Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Garden First Year

It's been two years since I took out the make-shift fencing I had up around the place.  I just hadn't planned on gardening again to the degree I had before.  But, I missed my vegetables, and there is no keeping the deer away from young tender greens.

I planned a small space to start with, about 15 by 8 feet, fenced.  I had to dig up part of my yard to get rid of weeds and grass, as well as leveling it out and terracing it up on one end.
But it didn't take long before I had a sturdy enough fence enclosure with a gate.


The sun exposure is good here too, gets almost all day sun at this time of year.


Looking in the front section I have mostly pots this first year, for easy veggies like spinach and herbs and cherry tomatoes.



At the back I have utilized the base of my pear tree for squash and broccoli.  There are also other plants in here protected against the deer, like iris, lupine and columbine.

This is a small, easy care garden space for the first year.  I can keep up with the watering and weeding.
Perhaps I'll expand it next year, meanwhile it is the perfect space for one.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Great Wall

My house addition is built right up against an embankment - in a hillside.  When they first brought in the old mobile they cut out the hillside for a level spot.  The next owner then dug it out some more and added the 25 x 9 foot addition.  So basically I look out my living room window at the ground, which isn't such a bad thing as there is a lot of wildlife activity out there!  It's kind of like having your own terrarium.

A couple years after I bought the place I decided to figure out a way to utilize the small space between the mobile and hill - which is probably about 12 feet wide.  
That went very well, creating a lovely private space with a small deck.  This was of course after I cleaned out the area, leveled the ground, painted the house and built the deck.


 Later I installed a bamboo fence along that embankment just to the addition.


I've had such good luck with plants back there with the afternoon sun exposure, or shade at the base of the hill - not to mention that the deer can't get in here.  So I decided to remove the bamboo and see how much I could utilize that wall of dirt.  

I started by moving out three of the landscape timbers about two feet away from the wall, and filled it in with dirt.  I'll need to add some nice topsoil by Fall as I plan to transplant my hosta's there next to the fern.


I broke up the bamboo screen and it now lines the wall behind the planter, and further down it hides another unsightly area where stump roots are sticking out.



Now looking the other direction.  You can see a small rock planter on the left, that's where the purple star flower will go (currently in the small pot).  It's very sun sensitive and does well in the shade.
The pot of hosta's will spread well in the planter next year.  I am also considering planting the clematis in there if I can figure out a clever trellis for it.

So the projects continue!  Next week it's the new fenced garden.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Zen and Now

This not so little undertaking began in February of this year. I wanted to get a head start on it before the plants woke up and found out what I was doing.
This area right in front of the house was getting out of hand a couple of years ago but it hadn't actually come out into the pathway yet - so I ignored it for a while.


Pretty sad right?  But it's an area with potential.  
During the winter is when I think about all the things I'll do in the yard as soon as I can get outside. This year we had some incredibly mild days without sideways rain (or snow), stating in early Feb.  What a treat for me!
I relocated the two potentilla's to another part of the yard, moved out the bamboo pots and removed all of the weeds.

My plan for this section was to keep the pretty ostrich and deer ferns, then create a small hill for dimension with a dry creek bed running through it.  I had to redo it once when I realized my creek bed didn't look realistic enough, but in the end I got what I wanted.  
I contoured the ground, laid landscape fabric, then added bark and the river rock.


This was my first try at installing a lawn edge too. I did what made sense and then filled in the bark on one side and topsoil on the other, the grass will fill in on its own.


All in all it turned out well I thought.  The only cost to me was 3 bags of bark at $2 each and a half bag of topsoil, around $2 worth.  The lawn edging was less than $10 and  I already had the yard art and the ferns, as well as the river rock which was at the end of my driveway.  Oh I also bought that black pot for the small bamboo, $7.

It's an easy DIY project for dramatic results, low investment and no landscape professionals to pay either! 

Next week is about the back privacy deck area that gets a little make over.  Stay tuned!! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bamboo Privacy Screen


This is a simple and easy project with instant results.  Can't beat that in the DIY world!  
I wanted to create a semi private area in my front yard near the Japanese maple tree. Someplace I could sit and enjoy my yard - alone - and out of view.  Let me note here that I really only have one neighbor, but I am also in full view of the local trail that heads up into the woods.

This is an 8 foot long bamboo screen from Home Depot, 4 feet high.  I built a frame with reclaimed wood from my project wood pile.  Treated 4x4's, a 2x6 and an untreated 2x4.  Let me give a shout out to a friend of mine who donated the 8 foot treated 2x6!!



 This is also portable!!  I built it that way so I could move it around the yard if I wanted to.  The screen is wired to the stand so it too can be removed or replaced as needed.


This little area is also getting a make over.  I am adding gravel here since the grass never grew there anyway.

Stay tuned for next week as I finally get the project photos up from the front Zen Garden up!!