Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mud changes things

I don't know if anyone remember's this...
This is what our yard looked like when we were taking out the pond. A tore up mess. I've had big dreams for this spot, that have changed many, many times. Some because I got a giant dose of reality, some just because I thought up something new. Right now my plan doesn't look anything like it did originally. Mostly because we discovered this. There is a massive drainage issue in the area were the pond was, probably why the previous owners installed a pond in the first place. It became very apparent that putting in more turf was not going to be an option. So goodbye to the whole larger play yard idea I had.
 Imagine this, only greenish brown, that's why we changed our plans. :)
So this is were we are at for now. Still have a long way to go. We added just a little bit to the yard, having it go all the way even with the back deck and then added a slide to the side of the swing set. In order to make this work we put a thick barrier under the pea gravel to keep the mud away.
 I have toyed with the idea of keeping the garden open and just putting shrubs and trees in there for the kids to play in, but for the time being it's a vegetable garden. It seemed like a better use of the land for now. In order for it to be a vegetable garden I had to put up a fence, mostly to keep the chickens out {we let them wander around the yard on the weekends and they LOVE tender fresh shoots} but also to keep little human feet from trampling the plants, and nibbling caterpillar style on everything before it's ready to harvest. :)
 The spot is still really ugly and needs a lot of work, I basically just threw seed down because it was getting late in the season, next year I want the area more defined and I want actual garden beds with rows in-between to walk on. Even though it doesn't look like it, it took a lot of work before I could plant here. The soil {if you could call it that} was mostly clay, really, really nasty stuff. Not something plants like to grow in. So I added soil a little bit at a time as we could afford it, and compost from my compose bin and built it up as best I could. I'm going to do even more before next season. One corner in particular is still way too soggy when it rains to grow anything, except maybe curly willow. So I am going to have to build that side of the yard up quite a bit before I attempt to plant anything there.
 In the beginning of the season the beans started to look super yellow because it was raining so much and the soil still tends to be too wet when it's raining. I started to worry that it was a lost cause. But we got a couple weeks of sun and they really started to take off and they look pretty good now. Big sigh of relief. :)
 There is still a whole lot of gravel that has to be addressed. The prior owners really loved their gravel. I hate it.  It is no fun shoveling gravel, let me tell you! There in the corner are my potatoes in {unused} garbage cans with holes drilled in the sides. Best way ever to grow potatoes. You start towards the bottom with the potato starts and as they grow you slowly add more soil until they reach the top. Then you leave them alone until the end of the season where you end up with a magical can full of potatoes. No shoveling required, you just dump it over and the kids have a treasure hunt. :)
 This is obviously not the backyard, but I had to share because we have baby chick-a-dee's in our nesting box! See up in the corner attached to the fence. I wish I could show you the little chicks, instead of just the nesting box, ha ha! It's so cute to hear them cheeping away in there while I am gardening. The kids get all excited when they see one of the parents flying into the nesting box with a caterpillar or something like that, it their beak. They are some busy parents!
Another picture of the front and my pink hydrangea, love it. We are still patiently waiting for humming birds to discover our feeder. :)

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