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Sunday, August 04 2013 23:31

Gardening: Replacing the Bush of Doom with Summer Survivors... and Corn.

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Gardening is a part of our daily routine here at Rock Father HQ. While we've got a lot of basic maintenance-type stuff to do, we occasionally fall into an oddball project, and last month we had one. The removal of The Bush of Doom... and the rebirth of the area from which it came.

The Bush of Doom - Circa Spring 2013On the corner of our deck was a gigantic evergreen - a piece than my wife never liked, and one that I'd struggled to keep trimmed since we moved here a few years back. It was so large that it shaded out some grass, completely blocked our shed from the view of the house, and was a haven for mosquitos (along with who-knows-what underneath it). This past winter, the weight of a heavy snow managed to split the thing in three spots, effectively sealing it's doom. Problem is, I couldn't get any of the 4,000+ local tree establishments to come cut the thing down (apparently they're not big on emails or phone calls). Eventually, I finally borrowed a clippers from a neighbor and hacked the whole thing down myself - manually - on June 26. My almost-four-year-old was more than happy to help carry off the pieces...

Destroying the Doom Bush...

The stump could still use some work, but I did what I could. Now we were left with a pretty large area that needed some sprucing up - especially since the rest of the deck is surrounded with perennials that we've been nurturing over the years.

Some fresh SunflowersRather than go 100% the perennial route, I decided to take a different approach, setting up this corner as a "seasonal feature" - a focal point of the yard that the girls and I can have some fun with. So, on June 30, Addie and I made a trip to Home Depot and grabbed some Scott's Earthgro Mulch, some Miracle-Gro Garden Soil, and a small assortment of Sunflowers and Vigoro Summer Survivors. Some much-needed color to liven up the now-barren corner.

But some prep would be needed...

We stripped everything and mixed the existing soil and decaying mulch together with the Miracle-Gro Garden Soil to create a new, nutrient-rich base for our new flowers. Addie couldn't resist plopping herself into the fresh dirt, so she played "construction site" for a little bit, and then helped pick out where the new flowers would eventually go. You can see how things progressed below...

Transformation...

Sunflowers...Not content with just setting this up for "the now," Addie and I did one other step between the planting of the flowers and the placement of the mulch. We had some Hollyhock's that we'd grown from seed for a couple of years, and for whatever reason, they never came back this year. Thinking ahead, we planted some Hollyhock seeds in here (close to the deck) in the hopes that we'll have some of those nice, tall flowers there starting next year. But for this Fall, we planted some Corn as an ornamental in strategic locations. If all goes as planned, we'll be making this area into a Fall Feature this year, complete with Pumpkins, Gourds, Straw Bales, etc. And what better backdrop than some honest-to-goodness Corn? We've grown it in the garden before, but never for decoration. This is what it looked like a week ago...

The New Plants Rise...

I'll keep you updated on what it looks like as we move closer to Fall. Give me a follow on Instagram (new!) or a like on Facebook to keep up!

Are you doing any fun Garden projects this summer?

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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