Thursday, April 27, 2017

Misty morning musings..

It’s a misty foggy morning here, so while the laundry tumbles and I wait for the sun to shine, I’m taking a moment to have a cup of coffee and reflect on my garden plans, schemes and dreams. 

All our property has massive potential I mean really 5 acres is nothing to laugh at these days.  We however aren’t going to be cutting down all the trees on the property and the overgrowth of weeds on the outside of the fence would require a herd of goats and men to clean it all up.  Then there is the whole up keep thing, I can only do so much on my own and my husband, well he just isn’t into gardening.

I don’t know if it’s a gardener/non-gardener thing or man/woman but where I see possibility I think he just sees, leaves, weeds, work, rocks, mud, etc. etc.  For example there is an area off to the side of our shed, that spot had some dead stumps in it. Now he saw something to haul off into the woods where I saw something that if surrounded by ferns and other woody plants would look interesting.

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This is year 2, I started with just a few ferns, a couple of hosta and a bleeding heart.  The leaves need to be mulched, the weeds pulled but it is starting to look like what I ‘saw’ when I looked at those stumps. Something old and ancient surrounded by fern fronds, something that spoke of the trees that use to be.  Maybe this area needs a fairy too…

The former home of the beehvies is a hot mess of weeds and violets.  There are a handful of plants that I want to save, waiting to be transplanted but what to do with the area?  My ultimate dream is a garden shed of my very own.  A place to pot up plants, a place to store my tools, my pots, my dirt, my pond supplies.  A place that has windows and light and is quirky and maybe even cute.  Maybe something in this style…

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A little paint, maybe stone around the bottom, something that reflects my eclectic nature and it could be perfect.  It could sit right at the end of this ‘path of leaves’, nestled there like a magical cottage that has always been.  Maybe the area in front becomes a well tended herb garden, with boxes and rows or maybe I transplant the hydrangeas here and let them fill in the area with their giant blooms. 

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I can see it with a little field stone patio in front, a comfy chair to sit in after a long day of gardening?

Here’s another one for you, I’ve said for years (and years) that we needed a path through the grass.  Our backyard is sloped and adding a path at the sort of flat point seemed like a good idea.  Now my idea for the path are big pieces of irregular slate or some other flat stone sunk low enough to mow over.  Something like this..

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Now tell me wouldn’t that look perfect right through there..

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Guess who made this path, not me, Cooper and Tucker! This path could lead from the deck stairs around to the back door and heck we could go crazy and run it right to my little garden shed, or to the pond or the gazebo even!  With the stones in the ground there is nothing to worry about, the grass would fill in between and maybe the mud would even be subdued.

I pinned this one a long time ago to my gardening board. 

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This is my dream vision for my backyard gardening area, a meandering path that takes you to different places to sit and relax, or maybe see a quirky sign or a magical fairy.  Granted I haven’t got nearly enough plants (yet) for things to be this dense but the path with the plants off to the sides, I knew this was what I wanted.

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It’s not there yet, but it’s getting there plant by plant.  I trust my crazy ideas and I love seeing my dreams and visions come to fruition.  They may not always be clear to others, they may seem like a mess or jumble, but the idea is there.  It just takes time, work and dedication to get from the glimmer of a dream in my head, to something you can walk and admire….

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A break in the rains..

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Last weekend Randy worked very hard to get the gazebo roof completed.  It’s been a long time coming but I love how it turned out.  We pressure washed it to get it ready for some quality sitting time this summer. 

I didn’t get a lot of time outside this week the rains came and hung around making it to wet to weed or plant.  The one day I did get out though, I worked all around the pond area trying to get the work done before the plants exploded in growth, I barely made it!  I did however manage to get the topsoil, leaf grow mix added to the pond walls and leveled out the stones.  I also managed to get the weeds out and the mulch down.  I still need to attach the stones but that’s another day when it’s dry out.

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Today with a break in the rain we moved quick tackling a bunch of little things; moving some outdoor furniture, spreading mole repellent, cleaning out under the deck, mowing the front lawn, moving a massive pile of pots to the front for recycling, spreading some pine straw under the azaleas in the back and installing the water canon in the back flower bed.

Several years ago I bought some metal frogs that were brightly painted and I wanted to mount them to the gazebo.  I asked Randy to drill holes in them and he eventually did but they hadn’t gotten mounted.  Today he mounted them only the way he did it is leaving me with a really gruesome feeling.

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Those nails were not quite what I had in mind and while he doesn’t understand, it’s freaking me out.  I wanted a smaller nail, much smaller that I could put a dot of paint on so the frogs would just look like they were hanging, not like they’d been, nailed.  Yeah, we gotta do something about that.

In other and much less gruesome news, the azaleas that were planted to hide the heat pumps are doing very well, even though the deer ate them last fall when they broke in to the backyard.  They don’t all bloom at the same time which is not really a bad thing, because it means lots of flowers at different times, but I bet they would be amazing blooming all together.  I  guess I need those guys that do Amen corner to come take care of mine!

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Speaking of blooms, I’ve been waiting years to see this bloom,

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It’s been eating by deer, mowed over multiple times and now transplanted to a safe spot behind a crepe myrtle.  Maybe one day it will even manage to climb into the crepe myrtle but for now, I’m so happy to see all these beautiful flowers!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

A day in the yard..

Living where we do has a lot of perks, it’s private, usually quiet and there is a lot of wildlife around.  We are free from any homeowners association (which I will NEVER be a part of again!) and we are surrounded by trees so we typically don’t feel the blazing heat that people in concreted areas do.  Plus leaves and sticks well they make great mulch.

There are some downsides though, the wildlife can be destructive, all those trees drop a lot of leaves, cast a lot of shade and drop a ton of sticks.

It was a beautiful day and so I decided to forego inside stuff and move to some outside stuff.  What should I tackle first?  Ah, I know…

My very neglected area around the gazebo and pond, the sticks, the leaves, the weeds, oh my!  I needed a plan and so I started by collecting all the sticks and hauling them off to the stick pile.  Then I raked leaves, and raked leaves, and raked some more leaves.  When I started it looked like this.

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When I finished it looked like this.

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I ended up with 2 large and 1 huge pile of leaves that will need to be removed.  I also decided that I’m going to spend a lot of time over here this year.  I’ve got a lot of weeding to do and I want to concentrate on making this area heavily planted and easier to maintain.  The leaves are a blessing and a curse, they make great mulch but the problem is they encourage ticks.  Woodchips and shredded mulch ticks don’t like so I’m thinking of getting mulch for closer to the pond and using the woodchips in the ‘woods’.  It should also make leaf removal a little easier.

I found some things that made me very happy while I was over here.

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I have been nursing this holly along for years!  It started out as a 2 leaf sprig and I have taking care of it and hoping it would grow. I was so happy to see how much it had grown!  I love hollies and would love to have more evergreens in our wooded areas, there is very little cover for the birds in the early spring and winter. 

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My mom gave me this lungwort and I didn’t think any of it had survived so I was delighted to see this little clump blooming away.

My helpers had a great time outside, but Cooper decided that the shade cast by the gazebo was the place to be!

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My final project before coming in was a temporary fix to a problem that I’m blaming Tucker for, as prior to him, Cooper never did this!

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Tucker feels why walk around the outside when you can cut through the middle and better yet, why go into the grass to pee when you can pee right here.  So I put up some fence and put some stakes in the ground when I ran out of fence in hopes it will deter him until the water Scarecrow arrives.  Yes I’m setting up a motion activated water sprayer to spay my dog.  He is trampling plants that it has taken me years to grow and he does it out of sheer laziness I think.  Hopefully he will only have to get wet a few times before he gets the hint, the flower bed is off limits to big feet!

Compost is going to happen!

I have had bins, I have had big round compost heaps and they have all had the same frustrating outcome…no compost.  I admit it, I want to du...