Monday, April 6, 2020

Garden Chronology

As I looked at the garden, from the kitchen window, this morning I thought about how far it has come.  When we moved onto the ranch, six and a half years ago, the “garden” looked like this:

And this morning it looked like this:

Needless to say, its been a lot of work.  I thought it would be fun to show a chronology of how we got from there to here, in photos.  Ready?

Brett built me a raised planter box

And I started clearing all the weeds; by hand, with a hoe.  It took forever.
Brett put in water lines; lots and lots of water lines

He also put in the chicken run and chicken shed — which he painted red.  I think chickens should have a red shed; its so farmyard.  I started planting fruit trees and Brett pulled out all the cement blocks and brick which were scattered around the garden.  He created a planting bed with large rocks and small boulders, in the middle of the garden. 

My first garden shed was a rabbit hutch that we brought with us from Aspen Meadows for some reason.  We didn’t bring any rabbits with us; just this hutch.
The fence was still t-posts and wire, but Brett made me a beautiful garden gate for my birthday.
My mom died in 2014, which was devastating.  We had this sculpture of a pelican drinking champagne (two of her favorite things) commissioned for the garden.

Brett created another garden bed with stone, and I planted it with flowers my mother loved.  I sat in that red chair, thinking about her, a lot.
Brett finished replacing the t-post fencing with a wood and hog wire, creating a strong and beautiful deer fence.

We spread bark around the front part of the garden, leaving the orchard portion in grass (weeds).

Brett built me a second raised planter box, at the back of the garden, next to the chicken run.
The nectarine tree succumbed to canker and died.  In its place, I created another round bed.  I planted this one with a mix of natives and plants that attract birds and butterflies.  I moved those flags around until I had a design that I liked.
2018 was the year Brett built my greenhouse, with some help from his buddy Richard.
And some help from me, too.  Brett is deathly afraid of heights so that’s me working on the roof.

Brett built a cover for one of my raised beds.  For the first time, I got to eat my vegetables instead of just feeding the squirrels.  That’s the bird and butterfly garden in the foreground and the first round bed which is planted in flowers and herbs in the middle.
There are lots of projects still in the hopper.  Currently, I’m removing all the mint growing around my fruit trees (there are close to 20 of them).  I reconfigured their drip lines and am now replacing the mint with mulch.  My goal is to have the entire garden and orchard covered in mulch.  This year, Brett is going to build me a support for my tomatoes which will have their own area.  I love my garden — its been a lot of work, and it never would have happened without Brett.  That man can build anything.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Hungry, So Hungry

About a month ago, Sage went to the vet for her annual check-up and vaccinations.  The vet said she was in good health, other than be quite overweight.  I knew she was a bit chubby but he said she needed to lose eight pounds or so and that’s a lot for a medium size dog.  A few days later we had agility class.  Sage struggled with one of the jumps; a broad flat jump.  She trotted across it instead of jumping and, despite trying a number of times, just couldn’t do it.  I talked to the instructor after class to get some tips on how to help her with the jump.  The instructor said that she couldn’t do the jump because she was too fat.  So, poor Sage has been on a diet.  I can’t quite feel her ribs yet but she has lost weight.  The agility trainer suggested adding canned pumpkin to her food as it is full of fiber and will help her feel full on her reduced portion of dog food.

She’s still hungry.  She’s been eating horse manure (puppy pesto, our vet called it) and anything she can catch.  Poor thing.  I think we’re getting close to her target weight although I’m not too keen on taking her into the vet to get weighed.  ...I’m not sure that is an essential service.  Sage is sure it’s essential.  She wants to be done with this diet already.

In other news, our farrier is in isolation after being exposed to COVID19. He is scheduled to come out next week.  I’m hoping his 14 days are up by then.

On the weekend, our microwave stopped working.  We have a combo oven and microwave unit so when the technician said he needed to take it into the shop for a “good week,” I felt a wave of panic.  Since its a combo unit, I am now without my microwave and my oven.  It’s a good thing I was a baking fool last weekend.  We have bread in the freezer and cake on the counter so we should be okay.  I can work around the lack of an oven with the BBQ and stovetop, but what a pain.

Have any of you done paint-by-number?  I thought I’d try it since I can’t get books from the library on my Kindle.  They are all checked out.  Do any of you have that problem?  We have a very small library so I’m wondering if that is the issue.  Anyway, I got my first PBN kit today and started.  So much fun!