Friday, July 4, 2014

My project for the past week and a half, moving the waterfall

Here are some shots of my "nearly finished" waterfall. I moved it off of the island across the pond to the SE corner. The island was just too overgrown with trees so it was not working there.

This is a view across the south end of the pond looking east toward the new waterfall placement..I haven't finished adding pavers on the path on the left hand side of the picture and have to haul more mulch yet..here is a farther away photo.
 

You can see a little more of the surrounding trees and shrubs. The next photo is the approach from the south ..
 

The is a path off of the lawn, the area around the pond is quite brushy and uneaven. Fixing that will not happen or not for a while anyway. To the right of the mulch I plan to work on the lawn area as it is all just weeds there..
 

 
 

 
 
 
The next photo is from behind the plastic bench I put up there to rest on..
 


I gathered all the rocks pavers and mulch I could get so far (thank you to my sister Beverly for some nice pink rocks !) the ground stake decorations are from my other sister Bette.

 

 


I got some nice potted perennials and shrubs from Home Depot and Meijer and dug the others up elsewhere in the yard..still plan on bringing some other perennials and trees into the area later...my perennials really need dividing.
 


Not sure if the still photos show the water falling overf the rocks or not, but it is there. I split the stream to run on both sides of the center partition of rocks, it pools slightly and then runs under a flat rock on each side, over a flat rock and then down into the water..not much fall cause the pond is very high with all the rain..may have to adjust the flat rocks when the pond level goes down.

Hope you enjoyed the tour, not completed but pretty much there..oh the plant you can see in the bottom rh corner of the last photo is a black lace elderberry with pink flowers..it will grow about 8 to 10 feet tall and give me berries for jelly (my mom's favorite jelly is elderberry)

Friday, May 9, 2014

AH, SPRING!

Well it is finally ..really.. spring. We have had solid rainy days nearly every day now for a few weeks and the ground is pudding. The trees are leafing out (the ones the rabbits didn't destroy) and there is hope for growth even on the little stubs left of the ones the rabbits chewed all the bark off of. (many of which I still haven't gotten to cut down yet as I said, the ground is pudding). My guess is about 90 % of the shrubs were ruined on our property and will have to start their growth from the ground up, so no berries or nuts on any of those this year, or very few. A few actual "trees" were ruined as well, my fault for not putting wire around them high enough up, 4' is not high enough..and some will survive with some major pruning of rabbit damaged branches....like my poor pear trees, lots of branches lopped of them already.

My tomato plants are sitting out on the east deck in the rain, my squash, melons, cucumbers, etc..that I planted in peat pots are nearly all up and growing wildly and my herbs are still making it on my window sills, but some are way overgrown (started too early !).

A few things are peeking through the soil, like perennials and a few self seeders from 2013..but unfortunately even the asparagus is really late, not a single spear in site. Also no morels yet to be found on our property.

I also have peas and lettuce up in the hugelbed that I put in before we flooded too badly to be walking around that area..and I did get some grass seed in where the ground got severely damaged (driving in pudding)..

I had hoped to build a gazebo on my east deck, which I did manage to get done this last week, at least the 4 posts and roof framing are up, can't put the lattice on the top for the woodbine vines until the rain allows me to paint it..and only one section of railing is up, others need to be redone, spindles removed, length cut, spindles reattached and put up for one, the next one has to be totally built and I haven't gotten the 2x4's bought for that yet. I'll do photos later.

I also bought 2 retractable clotheslines to attach to it and shed wall..one is up and I used it for some sheets yesterday before the rain came back in, was nice to have it only 2 steps from the laundry room door and up on a solid deck..newly boughten line did sag some though so it will be attached slightly differently before next use..and I do have 2 prop poles..bought a second retractable clothesline that I need to figure out where to mount yet.

Well really nothing much to take photos of yet this spring, except chocolate pudding soil, so I'll keep this update short...

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 planting list (so far)

I'm not sure if this is complete or not but I think it is close. This is a list of the seeds or plants that I have on hand this spring for planting or have already started plants inside of ...for my 2014 garden. I'm sure I'll buy more, I always do.

Last 3 years we have had severe droughts here in Michigan so I am changing the way I'm doing things a lot this year, starting more things inside rather than outside, cause it is so hard to keep the seedbeds wet here as they are so scatterred and so far away from the house (that happens when you do food forest gardens, they are everywhere)...also going to do a few things in containers on the deck where I can reach them to keep them watered regularly..(just my luck we'll have a wet summer).

Although I didn't write it down, most of the herbs and some other plants have already been started inside, and one of my trees ( a replacement of one that was damaged in shipment last year) has already arrived and is in a bucket on my back porch.

I have also decided (if you read my last post) to NOT use the glass sliding doors and windows that I have salvaged from my sisters as a entry enclosure on my laundry deck entry..but I'm going to use them off my garage to make a second greenhouse..so it will be about 6x12 with about a 4x8 raised bed inside and a path around it, also there can be containers on the path and hanging containers from the roof there.

Ok well here is that list of plants for 2014:


Amaranth Grain D'Or
American Redbud (2)
Anise
Artichoke green globe
Balm, Lemon
Basil, lettuce leaf
Basil, dwarf green
Basil, opal
Borage
Brussel Sprout Long Island Improved
Bush Bean Royal burgundy
Bush Bean Improved Golden  Wax
Bush Bean Blue Lake 74
Bush Bean Mellow Yellow
Pole Bean Rattlesnake

Beet, shiroz, organic
Beet heirloom mixed seed
Beneficial Insect Mix permaculture plants
Cabbage, Primo (started a few seeds today)
Camomile, roman
Cantaloupe vine peach
Caraway
Cardoon
Catnip
Chard, rhubarb
Chard, Ruby Red
Chervil
Chives, fine
Chives, garlic
Chicory
Corn, Sweet, Tuxana organic heirloom
Corn, Sweet, Festivity, heirloom
Cosmos seed pink and white saved
Crabapple, flowering (2)
Cucumber, heirloom mixed seed
Dill, Mammoth
Dill, bouquet
Dogwood, white flowering (2)
Edible flower and herb mix for container greens
Fennel,sweet
Fennel, Florence
Feverfew
Fraise des bois, strawberries
Garlic
golden rain tree (2)
Herbs (mixed hasn't arrived yet)
Hops
Horehound
Hyssop
Kale, dwarf cuirled Vates
Kale, thousand Headed
Lavender, Munstead
Lavender, Vera
Lettuce, mix, heirloom bolt resistant
Lovage
Malabar spinach
Marjoram, sweet
Melon, Haogen
Melon, heirloom mix
Mint, spearmint
Mint, Peppermint
Mitsuba,  aromatic
Mugwort
Oregano, True
Pac Choi
Parsley, flat leaf
Parsley, curly
Parsnip, Homeschooler heirloom
Peach, blushing star
Pea, Golden Sweet Snow Pea heirloom
Pennyroyal
Pepper, hot mix heirloom (some started)
Pepper, sweet carnival mix hyb.
   Orange sun, Calif wonder, golden Calif wonder, Purple Beauty, Diamond
Pepper, Tobasco
Pepper, Red chili
Pimpermil
Podding Radish
Pumpkin, winter Luxury Heirloom
Pumpkin Early Sweet sugar Pie
Pumpkin Triple Treat
Rose of Sharon
Rosemary
Rue
Sage, Garden
Safflower
Salad mix, mesclun, heirloom
Sesame
Shallots
Somerset Grape
Squash, Winter  mix heirloom
Squash Sweet Meat Oregon Winter heirloom
Squash Zapallo del Tronco, summer, bush, heirloom
Squash, Dark Star Zucchini heirloom
Squash Early Prolific Straightneck heirloomTomato, cherry mix heirloom
Stella Sweet cherry
Thyme, french
Tomato, large mix heirloom
Tomato big boy Hyb
Tomato Sweet 100 Hyb
Washington Hawthorn (2)
Watermelon, Early Moonbeam heirloom
Wormwood
Yarrow, pink
Yarrow, yellow


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Almost Spring in Michigan

Well the end of next week will be Spring in Michigan (according to the calendar but definately doesn't look like Spring outside !)

I have my seed orders here and planted 86 peat pots of seeds so far, mostly herbs. A few of the seeds have even sprouted.

I ate a lot of Earthbound Farms organic greens this winter as my greens I had planted for winter fizzled out..and I saved the plastic containers and put peat pots in them..6 fit into smaller ones and 8 pots fit into larger ones..great way to start peat pots and they stacked on my frig and freezer to have a warm place to sprout.

Last year my sister gave me 2 sliding doors and 2 large windows she removed from her house..and we had planned on building an enclosure on our deck by our East laundry room door, but with Ron's surgery last year it didn't happen, so we still have them in storage..

Well, this week she gave me 3 more windows, one about 4x6 wide, and two smaller about 2x4 high..I always take things like that that are in good condition and are free IF I can figure out a use for them.

I think the larger window will go in our garage over our chop saw and radial arm saw..for some natural light in there, we have a window on the other side rear of the garage and some windows in the overhead doors, but it is really dark in there..so that will take care of one window.

The two smaller ones I think we'll put in a shed, I'm thinking one or both behind the wood furnace in our wood shed as we have to work back there cleaning it out all the time and there is no natural light behind the furnace..also they crank open and have screens so it would make good ventilation.

still plan to make an enclosure with the other 4...if no other emergencies happen.

Have an idea to put some crops in pots on my east deck this year..or larger containers. I really am not a pot person, (container planting )..as I hate watering things with hoses..and use soaker hoses for most of my beds...however IF there aren't a lot of pots I could water them with watering cans and rain catchment..and they would be SOOOOOOOOO easy to harvest just a few steps from the laundry and kitchen doors..I'm getting older and easier is always a plus.

The thoughts right now are..a few potatoes in large rubbermaid totes..some tomatoes, esp the little ones in pots or hanging baskets..herbs of course in pots would be easy and could come inside for winter..maybe some peppers in pots..maybe some peas or green beans as bending over to pick them is hard and I could put them up high enough to easily reach..

Been reading container planting books to gain some knowledge and ideas of putting things in pots as I'm not a container eficiando by any means. Have gained a lot of info by reading..but it will be a big new thing for me..wish me luck.

Also for those who have problems getting a cell signal in the country..the reason I'm back online better now is that my Son ordered me a Wilson Cellphone Signal Amplifier for large home or office..and we put it in a couple of weeks ago and now I get 4 bars on my cellphone in just about the entire house..before it was 1 or less. My cellphone is my computer modem so now I can actually get online without being dropped constantly..so I hopefully will spend a little more time on here (until I can be outside busy all the time and then you know what happens).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12

Well I made it through the ice storm of 2014..at least this one. I tried to drive to my mom's house Saturday but turned around and came home. I was ever so glad to be home, it was nasty out there. Still nasty out there. We got a little snow on top of the ice but it is still icey under the snow. I have to drive my mother to her pre surgery testing Wednesday, and I hope the roads are cleared by then. We have had a really good lot of snow this year after a very wet wet autumn, and even had plenty of rain this winter between snows. Maybe we won't have a drought this year.

I have my seeds and plants ordered for 2014. I ordered a lot of seeds from Bountiful Gardens, ordered many in "mixed seed" packets..like a packet of mixed melons, mixed winter squash, mixed large tomato, etc. So instead of an entire packet of one type of squash or melon, it is a packet of mixed heirloom seeds of this or that. I also ordered single packets of some of my favorites and a few new things to try.

I had two replacement trees coming from 2013 that will be arriving this spring, a sweet cherry and an apricot. I found a zone 4 peach that I wanted to try and a zone 4 seedless red grape so those are also on order.

I got a card from an herb company and they had some offers that interested me, one was 50 packets of seeds for herbs for $20..thought I'd try that one, they are all packaged separately..and yes I also did the stupid thing and rejoined arbor day this year and have their puny baby seedlings coming of 10 flowering trees and a bush coming ..

OK so I just felt like doing some crazy things..we'll see what happens from all that.

I'm excited to get my seeds and plan what I want to start inside and what I'll put where outside..don't have my pick up truck repaired yet so all my hauling will have to be in my van this year..wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I have plans to put in a sidewalk this year ..taking up the single pavers that get all overgrown with lawn.. hopefully I'll get to that this year. I was given 3 sliding doors and 2 windows so I hope to use some of that and enclose the laundry room doorway (others are already enclosed)..to give me an airlock/mudroom type thing there..on the east. I have a huge deck on that side so it is just a matter of enclosing the sides and top..I also will hopefully attach a trellis/arbor to that and put the woodbine vines up over it that grow madly in that area, to provide some shade to the deck, it is sweltering in the summer there.

After last summer's plans being blown my Ron's emergency surgery and recovery, I hope that we have a quiet peacful 2014.

Oh, and we did get our wood furnace replaced a week ago today we started it up and have burned the new one for a week, it seems to be working far better than the previous ones..and we are toasty warm.

Just a bit over 2 months left before official start of spring, but we often will get warmer weather a couple weeks before the official start of spring to where we can get out and walk and do things (can't walk now without falling on our butts)..so I'm itching to get outside..Last two years we had late springs with some really warm weather in late winter..but I prefer not to have weather warm enough to cause fruit trees to bud early and then get hit with hard late frosts like the last two years..

I want my fruit trees to bud normally and bear normally this year so we can take advantage of all the fruit we have been planting..this is my real hope for 2014.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Well maybe, just maybe my blog is fixed?

For the past 3 months I have been mostly unable to get on my blog and post, but today it appears that it may  be working correctly.

We have had a lot going on the homestead, but the most dissappointing is that our new Empyre Elite 200 wood furnace sprung a leak into the firebox and we are waiting for the dealer to replace it on warranty. That was a huge huge huge "lemon" of a furnace. We had to have the door replaced 3 times, had a warning buzzer replaced and had some levers and other things repaired in the first year..and now this. The new one is supposed to be updated with stainless steel.

We had a good Christmas..we only bought gifts for my 93 year old mother, and I'm going to pay a few bills for my son, otherwise no exchanging gifts.
Here is a photo of our tree, we didn't do a lot more decorating.
We have had an extremely snowy and cold November and December, so much for saving $ heating with wood, propane has been buzzing along.

This week I was chicken sitting for a neighbor, best thing without being able to have my own..sweet little things gave me some loverly eggs. I am getting spoiled by them and really want my own, IF ONLY Ron wouldn't object so much.

Am taking advantage of the cold outside to do some reorganizing and cleaning inside..took a 24 x 30 inch cabinet down in the laundry room that we couldn't properly access (we are both short and it was behind washer and dryer) and moved it over a 24 " cabinet in the kitchen that had a blank wall..so now it is useful..got that done today and hope to do some closet cleaning next (tomorrow have to run Ron to VA to pick up his hearing aids.)

Also we aren't much on leaving decorations up so I'll be taking the tree down soon also and putting all that stuff away, a good opportunity to do some more organizing and cleaning as well.

Cabinet HAD candles and candle holders store in it (as IF I could have found them in the dark so high up requiring a step stool to get to)..so I moved all of the candles to a much lower cabinet centrally located in the house in case of a power outage and will put some matches and a propane lighter nearby..so we'll be much better prepared this way. Cabinet in kitchen in it's new place has already been filled with some stuff that was stacked on the countertop..(I hate stacks)

Well thankfully the blog is working..I'll attempt to post this update and if the blog continues to work maybe I'll take some photos of the snow this week and post those as well..good to be back.