So, last weekend I did the last of the winter prep in the back and front yard. We’ve already had a tiny bit of snow one night a few weeks ago but as you can see there’s none right now. In fact I wasn’t even wearing socks, that’s how warm it was.
I raked the leaves and added them to the compost…
… and cut off anything dead and added that to the compost as well.
And last but no least I finally tucked away the patio furniture under the great big tarp under the balcony. While this day was warm and sunny and Bonus might have liked to lounge there it really was time. I always like to clean everything before putting it away and doing that in fair weather is much nicer than having to do it in the rain, snow and cold which is undoubtedly coming.
Sleep well little yard. See you again come spring. Spring, please come soon!
Here’s a long overdue post. For some reason these garden posts are the hardest to put together. I guess it’s because I’m never really happy with the photos in them. Too green, to bright yadda yadda yadda. Anyway this is also the second time I write it because as I was happy to have finished it an hour ago I for some reason wasn’t able to save and it was all gone. So frustrating!
Anyway. Here goes.
The photo above is from just before we moved in a bit over two years ago. The flower bed in front of the basement stairs looked very sad an bare. As did those god awful fleshy pavers.
After a couple of months, not so bare anymore but still sad. Everything as so overgrown with weeds and grass.
I tried best as I could to sort things out but the layout and the multitude of different flowers was just too much and I knew I would have to do something drastic about it.
So I started to make plans for a simpler back yard. Both simpler to the eyes and to maintain. I actually ended up doing pretty much what was in my plan except for the concrete pavers which I skipped.
As the deck got built the flower bed became a continuation of it. I didn’t save a whole lot of what was originally there, gave most of it away to neighbors and random people via the internet. I did save some hostas, the clematis and a peony.
I also saved that yellow thingy close to the deck but later got rid of that too as yellow in the garden’s not my thing.
I finally got started replanting after the deck was finished. I basically dug all this out.
Like so, only leaving the peony in it’s place and a tiny white rose which I salvaged from another flower bed. Also the clematis runs wild in my back yard and I intend to keep it that way so I just left that as is.
I lifted the clumps of hostas out on to the lawn…
… divided and replanted them as a border. They did look a bit sad and leggy last summer since they didn’t have anything to lean against. I also added three white Endless Summer hydrangeas which look puny here but which are supposed to become 150 cm tall eventually.
This photo was taken earlier this summer. I’m really pleased with the hosta border. The hydrangeas are still quite small but have had beautiful blooms (there are still some).
Until the hydrangeas reach their full height and width I’ve filled the gaps with some marguerite daises. And that white blob towards the back is the white rose I saved which turned out to be beautiful once it got better growing conditions..
And there it is all nice and lush. As you can see from this view the lawn was still in pretty bad shape earlier when I took these photos (we’d hardly not had any rain so my grass seeds didn’t want do do their thing) but happily that’s filled in since.
There, I did it! The post is up, finally!
If you want to know more about the garden there’s a category in the archives named In the garden so check that out. If you want more about the deck and how it was built etc , try typing in “the deck” in the search bar at the top of the sidebar and you should find it all there. The search bar is actually a pretty great tool which I use all the time myself when I look for earlier posts.
Back in spring my sour cherry tree bloomed like never before. It was crazy beautiful.
I do remember thinking “I hope not every one of those blooms will turn into a cherry, or I’m in trouble!”.
Guess what? They did. Our tree has been SO heavy with berries it’s completely nuts. These sour cherries aren’t great eating straight off the tree, they’re really REALLY sour, but they do make for great tarts etc. Last year I asked my next door neighbor if she wanted the crop since I didn’t have time to take care of it. The year before I made some jam. This year I did pick quite a lot and made some tarts which I put in the freezer and also froze some de-pitted cherries for making tarts later on. My next door neighbor also picked a lot but there was still a crazy amount left.
So up went a sign inviting neighbors and passers by to fill a bag (or several). It was awesome to see people taking me up on the offer. It really was a win-win situation. I didn’t have to pick and take care of it all and the pickers got free berries. There are still a few left for the birdies but I’m happy it didn’t all fall on the ground rotting.
So if you read the first and second parts on my summer concrete project you might want to see the final result. If not skip this post, I totally understand if you’re sick of all the prep work. Anyway, I started preparing the cardboard tube by giving it several coats of this natural rubber solution. It prevents the cardboard from getting soggy from the wet concrete and to prevent cardboard remnants to stick to the finished product. To be honest I think I could have skipped it for this project. 1. Because the cardboard was so thick. 2. Because you wont be able to see the sides of my finished product. I had some left from way back when i did those other projects so I decided to use it after all.
I wanted to prevent the wet concrete to escape under my tube so I stuck it down to the back of an old door with duct tape. them I hot glued my numbers to the door to prevent them from shifting when I poured in the concrete. I triple checked to make sure I put them in correctly, upside down! Making a backward 72 would not have been a pleasing end result.
Then I mixed the concrete. I don’t have a mixer so I just used a shovel in a bucket. The proportions are on the bag but I tend to make it slightly more watery so it pours more easily and evenly.
Then I filled all the voids around the numbers carefully, making sure I got concrete in all the little nooks and crannies.
I was a bit worried that my construction would become brittle with the 2 and 7 almost touching and possibly be too thin so I decided to reinforce my slab to be with some chicken wire and fill with concrete over the numbers.
I poured some more concrete to immerse the chicken wire and then lidted the door at one end and shook it up and down a bit to remove most of the air pockets.
My creation was laid to rest for about 36 hours covered in plastic. The plastic prevents the concrete to dry out too quickly so it cures more strongly and evenly.
After it had cured I flipped it over and removed the foam core milk carton numbers by poking them with a knife and taking them out bit by bit.
Because I want the option for something to grow in the numbers I needed to poke out the thin bottom through to the chicken wire which I did with a big screw driver and a hammer.
The not so pretty back side as I was peeling off the cardboard tube.
To let the slab cure further it must be kept moist for another 24 hours or s so I sprayed it with water and wrapped it in the tarp it was on. Please excuse the shoddy photography in this post but the sun was merciless.
Bonus modeled my finished product as I was trying to determine where exactly to place it. See Bonus smizing?
And here it is! For the moment I just transplanted some grass into the numbers but I might switch to tiny pebbles or possibly some of that creeping thyme that you can step on. Now I just mow over the slab with the lawn mover but if I do thyme I might have to trim with scissors. Too much of a hassle perhaps. I'll keep you posted! Anyway, I think it turned out pretty ok and when the grass fills in around it will look even better.