Updates and New Garden Beginings

Well, the bad news is that thanks to Swine Flu our trip to the Riviera Maya has been postponed until probably November.  (Insert sad face here).  I am not sure what the rest of the week will look like for us now.  My MIL and SIL are coming to stay with the girls so perhaps we’ll find someplace to get away to for a day or two so we can still enjoy a bit of a break.

Good news is that the front  gardens are well on their way to looking the way I was hoping they would.  We have yet to get moving on the big vegetable garden for the back – that will require much tilling and will be the next project in the cmong few weeks.  But the front looks great!

When we first moved in there wasn’t any grass or landscaping done at all.  Not even the bare minimum.  It looked like this:


See?  Nothing.  If you’ll recall, last summer we built two raised boxes on the left side there and in the fall we edged out the front right and started putting in lava rock:


Left Side


The Right Side

Our plan on the left side was to surround the raised beds with pea gravel, and it now looks like this:


There’s a nice hydrangea tree in the corner that is beginning to bud.  The beds will be planted with some nice annuals flowers, sun flowers, peppers, beans and tomatoes. (the back garden will have the squash, watermelons, peas and other vegs)

The front right side now looks like this:


In lieu of mulching every few months (or weeks with the rate the stuff gets washed out around here) we opted for some nice lava rock which has that red mulchy look to it and accomplishes the same thing.  I’ve got some bulbs planted in there which will be popping through this summer and I’ve just put in a number of perennial herbs like thyme, rosemary and lavender which should spread well.  There’s a nice Japanese Maple in the center, some nice blue vinca starting to grow around the edges, and some double blooming peonies and giant hollyhocks in the back.  Little by little I’ll be filling in the empty areas with nice colored blooms.  All in all I am very happy with how it’s all coming together.

I also finished Emily’s mermaid quilt, months and months after I started it.


And since we’re on the sewing subject, here is Neve’s new sundress I made a few weekends ago:


She’s worn it three times already and still loves it.  It’s holding up really well to all the punishment she subjects it to, and I love that she can feel pretty and dressy in something she can get dirty and throw in the washer at the end of the day.  I’m working on a tropical print one for Emily, whose purple hair has faded quite a bit.  But when we first colored it, it looked like this:


Next time she wants blue.

Now I am off to do some cleaning and baking (brownies with some hidden spinach and whole wheat!!) and planning for chickens that we will be soon acquiring.  Did I mention that is one of the girls’ jobs this summer?  Helping to care for the chickens?  They are also being tasked with weeding and cultivating the big garden and piano lessons.  I have to keep them busy somehow – no lounging in front of the tv all summer.  Again.


(Paul got them a special computer based piano tutor that has sensor stickers on the keys and progressively teaches notes, timing, finger placement and reading sheet music.  It’s set up like a game and they love it)

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