Monday, June 15, 2015

Front side yard really filling in. Maybe too much!

Got a feeling I need to divide the perennials this coming fall or spring. It would be nice if the other side of the house was ready for planting then I'd have a place to put all the extras.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

New Design Idea For Front Yard

Still wanting that addition so I can have a decent entry room to be a drop zone and way to keep the rest of the house clean. I'm telling you it would be worth it!!!!!!

Plus I love brick edging around blocks of concrete. I don't even need to change the siding to be happy with this look.

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 2015 CRASH Garden Hit By Tree!

Silver Maples.... Should be called spaghetti Maple.

I watched it happen in horror. My husband came in to our bedroom and said that's a good way to get killed. But I was stunned. I was standing in the window watching the wind whip the neighbor's trees like they were nothing and one came and reached out and looked like it was about to come through the very window I was standing at and then a loud crack. THANK YOU  Lord for sparing me as I was just standing there in awe of the sheer power of that wind and could very well have been hit by that tree. So it destroyed the back half of my garden. A very upsetting event you would think but I was grateful to be alive. 

I'll certainly never forget what it looked like when it snapped. It was so mesmerizing. It looked like Indiana Jones' whip just reached out and was about to brush my face when it cracked. 

Tree 1 Birdbath 0

Wow that was a lot of that tree. 
Definitely ruined.

Wheelbarrow in sorry shape as well.
Back fence and side fence also damaged. 

The back half of the garden has been a mess every since... 10/22/2016

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How long does it take to build one garden bed?

Longer than I thought! Although I must say the second bed is larger and I had no help. So I wanted to make a bed before heading to Chicago for the weekend. Pat is already up there. Joe is at "Summer Camp" with the truck. Rylie can't lift a block. She even tried! Because I have these tomato plants I orded from Territorial seed months ago and had them arrive May 15th because I was sure we would have the beds ready by then. NOT!!!!
Derek's Truck

So I borrowed a friend's truck this morning and was at Menard's before 9 am.
50 Blocks!

I also bought a hand truck as recommended by Dr. Miles, our chiropractor. Then of course I had to assemble the hand truck and finding appropriate wrench was a challenge.
Hand Truck

So I put on sunscreen and started unloading the blocks and setting them. Each block weighs 30 lbs. Not bad but it adds up. I quickly drank my first 2L of crystal light.

I assigned Rylie the pool dredging to remove all the leaves. She lasted 10 minutes before complaining but she worked on it on and off. Then we decided to go ahead and drain it so we could clean it right and start off on the right foot this year.
Green Pool
We had some ducks hanging around last week but luckily I think they deemed our back yard too hazardous which was wise. BUT we're afraid they ate our frogs. :-( 

So here's the front of the garden. The salvia and baptisia are amazing this year.

So I took a break when I almost had first layer done around 1 pm. I realized this is not exactly an easy job. I knew it wouldn't be but I guess I was hoping for a miracle. I also began to realize my design was very flawed.

The zig zag side didn't look right like I planned and my alteration left me with spaces that were not block length. My thinking with this design was to try and capture more sunlight because the neighbors trees have grown over into our yard and cast a lot of shade now on the back half of the garden. We need to trim them back but even if we do there is one very tall tree in the yard behind ours that still casts shade from 3 pm on or it did today. But there was shade around 1 pm from the next door neighbors!!! Argh! So by stairstepping it something tall like tomatoes each one can be in the direct path of the rising sun. Capeche?
Half filled with dirt. 

But I had originally assumed the blocks would be 12" and they're 16" so that messed it all up. So back to the drawing board-ish. But this bed is here for this year anyway. 

My bed doesn't look close to as good as the one Pat did. :-(
For how big it looks in it looks like I can only fit 6 tomato plants. Sigh.... I have 9. But I may extend the bed and do away with the areas in between. Then I can fit 2 and I can walk on the blocks to get to them. We talked about putting a capstone on them but if I don't I will probably fill them with soil and plant marigolds. 

Pool about drained.... now we just have to clean out the rest of the slime! And I swear I'm going to used the broken up concrete to make a retaining wall by the garden. Anyone else ever do that?
See that pile of rocks, that was our back patio slab.

OK I'm officially worn out. But one last thing on my to do list. Flowers for dad.
Love you and miss you Dad!

I also like to visit the angel headstone nearby. Very moving....

Rylie wearing last years pants as capris!
Very productive day.... took a long hot bath and feel human again. Peace out!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring has sprung! Saturday in the yard.

Had a good day working in the yard. Uncovering perennials and already fighting the creeping Charlie. Edged the rose bed after spreading manure on the roses and the asparagus.
Asparagus is already 3 feet tall if you can see it.
Between our piling some wood for a couple weeks and the utility company doing some digging we have some large patches of dirt next to our yard. They're on the "communal through way" that goes along side our yard to one block over.
The creeping Jenny and 'Big Ears' Stachys surprised me with how good they look together. The 'Elegantissima' Red Twig Dogwood is also super pretty.
I love the purple creeping phlox.  Or should I say lavendar or blue. 
Isn't this Columbine beautiful!
I love these Pansies! They look like they have dark eyes.
Closeup on the pale blue phlox.

We definitely need the rain promised on Sunday.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Ember's Vegetable Garden Version 2.0

It's been 5 years since we went from a chain-link fenced in 15x24 patch of clay to the 15x54 garden I have now.

Apparently that's about how long untreated wood will last when you use 10" or 12" boards for retaining your raised beds. So time to replace them and I've thought long and hard on how I want to do it. I've decided on concrete block with a capstone and then staining or possibly covering with a stone veneer.

Here's the first re-done bed. It will also function as a cold frame.
The one's along the house will now be flush with the wall. 

Looking toward the entrance to garden from front yard. 

Looking toward back yard. 
Couple of things I forgot in first bed but want to remember for the rest. 
1. Consider lining with hardware cloth or some type of chicken wire to keep out moles/rabbits/etc.
2. Insert PVC or metal pipe to add polytunnels? Or may just make a frame for several sections out of wood with cold frame like hinged top.
3. The capstone I want is on clearance at Menard's for $0.63 each! Wow how awesome is that!

Lay out for the rest of the beds is no longer going to be just rectangles that's boring and I can fit more garden space in by different shapes and also going to avoid some shade. The left page is the back and the right page is towards the front. The already build bed is the bed in the lower righthand corner.