Yesterday morning I went to my neighbor’s farm to pick up a larger container for the chicks. It had snowed the day before, and the fog and morning light made everything look magical. It’s days like this that make me so grateful to live in this part of the world.
We got four chicks- two Black Australorp and two Rhode Island Red. I’m VERY EXCITED! They’re cheeping away in our dining room right now, as they can’t move outside to a coop for another 5 or 6 weeks. We also bought a coop, which will be delivered in two weeks, as next weekend Jeff won’t be here to help move it. My job until then is to clear out the coop area and maybe get some wire netting and build out a larger run for them.
There’s been a shift the past two weeks. I can feel Spring humming in the air, just on the edge of arriving for good.
While we had a big snowstorm last week, this week the temperatures have been in the high 40’s and low 50’s, and the light seems brighter.
I optimistically started seeds, and most everything has germinated, minus the eggplant which I may need to try again with heat mats.
This weekend I’ll start the tomatoes and peppers, and will maybe start kill mulching grass for new beds. We also have spring bulbs coming in! Some of the daffodils that I divided last year are coming in- I’m curious to see how many survived! I’m also seeing one bulb come in by the driveway, and hopefully more will follow. I can’t wait to see them bloom!
I got the August blahs when it came to the garden. It was hot, I felt like I’d been doing so much for so long, I just lost interest. My mulch pile is still a pile, my rock pile is also still a pile, the weeds are growing fast, and I just haven’t touched anything. Around the same time, my neighbors approached me with the idea of cooking them some extra portions of meals I make at home, so I’ve been caught by the cooking bug recently instead of the gardening bug. Luckily, I’m also starting to feel more interested in the inside of our house again, for the first time in months. It seems like as the weather cools and summer winds down, I’m more interested in making our house cozy.
So instead of lots of exciting garden updates and changes, here are some other things I’ve been enjoying:
New silverware and new plates!
Even more plates! I got all these for $100, can you believe it? Also my stash of cookbooks waiting until I find them a better home, and my seasonal glass pumpkins!
And flowers from the garden.
I sometimes forget how much I love my life and where I live. After a week away on vacation, I returned with fresh eyes and wanted to record the beauty in my ordinary life.
The view from the front porch. The little flower bed is starting out small, but will one day be big enough to block out the road (hopefully!).
I sit on the porch and read and drink coffee. Usually one neighbor or another drives by and honks their horn and says hello. This morning a neighbor was riding his bicycle by and said “The place is looking great!”
Most mornings we meditate in the attic. The view outside the window is nothing but leaves unless it’s winter.
Then it’s time for work. I’m lucky enough to work from home, but I’m on the computer all day long. We do have an office but usually I prefer to work downstairs. I often sit on the floor to prevent slouching. Orbit helps make sure I get all my work done.
Today was chilly so I made a pot of green jasmine tea. My grandmother just gave me this teapot, and my great-aunt sent me the cup for our wedding in December.
I often eat lunch at my computer and keep working and then take a break walking Orbit instead. This is the shade garden that I’ve been working hard improving, and behind it you can see two big piles of rock and mulch. This area has come a long way!
We walk by the other houses in the village. I love the black and white of this house (one day I will have our house painted white and navy blue!) and I especially love how fun their front porch is.
We walk through the fields and into the woods. Wild ferns grow everywhere. I am turning into a fern fanatic and hope to add lots more to my shade gardens.
Then back into our garden where the flower beds have filled in.
Vegan cinnamon buns for Sunday brunch.
Sushi & tempura dinner Saturday night.
We thinned out the branches at the bottom of the pine trees so we could clear out the maple saplings growing under there. We still have a lot more work to do!
And I went on a walk through the hills behind our village.
We’ve been busy with a lot of projects, but no one thing is enough to blog about alone.
Jeff has been breaking in new workboots.
I’ve been digging new flowerbeds until I pass out. We also got a cupola!
These friendly cows and goats live across the street from us. We looked at them, they looked at us. When we continued walking down the road, they followed us in an orderly line.
Spring salad I made for dinner last night. Served with avocado toast.
I created a treasure hunt for the kids for Easter.
And finally, I’ve been using our new laundry line and loving it! We just got our line tighteners in the mail, so it’s not as droopy now.
This weekend was the first warm, sunny, perfect weekend of spring, so we dove right into a handful of outdoor projects.
I spent a good chunk of the weekend working on that flower bed in the back- it was a pile of dirt which was very poorly graded and messed up from a crew digging up the septic system before we moved in, and now it’s even and ready for wildflowers. Weather reports are showing that it may still get down below freezing a few times this week, so I’m waiting to plant until the temperatures are safely high enough to prevent frost. I did plant some grasses along the fence, donated by our kind neighbor, as they are rather hardy. I also found some seeds from last year (and the year before) and put them in pots. The seeds weren’t stored anywhere near optimally, so I don’t have high hopes for their chances of sprouting, but I figured they’re worth the experiment.
Jeff built the beautiful garden arbor out of our pile of pine branches. I plan on training some clematis to climb up it. We still have lots of pine branches left, so I’m going to have to dream up some more projects so we can reuse them instead of just throwing them out or burning them up.
Jeff also built these amazing posts for a clothesline. We used DIY Diva’s tutorial and they came out perfectly. We’re waiting on the clothesline tighteners to complete it, but they should be arriving soon. Of course, Jeff had to buy a bunch of fancy tools for this job (a cordless drill! a miter saw!) but I’m sure they’ll be put to use in the future. Again, I can absolutely come up with plenty of projects for him to take on, and maybe I’ll try some myself as well!
The pictures look as though we have a good chunk of our yard filled up by flower beds and clotheslines now– the back bed looks like it’s almost at the pine trees already– but from this angle it looks a little different:
Yeah, we’re only about halfway down the length of the yard. This also doesn’t include the full section in front of the barn, the side yard, or the front yard! I still have a LOT of digging to do, and a lot more planning if I want to reach my goal of only 1/3 grass.
I added my hex to the barn and it’s looking pretty great! I’m going to work on another one, and maybe see if I can get some larger circles to work with.
We also have soil! We live very near the mushroom capital of America and are lucky enough to have access to local mushroom compost. Also shown: the giant piles of pine branches from the ice storm we had recently. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do with them, but I at least want to build an arbor out of some of them.
I have my beds planned out and spray painted, ready to be dug. The forsythia is almost ready to bloom.
Here’s the new garden plan. The main difference is that I am planning on cutting two beds right in front of our back patio (the two beds spray painted above). This will accomplish two goals: 1) it will create different ‘zones’ within the garden (the kitchen garden zone and the back play zone); and 2) it will block the view of our neighbor’s dirt-patch-and-chained-dog and replace it with lovely flowers. I do want to plant some tall evergreens in the far back area but I want to put up a fence and see what the sun situation is back there first. In this diagram, the dashed outlines are my phase two plans, for next year. I’m just focusing on the filled-in beds this year.
Finally, these daffodils are about to bloom! As soon as they’re done blooming I’m going to dig them up and replant them in bunches, instead of this awkward straight line. They look so much better and more natural in small clumps.
I had to send a fax today and at the Pack ‘N Ship they had a surprisingly large array of farming/ horse/ homesteading books. I didn’t get a picture of the brewing/beer books and the solar power/ home energy titles, but it was really quite impressive!