Thursday, April 18, 2013


 Things are really starting to grow around here!!!  In the dining room, all the dry beans I planted are really coming to life.  Chick peas, kidney beans, lima beans, pinto beans... 

 And my favorite and proving to be the most robust so beans!

 I've been doing a lot outside as well.  The weather is really warming up and I'm picking up where I left off last fall with my rock wall garden.  I finished the wall itself last year, but all winter long it's been just floating there by itself...looking just a bit off.  So yesterday I picked up some rocks on the edge of one of my dad's fields and brought them home and started arranging them as a border to the gardens flanking either side of the wall.  One side garden has perennials that I planted last year, while the other side garden is still half filled with crab grass, but will house zinnias, maybe strawberries, and more perrennials. 

 I planted the top of the walls last week with onions and parsley on one side and oregano, poppies, and wildflowers on the other.  More herbs and flowers will be going in as the weather warms up even more.

 I also started my vegetable garden last week...digging trenches and building raised beds.  I mulched the walking paths with oak leaves and they are very comfortable to kneel in while planting or weeding.  The entire garden won't be raised rows like this, but it made sense to do the middle section where I can keep things tidy.  On one end of the garden I'll plant mostly dry beans, and on the other will be potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.  Other veggies will get tucked in here and there.

 I thought the radishes would come up first...but look who beat them!  The lettuce!  Grow little guys grow!  I want to eat you!  ;)

 I left the spinach patch from last fall where it was and incorporated it into a row.  It's getting bigger, slowly but surely!  I also left the oak leaves that blew in between the plants.  Ready made mulch to keep the weeds down!

 I ordered a bunch of plants and trees from Gurney's that will be arriving soon, but since those trees will basically be tiny sticks, and Gurney's doesn't ship pears to NY for some reason, I decided to go out and buy a pair of larger pear trees at the local nursery and planted them near the vegetable garden.  They are semi-dwarf, so they'll only get about 15 feets high and won't be in danger of shading the veggies out one day.  Plus, I have grafting stock from a friend's orchard for two more varieties that I hope to graft onto these trees soon.  If all goes well on that front, I'll have Red Bartlett, Summercrisp, Bosch, and Seckle.  Who doesn't love variety?

 I kind of started a compost pile last year, but after reading more about composting, I think I need to clean up my act a bit more and do a better job at it.  Pretty soon I'll form this mess into two neat piles.  One to add on to this year, and the other leave and let do it's thing.

 Another project I started on this week is to transform the underside of the front porch into a potting shed.  The first step...get rid of this junk!  We have 4 gas cans.  I have no idea how that happened!

 The second step...dig out the dirt.  A steep slope of loose, sandy dirt was placed under the porch after the foundation was poured and really makes it impossible to use that space for anything.  I've started digging it all out.  I should wait for help, because it's a lot of dirt, but I'm far too impatient.

I filled the back of my truck twice so far.  Who needs the gym!  And there are plenty of areas around the yard that could use the extra fill.

 While I'm going 'round the yard, I wanted to show you my favorite tree.  We lived in the house for a year before I even noticed  It has very long, very sharp thorns covering every branch.  But what's more interesting...

 Are the clusters of thorns growing on it's trunk.  They look like sea urchins clinging to the sides!  It looks like something that should be in a remote tropical jungle somewhere.  But it's not.  It's called a honey locust and it's known as the world hardest tree to climb.  lol

I thought I only had one on my property, but low and behold, I was clearing out a little bit of brush from under the big oak tree and I found it's baby!!  It's about three feet tall and has smaller, but still sharp thorns of it's own.  Yay!

 Last but not least...the chickies!!  They are only about 10 days old now, but they are really growing fast!  They have actual feathers now in addition to the fluff and are rather trusting of me at this point.  They are still living in the studio, in a box that they will soon out grow.

Peep peep!!


Santas Haunted Boot said...

Crystal you are such an inspiration! You make me want to start sprouting beans! I have a ton of gardening I'd like to start, but I'm finding it's a bit difficult to do with a toddler and a newborn around..who knows? The hubby keeps talking about putting in raised beds. I think we'd do tomatoes, cucumbers, kale..etc. Your chicks are too adorable! And your rock wall will ROCK once completed. Please keep us posted on your progress!!! ~Amber

GrayFlannel said...

I agree with Amber, you are an inspiration! And can't believe what you accomplish in a weekend, wow! The little chicks are getting big so fast, but they're staying just as adorable!