Friday, August 23, 2013

Random Weekend Projects

We've hit that Mid-August time where you need to start canning and continue yard maintenance. Oh so suburban :)

First we had to get rid of our "items that didn't sell at the Garage Sale" we had back in June. We took pictures of groupings for tax purposes then one truck load over to Goodwill and we have started to claim back our garage. By afternoon we started cutting back the overgrowth on the side of the house and the back lot.

This is a bad shot, but you get the general idea.  That pile to the left = vines and weeds I didn't want in that bed.

I am going to find another flowering vine for that empty trellis and transplant some more hostas to the rock bed through out.  

There are something like over 300 types of hosta... but I am looking for something like this:

On to the back of the yard, Here is the before:

 And here is the great trim... I am sad that I am loosing my privacy fence of trees and bushes but there were so many maple, elm, and buckthorne fighting each other, we chose a few maples to stay and cut the buckthorne away from the fence (there is a good 2 1/2 feet behind these now). It is much cleaner and will grow fuller (but not til next year, sadface) rather than its scraggly sticky mess it was before.

The mascot of the day (ok she is the mascot everyday).  

While I was taking these pictures, I looked up and saw the biggest camouflaged spider I have ever seen... It's body was a bit larger than a quarter.  I quickly grabbed my 50 foot wasp spray, goggles, chained molly up by the apples and started spraying that little sucker. He fell to the floor which then I proceeded to spray with Round-Up while simultaneously tossing a brick on him.  All the while screaming like a little girl.  It was comical. I sprayed the areas I had doused with the wasp spray with the hose even though it isn't really toxic for dogs, I just wanted to be sure.  After close examination, there were two other equally terrible-sized/looking spiders under the deck... next weekend's project: power wash the deck.

Fair warning, I did get a blurry terrible picture of it below if you want to see it, otherwise scroll on past.

You have been warned...

BLAH I got the willies just trying to upload that LOL

Ok, on to happier times, we started one pickle recipe called "Refrigerator pickles" and will start another recipe from my Mother In Law this week!  We also made Tomatillo salsa, which turned out really delish!

Celebrate/burn some of those darn sticks until we were chased out by the mosquitoes.

To-Do list for the rest of the yard:
- cut bits of existing hostas, transplant to the areas between the buckthorne.
- create an arch from old cuttings for climbing rose bush to grow on
- trim back lilac bushes for easier mowing.
- fix up side beds and cutting garden beds aka weed beds.
- Fix back garage door (screen door pulling from the wall)
- Add flagstone from lower patio up to back garage door
- Add a flagstone patio around fire-pit  We may hold off on these two if we decide we want to replace the lower patio bricks
- Misc deck repairs on sections the previous owners did not use treated wood (grrr)
- Repaint deck... again (have repainted this deck twice already since 2010, not happy) we'll talk about that in a future post!

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Friday, August 9, 2013

2013 Deck flowers

I figured since I posted this fuzzy yelling at the dog and the cats to stop chewing on the plants picture on Facebook on Tuesday trying to save my plants from the hail/tornado/severe wind warnings; I'd write a post about my deck plants!

This year we went with full sun, low water, cheap plain old geraniums and honestly we love them.  There are some vinca vines and creeping thyme in there too (mosquitoes don't like creeping thyme).

 This guy is a begonia, I have him closer to the shady side by the patio window since he likes part sun, plus it looks nice outside the dining room patio window.

I have no idea what this plant is to be honest haha I saw it at the Farmers Market and just had to have it :)

My husband spotted this crazy looking plant, we have dubbed him sprocket.

These aren't really flower pictures but I was out so I thought I'd share the yard, the garden looks tiny back there haha

Here is how the apple tree is looking this year after his trim (sorry about the blazing halo of light over the tree, I was trying to get a few pics in last night before the sun went down).

Here he is pre-trim, it was taller than our house back in April

After, it was definitely shocking...

then spring happened...

haha :)

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2013 Garden

Back in February while suffering through another Minnesota winter eager for spring planting, I stumbled across a couple of seed starting websites about a process called Winter Sowing.  This is a seed starting process that is ridiculously easy.  Using old containers like milk jugs, soda bottles, etc to create greenhouse-like container for seed germination.  I also did my typical indoor seeds, which unfortunately none of the indoor seedlings survived. Sad-face.

However the winter sown was a raging success! I started these in late March (Minnesota hardy flowers) and early April (veggies and herbs) because of our long winter.

Here are a few pictures of the Winter-sown seedlings pictured on May 25th before transplanting them to larger portable containers. I didn't want to plant them in the ground yet, as we were still  having frost issues. 

We expanded our garden beds this year, here is what it looked like last year, and sadly it did not grow much past this point:

Here is this year's garden, we added three more beds and created a rock path between we the beds over Memorial Day weekend, and began planting:

Here is the original bed with our new ones getting ready to dig up and re-place for squaring off for a shed later down the road.

 We dug up all of the sod and tiered the beds since there was a slight hill. off to the left you'll see there are two wooden stakes in the ground where we want to build our shed down the road.

I use newspaper instead of weed mat and have never been disappointed.


We bought chipped granite for the area between the beds for easy tending and love the way it looks.

Here are a few pics of the newly planted veggies and herbs.


And of course one with the new pup, Mollie 

And here is the garden today! Can you believe how well they have done so far this year?!

And my Mother in law stopped by with some raspberry plants <3 :="" again="" and="" font="" mollie="" photo-bombing="" so="" sweet="">

And for fun, Roma Tomato four months ago:
Roma tomatoes today!

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