Thursday, June 6, 2013

Two Year Anniversary!

Dear friends,

Two years ago this week, we closed on "The House that Nobody Else Wanted."  It's a 1930s vernacular farmhouse/cottage type design that still defies categorization.  We've done a lot of work on the inside, mostly to make it livable (codes have changed a lot over the last 80+ years), painted the cottage and part of the garage outside, and have started ripping off the aluminum siding that encases the place.

The biggest change, though, has been to the garden.   Even though 2011 was the Year of the Big Drought (and worst one that Texas has seen in a long time), I still started work on the garden.  I learned that over the years, the two sisters that had lived here had amended the soil so that it wasn't all muck like most of the other yards around here----I call it Magic Dirt! Everything I've planted here has thrived and grown.  We've added a lot of our own homemade compost to it, of course.

Here's the first garden bed I built, using rough cut limestones that were stacked here when we bought the place.  Notice the color of the grass.

simple raised bed, using existing stone and pecan log on property
For a while, nosy passers-by would stop and let us know in no uncertain terms that they did not approve of our "lax attitude" to our lawn.  They let me know how much the two sisters had cared for the yard.  I quickly let them know that I was in charge now, and that there WOULD be changes.  We told them that we didn't believe in dumping tons of scarce water on grass just to keep it green. And that they'd darned well better get used to it.  Finally, they quit coming by. :-D

Here's a photo I took this past weekend of the same area.  The end of the cottage shed (to the right) has been painted a bright yellow and the garden in that area has flourished.

 See the white bucket?  That's the bed in the previous photo. Two years later.  People tell me that they have NO time to work on a garden, and that I must put hundreds of hours into mine.  Not really.  I'm very heat sensitive, so can't stay outside much when the temps. are above 90 (which it seems they always are here).  Other than the occasional marathon working days, I spend maybe 15-minutes out tending the garden.  It helps that we have real dirt here, as opposed to what we had in the Texas Hill Country.  It doesn't take an hour to dig a hole for a tree.  So that helps.  But in general, I do it One. Step. at. a. Time. 

And after a short couple of years, it all adds up. 

I'll be posting more Before and After pics over the next few weeks.  So come back and visit my garden when you get a chance!

Happy trails from Texas,

bobbi c.

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