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From Our Home to Yours

Hello to all!  I know…I know…it’s been quiet up here on the ridge lately so I thought I’d update you on some recent projects going on around here because boy, we are “gettin’ ‘er dun” these last couple weeks.  I don’t know what the difference is this year compared to past summers.  Are we more motivated?  Have more time at home?  Finally have a little extra moulah to complete some exterior to-do’s?  Probably a bit of all three.

Our numero uno project this spring/summer coincided with the kids’ homeschool project to build three garden boxes and plant some vegetables.

This is a first for the Coon family.

Ever.

I must admit the whole thing loomed dreadfully overwhelming since I had no idea what I (we) were doing.  How deep and wide do you build the boxes?  How on earth do you prepare proper soil?  What grows well up here?  How far apart do you plant carrots?  And on….and on… and on.  Those in-the-know green-thumbers kept telling me how much I would learn after my first year, but somehow instead of reassurance, their observations bred more anxiety.

Knowing a plan always reassures, I scheduled a tour of a local nursery in mid-April with all three kids in tow, complete with questions prepared beforehand and clipboards in each of our hands.  We had even sketched concepts of what we wanted each garden to be.  Bless her heart ~ thanks to an hour with Gail at Holm Town, I finally began to believe we could really do this gardening thing.

Or kill plants trying.

So without further ado, here is a series of pictures from lumber to plant stage of our

GARDEN BOXES

After purchasing lumber at Lowe’s for boxes 12″ deep with a 4’x 6′ diameter, the boys received some training on Dad’s power saw.

 

Next came the assembling, and the refresher lessons on the screw gun.  I’m usually pretty handy with a screw gun, but these crazy wood screws were extremely difficult to secure.  Mr. Mimsy observed, kindly, that the wood was exceptionally hard. He may have been trying to make me feel better.

Either way, I think he screwed in 90% of the screws.  What a trooper.

And of course, because I tend more toward the fancy than the practical, I asked for decorative posts in each corner.  With little pvc tapered caps.

First the boxes were primed.

Then painted with leftover exterior trim paint from the house.

And finally, here they are fully planted with snap peas, spinach, broccoli, three different types of lettuce, carrots, radishes, a jalapeno or two for Dad, zucchini, squash, onions, and a couple other things that slip my mind right now because I keep looking at that darling 11-year-old boy in the lower right.

Did someone say gardening is simple?  We’re exhausted around here!

We managed to hang the hammock this year for the first time since 2008.  Yes, the ground underneath needs a good scraping and new seed, but at least it’s now free from the 101 sticker bushes which delighted in depositing barbs in nearby hands and feet.

Have I mentioned I LOVE hammocks?  I think this one needs a pillow. And a blanket.

We installed an official “Slackline” for the kids and it’s been quite a hoot…..I mean….hit.  The guide wire above has come in quite handy. Mr. Mimsy is surprisingly adept at slacklining.

 

Speaking of Mr. Mimsy, he spent Friday (with the boys’ help) clearing a new parking area behind our shop just in time for the arrival of two gravel loads.  I think the 11-year-old boy in the following pic just experienced a hot ash landing on his back.

 

 

 

 

A larger parking area behind the shop is truly a blessing because now my sweetie can park all his paraphernalia like snowmachines, (count ’em) FOUR trailers, the logging truck, and the riverboat all out of sight.  Isn’t that nice?

I did a little Potentilla planting along the stone steps between our house and the shop, and a wee little Double Flowering Plum tree in the background.  This poor house desperately needs some shrubs and trees nearby as the builders cleared EVERYTHING away prior to construction, making the yard feel very stark and exposed.  It’s a gradual process, though, as not only do shrubs and trees cost money, they take years to truly mature.  Hopefully we’ll be here long enough to enjoy a bit of maturing.

My Siberian Pea hedge (freely harvested three years ago from a fellow firefighter who wanted them removed from his back yard) has filled in beautifully, even more so since I snapped this picture last week.  I’m in the process of freshening up the mulch right now.

We’ve finally tackled the tiered retaining wall in front of our house, a project still far from finished, but closer now than ever.  It will include a gravel, brick-lined walkway up top since we walk back and forth there regularly, a few shrubs, and perhaps a rock garden area.  I just planted the lower level this afternoon with trailing pink petunias and white lobelia.  I envision the flowers filling the bed and draping down over the wall.  Won’t that be pretty?

As stated earlier, this poor house really needs some greenery up close.  I’m thinking Cotoneaster shrubbery along the base of the house since I’ve seen it do well on similar exposures.  We’ll see.

And last, but certainly not least, is our new mailbox post:

I’ve had this pretty little post in my head for three years now and we finally got around to completing it.  I know….I know…..some may think a pretty mailbox isn’t that big a deal.  And certainly not worth much time and energy.

But silly as it may seem, I gotta confess: I love me a pretty mailbox 🙂

I smile every time I see it…..and in spite of a little eye-rolling from Mr. Mimsy over my specs on this one, I think he’s pretty happy with it, too.

So from Home No. 895 to yours, wishing you many Happy Summer Projects!

Jaimee

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