Thursday, January 7, 2010

Progress in the Backyard

Last December, the backyard was a blank slate.

Yesterday, I took this series of images and used an autostitch program to create the panorama. The fence isn't actually curved, the software did that.

Things are very different back there now. Three raised beds for the vegetable garden next year, paths and a meadow garden, and of course, the dead oak tree have all helped shape the back yard into something I'm very happy with so far. A few "constructive staring" episodes this summer and fall have given me more ideas. Once the wintersown plants start germinating, they'll be used to fill in beds that were created this summer.

Between my yard and the neighbor's property, there is a stand of trees I like to call "The Wild". There are a few huge oaks, some smaller maples, a few Magnolias, and what I believe are sour gums. These last ones turn bright red in the fall. They're very slow growing and could take decades to reach a noticeable size. Another panoramic was taken from where I spent most of my day cutting wood.

In the gully, I finished moving most of the brush to the other side of the stream. You can almost see the depression where water collects during heavy rainstorms. This is where I will be planting my bog plants this spring. I've got three trades of Hibiscus coccineus 'alba' underway now. Those should go nicely with my Red Texas Stars that will be moved from the perennial bed once the threat of frost has passed. There will be some effort required to kill off the existing English ivy and vinca major that has taken over. It will be a never ending battle.

Water collects in any depression. I moved a large log which left a hole. It filled with water quickly.

I'm considering heading out there today to do a little more firewood splitting. But it's only 18 degrees. The batteries in the hoophouse thermometer must be frozen. It's not registering on the indoor receiver this morning.

In the basement, the yellow/orange brug cuttings are sporting flower pods. This is the largest.

Now that I've noticed them, they'll surely fall off before opening. There are several others just starting to appear on other cuttings.

Off from work today, I'm not sure what I intend to do. I'll have another cup of coffee before I make any decisions.

12:34pm - I've split another pallet of firewood. Both pallets in the basement are full. Mom called this morning to discuss Saturday and people I don't know that have died in the past two weeks. My sister got the cotton from a Q-tip stuck in her ear and had to have it removed by a doctor. So nothing has really happened in their world lately. I'm going to have some lunch, run to Lowe's and pick up a new damper for the little wood stove I'm hoping to sell tonight, and then I'll be cleaning the house for the rest of the day. It's 39 degrees outside, 66 inside the hoophouse.


L. D. said...

Coffee is my drug of choice. Waiting for the weather to change makes it frustrating. You have done a lot to your property, if it were not for the mosquitoes you could make a water feature there in the depression. Maybe a dry creek with a place for the water to drain down into a barrel. Enjoy the coffee.

gld said...

Tom, you have made tremendous strides since moving in. Congratulations!

Your yard look huge to me.

I like the 'Wild". I have lived in the country for so long, I don't think I could live with neighbors watching me......I told my husband we would have to re-civilize before we would be acceptable in town.

Darla said...

You have huge changes in your yard in one year...I love it...we have a swamp area in the back of our property, I need water loving plants for the backyard, any ideas? I hate it back there right now. Impressive, the Brugs!!

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

LD, I'm not planning to do much to the physical property itself. I'm going to remove some invasive plantings and replant with things native to the US and Southeast that love wet feet. Hibiscus coccineus is one of my favorites and is a SE native that grows to 6-8' tall. It's commonly known as Red Texas Star.

Glenda, I know what you mean. I grew up surrounded by cow pastures. Your post this morning reminded me of that. It's hard being country in a city setting. I'm sure my neighbors will be happy when the chainsaws finally go quiet.

Darla, yes, there have been lots of changes. I've done a lot of work with lots more to do. The whole edge of the wild area needs to be revamped to remove vinca and ivy too. It's everywhere in my yard. Some plants off the top of my head are the red Texas Star hibiscus, Lobelia cardinalis, Joe Pye Weed, Swamp milkweed, helianthus (Swamp sunflower), Northern sea oats, Rudbeckia hirta, Obedient plant, chleone. There are many to choose from and I have seeds for lots of them already sown. :)

Valerie the Pumpkin Patch Quilter said...

At least you can see your back yard! Mine is almost up to my knees in snow...and it's melting. Yuck. Soon it will be a big swamp.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I always enjoy seeing what's going on at your place Tom. It just gets better and better around there. I've got flower buds on my brug too. I think once it stops flowering I'll take a couple of cuttings to root.

Enjoy your coffee and stay warm. I'm at work, very quiet here today, and I found out that our new a.c. unit that we had put in a year or so ago has heat. YIPPEE! So, it's nice and comfortable in here.

Have a nice day and a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Pumpkin, we might actually have a little snow tonight. They claim it won't stick and there shouldn't be any real accumulation, but when the ground is still frozen from a week of below freezing temperatures, I'm not sure how they can make that claim.

FlowerLady, I'm still aiming for the quiet solitude and intimacy I see in your yard. I love that enclosed feel. I might have more space, but that means it takes a lot more effort to get where you are. Keep warm. It's going to get cold again tonight.

Anonymous said...

Tom - somehow I pictured you on a very small peace of ground - 1/4 acre or less. You seem to have a huge area - enough for all your 1000s of plantings ;). How much do you actually have?

"Constructive staring". I love that phrase!! I've done so much of it in my life, and it is so vital, especially when in the midst of a project, where it can prevent costly mistakes. Nothing should be cast in stone until it is cast in stone!

Enjoy developing your garden; the results are cumulative and exponential! - Jack

Tom - 7th Street Cottage said...

Jack, I have 1/2 acre. That includes the house, the driveway, the wooded areas. Once I cleared out a bit of land, I was content to let grass grow. Now, I want flowers and veggies instead. Sitting and staring is hard to do sometimes. It helps on cold days when I can sit still inside and look through the windows.