We had some gorgeous lighting from storms today, so I took some updated photos of the garden. I think it’s fun to see how it changes over time, and in most of the photos I shared yesterday my plants seemed so small. I also took pictures where the “after” was missing.
After getting most of the yard done, I continued to tear out grass. We carved out a space for the kids to own. Jack planted lettuce, peppers, and a watermelon that’s M.I.A. I think a rabbit ate the sprout. Sam planted strawberries and a kangaroo paw plant. We sprinkled clover all over too.
Under the locust I wanted a little shade garden and short-cut pathway. Using up the last of our fence posts and some landscaping spikes, Sam laid out a “rustic” path and together we Jack we installed it. I planted some adorable coral bells, sweet woodruff, columbines, forget-me-nots, lupine, leadwort, and creeping myrtle.
A family of skunks have been digging for grubs in the garden, and caused a lot of damage to the plants. Combined with the late July heat, the plants are looking a bit ragged. I have high hopes that they will recover and we’ll have a lovely shady border in a couple years.
One of my favorite parts of the big landscaping project was expanding and refining our vegetable plot. We had two 3×3′ shallow raised beds in the grassy lawn on the east side of the house. I wanted to have more planter beds, and to replace the grass with clover.
We took out a half-height fence that divided the front and side yards. I used that fence to build new planters. Mom donated some old cedar posts for me to use too. Lastly, I took apart my old beds to make a larger, taller bed with stabilized corners.
I got a new circular saw and it did the task better than my jigsaw. I used decking screws to assemble the beds. Sam helped a lot! He was great with the drill.
I also really wanted trellised arches in my garden. I wanted an arbor to replace the fence, with a trumpet vine (like Grandma Cook had) and lilac bushes flanking the portal. I didn’t like the shape or quality of any arbors online. I toyed with the idea of making a Japanese-style arbor, inspired by tori gates. Ben loved the idea and encouraged me to make one. For this project I bought new wood. Again, with Ben’s encouragement, I chose a bright red sealer to color and protect the arbor. I had plenty leftover, so the planters were painted to match. Finally, I installed the arbor to the existing posts that were a part of the old fence gate.
Most recently the kids helped me make stepping stones so that I don’t feel bad crushing the clover every day.
I started the vegetables inside in trays. Nimbus kept eating the sprouts, and it took me a couple tries with different contraptions to keep her out.
The trumpet vines are coming in very slowly, but hopefully in a few years I’ll have a beautiful archway.
The clover took off like mad. I sprinkled in some buckwheat, and I’m delighted by the combination.
I have 3 kinds of carrots, 4 kinds of green beans, cucumbers, shishito peppers, jalapeños, mini bell peppers, banana peppers, pea pods, 2 kinds of lettuce, and 4 kinds of pumpkin. I LOVE my pumpkin arch. I got a cattle panel from the Tractor Supply store. I installed 4 T posts and zip tied the panel to them. The pumpkins are super happy and the effect is so whimsical. In amongst all the vegetables I have rosemary, oregano, nasturtiums, marigolds, and calendula. On the ground around my planters I also have alyssum, sage, regular strawberries, alpine strawberries, leeks, parsley, asparagus, chives, thyme, spearmint, peppermint, a blueberry bush, and two raspberry bushes.
This year we did a huge project that we’ve been wanting for years – transforming the front and side yards to a xeriscape garden. Ben had a friend with a new landscaping company, so after meeting with them in the fall to go over plans, they started tearing up the yard in the spring.
I didn’t take any real “before” pictures. It was bare lawn, with a half-height fence between the front and side yard.) Here’s some pictures as the workers started tearing out grass and installing a brick edge.
Today I started the RN Refresher program at Red Rocks. I’m dipping my toes in returning to bedside nursing care.
I think it will be a good way to gain confidence and rebuild my med/surg nursing skills. It’s a small class (11 students) and, very lucky for me, the campus is close to home. I was able to come home for lunch break and changed into our scrubs, after they recommended we wear them to class for the skills lab. We have a full day class every Thursday through October, then ten 12 hour shifts of clinical work through mid December, and then we are done! It sounds like a relaxed course, and I’ll be super ready to return to working in a hospital if that’s what I want at the end of this.