Sort of Like Cleaning House

...Only outside, of course.

We spent yesterday afternoon tidying up the front garden and the back yard. I raked out all the beds, did a bunch of weeding, picked the crack vials from the natives bed (well, it is a "transitional" neighborhood) and moved the debris from that operation plus the chippings pile from last weekend onto my "browns" compost pile, to be stirred into the main pile in a couple months. I also went through my potted plants and composted those that didn't survive our distinctly unusual cold weather. Oddly, two of my more sensitive plants did fine, but I think all four of my brugmansias are dead, or at least severely injured.

Noel mowed the lawn, which really needed it, and tidied up some of the debris from the shed construction. We're impressed by how well the gravel at the foundation protects the house from dirty splashes, so we're considering fixing where it got full of soil in the fern walk (shovel it out, sift, and replace) and then extending the gravel around the house in the front.

I'm in the middle of plotting this spring's plantings, which may include a pair of kiwi vines along the back fence. I think I'm going to modify my plans for back there, based on new observations of the sun patterns during the summer. It gets a lot more sun than I was assuming, so I can grow some sun-liking fruits there as well as closer to the house.

I'm also plotting some vegetables: a few tomatoes, lettuces, spinach. We're trying to eat more fresh vegetables and fruits, because they are very tasty, and life seems to conspire against us in the farmer's market sense (the weekday evening markets are at times when we have other things scheduled, and while we could go to the Saturday markets, that's our prime working time for the house).

Here's a photo of my work in the front. You can't see how many magnolia leaves I pulled out of there, can you? I think it looks great, but it is a bit subtle. Well, it will look better in the spring, when the roses fill out again.

Nicely cleaned up front garden

Other work going on, somewhat behind the scenes, is a design for a pair of storage boxes to hold our two large plaster ceiling medallions while we get together the money to restore and repair them. Right now they're sitting on the floor of one of the pantries, but we'd like to use that pantry so we want to move them. I got some good ideas from a construction guy this evening, and I'm making a drawing for Noel tonight.

Things are a trifle slow at the moment because I've been unwell, but I have a lot of hope that this is getting better and I can start fussing over the front parlour and my irrigation system sometime soon.

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posted by ayse on 01/21/07