Monday, April 27, 2009


Talk about your “one of these days” projects. :-P Our lot faces east with a hill on the west side. There’s maybe ten feet between back of the house and the retaining wall at the back. And it sits on a bed of clay. Wonderful dense, heavy clay. Bleech.

The problem with the section on the north side is that while it gets some sun during the summer in the winter it gets zip, zero, zilch, nada in the way of sunlight. By the time the sun comes out during the winter the sun is literally over the hill so aside from some grasses and the thymes we’ve had very little success. Soooooooo, back to the drawing board. After we’re done spading, peat mossing and composting we’ll try a perennial wild flower mix out back. Plant the mix and see who survives.

Good luck guys you’re on your own. Not really. Please grow; the flower fairies need new homes. Lol Oh, well, If we have to rethink it again at least the ground is being spaded and it’ll be in better shape than it is now.

We’ve started to get the garden in. The tomatoes, some herbs and the yearly musical chairs we play with the plants. I guess it’s taken this long to start to learn our yard. What might work where. We don’t worry too much about cutting flowers. There is one place in the house where we can put a bouquet and the terrible trio of curious kitties probably won’t bother flowers. Unh huh.

And the best thing of all for all the transplants and new plants is happening right now. It’s raining. What falls out of the sky is always better than what

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


The refrain this spring is “one of these days.” As in one of these days we’ll get most of the weeds pulled. Or one of these days I’ll get the plants or pavers or stepping stones placed where they belong the FIRST time. A girl can dream, can’t she?

When we first planned the redo on the front yard back in ’03 there was a large Austrian pine on the south side of the yard. At the time we didn’t even take that section of the yard into our plans and it’s been a pain ever since. The tree is gone courtesy of the local utility company after a really bad ice storm. We’ve tried groundcovers and other plants but nothing has really worked. And it’s hard to get water to it.

We planted some volunteer lavender on the property line last year and they did just fine. So, this weekend we took the bull by the horns and cleared out that section again and planted lavender across that front section. There will be some other flowers behind that and then the garden section which was the old rose garden.

The arbor is repositioned, but I haven’t had time to secure it to the fence stakes. As we work up the garden section it looks like we’ll finally get the stepping stones down. Again with the repositioning. This time stepping stones. The herb garden in back didn’t really pan out. It’s on the north side on the east side of the hill and it gets almost no sun for half the year. So herbs to the front where I may actually remember that we have them. And I think we’ll just plant wild flowers out back. Pictures maybe in a month or so.

Actually it’s beginning to look pretty good. Granted, I winced a little when mom pointed out that the section where we pulled the shrubby groundcover next to the street really needed to be spaded before we could do anything else. Ooookay. That’s what apprentices are for. Spading is not a problem. Spading while standing on a slope with holes in it from plants you’ve dug up is a problem. As in my feet are killing me, here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Another day, another chilly April in Oregon morning. It’s freaking 38 degrees in Springfield this morning on the day before tax day. There is a promise of warmer weather by the end of the week and I have my chilly little fingers crossed. Maybe we’ll get the arbor repositioned. Not maybe, we will get it done. We have two shrubs to plant and we can’t plant the evergreen clematis until we know where the arbor will be. Arrrrrgh, look out mud, here I come.

One of these years we’ll finally get everything where it should be in the yard. And I have a slightly used bridge in Manhattan for sale. I don’t think it’ll happen in this lifetime. If only because what plants are supposed to do according to the little tags that come with them don’t always match what they do when they get to our yard. And that’s how is should be, I guess. Living things don’t fit in neat little boxes; God/des help us if they ever do. It would make for a very boring world when that happens.