Archive for June, 2010

8
Jun

I HeartPower Washers!!!

Power Washer

My husband and I decided that the time has come to deal with our dirt and algae covered deck.  We borrowed a power washer to get the job done and now I have a serious addiction!  I can’t get enough.  I want to power wash everything. The deck, the front, porch, the concrete steps, the siding, the driveway, you name it and I will power wash it!

Here is a taste of the power of power washing…

There is something so satisfying about blasting years of dirt away in seconds!

Category : I Heart... | Blog
7
Jun

Straight from the Garden!

This year was an experiment in gardening.  I got a late start due to the yard not being ready, working full time, and trying to finish my master’s degree.  The degree is complete and now all my attention has turned to the garden.  This year I was able to plant sugar snap peas, 3 types of tomatoes, 2 types of peppers, carrots, 2 types of basil, mint, oregano, and strawberries.

The magic started in Early April in my basement when I planted seeds for the sugar snap peas and carrots:

sprouts

A week and a half later little plants began sprouting through the dirt.  A very exciting moment for a plant obsessed person like myself. Fast forward to late May…

…and I have a veggie garden and an herb garden.  The strawberry patch isn’t quite finished yet.

Veggie GardenHerb Garden

OK, so sprouting seeds was really exciting for me.  But yesterday I wandered up the hill before work to check on my plants and made a very exciting discovery!  BABY TOMATOES!!!!

Baby Tomatoes

Each of these tomatoes is about the size of dime right now.

Baby Tomato Macro

Getting up close and personal.

Category : Gardening | Blog
7
Jun

Zone 7 Part II

OK, so the weeding is finished and the first garden bed is in.  Now to add more garden beds.  If you are looking for a good full body strength and endurance exercise, carrying 40 pound bags of dirt uphill over and over is excellent (especially when it is 90 degrees outside).  I now have 3 garden beds built, filled with dirt and planted.  Whew!

Zone 7 Transformation Part II

Category : Gardening | Blog
6
Jun

Zone 7 Transformation Part I

The biggest problem with Zone 7 (and pretty much all of the zones) was the weeds.  It took four weekends of weeding and some very sore muscles (trying doing about a thousand squats in one day) just to get ready for the garden beds.  My favorite weed was the very strong vine with thousands of prickers all over it.  I am very thankful for my pricker proof gardening gloves!  Here is the progress so far (yes, those are ALL weeds in the first photo!):

Zone 7 Transformation Part I

The weeding is complete and the first garden bed is in. Wahoo!

Category : Gardening | Blog
5
Jun

The Plan

Zone 7 is at the top of the hill in our backyard.  I chose this spot for my edible gardening because it gets a lot of sun during the day (great for ripening all kinds of yummy things).  Being a perfectionist, I couldn’t just till the land and start planting.  I needed something more attractive and controlled.  I chose to use raised garden beds to get the look I wanted and it makes the plants and my back happy.  After much debating about what to put around the garden beds to control the weeds and improve the look of things (pavers, pebbles, mulch), I have finally settled on mulch (at least for now).  I decided on mulch because it will be easier on my knees when I am gardening, it is inexpensive (free where I live thanks to a leaf mulching program run by city works), and it is much easier to install.  At the very back of Zone 7, the land goes up suddenly about a foot.  Here I plan to plant phlox that will spill over onto the mulched area.  On either side of Zone 7 there are Azaleas planted by a previous owner.  Behind one of the Azaleas, I have also started composting garden trimmings and kitchen scraps to use in my garden beds next year.

Here is the vision:

Zone 7 Plan

The steps involved in achieving this include:

1. Weeding

2. Assembling garden beds

3. Carrying 40 pound bags of topsoil to the top of the hill to fill the garden beds

4. Mulching around the garden beds

5. Planting the phlox

6. Planting fruits, veggies, and herbs

7. Eating fruits, veggies, and herbs (yum!)

Category : Gardening | Blog
4
Jun

Pantry Reorganization!

There is a small pantry in my kitchen for which I am very thankful.  However, it has been getting more and more out of control lately.  Time for The Container Store! Yes, the store is a bit on the pricey side, but I love it.  It’s every perfectionist’s dream!  OK, back to the pantry.

So here is what I was working with:

Pantry Before Final

Total Chaos!

After picking up a few essential organizational items from The Container Store:

Expand-A-Shelf

First I emptied the entire pantry and grouped like items. Spices, baking supplies, canned goods, etc.  Here is the final result once everything was categorized and put away:

Canned Goods

Baking Supplies

Pantry After

Now finding things is a snap.

Category : House Fixing | Miscellaneous | Blog
3
Jun

Yikes, I have a Yard!

I have been waiting a long time for a yard where I can garden.  My craving for a place to garden was so strong that my entire balcony at my apartment was covered in plants.  Now those plants are lumped by the side door of our house waiting for me to find a new home for them.

Balcony Leftovers

Needless to say, an equally exciting part about buying a house for me wasn’t just the house – it was the yard!  So I got my yard, not what?

First let me start by saying that nothing has been done to this yard in many years.  We have weeds the size of trees – case in point…

tree weed

Yes, this giant green thing in front of our house is a weed.  Getting that out should be an adventure in and of itself.

OK, so the point is I have been waiting to have a yard for a very long time, I have a million ideas of what I want to do with the yard, I am notorious for starting projects and then getting distracted by the next project before finishing the first, and there is more here than I know what to do with leading to a paralyzing feeling of being overwhelmed every time I start to work on the yard.

Deep breath.

What I need is zones.

Yard Zones

Here is a rough zone plan for my yard (not to scale at all).  So which one is the lucky zone I will tackle first?

ZONE 7!

Stay tuned for the progress updates for Zone 7.

Category : Gardening | Blog