Archive for the Yard Happenings Category

Deck Report: The Bones

May 19th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

The deck has some bones now. We’re getting a much better feel now for what it will be like and how it will change our views from the house and the yard.  An interesting surprise is how much room we’ll have under the deck. We’ll have to get creative with how to use that space.  If you have any great ideas, send them my way!

Note: I love how our builder tapered the ends of the support beams. Nice touch.

Deck Report: Permits and Holes

May 13th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

The deck is really happening!  After finishing the design, we hired a project manager/builder.  He took care of the permits, some minor engineering adjustments for stability and then work started yesterday. Right now I have a pile of lumber and holes, but it all looks beautiful to me. While the builders continue putting up the bones of the deck, Brian and I need to hurry to a composite deck showroom and pick out our surface material. I have some ideas, but maybe I’ll be swayed by other options once I see them all in person.

April Gardens

Apr 20th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

Just a quick note to all of you Northwest veggie gardeners out there.  Get those cool weather crops in ASAP.  Peas, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, brussels sprouts, etc, can all be planted now (if you’re soil isn’t too wet and clumpy).  Please try to hold back though on the tomatoes,  basil, peppers, zucchini, squash, beans, etc.  It’s still a bit cold so they won’t grow and could get mold and rot issues. Mother’s Day should be about perfect for those sun lovers.

Celebrate Arbor Day 2010 – Part 2

Apr 20th, 2010 Posted in Fun Photos - Nature, Fun Things to Do, Quotes, Sherwood Happenings, Yard Happenings | no comment »

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

If you didn’t have an excuse before, then this month’s Earth Day and Arbor Day should get you motivated to plant some trees!

The Stella Olsen tree planting was very fun. Lots of volunteers, doing lots of good work. This was my first time volunteering for a collective tree/shrub planting. It was great fun. Everyone is happy to be there, ready to work and getting some exercise. I will definitely seek out more opportunities to dig in 🙂

If you are looking for some ideas on what to plant and where to buy some trees or shrubs, I have a few suggestions. The Sherwood Rotary tree sale is underway in the Albertson’s parking lot. $10 per bareroot tree.  I bought myself two peach trees to fill out my orchard and one Golden Chain. I’ve always wanted one and they had a great specimen. They also have just about any kind of fruit tree you can imagine, lots of willows, maples, oaks, alders, etc. Just make sure that when  you go that you are ready to plant right away. Bareroot trees dry out very quickly and you really want to get them in the ground before the completely leaf out.  The trees are small, but they’ll grow. I bought some birch 3 years ago and am really happy with their progress. And, hey, I mean $10! Awesome!!

Another good source of trees and bareroot fruit bushes right now is Loens Nursery on Hwy 99. The trees are 40% off. I bought a beautiful Dogwood for just $50…a steal for sure. They have great deals on bareroot grapes, blueberries, currants, raspberries, etc. At the Stella Olsen planting I discovered I had to have some currants. I bought both black and yellow shrubs. Can’t wait to taste them this summer.  They have great flowers and a really interesting smell, too.

Deck Plan

Mar 28th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

After much debate and multiple designs, I do believe that this is the official deck plan we’ll be using. I think it’s going to be awesome. The little “nook” space will have built-in bench seating and maybe a trellis/arbor eventually.  We’ll have plenty of space on the big section for a large table and chairs and for setting up food tables and extra seating when we want it. We also widened the steps on the way down to allow for some flower pots or just for sitting. I always enjoy sitting on warm steps and looking out at the yard.

Now we need to finalize the plans/estimates and pick out materials. We’re definitely going with an easy-to-care-for, composite material. We plan to hire someone to do the framing and then Brian will do the decking and probably the railing himself. Normally, he would want to do it all and save us some money. But, baseball season is underway and free time will vanish for the next 3 1/2 months. I’m just so happy to have things moving along!

Backyard Beginnings

Mar 19th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

2010 is the year I get a backyard. Over the years I’ve thrown a few trees and a row of blueberry bushes out in the pasture, but this year we get serious.  While I impatiently wait for a deck to be built, I’m making plans for a real lawn, an island planting bed, a nice path to the goat pasture and a fire pit. And, that’s just the beginning! I also want a few more raised beds for the garden along with a trellis for the entrance and some beautification efforts to clean up that area.

And, somehow I also need to prep an area for a new furry friend. A bunny should be joining our family very soon. The bunny, some chickens and a batting cage are planned for our old garden area, but we may have to “chicken out” of the latter two for this year. The bunny can take over the old dog kennel without much effort and will get Joe off my back 🙂

I’ve taken my “before” pictures, I have a pile of clippings and book pages with ideas and I have a rough sketch of what goes where. Next step? Kill the weeds for the fire pit and big planting bed. I filled up my backpack sprayer and sprayed the outline of the areas and then sprayed the middle. After the weeds begin to die off, I will get out the tiller, truck in some dirt and have some fun.  In the meantime, hopefully Brian and I can dismantle that unsightly and completely unspringy trampoline.

Stay tuned for my backyard transformation!

Oh Deck, Deck, Wherefore Art Thou Deck?

Mar 19th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

I do believe that my heart’s desire, a deck, is going to appear this spring/summer of 2010. After 6 years in our home, the dining room door will actually have a purpose!

We are in the final deck design stages and I plan to keep you posted on the progress. For now, you’ll have to settle with the so sad “before” picture.  And, if I don’t post anything soon, don’t ask. It will be a sore subject for sure…J

Bleeding Hearts

Mar 19th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | 2 comments »

I have loved Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra Spectabilis) since I was a  little girl. The flowers are so sweet and I am always amazed out how the plants practically  burst out of the ground every spring. Do they grow 6 inches a day? I think you could actually see them grow if you watched for a day.

My Bleeding Hearts look especially lovely and are very happy with the extra water from my copper rain chains. So much nicer to look at than a boring/ugly downspout. I frequently get compliments on the rain chains…even more than on the Bleeding Hearts.

Evergreen Herbs

Mar 4th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

Winter wreaks so much havoc on my yard. It’s mossy, bare, and generally yucky. But, a beacon of light that keeps the grower in me happy is found in evergreen herbs. My most successful examples are the bay, garlic chives, lavendar and rosemary.  They look great all year, and I cook with all but the lavender through the winter. The rosemary is probably my favorite, because it just makes my risotto so delicious. The bay bush is a close second as it looks fabulous and adds a nice touch to those warm, winter stews.

Favorite Spring Blossom

Mar 4th, 2010 Posted in Yard Happenings | no comment »

Several years ago I added an almond tree to my “orchard.” I absolutely love that tree…and,  yes, I really did get about 30 almonds off of it last year.  The reason it is my favorite though is the beautiful blossoms. Just gorgeous.  My goats also agree. They are practically drooling when they look over the fence!