Category Archives: le jardin

The Back 400

…the back 400 square feet of our yard.

In May we planted that very small row of raspberry bushes and now we finally have a vision to work off of! The “bush” (sprig) that Marcus weed whacked grew back and no varmints ate the plants so we are off to the races with our jam garden/orchard/berry ranch.

Last week, we had the giant Ash tree in the middle of our yard cut down. It was really too close to the house (if you look at the snap above you can just barely see the stump in the middle of so much dead grass). Someday it would have died from some Ash parasite anyway. If it were at all to fall toward the house it would have caused significant damage. We wanted to open up the space so that we can build a playset next summer. Cutting it down also meant that we could finally envision what our yard would truly look like without it.

Answer: sunny.

It also meant we could move forward with other remaining yard transformation plans for this year!

Over the weekend we planted the small Bali Cherry Tree you see in line with the raspberries. And I inherited a rhubarb and some chives from some family friends that went into the ground today.

The yellow lines show where we can continue rows with…something. I tried to give a decent amount of space between the raspberries and the rhubarb because both will grow, but the raspberries especially should fill in that area.

The yellow rectangles indicate where the raised beds will go. One bed will be committed to strawberries and bush beans which you can apparently co-plant. The other will be for herbs and then possibly some lettuces. The chives will move from the ground into that bed next spring.

Last but not least yes I know I literally planted all of this stuff straight into grass and nothing that at all resembles a garden. Basically all of this was an experiment at the beginning of the summer and I wanted to see where it would go before I started actively destroying large areas of our lawn.

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Our Sweet New Garden

Landscaping. We did it! It is done! A miracle really. I cannot believe all of these pretty gardens are mine (ours), really.

And all of the plants I sourced at out local non-profit’s plant sale are now in the ground! It was so nice – Mom came over to help me plant them (Dad supervised). I really wanted to get them all into the ground before the round of storms we’re supposed to have tomorrow so that they get some RAIN. They have been living in containers for a month and this is…better.

Now, for some before and afters!

Before.

After.

Before.

After.

Before.

After.

It is impossible to overstate how pleased I am by all of this. Now that everything is planted, I can honestly say I am done with gardening antics until next year besides basic watering and weeding.

The First Raspberry

Earlier this evening, there was actually one red raspberry on this bush that looks like it will give us approximately 14 berries this year. It was so bright (and this tiny twig of a bush is so small) that I could see it from across the yard.

When Critter got home from T-Ball, I told him we needed to go see the new raspberry to which he responded “Oh the watering can.” Watering the raspberry bushes and all of our plants really is his tiny tot chore.

When we made our way down to the bushes we watered them and then stopped to admire the one red berry on the bush.

I looked at Critter and asked him if he wanted to eat it or leave it for the bunny (we have a baby bunny who lives in our yard). He chose eat it and so I plucked this one small berry off and after inspection, handed it to him.

He popped it in his mouth and gave me the biggest grin. He ate the berry from the bush he has been taking care of for the last month! He finally got to see how the thousands of raspberry he eats every year begin! Now he wants to eat the unripe ones too!

(Me: Absolutely not.)

Next year there will be more berries. There will be more edible plants. But this year this one berry is really pretty special.

How the Garden Grows.

Our garden is starting to blossom!

Apparently this Iris is pink?

I had been told to expect purple or yellow but this is nicer in my opinion.

And these are the hot pink Peonies we have.

I had never seen one like this before – after doing some research, I think it is a variety called “Mikado.”

I also have a tiny white Peony as well. This was a transplant from last fall so it will be interesting to see how it grows up!

Last but not least, the Raspberry Bushes.

Marcus accidentally weed whacked one (I know, we all mourned) but we’ll see if/how it bounces back in the next year or two.

I should probably cut down the grass between the bushes or do some sort of hoe-ing of the area so that it is just dirt. In time. I’d also like to add some rhubarb plants here and do a small, sunny jam garden that is low maintenance.

I cannot remember if I shared this, but we finally committed to a landscaper whose final quote came in SIGNIFICANTLY lower than what we were initially seeing (and he was recommended by Bruce, so legit) and our project should start in the next two or three weeks, so that is exciting! Once they’re done, I’ll be able to plant and relocate our current crop of Irises/Hostas/Day Lilies and we are going to have a pretty spiffy situation.

Home Sweet Home

For the past month, I have been trying to do one fun Critter and Mama adventure each Friday after I pick him up from daycare. Marcus has Glitter on those days so I have the extra time. Last Friday, he and I visited the “jungle” (garden center) at Lowe’s to buy some hanging baskets and some simple plants for our planters.

Critter loves visiting the “jungle” (lol seriously) and it is such a hoot to wheel around the aisles with him while we look at the fwowers. However, there is only so much gardening to be done. The Irises have yet to show me any flowers and the Peonies are getting closer to blooming but we are not quite there yet.

SOON ENOUGH.

We are finally making some landscaping decisions (more on that in another post) and little by little we are spiffing up the exterior of the house. It’s crazy to think that at this time last year, we still had not seen our house and were wrapping up our third month on the multi-generational compound.

We are also starting to move into a whole new rhythm of summer life. ECFE ended last week. Library story time will be sporadic throughout the summer. Glitter has turned into a two nap baby which is fantastic because she is pretty predictable and it means that now I get at least 30 minutes of solo time in the AM with Critter and usually at least 30 minutes of time to myself in the afternoon when their naps overlap.

He has also taken to calling our house “home sweet home” from time to time and it is the sweetest, most hilarious thing. I have no idea where he got it from but he is right. It is our home sweet home!

The Garden is Growing!

Our house came with one peony (bush?). And that was it. Last fall, I planted some free plants a former co-worker gave me and then promptly forgot about them.

Yesterday when we were playing outside, I thought Hey! We should probably rake these off! Like how all of our neighbors are raking off their gardens!

Behold!

Daylilies.

I think I need to split these?

Irises.

(OMG THEY ARE SO BIG ALREADY HOW DID THIS HAPPEN I HAVE DONE NOTHING?!)

The Peonies the house came with.

My bonus Peonies I planted last fall.

(They are very small).

We do have some re-landscaping plans for this summer but we are not there yet. In the meantime, I am going to continue my very passive gardening efforts.

In No Particular Order

Apparently I just have a lot of different little things that I feel like I need to share, so here they are.

  • We discovered that there was a bird nest in the insulation covering our exposed foundation.  When they went to start removing the insulation, we discovered there were baby birds in the nest!  So that project has been tabled until fall (I do not want any bad baby bird karma) and THANK GOD the mama bird did not abandon the nest.
  • I finally completed all of my recertification credits for my SPHR and submitted that application.  So, now I have to wait the four weeks while they review it (snooze) and then hopefully that should be all-wrapped up.  Spending free hours listening to webinars was not my favorite part of the whole summer, but the nice part is that the hours also counted for my SHRM-SCP recertification so it was sort of like a buy-one-get-one type deal.  Now, I just need to figure out how to translate some of my other recertification credits  from the SPHR to the SHRM-SCP.  Lean in!
  • The deck off our our master suite is finally completed and on the first night of its functionality, I was able to watch a squirrel build a leaf nest in the maple tree so already, it is a fascinating and worthwhile adult treehouse.
  • A former co-worker was seeking to unload a bunch of Iris bulbs so I requested some and now they are planted in the one bed of dirt we have outside of our entire house. Re-landscaping will be a whole different project for another year.  To summarize: our house is surrounded by rock that is somewhere between gravel and proper landscaping rock.  The sum total of plants is one day lily and one peony bush (win!).  There are some bushes around the house but every single one is a different kind.  At least now I can say I’ve tried to plant some flowers and Do Better.  Last weekend we also obtained a trowel, watering can, and pruning/clippers thing.
  • I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  I discovered this because my hands were falling asleep at night while I was sleeping (how uncool, right?) so the remedy is apparently to wear wrist braces while I sleep.  I just cannot even begin to discuss the level of indignity.  BUT. I slept so, so well last night and I know I was waking up every hour and a half or so before because my hands were falling asleep while I slept. So I will take it. 
  • Critter woke up on Sunday and decided to become a full-blown toddler so that has just been a really energizing time for all of us as we try to negotiate Not Touchdown Spiking All Of Our Toys In Inappropriate Places amongst probably any other toddler behavior you can think of.

So that’s how life is over here, lately.