Ange and I decided to plant some spruce trees on the small parcel of land we own across the road from our home for some visual interest during winter. After pricing trees ($$$) at various nurseries, Ange decided to go a different route and visit a Christmas tree farm instead. Awesome idea! We bought six four-foot trees at a very reasonable price. So, as of today, our new spruce trees have settled in and they have a forever home that every Christmas tree only dreams of.
Ange and I recently demolished our rock garden with the help of our neighbor. I will miss the garden, but the demo was necessary for a few reasons:
Now the garden is gone; the dirt has been leveled and seeded with grass. The perennials were relocated or given away, and the boulders are by our neighbor's fish pond. We did keep a few of our favorite boulders to incorporate into our landscape at a later date. After pondering this demo for a couple of years, this was the year that it finally came to fruition. Happy face/Sad face.
Just for fun I follow some other blogs, and some of them are on vastly different topics than flowers and gardening. One of the blog entries I read not too long ago was about how to organize a yacht party. While this was a very entertaining post to read - and I enjoyed it - this is a lifestyle so completely foreign to my own. But I can truly say that now I know the in's and out's of creating that perfect yacht party, and as I've learned in life, ya' just never know!
Recently I went to a get-together that is much more fitting to my lifestyle. So I thought I'd chronicle my first ever 'She Shed' party. If you don't already know, she sheds are the latest rage. They are totally trending (#shesheds). She sheds are the female equivalent of the 'man cave;' a getaway, far away from those dreary daily tasks like cleaning, dishes and laundry.
My friend Mar's DIY project started innocently enough with the need for simply replacing some missing drywall. We've all done those projects that have snowballed into bigger things, yes? In Mar's case, once the drywall was fixed, the battle cry emerged, "We can do better than this!" So with lots of sweat equity, many trips to the home improvement store, plus a handy next door neighbor, Mar's drywall project morphed into a cute little she shed. It is all prettied up with decorations, photos, and comfortable furniture. Watching the progress over time has been fun, but the best thing ever was relaxing with a cool beverage in the finished product. No dishes or laundry here...well done Mar! Outstanding!
Is this the best idea ever? My friend, Donna, repurposed a non-working grill as her planting station. In addition to being a great decorating accessory, it's also handy for storage. She keeps it on her deck for convenience. When Donna finishes potting up her plants she just closes up the grill top, sweeps the dirt off the deck into her flower garden, and voila, all looks neat and tidy. I thought this was so clever that I just had to share Donna's photos with you.
Garden-wise Ange and I downsized yet again - even though it doesn't look like it in the photo! We took out another 200 square feet from our front daylily garden. The 200 square feet is currently being used as a holding pen for my sale plants (towards the trees). When the spring sale is over and the plants are gone, that part of the garden will be turned back into grass.
There was a split rail fence in the front garden for many years, which we tore down with no regrets. This will make for easier weeding and more air-flow for the daylilies. I was able to move all of my plants further apart. I ditched (literally) all the perennials that the Japanese beetles favored and skeletonized each year. I also said goodbye to my phlox. Not sorry! That will hopefully reduce the number of snakes/snake babies that lurked in the weedy parts.
We divided quite a few of my large daylilies to invigorate them for future bloom. You can see that I tomato-caged all the transplants, because in the past deer have occasionally pulled plants out by the roots as they munched them. The cages curtail that behavior since we don't spray deer deterrent over the winter. The cages also discourage the deer from tromping through the flower bed making big holes with their hooves when the ground is wet. Gotta love garage sales for enabling me to have such a substantial collection of tomato cages.
It was the best fall season ever as far as gardening weather -- one perfect day after another. The great part was that many of those perfect days fell on the weekends! In fact, as of yesterday my iris 'Immortality' was still blooming which is highly unusual for November! I was able to complete everything on my 'do before winter list' except for one large transplant which can easily be done in spring. So now I'm done for the year; ready to take a well-deserved break from gardening and shift my focus to inside projects. Did I say really say that?
Our friends Tony and Christine grow the most incredible garden -- filled with a wide variety of vegetables and fruits! Their garden is organic and pesticide-free. It’s really a site to see, as it's hard to find a weed in residence throughout the entire garden (and it's BIG). Christine cans all of their produce to use throughout the year.
In an effort to get the season started earlier, Tony recently built an amazing greenhouse. In fact, they have radishes growing right now. Imagine that!
As you'll see from the photos, when Tony does a project, it is done impeccably, with much research and planning. Shown below is the first set of photos. The greenhouse is 10 feet x 12 feet in size. It stands about 12 feet high at the peak. The floor is comprised of vapor barrier, then R-18 R-Board, then 2 inches of sand, then 18" x18" concrete blocks for thermal mass.
Christine will be periodically taking more photos as the seedlings grow this spring.
If you are interested in building your own greenhouse, Tony would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Anthony Reed <email@example.com>
Taking a well-deserved break!
if it's about
my backyard and garden, I LOVE to talk about it!