I haven’t posted since March? Well, we’re not dead – we just moved!
The Complete Package pulled the trigger on retirement and the lure to be close to our grandkids was just too strong for me, so we packed up our stuff and we moved to Beverly. Hills, that is. Okay, not Beverly Hills exactly, but we did move to the hills west of Austin. Hello, Hill Country!
Two weeks after we moved into our new home, we were hit with a massive hail storm that blew out three picture windows, totaled TCP’s truck, dented the guttering, destroyed our roof and beat our landscaping to a pulp. (Stupid hail.) Not the welcome we expected, but it didn’t dampen our love for the new place. It just meant we had more work to do. And we still absolutely love it.
While we wait for contractors to fix the big stuff, we started on the yard with a little help from OXO. Their Spring Gardening campaign kicked off just as we were preparing to redo the flower beds. Perfect timing! The box of tools they sent were exactly what we needed.
I’ve made no bones about the fact that I love OXO products. Their commitment to smart design at a great price continually knocks me out. They don’t just design comfortable handles, for example. They add gel pads to the grips to prevent blisters. Ergonomic and comfortable for the win!
I decided to start with the hand plow and tackle replacing the salvia that got beat literally to death. Hail hath no fury? Try telling that to the salvia.
Because of the pointed tip, I could literally plow through the rock to the soil beneath. This is a serious hand tool. Besides digging rocks, I also used it to re-trough the edge of the bed where approximately two gallons of tiny gravel from our asphalt shingles washed off the roof. Apparently, when golf ball size hail beats your roof badly enough, all that gravel will indeed come off and end up in your yard, which is totally bizarre. But fear not! The hand plow is your friend.
Next, we tackled trimming the broken branches from our oak trees and bushes. (Stupid hail.) I don’t have any idea what this bush is, but I like it. Could it be a blueberry bush? Only time will tell. If you recognize it, feel free to shout it out.
The bypass pruners made quick work of those branches and also helped me clean up our poor agave. He did not fare so well with the hail. Poor guy had holes blown all the way through his fronds.
Once he was spruced up, I used the hand rake to create a zen pattern in the sand. You know… to help calm him and restore order. Quick question: Do you talk to your plants? I’m asking for a friend.
And the hand rake I mentioned? Wait until you get a load of it. Man, I love this thing. It’s the Edward Scissorhands of hand tools.
We used it to help spread new mulch because the storm washed all of our previous mulch into the adjacent greenbelt. (Stupid hail.) What I loved about this rake is that it’s expandable. Did you hear that? I said expandable!
You can’t help but play with this thing, but the truth is it’s so functional and easy to use. TCP dumped piles of mulch, and I played with the new hand rake. I mean I ‘worked hard to improve the beds’. (Sometimes I wish he didn’t read my blog.) It made getting into tight nooks and crannies super easy.
Because you can release the lock and adjust the rake width in or out, you can put that mulch into any corner instead of accidentally flinging it out into the grass. That’s a big bonus for a klutz like me.
Now for my personal favorite – the Pour & Store Outdoor Watering Can. I’m telling everyone about this puppy. It’s pure dynamite. The spout actually swivels so you can fill and store with ease. What?!? You heard right!
And it holds 2+ gallons of water! You’d think that would be heavy and awkward to carry, but it’s really not. The can is so well balanced, you can grab it and go. And you don’t have to constantly peek into the can to see if it’s full yet, because the handle is translucent and you can see the water as it fills. See what I mean? The designers at OXO are so smart! Why did no one think of this before? Why didn’t I think of it before? I coulda’ been RICH, I TELL YOU!
Other features that rock – the pivoting spout that allows you to fold and store easily and the removable spout head that goes from rain function to full stream with a twist. You’d better believe I am watering ALL the things now.
Once you’re done, give it a quick wipe, twist the spout back around and pop it under a kitchen cabinet. Pure genius.
We had so much fun playing with our new toys, we got a wild hair and planted a herb container for the front entry. In case you’re wondering, I’m already planning a Margherita pizza around that basil. ‘Hey, Basil…looking good! What, these? Oh, they’re just bypass pruners. No big whoop.’
It felt good to stand in the driveway and look over our work. The beds look good again. The plants are pruned, watered and feeling loved again. The oaks are still bruised and holding a grudge, but 2 out of 3 landscapers agree that they’ll probably recover and grow to be big and strong despite the trauma they endured.
Yes, we are still waiting for guttering and the roof to be replaced, but we really can’t complain. It could have been worse, that’s what insurance is for, and no one got hurt. For that, we are truly thankful.
Now if OXO could just design a shingle remover and a guttering installer tool, we’d be set. Go ahead, guys. I know you can do it, and I’m willing to wait.
Up Next: An update on the inside of our new house, including photos from that storm. (Stupid hail.)
NOTE: As a member of the OXO Blogger Outreach Program, I am occasionally given the opportunity to test OXO products, which I receive at no cost to me. I do not receive any other compensation and all opinions are my own. If you are a blogger and would like more information on the OXO Blogger Outreach Program, CLICK HERE.
15 responses to “Spring Outdoor Gardening With OXO”
Yard is looks good! Hope you get the roof fixed soon. :)
Yard is looking good, stupid spell check….stupid hail!
Hey, Sis! I’m loving our yard and the variety of beds (rock, mulched & sand) and the new types of plants we have to choose from here. I’m looking for those purple paddle cactus and some lavender now. Woohoo! It’s so different here, even though it’s only 3 1/2 hours from our old house. We’re loving it!
I am so sorry to hear about the damage to your new lovely home! Hope it will all be fixed quickly. We miss you hear in Mo. City. Keep the posts coming. Pat
Thanks, Oatpunts. We’re dealing with it one day at a time and doing what we can. Other than the storm, we love it! The new house is fantastic, and we couldn’t love it or our neighborhood more. It’s so pretty here! -j
I’m so glad to see you surface, Jeanne! I’ve been meaning to write you. So glad you are getting settled in to your new home and routine. My son was just in the midwest with all the storms. He was driving my Jeep. And I now have a few tiny chips in my windshield. So I agree….stupid hail! These tools look great. I think I’m going to at least invest in that watering can. Can’t wait to see more of your new place, especially your kitchen and what good things will come out of it! Hugs to you….Anne
How did I miss the launch of your new website?! It’s beautiful, and I’m so excited for your new blog. I’ll be following both now. That OXO watering can is amazing. I’m looking for excuses to water things now. You definitely need one. More pictures of the house to come. Just trying to get settled first. It’s slow, but it’s happening! Hugs back- jeanne
You make disasters sound fun! What a great attitude, thanks for the smile :)
Thanks so much. Even with the storm, we still love our new home in the hills. The new guttering is in and they finished the roof today. So thankful for great insurance and a terrific builder. We are so fortunate. Can’t wait to dig into your new blog. -jeanne
Just wondering how you are doing with all of the current rain and storms. Are you and all of yours alright?
Yes! Thank you for checking on us. The new house is in top of a big hill, so we are high & dry. Our daughter is in a lower part of Austin, but drainage held and they are dry, too. We sure picked a heck of a spring to move to the Austin area, but we still love it to pieces. And it’s not like Houston missed it. They are under water, too. -j
Oh, thank goodness you are all alright. We were on holiday when we saw the news and I have been thinking about you ever since. Now that I can quit worrying, let us proceed to the smaller, yet no less intriguing questions in life: what is that funky mulch you’re raking all over your garden? I know mulch to be a dull brown, but this… this I like. It makes your plants look otherworldly green. I think the British Chelsea Flower Show would have a field day with this stuff, if only they knew… *insert evil laugh here*
Take care & happy gardening! Hugs, Claudia
We’re fine here. This has been a spring for the record books with our hail, tornados & torrential rain. On the upside, our drought is over. Hooray!
That mulch is called Texas Black organic mulch. It is a stunning shade of black which really made our beds pop. It will eventually fade from black to gray, but it will take months. My new obsession is cacti & succulents. I am loving the different climate of Austin and the new house.
When are you coming to Texas?
Hugs Back! -jeanne
Jeanne, I’m so sorry to learn the hail prevailed in the way it did, beyond the roof which is what I was previously aware of. You’re on it though; one day at a time. (stupid hail) In a way, though, you’re putting your own stamp on the new digs, and what a lovely abode it is! Be well, my friend. I’ll send a pineapple note soon. :)
Thanks, Brooks. We’re almost back to 100%. It’s just minor stuff now, all of which is cosmetic. We are finally starting to feel settled, and we absolutely love it here. Can’t wait for a pineapple update! -j