My Birthday Present!

My husband installed this wonderful small ‘patio’ in the midst of my garden circle with leftover bricks from other projects.  We used extras from the front walkway and some from a construction project he did for my brother-in-law several years ago.  We wound up with only about 3 bricks left, so how’s that for recycling?!

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The little pile of sand in the center is what we are still spreading into the brick joints as the sand that we already put there gradually settles from rain and compression and we keep adding more.  Soon it will be all used up and the joints will be quite full and tight.  It’s about an 8 ft. square.  And you can see that we have planted new grass around it that is coming up nicely from all the recent rains.

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I had this planned as a smaller area and was going to put stepping stones (home-crafted) in the 4 corners that each represent a direction (N-E-S-W) and had items embedded in them that represent those directions (Earth-Air-Fire-Water); but changes were made due to sizes not synchronizing between two kinds of bricks and the stepping stones.  Thickness and width were both issues.  Sooo…on to plan B, which was to still  to make the area with the bricks we had, and to still have the corners oriented towards the directions (yes, we oriented them with a compass.)  Some of my stepping stones had already been made and the rest will still be completed, but they are being placed in other areas of my circle garden, still representing the directions.  It’s a work in progress.

Anyhow, I am thrilled with this little “rest area” in the midst of my flower garden circle.  We have two benches that need refurbishing and they will face each other for conversation.  We MAY place my cast iron chimnea in the middle.  I have not decided.  I certainly think we’d use it more there than we do where it is, but it’s not easily moveable if we want to just talk to someone on the other bench, so I don’t know.  I could just put a small fountain or one of my bird baths there and it wouldn’t interfere with seeing the person you are conversing with.  Seriously, it’s a good place to sit and just rest when you need a quick break from weeding, watering and hoeing.   A fountain would be relaxing and the birds and wildlife love moving water as much as I do, so maybe that’s the way to go.

My husband built this at my request and he spent much time down on his bad knees.  I considered it a huge sacrifice for him to do this for me, so I told him it could be my birthday gift from him.  So happy birthday to me!

Here is a barren-looking patch between my husband’s workshop and an older shed and it’s going to be our veggie garden.  It has been tilled and raked and raked some more and it’s all ready for this weekend’s planting.

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It looks so desolate, but I can already see how green it will be soon with the healthy food we intend to plant.  It’s the first time we’ve had a real veggie garden in many years, though we have often grown tomatoes and I always have a few herbs in my garden and in pots on the deck.

The plan is: potatoes (Yukon golds!), onions, radishes, at least two types of tomatoes, butter crunch lettuce, green beans, and snap peas.  I want to only grow stuff I KNOW we’ll eat.  I also have some italian parsley and basil to put in somewhere and chives come up on their own from previous years (and mint, of course).  It is my very first venture into growing pototoes, which are quite a different thing than just putting seeds in the ground, so my fingers are crossed with those, but maybe I’ll have beginner’s luck and the potato beetles won’t eat all my plants.:-)

My flower garden has lots of perennials coming up and that makes me very happy.  I’ve been putting in things for several years, adding more each year that I don’t have to fuss and fiddle with.  I love to see the things come alive after resting all winter and it just sort of renews my faith in nature and the earth.

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It’s all part of such a big, ancient plan, isn’t it?  All I have to do is rake away the leaves and dead stuff and do a little hoeing of spring weeds and there’s all this beautiful stuff that’s coming back to me.

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The chickweed is so easy to remove, it barely takes any time at all, and it’s too early for the wiregrass to have made inroads, so I managed to get it all cleaned up in a couple of hours last weekend.

As far as flowers, I only intend to plant wildflowers this year in the flower garden to fill in between the perennials.  And a few morning glories to climb my trellises.  They make me smile.  I will buy some special things for the pots on the deck, as I always do, because the garden is so far away from the deck and I like to have flowers there, too.  Pots on the deck that is in full sun most of the day require a lot of watering and I keep telling myself not to put so much there, but I can’t seem to help myself when those lovely annuals are there in the nurseries and I have to have one of this and one of that and one of those……that’s how it goes. I’m going to try to reign myself in better this year. 🙂

I plan to update with photos as my veggies grow.  I will show the successes and the disasters, as well.  I am looking forward to an absolutely gorgeous weekend that’s predicted here, and should be able to plant everything (with a little help from hubby, if his shoulder isn’t hurting too badly from a pulled muscle.)

We saw our first hummingbird two days after I filled the feeder for the first time!  Woo hoo! I understand that if they have found plentiful food in an area one year, they do tend to come back to check it out and this is our third or fourth year of consistently keeping at least one feeder full for them.  It is right outside the kitchen window and we get a great close up view of the action all spring and summer while we eat at the island.  I felt like I was welcoming back an old friend when I saw the little female.  The feeder is half emptied already, so she’s probably not alone.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. journeyseeds
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 13:58:05

    Beautiful work! Nice recycling….

  2. chickadeeworkshop
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 17:53:25

    Thanks, I’m quite happy with it. My husband is a keeper, too. 🙂

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