Earth Day at the Gaunt Household

We celebrated earth day by doing a little more work on our little piece of earth.

Having a yard is never end work, did you know this?

No to mention, I’m someone who really likes my surroundings to look pretty nice, so keeping a yard looking fab is near impossible. In Washington things just grow and grow and grow. I know this is awesome in lots of areas, but in the weeds/grass area, it mean constant maintenance.

This year we decided to get rid of one of the larger garden beds in the middle of our yard. It looked like this last year:

If you look past that table you can see the large garden to the right. YES its beautiful and lots and lots of things grew fantastically, but it was too much. The whole garden was too much last year. Too much work (for us) and too much food. It went to waste. this year we decided to downsize a little. We wanted to still garden, but bring it to a much more manageable (for us) size. We both work 40+ hours a week in the summer, and we are busy on the weekends, we just don’t have the proper time to dedicate 10 hours a week on maintaining a large garden. So we are still keeping the 3 smaller beds along the fence, and have already started this years crops.

A few weeks ago after clearing out that large bed, we used Scotts EZ SeedĀ  to fill it in with grass. We really love having a big yard, and that one was really taking up a huge portion of it. It’s crazy to think when we first moved into this house there were two more gardens we filled in with grass. When we filled those ones in we actually used the grass we removed from building our patio and transplanted into those cleared out beds. For this huge bed we didn’t have any grass to transplant, so Scotts it is!

At this height its hard to see all the new grass. Mr. Gaunt is worried that it will be patchy and weird, but I have faith that it will grow in nicely, and like the rest of our yard, slowly be overtaken by clover (which if nothing else makes it nice and green!). Here is a close up of the grass where you can see it really is growing well.

Another big task I accomplished today was cleaning out the blueberry bushes. These were here when we moved in, and at first we thought they would be awesome, but we realized they are probably super old. They ended up only producing a few leaves, while most of the branches were just dead. I think we got maybe 2 blueberries. I read an article that said we could cut them back and fertilize them and they might re-grow, but again it just wasn’t something we were interested in. At the end of last year I decided to clear these beds (that became overtaken with weeds) out (although I lost some pretty awesome strawberry plants…sad) and start fresh. However the roots were insane and I ended up just hacking them back until this weekend. It seems the roots had finally died enough that the whole root ball came out. This is what they looked like last year.

And today they look like this. I plan to put potatoes, garlic and maybe sweet peas in this bed. I need to fix that one board too.

Mr. Gaunt edged our biggest bed (that we planted things in last weekend). I cleaned up the Raspberries (which are twice as big this year as they were last year at this time…eeek!) Plus tended to our 4 herb pots (which are growing like crazy!)

This bed we cleared out AGAIN! (it has a horrible Morning Glory problem). We have plans to pour a concrete slab here when we can afford it, for the BBQ, and such. I would love to plant things in it, but the Morning Glory will kill anything we plant here. A slab seems like the only option, and it butts right up against the sidewalk, so it makes sense.

Last I mowed the lawn and looked over my Earth Day work with pride! I got a little sun and felt good!

What did you do on Earth Day?

Patio In the Works

This was all done a couple of weekends ago. I’m hoping we can maybe use my moms car tomorrow to get the rest of the bricks. I wont lie, we are really winging this project, but its going ok. It’s not perfectly level, or straight, but were doing it ourselves. We are about half way done now. I need to have my dad come over and assess the project. Speaking of my dad, he’s kind of a lawn mowing expert. He came overĀ  and mowed/weedeatered my whole lawn, it looked awesome! He looked pretty cool too…lol!

We also edged the front walk and around the little stepping-stones. Makes it all look a lot cleaner. Today I removed two dead bushes from the right bed, and we planted a Columbine (the Colorado state flower) and some wild flower seeds. We also made two herb gardens in some big pots my mom gave us. They are loving the rain in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon. I can’t wait for the gutters to be replaced and the outside of the house to be painted too, hopefully next month.

Obviously that first stone might need to be

Green Thumbs Over Here!

My brother Forrest came over today and put us to work. I’ll keep the text to a minimum and let the pictures show the work. Overall we got a ton done! My project is the Patio which only got half done, but hopefully if next weekend’s weather is nice we can do more.

The above photos are all where the patio will go. I dug up the earth so we can level it and pour sand and later lay the stones. I used most of the grass to transplant into some unwanted garden beds (we wanted a bit more yard). The walk was also edged, which makes everything look better. We need to get a wheelbarrow so we can haul out all the extra dirt before leveling happens.

Here you can see the three beds we got rid of. Two oddly shaped round beds smack dab in the middle of the yard, and one large rectangular one off to the side. We used the extra grass we pulled out of the patio area to fill these holes. Later we are gonna add a bit of grass patch fixer and some seed to help it all fill in. Our grass is really uneven to begin with, so this worked fine. After a good water and mowing, it should look ok.

Forrest and Mr. Gaunt rototilled our beds, and then Forrest used his master gardening skills to plant all of our starts. We went with Starts instead of Seeds per Forrests recommendation, I’m sure there are pros and cons to both ways. We will be growing way more plants later on in the summer, these are just what will grown now in the “still cold” early spring.

Lastly the Blueberries were pruned. The Grapes and roses were trimmed up and tied up, and the Raspberries were caned over. Mr. Gaunt built the BBQ too! A huge dinner was prepared afterward by my mom and sister for the hungry workers. It was so nice to actually get out there and be productive, I’m excited for whats next.

Oh and a HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Forrest for helping us get this going! We couldn’t have done it without you!