And so it begins … outdoor projects



The sun is out. It’s not raining. And we, knock on wood, were not put out by the tsunami that hit our coastline yesterday. Thank you, Lord.

Before the next disaster hits we decided to keep moving along with our outdoor projects: Phase II of Backyard Re-do.

Our goal this year is to put in the vegetable gardens and transplant our citrus trees from pot to ground and create a little citrus grove.

Last year we tackled Phase I, which was reconstituting the soil, seeding a lawn of grass and observing a) what the sun exposure is, b) what drainage is like, and c) how we naturally use the spaces around the house. Starting this way allowed us to tweak our ideas for reality.

We actually have a plan. (I know. I’m a little OCD about it, but we all have our crosses and this planning thing is mine.) Anyway, I made Jack help me measure out our property, the interior of our house, etc. and then I drew up floor plans for everything so that we can plan both indoor and outdoor space separately. Here’s my first draft of the outdoor garden space including crop rotations. It’s a little ambitious so we’ll just take it one step at a time and see how far we go this year. Based upon this little drawing we could more easily figure out irrigation and lighting as well as traffic and usage areas. Most importantly, it keeps our minuscule budget on track. Measure twice and cut once … yada yada.


First up on the list of many to-do items is tackling the “alley”, this long skinny space on the side of our house.



For most of the year it gets shade. But from April to September the entire right side of the alley will get 8ish hours of sunlight. So, we’re going to grow herbs, lettuces and shade tolerant greens in long garden boxes running the 50-feet of the right fence.

On the left, against the house we’ll put in a curvilinear border of hostas and ferns. Jack will fill in the middle with pea gravel.

Without sun this alley has also turned into a mud pit …


the dog has taken to running down the alley and sliding in the mud like a kid slip-sliding on a newly waxed floor. You see that dark patch of plowed up dirt? That’s her turn around spot. She loves it; it’s great fun for her. But horrible for us because it makes her feet a bloody mess and she ends up tracking mud all over the house. Sorry pooch, but we’re kicking you out of the alley.


Today, Jack is building a fence to separate the alley from the rest of the garden. This little fence will also keep the poopster from digging in the vegetable garden once the boxes are put in.


He’s also putting up some better protection for our little peach tree that we planted last year.


We love you poopster, but really …


We can’t have you scratching, digging and knawing this sweet little peach tree down to a nub.


It’s just starting to blossom.


There’s something so beautiful about the coming of Spring.


One response »

  1. Totally jealous you can have a peach tree in the yard. I planted 3 rosebushes last year, but that was the extent of my gardening (besides some flower pots). I tried veggies in containers, but I have to battle the critters, and since I can’t poison or shoot them, I’ve given up.

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