Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Pond Patio

This is one of my favorite spots in the whole yard.
Have I said that about all of them?
In the summer, this is the spot I can escape to when I'm working outside and need a break from the hot sun.

When we first got here, this area was all grass and weeds.
Are you sensing a theme?
These pictures were taken on the day we came out to look at the house for the first time.
Leonard (Her name was Lena, but several neighbors told us she was a boy when we first moved in.  So we changed her name to Leonard.  Then she started laying.  Hahahahaha.  Leonard suits her better anyway.) and Delilah were the welcoming committee.

Initially, a ton of my potted plants that I hauled with me were piled in over here.

When it was time to start thinking about what I was gonna do with everything, they got moved to another area.
This picture, that I shared in The Garden post, shows the area that I sheet mulched closest to the main path.
You can see compost is already going in toward the back where the plants were.

That whole area got a layer of cardboard and was then piled high with compost.
Being the impatient person that I am, I couldn't wait until spring for the cardboard to break down.
I had plants to get in the ground!
So in October, I started pulling cardboard aside so I could dig holes.

I also scrounged up whatever I could find to make a path from the main brick pathway, over to the existing pond patio.
It had previously just been grass, and in my sheet mulching frenzy, that got covered up, so it had turned into a muddy mess.

I filled in the empty space with the few pieces of Baby Tears I brought with me.

By January, I realized that my lesser celandine problem, that I thought I had left in Portland, was a reality at the new house, too.
Sheet mulching didn't even phase those evil bulbs.

Here it is in March, threatening to take over the world, and all my newly planted babies.

The Devil, that plant.
Anywho, here are a few more shots from the beginning of March.
The good news was, there were hundreds of surprise daffodils coming up all over the property.

Middle of March.

By the end of the month, it was time to deal with the pond.
Standing water gets real nasty, real quick.
Plus, ya know that Big Ass Pine?  It drops big ass pine needles.  A lot of them.

We moved a considerable amount from the driveway and garden beds to the blueberry patch. 
 The rest went to the burn pile.

Once the pond was all cleaned out and refilled, I put the first round of pump action in there, in an attempt to at least get the water circulating.
That set up has changed, but it was a start in the right direction.

And then it was April.

The beginning of May, when the pond pump got switched out.
Looks like the blueberry bed got its layer of wood chips, too.

The middle of May.

Then we bit the bullet and enclosed the blueberry bushes.
Anyone who has owned turkeys, knows the reasoning behind that.
They are SO NAUGHTY.
They eat everything.
They eat my plants, they eat my seedlings, they eat my fruit, they eat my greens, they eat my veggies.
They. Eat. Everything.
I wasn't lettin' 'em eat my damn blueberries.

A few photos up, you can see the posts back behind the greenhouse.
I think they were gonna use them to enclose that area for chickens.
I think.
Anyway, we pulled them and reused them to build the blueberry house.
I can't remember how many there were, but we ended up only having to buy a few more.
We didn't set them in concrete, much to The Dad's chagrin, but I wanted to be able to pull them easily if we were ever changin' things up down the road.
He always wants to build everything like Fort Knox.
I'm more of a, get 'er done as quick as possible, kinda person. 

Posts are all in, time for the cross pieces.
We did have to buy those...and the fence brackets to mount them.
He also got two by fours for the top, to make it look more finished, which I was a fan of.

Time to enclose it.
I looked online for weeks when we first started talking about building something.
So. Many. Options.
In the end, we went the cheapest route we could find.
Deer fencing.
Damn near identical to bird netting, but heavier.
It came in a big roll, and he was able to just staple it up on the outside.
I like that it's almost invisible.
We wanted cheap, but I didn't want it to look crappy.
I've considered planting a perennial vine, or two, on it, 'cause ya know, plants.
But I've left it alone for now.

The screen door was one that we bought off Craigslist for our back door.
The guy we got it from gave me the wrong measurements, so it didn't fit.
The Dad just cut the bottom panel off and we used it here.

Pretty cute, right?
Better than t-posts and bird netting, which was definitely discussed.
The roll of fencing we got was enough to do the top.
I figured our turkeys weren't the only birds who would try to rob us of our crop.
As it turned out, we didn't need it.
We got more blueberries than we knew what to do with.
The kids were sellin' them at their farmstand, we were eating our weight in them, I made jam, smoothie popsicles, dutch babies, muffins, you name it.  And there are currently still a TON in the freezer.

I think it turned out to be a pretty cool addition to the garden area.
And although I did hold off on vines, in June, I added pots to the entrance side. 
Always. Adding. Something.

Here are a few more from the pond area....middle of June.

Into July.
We had SO MANY frogs.
The kids spent HOURS out there, watching and waiting.  
Catching and squealing.
Releasing and starting over.

Most of them were pretty small, but The Kid caught the granddaddy one day.
They had been stalking that sucker for weeks.

I finally got some plants in the actual pond, as well.
The pump helped some, but the water still looked like split pea soup.
I bought just a couple, water lettuce and water hyacinth, then was gifted two huge water lilies.
I also stuck some potted iris down in.
By the end of summer, the two former had completely taken over.
You'll see how much in the August pics a bit further down.

By the end of July, this was hands down one of my favorite planting beds.
Everything filled in so great, for having only been in one season.
And for the first time in my life, Ligularia was thriving for me!

And into August we go.

Sweet September.

And since I haven't taken any pictures out there this month to do the January wrap up, I'll do a before and after instead.

March 2018, our first spring here.

September 2018, a year and one month under our belts.

And now you've pretty much seen all there is to see in The Garden.
Guess that means we should head to the barn.
Until then.....

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