Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It’s a work in progress… but man do I love it!

The back yard. 

The center of so much.

It has been a little over worked lately, and just like the rest of my life, I have spent my time and effort streamlining it a bit this season. 

With the help of my trusty teenager, I have moved huge lilac bushes, transplanted about 200 bulbs, moved flower bed boarders, planted 7 fruit trees (some help from The Man there, too), taken down two buildings, leveled three garden beds, had a shed built, replaced huge parts of the fence and began building an arbor for my grapes. 

The south side of the yard is the garden.  So far this year I have put in peas, onions, kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli, potatoes and flowers.  I am looking forward to another warm week where I can harden off my corn and squash that have been started in my laundry room.  Before I plant anything else though, the two beds that were sinking into the ground needed to be replaced.



This is just after we moved the sinking beds to the other side of the garden.  So the left side is just piles of dirt with no boxes around it.  Now we have boxes that look like this:


And guess what!?!  They are level!  *happy day*  ( I used this technique.)

This next picture is before the beds were finished but after I got up the first half of the grape arbor:


The arbor style and design is taken directly from the style of the house molding. 


I wanted it to reflect this portion of the house so I got up on a ladder and traced it with cardboard.  Then I cut that out and used it as a template for my jig saw with a wood cutting blade.  It’s a thick piece of wood (a 2X8 of pressure treated wood) but it cut nicely after I replaced the blade with the wood cutting bit.  Then I sanded it down and put it up level.  I am a little obsessed with level.  I will do the same with another set of posts and cross beam and then connect them with lattice and paint it all white.  I am even considering painting the garden boxes white.  What do you think about painted garden boxes?

I have before and after’s for both sides of the yard, but the north side is much more ‘finished’.  We hired out the shed job (and VERY glad we did), which made a big portion of the job go very quickly.

The north side of the yard ‘before’:




Do you love it?  I sure do!  We will be continuing the work on the fence with cash over the first few good weather weeks we get, but I am happy for now that the baby can not get to the yard next door and down to their stream.  That guide line that is above the fence is going to be the new fence height.  It will be a wonderful backdrop to this side of the yard. 

The shed went in in less than 5 hours!  AMAZING.  Considering the play house took just under 3 months of labor where I lived in painting clothes and pony tails…  I’ll take it.  What an amazing time saver hired help can be!  On top of that, I have a close to new gallon of each paint color, which matches the house.

The plants that are in that bed under the maple tree were all moved… including that large bush in the center.  We moved it early Feb and it seems to be doing fine.  I read that it is very hard to kill lilacs in this climate and I really hope that is true, because I love this one… it was just where I wanted a pear tree instead.

On a less than awesome note, we found 31 baby rats underneath the old shed!  We got rid of them and the three mamas too (there were three full nests) and now can report a rat free area… and hopefully, between my cats and a few things I am teaching the children about chicken coop cleanliness, it will stay rat free. 

This is where I have spent most of my time lately.  My 16 yr old, Alex, has been a huge help on any projects that seem to get away from me.  He did most of the deconstruction of the old shed himself and piled the whole thing into the truck single handed.  He is turning out to be an amazing worker and I am very proud of his skills. 


Our new babies are hanging out all warm in their new, leak free shed, and I can’t wait to get the chicken coop inside finished so the rest of the bitties can move in with them. 




Jennifer said...

You've all worked so hard! Doesn't it feel great? I admire your drive. We still rent, but make small improvements and additions to our yard/garden each year. We hope to someday buy this house but until then it is a tight balance between not investing too much into a possibly temporary home and making it our own because its all we have. Our main focus is growing food, which serves us well!

Blessings Val!

Val in the Rose Garden said...

@Jenn - That is exactly where we were before this house. :) The Red House was a rental and we did what we wanted but knew that it was going to all get ruined when we left. In the end, we could have bought that house, but it was only 900sq feet and we had three kids. Too small then, add Luke and it would have been really squished! I would love to see pictures of your garden if you get a chance. :)



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