcome with weeds, a ton of unwanted saplings and many half fallen trees. In the spring of COVID, we cleared everything out so we could at least see what was growing under all that mess. We found a few good surprises… Hosta, Lily, Phlox, Ivy, Hydrangea and a few things I can’t spell.

This past week, we took care of the rear border. Some 330 feet from the front border, this needed a lot of TLC. So after sketching out what I thought would look good, we proceeded to implement the rear quarter landscape plan. A day of clearing and bed building, a day of digging and planting, a day for lipstick and mulch to keep the weeds down. 

Now the rear border is decked with Green Giant Abor Vitae, Leyland Cypress, Japanese Black Pine, Hooks Chinese Juniper, Japanese Stewartia and a few ornamental grass pods that we got by thinning out the beds in the front.

The only part that still needs dressing up is the middle part. The beds are already marked, and contain material from the gardens of the past. A little weeding, edging and adding a few more specimens and this yard will be done. My wife seems to think that my plan is to complete a landscape job and then look for another house. Hopefully she is not right this time. It may not be the Arnold Arboretum, but we are getting closer. We’ll call it the Nap Arboretum, chapter 5.