Sunday, July 24, 2011

Working on a Green Thumb

Do you remember way back in May when I shared with you pictures of some of our outdoor projects and this little patch of soil was included?

I have to admit I was very skeptical that anything would come out of this patch of pasture we picked for my garden. 

Here it is today.  Amidst the multitude of weeds growing around it there is a little patch of promise. 

Unfortunately the only plant that hasn't been flourishing here are the carrots.  We received crazy amounts of rain immediately after I planted and it seems most of the carrot seeds washed away with only precious few remaining.

As I was skeptical of any growth here (besides the weed kind) I kept it very simple.  You can see here, two varieties of lettuce, onion, peas (just enough for the kids to snack on when I am working in the garden), carrots, potatoes, and zucchini. 





This is the first year for me to have my very own garden.  I have helped my mother with her gigantic garden for years but have never taken a real interest in it.

Here are a few things I have learned about gardening:
  • My garden is 40ft in diameter and it is big enough!!
  • I planned on staggering my lettuce planting but ran out of time but I lucked out that the green lettuce I planted started producing early and my romaine lettuce is going to be ready right about the time the green lettuce is finished.  I just might have to repeat that.
  • I left enough room between each row to rotor til and this was a huge time saver in weeding.
  • I didn't know when you hill potatoes and I did mine too late but I will have more than enough potatoes anyway.
  • I have WAY too many onions for my family.
  • Planting a garden can be an art and I think next time I will do a little more planning rather than just winging it. 
  • I am going to keep this as strictly a vegetable garden.  I will have flower beds on the outside of the little fence I plan to outline the garden in someday.
  • I never dreamed I would find so much pleasure in a patch of dirt and $20 worth of seeds.
Any other advise for a newbie gardener like myself?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Culvert Planters

I have been wanting to add some planters to my front entry for a while.  Way back in April my husband and I found some fabulous ones in a store in Canmore, AB on our way back from my 30th birthday weekend away.  At $700 a peice they just weren't in our budget so we walked away.

One day I was mentioning to a friend that I was thinking of using culverts to make some planters and low and behold she happened to have a whole culvert sitting at her acreage that the previous owners had left.  She even cut it and grinded the edges for me!!

I purchased at Canadian Tire two plastic (orange) planters that fit perfectly inside the culverts for $20 each.  A huge savings from the $700 price tag of the original coveted planters. I quickly filled them with plants (New Zealand Ornamental Grass and potatoe vines).

You can still see the orange planters but soon the lime green potatoe vine will be overflowing the edges and cascading down the sides.  (I know I'm late in getting these planted this year.)  Next year I will spend a little time painting the orange rim of the planter to match the culvert before I get excited about putting the plants in.

I am loving the combination of rock, timbers and now metal at my entrance.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Adding a Little Oxygen to the Air!!!

The 31 trees we had ordered back in April arrived last week.

I just want to take you back to April 2010 when we first began construction at our property.  Pretty much the only thing that hasn't changed is the gorgeous mountain view that spans just about 180' around us.

Then our house was constructed and it looked like this all winter.

We have spent many evenings hauling top soil to create these raised tree beds.  It is hard to tell in the photos but these beds are actually 4 ft tall in the center.

This is to the left of the house.

And the front beds.

My hands suffered a little from all the raking involved in forming the soft mounds.

And in goes the first of 31 trees.

A good portion of the trees went into these beds on the left side of the house.

With a few added to the front.  These beds in the front will mostly be filled with shrubs and perennials.

And just as we got the trees planted, two dump truck loads of this stuff arrived.  Bark Mulch.

And this is how it looks now.  Slowly we are blending house and landscaping.

Wondering about the status of our rock retaining wall?  It is complete.  Well, the placing of the rocks is complete.  Now we have some grading of the land to finish so we can add top soil and more trees, shrubs, and grass.
That's Duke, our white boxer, guarding the steps.

How much more do we hope to accomplish this summer?  To be totally honest, the budget has run out for this season.  We did find a great deal on some trees that we are hoping to take advantage of, but I think the plan is to enjoy the rest of the summer with the kids at the lake.  There definitely is a lot of time involved in watering the trees we have planted now, and we hope to finish up all the little odds and ends of construction on the exterior of the house. And, back to saving for the next season.