Sunday, December 29, 2013
It will be at least a few years before these beds are fully planted. Along the way, I'm sure there will plenty of changes made to the overall design and look of them. Who know how it will all turn out. But then again, I think this is precisely what makes gardening so rewarding and in many ways, so much fun.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
When we bought our new home, there was a low-lying deck that ran along one side of our farmhouse. It was in desperate need of fresh paint but otherwise was in good condition. Unfortunately for us, it really didn't suite the space it occupied on our property. Nor did it mesh well with the rustic charm of our 19th century farmhouse. On top of this, the previous owners had closed off the entryway that had led directly onto the deck when they enlarged and remodeled our kitchen. As a result, in order to get to it, you had go out the backdoor and walk around to this side of the house. It didn't take us long to realize that the deck would eventually have to go, although a project like this remained relatively low on my list of home and gardening projects to take on in the near future.
Four grueling hours later, the deck was finally gone. In the end, it took two husbands (mine and our axe wielding neighbor Bryan) and agreat deal of sweat to demolish the darn thing. Apparently this deck was built to withstand not only the test of time, but also two grown men with large crowbars.
Since the deck was removed, I did find the time to create a basic planting bed that runs along this side of the house. Eventually, I think I'd like to install a very wide and natural looking flagstone walkway, laden with creeping thyme, evergreen shrubs and flowering perennials, which would then lead to a large rose arbor that opens up to the backyard. Until then, there will be plenty of dirt and mud here to knock about.
|What used to be our deck.|
|Another view of our old deck.|
Fast forward to this past October, my husband woke up one Saturday morning, took one look at the deck and decided that it would be a good day to tear it down. Being the ever supportive spouse, I gave him a skeptical look and asked if he was sure. He said yes and confidently stated that it would probably only take him about an hour to get the job done. I grinned and wished him well as I had my own chores to do.
|Removing the deck really opened up this space.|
|A basic planting bed now sits along this side of the house.|
Monday, December 9, 2013
|The first snow fall of 2013 - Scituate, Massachusetts|
I always look forward to receiving the first mail order seed catalog for 2014. This year, it just so happens to be the one from Seed Savers Exchange. All in all, the contents of these catalogs don't change very much from one year to the next. Still, I enjoy flipping through them from cover to cover since you never know what you might miss if you don't. Usually I'll find myself lusting over a vegetable or two I've overlooked in past - like this one.
|Our home composting operation behind our barn|
Speaking of waste, one of the first things we learned soon after we moved into our new place was that there was no town-operated trash pickup service in Scituate. Instead, residents who did not arrange for trash pickup through a private waste management company had to dispose of their waste at the town's transfer station using only trash bags issued and sold by the town. Like most other residents, we've elected to do the latter and I have to say, I couldn't be happier. In fact, I definitely believe that it would positively impact our environment if more towns adopted this system for managing waste.
For one thing, since we personally pay for each bag of trash we dispose of (as opposed to a general tax that's easily overlooked), it incentivizes home composting and recycling, which you can drop off for free. This daily reminder has made us much more mindful of our family's waste production, so much so that we've now reduced our non-recyclable waste output to about one extra-large garbage bag every two weeks. Based on our past habits, this amount would be much greater if we had home trash pickup service.
|A simple compost bin made from recycled wooden pallets|
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Here is a interesting video produced by CNN and Anthony Bourdain about Detroit, including its evolving urban agricultural scene. Now that the 'world's largest urban farm' has been approved for development, it seems like the green revolution is picking up steam in a city once considered the epicenter of the automobile industry. It will be interesting to see how this environmental/social/economic experiment will shape Detroit in the years to come.