Last week we did a “staycation”, the idea of which is to stay home, ignore all of life’s other demands and simply enjoy your property and spend time together as a family.
That was the plan, anyway.
Tuesday I went shopping with my Mom. Wednesday Ty and I ditched the kids for a date night. Thursday I went grocery shopping. Friday we spent the entire day having an actual vacation at Cedar Point.
Despite our inability to remain home for one week, we still accomplished almost half of what we had planned! Mostly, we worked outside. I planted my garden, which was a bit of a process. I decided this year, after failing MISERABLY last year in the fight against weeds, to try Square Foot Gardening. This particular method of gardening practically guarantees that I will not have to fight the weeds, especially if I go the extra step and replace my existing garden soil with “Mel’s Mix”, which is equal parts vermiculite, compost (from 5 different sources), and peat moss. Sounds easy enough, right? Once I located all the stuff it actually was fairly easy. It was a bit tricky to find a reasonable price on the vermiculite and I miscalculated how much of each I actually needed TWICE so there was a lot of driving around, a lot of getting dirty, and actually a pretty decent amount of money invested in just setting up these raised beds. However, it’s all done and from now on I only need to add compost each year! It’s almost entirely planted (still need to plant corn, potatoes, watermelon, and pumpkin) and on it’s way to being gorgeous!
I realize it isn’t much to look at and that I still need to trim that weed cloth, but believe me, it’s an improvement from the end of the season last year! I had foolishly decided that since I could handle a 20×16 bed in 2010, I could handle a 20×40 bed in 2011. Long story short, I couldn’t. So now we’ve seeded that giant bed, and by the end of the summer this year, the above picture will be much better looking. Hopefully there will be grass where there is dirt/weeds, and those sad-looking boxes will be overflowing with a healthy harvest!
At any rate, I’m pretty thrilled to have it planted and growing!
We also did some landscaping. Here is a “before” picture for you:
Mostly weeds. Some daffodils, a few perennials, some incredibly invasive and annoying ivy, lots of chives, and several good patches of poison ivy. No, thank you!
Nothing a roto-tiller, a mild afternoon and some mulch couldn’t handle! After:
Yes, please! Eventually it will be filled in with more color, and I did plant some annuals that should blossom and take up some space, but even with just the mulch down I am so happy! To think, I can actually walk down my sidewalk without being scratched by overgrown plants! The daffodils should still come up next spring, but if they don’t I did reserve a lot of the bulbs that I can replant, because those are beautiful when they come in!
Some other things we did: