Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's Been A Great Staycation!

Brent's vacation this year was very much a working vacation. And I have the photos to prove it!

We have been working hard to get the yard in order. Building new builds, painting the privacy screens in the back yard, planting, weeding and because it's been almost two weeks without rain, lots of watering. One of the draw backs to raised beds can be how quickly they drain and dry. At least I can dictate the amount of water each planter gets, so much better than having things drown in our clay soil.

Here's some progress pictures from around the garden:

This is the new raised bed that runs along the property line on the garage side of the house. This picture is actually more than half-way through the project. The worst part of the job was removing the long overgrown bed that was there. Eighteen years ago we used cherry timbers to make raised beds, which had long since decayed. The bed was horribly overgrown with blackberries, lemon balm and oregano and several roses that had returned to their wild root-stock. The roots were so solid in that area that it was a huge effort to escavate and re-level the bed. To say nothing of hauling it all away!

Here Brent lies in exhaustion! Hahaha. The bed is straight, level and lined with a double layer of landscape cloth in hopes of delaying the re-appearance of horsetail ferns and blackberries!

Hey, men who have died of exhaustion aren't supposed to be laughing!

Here's the bed about 8pm last night, with some of the plantings completed. Here you can see the Welcome-To-My-Garden Arbor along with the Wintercreeper or Emerald Gaiety Euonymus bush we planted at the start of the raised bed so we have year-around interest with a varigated evergreen.

A better view of the Evergreen Climatis and the Purple Leaf Honeysuckle I planted and wove into the arbor's lattice. On the opposite side I've woven a pink jasmine and a clematis start from Reen.

One of the seven 8 foot-long bed sections is devoted to berries. Amanda gave me an early birthday present of 3 blueberry bushes-already loaded with blueberries! And we planted 22 strawberry plants, too. Those were my gift to my DearHusband. Strawberries are his favorite!
This is a reverse view (looking towards the street). In this picture you can see one of the three fuschia-pink lupines along with a veggie section of the bed. I have 5 fennel starts, a yellow straight neck squash, a Black Beauty Zuchinni, 2 varieties of cucumbers and a clump of 5 pole bean starts. In the center, I've planted 5 little root sections of Jerusalem Arthichokes or Sunchokes. I've never eaten them before but they sounded interesting.

Adding more plants to this section is on today's list. In the corner you can see a Niko Blue Hydrangea. This shady corner is a wonderful little spot. It doesn't show in this picture but just to the right of the chair is a basket hanging from the tree that is overflowing with deep red begonia and a sunny yellow tailing flower.

This is the garage wall raised bed, looking towards the arbor. I think these sunflowers along the wall grew 3" yesterday! The two cilantro divisions have just expoded with growth and the color spots are making quite a show.

Now a couple of random shots to share:

Two days of Brent's vacation were spent cleaning out the shade garden which had become overrun with vining maple,  horsetails, creeping buttercup and of course, blackberries. Now the area has been re-graded away from the foundation and covered with beauty bark over a double layer of landscape cloth. Perhaps next year we will re-landscape this area.
Hey, Sisters, remember that trampled-flat broken-off section of Wandering Jew? Well, I stuck it into a pot of soil and it is taking off! New roots, new leaves!

Also in this shot are the Hebe starts that I intend for my Faerie Garden planter. That also is still on my To-Do List.

Time to don sunscreen and head back outside to enjoy some sunshine on Brent's last day of vacation. I could really get used to having my hubby home full-time. I'm gonna miss having him around every day, but I'm sure he's probably looking forward to getting back to paying work to have a breather from yardwork!


  1. Holy cow! You guy's have been busy! I like where you moved the arbor and I can't believe the beheameth shade "garden" is gone! WOW!

  2. OH WOW! It looks so gorgeous! I can't wait to see it in person. How happy you must be...I can't believe how large your yard looks. I didn't realize it was THAT big!

    I also can't believe you got that Wandering Jew leaf to root. I am impressed!

  3. Well, it helps that the neighbor's yard is just an expanse of lawn, makes it sort of 'visually ours'. Especially so because they are never in it! Never even seen them use the kitchen door in the back!

    But it's kind of like when our house was just a floor on top the foundation, it looked really small. Somehow, framing up the walls made it look larger. Funny how boudaries can actually make an area seem larger.

    We have just one area left to finish cleaning up in both the back and the front, then I can put up pictures of the whole thing!

    I am well on my way to having the prettiest yard in the neighborhood again!