The “Big Project”

No work today. No guilt. It’s really wet outside but clear and beautiful. The kind of day we’ve all been waiting for. My day of yard work rest.

I have a top yard which I think of as the back yard even though it’s the yard one sees when approaching the house. I have a lower yard I think of as the front yard because it’s the one I have the most activity in. And there are the two side yards which tend to be a bit more messy because I don’t see them as much.

The top yard is visibly clean and tidy. I think I’m done there for now. It’s raked, leaf piles gone, edges are tidy, flower beds are clean. Oh yes there are little neatness nut jobs to do, always. But it certainly passes for “good” this time of year!

I’ll now focus on the lower or front yard where the garden and herb beds are. This year I’m committed to re-working the garden area. You may know from previous posts, it’s a mess. The raised beds are laid out less than perfect and the whole thing sits on a too sloppy slope.

Tomorrow I begin if the weather cooperates! Take down the electric fence, pull apart the bed edges and stack them away, pull up a couple small rock walls, tear out the compost bin (poor Audrey!), then slash and burn. Yes, slash and burn. I let the weeds and grass grow up last year. Not the best thing I’ve ever done. Now I pay.

After all that is done I’ll have a piece of machinery come in and flatten it out some to even the ground so to speak. There’s a lot to be said for natural, but not when it comes to pushing a wheelbarrow full of compost uphill. Then the beds will be laid out, the fence put back in (better!) and Audrey rebuilt.

I plan on having permanent flower beds in the garden now. The clothesline and horseshoe pits will still be inside the fence but I’m ok with that. It keeps the dogs from eating my hemp sweats and good towels.

UPDATE: 3-22-10

The weekend was spectacular. My son Adrian and my friend Will were here to help and a staggering amount of work was completed on Saturday in our big “push” day before the Sunday rain. I had feared snow on Sunday but it missed us here.

We did the slash and burn. Ran the chainsaw to clear another small area for a couple fruit shrubs, blueberry, gooseberry and cranberry. We raked and dug weeds, moved the big timbers and dug the rest of the bulbs. I decided to leave the rhubarb until the last minutes so I can harvest this year. Needless to say the heavy machinery was canceled due to the weather report. That was a good decision. We weren’t ready for it on Saturday!

This is what the garden looked like last Wednesday after I had spent 2 full days picking up "stuff" Where does it all come from!

Last Friday.

Adrian hard at work on a brush pile.

Will taking a much needed break! See those rocks behind him. He moved some of those.

Adrian hard at work on the brush pile!

Saturday evening after we were done for the day. This brush pile too green to burn will have to wait a couple weeks. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the horseshoe pits until they were completely unearthed!

There are several things still to do before bulldozing the earth. Audrey will be disassembled, the rhubarb dug up, brush burned and the strawberry bed temporarily moved. The plan slightly changed, I will wait until after the strawberry harvest and a couple pickings of rhubarb before dozing and rebuilding beds.

I can get beans in by July and later for a good harvest and I may do some containers of tomatoes and peppers. This fall there will be several kinds of greens and lettuce, broccoli, peas, and some root crops.

In the meantime, to brighten this post, here are a few jonquils to look at.

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One Response to The “Big Project”

  1. Wow, Sarah, you said you had been doing a lot of work on the garden area, but wow, you guys really did a tremendous amount of work. Good for you guys…Im sure it will be great when you get done. We have to wait a while to till here, still frozen a ways down I’m sure. Catch ya later…Love…mom

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