Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Speaking of Gardens...

The Mister and I have been talking about the designs for the new garden area.  We are very close to having that area of the yard cleared out and we have lined up a tiller to get the ground ready for a few plants before the season is over (I want to get the strawberry plants we brought from the other house in the ground so they can root up before winter, not to mention the importance of getting rhubarb and asparagus going as soon as humanly possible!)

We have stood out in the dirt and pointed at things and we have laid in bed trying to explain our thoughts on what should go where and how we can add the chicken coop next spring and where exactly the gate will go but in order to get some concrete numbers about lengths of fencing and number of posts, we decided we should draw out the garden design.

So we did:

As you can tell from the drawing, we have a lot of work to do.

(The scariest part of this is that it makes perfect sense to The Mister and me!  We actually clarified a lot of things through this drawing!)

P.S.  Be grateful our school has a full-time art teacher and I'm not responsible for teaching the kids how to draw!

It's the Small Things

 I decided I needed labels for my herbs in my new herb garden.  I have a knack for forgetting what things are sometimes and I thought these would not only serve the practical function of keeping me from looking like an idiot when someone asked me what a particular plant was and would add a bit of decorative flair to the corner garden.  

Of course, an idea like "herb markers" MUST be google'd and then a billion images come up and I have more options than I ever dreamed of!  

The good news was that once I settled on a design I loved, I knew exactly who could help me make them into a Second Mom!!  She does amazing things with a wood burner!  Her beautiful lettering and creative skills were perfect for my rustic labels!  The Mister cut the boards and I, well, I tied the twine!!  
I think they turned out VERY nicely!

Basil is not an herb that I would ever forget as it's one of my faves, but the label looks adorable!

The oregano, spearmint and rosemary all got labels, too.  My Second Mom was kind enough to make plenty of other herb labels for when I get my garden up and running in full force!  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lesson Learned

The Mister was working with Big John on the garden area.  They had many stumps to pull out and a few things to burn in the Big Hole In the Ground.  I was around back of the house fighting a beast of a weed in a flower bed.  I heard The Mister yelling - I caught "Eliza!  Come quick!!"  There was more to what he said, but I was already running through the gravel worried that Big John had tipped over or the yard was on fire or The Mister was having a heart attack...

Reaching the front of the house, Big John and The Mister were parked mid-way down the drive way.  The Mister is still yelling, "Eliza!!!  Come here!!!"  but now I hear the rest of the sentence..."and bring your camera!!"

There was a snake, apparently, which The Mister loathes, but since he was up on Big John, he was able to admire from the safety of the yellow tractor seat.

I did not go fetch my camera.  I stood for a moment in the drive thinking, "Are you kidding me?!?!"  But then I returned to the back of the house to let the adrenaline and my emotions regain a normal tempo.  The Mister found me there and offered his sincerest apology.  I don't think he will scare his wife like that again.

But he would like me to get a picture of the snake.

A Riddle

When The Mister has his hatchet, Flash has the dog and his pocket knife, Flash's girl has a bowl in hand and I have my camera...what are we doing?  Going on our evening walk!!  The Mister likes to chop down vines and branches that grow over our walking paths.  The Girl likes to pick black raspberries (we all eat more than we put in the bowl); Flash handles the dog (a task that requires extreme alertness as there are rabbits to be chased!) and I try to snap a few photos.

Other Updates

I forgot to take "before" pictures, but this corner bed had annuals in it (that were not doing well.  I think she did exactly what we did and just planted something that would look good for the sale of the house, but not for the heat of the summer).  I decided this was the perfect place for my herb garden!!  So far I have oregano and rosemary but the woman at the farmer's market promised more varieties of sprouts next Saturday!  I am so excited!

This back area was filled with a very tenacious weed.  It looked like it MIGHT be an intended shrub or plant so I consulted the landscape design drawings the owners left us (and consulted Google) but decided it was all just a weed.  It took a LOT of digging and pulling to get it all out, but it's gone (for now).  I didn't put a lot of thought into this bed, just put in some of the perennials we brought from the old house.  With this area being fenced in, the perennials are safe from the deer (but might get peed on by the dog).  

Eli approved.  That's all that mattered.

The Garden Area (Thus Far)

We knew about where we wanted the garden.  Near the turn around in the driveway would be perfect.  A hose had already been strung to the site, and it would be nearby in the winter so we could keep an eye on the chickens.  Oh, did I mention I want chickens?  :)

This is what the area looked like when we moved in.  There were two small fenced areas where the previous owners had trees sprouting.  There was a compost pile and a heap of branches for burning.  Other than that, WEEDS!

Coming down the drive way, you wouldn't even know there was anything in there.

The prior owners had made a faux garden gate with vines.  I admire the effort, but the vines had taken over everything.  Including trees.  

On the first day, I located a weeping cherry tree!  It was adorable! 

The second day The Mister got out Big John (the tractor) and we employed my nephew to help haul things away (everything is more fun to a 14 year old boy when you let him drive the tractor!)  We found some beautiful mature trees once we got the ground cover cleared out.  We took out the one fenced area (and all the strange tree sprouts) and started to see sunshine!

We had no particular area in mind to clear, other than to see what was in the space worth saving and how could we help the are be more useful while preserving the beauty.  

 The third day The Mister and his tractor worked alone.  They pulled out the stumps from all the small trees we had pulled out previously.  While not much appeared to have changed, the ground became more usable!!  (Oh, and The Mister sure had fun!)
The most significant change came on our most recent day of working on the garden area.  (The whole area will NOT be a garden.  Some will be grass, some will be landscaped, but the area looks so much better cleared out!)  We cleared a large area behind and beside the weeping cherry. 

Now we are REALLY getting some sunshine in!!

We left a beautiful tall oak tree along with a couple fruit trees (cherry?  We aren't sure).  There were vines taking over many of the trees, but we got most out (I'm saving the dead vines to maybe make an arbor).  

We are really getting excited about this space.  It balances out the other side of the driveway much better (which is grass and landscaping) and gives us lots of room to put in a garden and a chicken coop!

Note: Somewhere in this great area is The Mister's cell phone.  Buried.  He may have used "ramming speed" on Big John to dislodge a stump.  He got the stump, but somewhere in the battle, lost his phone.  Sigh.  Sacrifices!