07 May 2007


We've had a busy - and at times back breaking - weekend here in our little corner of Minnesota. Dad is here again this week, so we're working on finishing up the garden preparations as well as getting the bathroom finished. The weather held out - cloudy and not too hot - for the weekend, so we worked mostly on the garden prep.

All four of the raised beds are finished now, and three of them are lined with weed stop around the sides (the fourth will get lined sometime today):

But the biggest change by far is the front yard. I didn't think to take a before picture, but image that the front yard was entirely covered with a variety of different weeds - dandelion, thistle, creeping Charlie, etc. - and was patchy and looked.. tired. Now it looks like this:

It's quite a transformation. It involved cutting the "sod" off the "lawn" - which is far more back breaking than it seems like it should be - tilling the soil under the removed sod, raking it all out even and removing the roots and twigs and other debris, and then laying the weed block, planting and mulching. We obviously didn't get enough mulch, so that's on the list to get more of today, but even as it is it's a *huge* improvement. It will take the plants a few years to really spread out the way we want them, but at this point, the hard work is pretty much complete.

We had a couple near neighbors keeping a close eye on us as we worked this weekend:

Ms. Robin and Ms. Mourning Dove have both nested in the big unknown bush by our front walk. They both seem quite content to let us work around them as long as we don't do anything to threaten their nests. They are, at the moment, the only reason that unknown bush is still standing; it's far too overgrown for the spot it's in and we are planning to remove it and replace it with a mock orange, but the birds beat us to action this spring.

When we first moved into this house, Adam (one of my Garden Guru(tm)s) noticed this small little blue flower that popped up along the side of the house behind the big ugly bushes (which we removed last summer). It was just one lone little flower, though there was another that appeared in the side garden on the other side of the house, too. Yesterday as we were (well, really, as he was) digging through the dirt in that spot to try to remove all the fiddlehead ferns that have invaded, he found it again and dug it up to save. This morning, I found the other one and took a quick picture of it before replanting it by it's friend, along with some Columbine that was also rescued:

I'll bring the picture of the unknown little bulb - which looks like a small, black onion with just itty bitty little roots - up to the Extension office to see if they can help us identify what it is so we can maybe get some more.

Today we're grouting the bathroom tile (we cut and laid the rest of the tile on Saturday) with hopes to be able to reset the toilet by sometime this evening. We also need to run get more mulch and the other two bushes for the front yard, and maybe also the sugar maple for the boulevard. Tomorrow will likely be split between putting dirt (50/50 compost & black dirt, being delivered at 9 a.m.) in the raised beds and getting vegetable seeds started, and getting the vanity in upstairs. I have a feeling Jack and dad will work on the vanity and I'll be out in the garden, at least as long as the weather holds. We also need to get the trim up in the bathroom round the door and window, which will hopefully happen Wednesday, assuming the vanity goes in smoothly.


Judy G. said...

My back hurts. You guys did a great job- keep us posted as stuff grows!

Lana said...

You raised beds look great! I've been thinking that I want to build a small raised bed for my herbs this year.