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Ordering Plants & Seeds (Spring 2016)

May 19, 2017

During March, we ordered multiple plants and seeds for our garden. Most arrived in late March or Mid April.

Here is a recap:

Grapes

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We built the pergola so that the grapes could eventually drape over it. We ordered a variety called Reliance Grape. They are advertised as follows,

“A juicy, deep-red grape that is flavor-packed. This variety is perfect for eating fresh or putting in fruit salads. Also makes an irresistible, healthy snack for kids. Vigorous vines produce generous clusters. Blooms late to avoid spring frosts. Seedless. Disease-resistant to anthracnose and mildew. Ripens in August. Self-pollinating.”

Strawberries

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We designated one half of the middle left bed to strawberries. The bed has a divider which essentially breaks the bed into two beds. The other half was planted with herbs that I had in containers. We choose an ever-bearing variety called Ozark Beauty and ordered them as bare root plants. They are described as follows:

“Enjoy fruit and a protective ground cover. In addition to keeping weeds at bay, this everbearer produces wave after wave of sweet, delicious, scarlet-red strawberries. In our test plots, this is one of the hardiest, most vigorous, heaviest-producing everbearing strawberries. Cold hardy. Ripens in early summer and continues to fruit until first frost. Self-pollinating.” 

Blackberries

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I found this really cool YouTube video on how to train blackberries against a fence in which a trailing variety was used. This method was very appealing to me since I didn’t want to use one of my beds for blackberries.  We are trying his method and using the Triple Crown Thornless Blackberry variety. Here is the description,

“A unique flavor that has garnered rave reviews! This productive plant yields berries that offer a tasty blend of sweetness and tartness. The fruit is borne uniformly, so it is easy to pick. Thornless semi-erect canes may need support under heavy fruit load. Summer-bearing floricane. Late season. Heat-tolerant. Ripens in early August. Self-pollinating.”

Tomatoes 

I love looking through seed catalogs and just recently I noticed that Seed Savers Exchange offers tomatoes and pepper transplants.  We decided that this year we would skip growing tomatoes from seed and instead order them as transplants. This was super exciting since you won’t know which varieties are included until they are shipped. It was such a cool surprise! Here is a list of the varieties we received.

Amish Paste

Amish Paste

brandywine

Brandywine

Cherokee Purple

Cherokee Purple

German Pink

German Pink

Italian Heirloom

Italian Heirloom

mexico-midget

Mexico Midget

 

Seeds

We also ordered seeds for

I have to admit that our seedlings are late this year. They took a while to germinate but they are doing much better now that is warming up.

The Making of the Garden – 2016

May 17, 2017

I know its been a while since I posted but I wanted to post about our garden. I just love going back through the blog to see our past wild adventures and this is one of our best one yet!

After visiting beautiful gardens during our trip in Mexico, I got the itch to renovate our backyard. I really wanted a cozy space where we could lounge and relax. Mexico is known for having beautiful courtyards where people spend a lot of time relaxing, dining and hosting and I really wanted to recreate that feeling in our house.

In spring of 2016, we removed three trees that were sitting near the retaining wall. I hate cutting trees down but these were very close to the house and needed to go.

We also spent nearly all of our summer removing a trench of rocks that were at the back of our property.  This was definitely one of the most challenging and daunting parts of this project since it was difficult to carry them down the stairs.  We posted an ad on craigslist for free rocks and we probably gave away half of them; the remainder we had to haul ourselves.

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We also built the raised beds at the beginning of the summer but we had such a hot and dry summer last year  that we we didn’t do much else.

Here they are, all built and stacked in our back patio.

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During the fall,  Bill moved the blueberry trees, removed the grass and tilled the areas where the raised beds were supposed to go, and installed an irrigation systems for the garden beds. We also installed a small pergola and the raised beds, added gravel in the garden area, planted creeping raspberry in the retaining wall and a hedge of baby Jade boxwoods.

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Oh man, I can’t believe how much we did. It makes me tired just thinking about it.  At the time, that picture was a “total” make over. Everything looked so different but looking back at it  now, the yard looks so bare.

So What Is The Deal With The Stairs?

December 20, 2013

Well lemme just tell you…

We originally thought we could just pop the old treads off, add the new risers and the new treads and call it a day but after removing the carpet we realized that the treads were built into the trim. And after some research, we realized that we had to retrofit the new treads. This meant cutting the bull nose off, patching the trim and installing the treads on top of the existing ones.

Like I mentioned here, Bill has been busy removing the carpet

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taking off the padding, nail strips and cutting the bull nose off of the treads.

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I have been busy removing a gazillion staples.

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Bill has also been actively building the treads.  Which means turning pieces of lumber like these

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to pre-treads like these

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He has also matched the stain to our existing laminate floors

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So here is what we have left

  • Finish building the funky treads where the stairs turn
  • Rout the edges
  • Sand treads
  • Stain & seal treads
  • Cut and paint risers
  • Patch holes on baseboards along the stairs
  • Paint the baseboard along the stairs
  • Install them 🙂

Shoe Mold, Trim, Stairs, and the Like.

December 18, 2013

So it is only Tuesday but this week has already been a fun-filled week. Last night Bill came home and said “I have the remodeling bug again” and started ripping out the carpet from the stairs and cutting out the bull nose off of the treads. (A post about this coming soon) Now, for any women that is addicted to DIY, you know how much those kinds statements mean!

So once again the house is chaotic. We currently have exposed stairs with staples that need to be removed, there is dust EVERYWHERE, and while this is a sign of progress I have to admit that the chaos and dust does become overwhelming. This happens on every big undertaking we take, so we just remind ourselves about those occasions and the joy and satisfaction that those chaotic, dusty, overwhelming projects bring to us once they are finished. So don’t get me wrong, I am super excited, it is as if I am 90% excited and 10% overwhelmed with dust. That is totally normal, right?

But before we move on to the stairs part of the floor project let me tell you what we did this weekend. Ready?

So on Sunday, Bill installed all of the shoe mold. Which means big pieces like this one

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and little pieces like these

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Please don’t pay attention to our dingy baseboard. They need to be repainted but we are not quite ready to open THAT can of worms just yet.  I mean it is cracked a little, it has to be, because we have to paint the trim on the stairs before the treads are installed but we are just not ready to think about painting the trim in the living spaces beyond that.

For now, we have painted the shoe mold in our bedroom and in the office since those baseboard did not need to be repainted. We have also installed crown molding in the guest bedroom and in the guest bathroom. So our plan is to paint both the walls and all the trim in the guest bedroom next. I have even picked a color, woo hoo! Picture me doing a happy dance because Paint + Me = L.O.V.E.

Oh also, yesterday I removed the strip of wall paper in the guest bedroom and I plan on writing about my experience soon. I know so much to write, so much to do and so little time. I better get busy!

Laminate Floor Installation

December 7, 2013

I made a small slide show of the installation process of the laminate floors. It only covers the bedroom though, we got side tracked and did not take as many pictures after the first day but the video does cover all of the steps of the installation.

Enjoy the video