Assssssspen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo more things got checked off my list today-the two stumps in the front yard were ground out and a brand new tree got planted!

stump1cOne stump was under the spruce tree on the east side of my lawn.  Initially I thought I’d just leave it as nothing grows under the tree anyways but now I’m so glad I had them grind it out.

stump2c

The other stump was smack dab in the middle of the west side of my lawn.  These stumps were huge-I can’t even begin to guess how old the trees were!

I originally thought I’d plant a new tree in the hole left by this stump but then I heard that odds were that the whole stump wouldn’t be ground out and that it would just be done deep enough to put some dirt over and plant grass.

So I called my mom to come help and together we finally planted the little Aspen tree I bought weeks ago!

tree1We started out placing it around the yard until we found the perfect spot.  I wanted to be able to still see the steeple from the oldest church in town (built in 1888) and still keep my views of the mesas to the south but also eventually block out most of the town homes on the corner.

While I dug the hole my mom raked up the wood chips from the stump and put them under the spruce tree.

tree3

Then she took the clumps of grass I dug up and planted them in the bare spot. If I’m lucky at least a little of that grass will take hold and fill in the spot.

tree4(Taking these pictures was really hard-it turns out that there are a ton of trees in my neighborhood that my tree perfectly blends in with!)

tree5It feels so good to check these two items off my list!

-A

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Window Box Table

Back in April I made a window box for my front window.

Then it fell down and my front patio looked like this for several weeks:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI had those railroad ties lying around and initially thought I could just prop them up and rest the window box on top.  Didn’t work.

So to the saw I went!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy confidence was high as I cut all the boards

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then glued and screwed two pieces on each “leg” to hold the top and shelf.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAssembly was really easy…except the top wasn’t long enough.  I didn’t consider that while the shelf piece sat between the boards…the top needed to go all the way across.  So, I added some smaller pieces on each end to bridge the gap.

Then dark clouds started to move in so I scrambled to get my saw back inside and I hauled my table into the laundry room where it got a coat of exterior white paint.

The paint was dry this morning so I took put it in place.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA And now the patio looks like this!

I don’t think I could be happier with how this turned out!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI took my mom to a greenhouse over the weekend to celebrate (late) Mother’s Day and I picked up the habaneros and tomatillos (shown in yesterday’s post,) a tree for the front yard (more on that coming soon!) and some flowers to fill up my window box and flower pots.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy plan is to put more pansies in that white flower pot on that bottom shelf and that’s probably it-I don’t feel like I need to fill this thing up.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI still need to paint the corner post and hang up my shade cloth and I’ll be ready for summer!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I can finally enjoy my flowers from the inside too!

-A

This is the Year

…of apples!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy old tree is c o v e r e d in them!

and

…of surprises

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy mom found this rose when cleaning up my yard when I bought my house.  It wasn’t blooming then and it didn’t bloom last year so this will be the year that I finally get to see what color it is!  I’m guessing red.

…of peppers

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJalapenos, habaneros and poblanos

and tomatoes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATwo varieties of cherry tomatoes and some tomatillos.

and

…of a REAL backyard!

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Tree Branch Trellis

Between rainstorms today I got one thing done.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI sorted through the branches and picked four that were almost the same length.  I trimmed them

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand put two in opposite corners.  I wired them together at the top

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand then put the remaining two in the remaining corners.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI searched high and low for my ball of twine but couldn’t find it anywhere.  I blame Henry.  I had some green yarn so I went with that.  I wound it around the frame, twisting it around each branch as I went around and around.  Then I strung some down vertically and tied them to the bottom piece of yarn.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnd now I have a trellis for my cucumbers.  It’s sturdy and my cucumbers are supposed to be vines so I’m assuming this will work.  I also planted carrots and beets in the center and I’m hoping they get enough sun to grow.  I thought about growing lettuce in there but I was worried that when the cucumbers got too thick I wouldn’t be able to harvest it and it would be wasted.

I’ll let you know how it works out in the fall.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is now the view from my back door.  I like how it’s a little askew so I’ll still be able to see my pretty garden gate bean trellis.

As you can see to the right of this picture, I still have a lot of branches left so I’m thinking some cages for my tomatoes…but I think those are going to be a little more complicated so it might be a couple of days before I get around to that!

-A

In the Works

My schedule recently changed at work.  Sure it’s still the same number of hours, but it makes me feel like I have less time to get stuff done.

Actually, no.

crochet1This crochet stitch is keeping me from getting stuff done around the house.  Oh, and also, I just started watching Orange is the New Black so that’s been taking up a lot of my time too.

But, I’ve been thinking about doing A LOT!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst there’s this mess of branches in my backyard.  I have recently started referring to it as Henry’s Playground because he has really enjoyed rummaging through the pile for loose branches he can drag around the yard.  He’s not anxious for me to get around to cleaning these up and making stuff out of them…

branch2I did start cutting down the big branches and will hopefully have a finished project to show you soon.  Luckily, everything that still needs to be done can be done inside so I won’t have to stop watching OITNB.  Whew!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally, since my table making confidence is a 100, I’m going to make a smaller, simpler one to set my window box on.

All that combined with cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and weeding-I’ve got a lot to do!

That all sounds really overwhelming…I should probably crochet a couple of rows and watch a few episodes to rest up for all that hard work!

-A

Outdoor Table

I built furniture today you guys.  Not any of that pre-cut particle board stuff either-for real, from scratch furniture.

It all started with this

table3blank wall in the backyard.

And also this:

table2Specifically all that wood hanging out around my shed.

To the right you can see a failed project that I originally intended to put up around my front stairwell.  It didn’t work out and now I’m glad because I like the metal fence I put up out there better.

Anyways, after some Googling I decided that I could build a console type table out of the wood I already had.

table1I started out building the legs

table4and them attached them with two boards.  Because I was using wood I had already cut for other projects, I didn’t have two of the same width and length so the front board is narrower than the back one.  I don’t think anyone will notice

table5because I then put boards across the bottom to form a shelf.

Then I realized that I had just built a really awkward 5ft long table that I couldn’t lift and maneuver off my patio so I had to take the shelf off and reassemble it in place.

table6I moved the bricks and rocks to the sides (SO MANY SPIDERS!) so I could put the table (mostly) in the center of the wall.  When I have another set of hands here I’ll probably move it to level the ground and put some rocks down under it.  The ground is super soft and slanty there so the end on the right is sitting lower than the one on the left.

You can also see in the above picture that I put a top on it.  I used two of the cedar fence boards that I had leftover from building planter boxes.  One is warped from being out in the rain for so long but I’m exploring other options for the top so I’m not worried about it.

table7Then I had to accessorize it, of course.

I’ve had a makeshift pallet table on my patio for several months.  It’s been half painted and under used so I’d like to get rid of it and just use my pretty new piece.  I picture the bottom shelf holding extra pots and miscellaneous gardening supplies and I want the top to be filled with pots of herbs and flowers.  I plan to scour thrifts stores for more pots that I can spray paint bright new colors.

I also haven’t decided how I’m going to finish this.  I’m thinking of a combination of staining the legs and painting the shelf on the bottom.  The shelf is pine and I think it’s going to need more protection if it’s going to be out in the elements.

table8While it’s still not completely finished, I’m so proud of it!  I did that!

-A

Win Some, Lose Some

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a month since I first started putting plants in the ground!

I started with some tree peonies…and then it snowed.  I thought they were a lost cause so when I found some big peony bushes at Wal-Mart last week (for half the price I paid for the tree peonies) I picked up two.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI put them in the same place as the first peonies and they’re doing great!

When I dug up the tree peonies I noticed the roots were still going strong

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAso I moved them to the big pots on my patio.  They still may not make it but I figure it’s worth a try!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlso, one of the lilacs was looking pretty dead.

So, again I found my solution at Wal-Mart for just $3.50!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI may get flowers next year!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAgain, I was pleasantly surprised when I dug up the dead guy:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo it went into one of the grey pots too.

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I wish I could tell you that those have been my only disappointments this year but there’s this:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI love the bright green sweet potato vines…I just wish they were in a window box…attached to a window…

The window box didn’t fall, thankfully, but when I got home one day I noticed it drooping pretty badly so I took it down.  I’m working on building something to give it a little more support.

Don’t worry though, it’s not all mostly dead plants and fallen window boxes around here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe flowers in my tree lawn pots are coming up

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand one of the irises should bloom any day now

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand that clematis…well, she’s just showing off at this point!

We’ve been getting a ton of rain the last couple of weeks which has made everything so lush and green-wait til you see the backyard!

-A