When we bought our house 4 years ago, we "inherited" this beautiful wisteria. It was a bit overgrown and the area around it was very bland with weeds and struggling rose bushes. Well, more like rose twigs. It needed lots of help, but we were busy with other projects. The summer we moved in, we were busy painting the interior, laying new flooring and settling in. The following Spring, we were building our raised garden beds and tending to our new veggie garden. The Spring after that, we were building the chicken coop and tending to the new chickies. Needless to say, the wisteria bed area was not a top priority. By Winter 2015-2016, I was tired of looking at the scraggly mess from the dining room windows. See that photo below? It was not a pretty sight!
We set out on a dry warmish Spring day to give the wisteria a really good hair cut. Every bit of vine that was hanging down from the arbor was cut off. Then anything dead that would break off from the tangled mess intertwined above, was pulled down. Runners were pulled up from the ground and cut off at the base. Then the entire area was raked as clean as we could make it. And then it looked like the photo below. Not bad for a March afternoon.
A couple of weeks later, we started pulling up all of the landscaping fabric, mulch and weeds. The area was topped with organic compost and then the new plantings began going in. I salvaged the rose bushes that seemed to still have a little life in them- I ended up with 9. For the new plantings, I decided on English Boxwood and Lavender. There are also Hydrangea in the barrel pots.
I alternated Boxwood and Lavender across the front and lined the walkway with just Boxwood. The rose bushes are all planted on the right since that area gets more sun light.
The wisteria didn't take long at all to fill in and start blooming. It seemed to be so much "happier" without all of the dead vines tangled up.
Below is the growth progress from this year. There are a lot of pictures (I apologize if it takes a while to load them). I began taking daily pictures when the blooms began to open. There were noticeable changes daily! There are so many blooms this year and the scent- I wish I could bottle it.
May 10, 2017
May 22, 2017
May 23, 2017
May 24, 2017
May 25, 2017
May 26, 2017
May 27, 2017
May 28, 2017
May 29, 2017
May 31, 2017
June 5, 2017
June 9, 2017
Everything seems so happy and healthy growing here. Below are pictures from around the area.
Alternating boxwood and lavender
More of a close up- you can see a rose bush on the right
View from under the arbor
Another view under the arbor
Geranium and new kitty ornament
Another geranium with the perennial bed in the background
These two lavender (there's another in the background) are a larger variety than
the lavender alternated with the boxwood.
The feeder where the birds, chipmunks and squirrels feast on sunflower seed
One of 2 sky pencils I added this year
The miniature rose is blooming.
The wisteria has really grown out again this year. I imagine that next Spring, we'll need to prune it back again. I'm pretty sure it's going to be a biennial chore to keep it in check. I hope you enjoyed seeing all of those pictures and hopefully they didn't take long to load!
When dreaming of having chickens, I knew I wanted to decorate the interior of their coop. It's not exactly practical since chickens aren't the cleanliest of creatures and they really don't have an opinion on the decor, but I wanted the inside to be as cute as the outside.
The chicken feed bags had these cute farm images on them so I decided to cut them out and frame them. I bought inexpensive frames and spray painted them black. For just a few dollars, I have 3 framed pictures.
Vintage looking tin signs add charm to the nesting box area. And speaking of the nesting boxes, they were just installed before these photos were taken. The girls were about 4 months old at the time and almost ready to start laying. I placed ceramic eggs in a few of the boxes to give them a little hint.
The feed bins are stored inside the coop for convenience.
Everyone was let back in the coop to see the new decor and nesting boxes. They weren't quite sure what to think.
And just 3 weeks later, we had collected our first dozen eggs.
I thought it was interesting that the brown egg layers were the first to begin to laying~
As promised, here is the long-awaited update on finishing the chicken coop. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pictures-especially of the chicken yard construction. I think I must have been busy with harvesting from the garden and canning season by that point.
May 2015- Chickens are approximately 6 weeks old here
We had quickly finished the front side of the chicken coop with the main door so that the chickens could be moved inside. We set up a temporary fencing for them so they could explore while still being contained and protected.
May 2015- Finishing the siding on the other 3 sides of the coop
While the chickens were contained on one side of the coop, we were able to finish putting the siding on the other 3 sides.
May 2015- Digging the trench to bury the hardware cloth along the edge of the coop.
Now that this side of the coop is finished and the hardware cloth attached to the bottom edge of the coop, the temporary fencing was moved to give the chicks a larger space in what would eventually become their large enclosed yard.
June 2015- Adding trim to finish off the corners
I can't believe I don't have any pictures from when the above photo was taken and when the below photo was taken. I know I took some, but it must have been with my phone and I can't find the photos now. We turned the pigeon coop and moved it over to form a corner of the chicken yard. Then we started by constructing one "wall" at a time using 4x4 posts and 2x4 braces. Once the walls were up, we stapled half inch hardware cloth around the bottom 2 feet and everything above was enclosed with chicken wire.
To support the chicken wire that creates the "ceiling", we ran heavy wire through screw eyes that crossed from each side and the corners. Then we stretched the chicken wire across, stapled it to the wood frame and used heavy wire ties to secure the "seams". It's held up pretty well for the past two years with only needing a few minor repairs due to the weight of snow accumulating (which thankfully, we don't get a lot of).
The pigeon lives with the chickens now instead of in her coop. She really seems to enjoy having a lot more space and can actually fly inside the chicken yard. Buster, the Flemish Giant rabbit was moved into the old pigeon coop. He likes it outside and gets to run around the yard for a little while on nice days. He's drinking from his water bottle in the above photo.
I have some pictures of the interior of the coop as well. I'll share those in a following post.
Anyone remember my weekly garden updates from a couple years ago (or probably 3 years ago, actually)? Well, with this being the beginning of our veggie growing season, I thought it was a perfect time to start the weekly updates again.
This past Saturday we cleared the weeds, grass and remaining veggie plants from last year. After working all day, we finally were able to top-dress the beds with organic compost from one of our local landscape supply businesses.
34 Herb & Veggie Starts
Since I've been busy with other projects this year, I decided to buy the majority of my veggies & herbs as starts. However, there are still a few things I'll start from seed directly in the garden such as green beans, pumpkins, and corn. I feel like I'm running super late this year, but here in the PNW, we had such a long wet Winter & Spring this year. It seems like late last week someone flipped a switch and turned off the rain and cold and turned on the sun and heat! Now it's almost too hot to be outside. Anyway, I'll be planting all of these plants and starting my seeds in the next couple of days. Check back next Tuesday for another update.
A little snail (his shell was a little large than a quarter)
I saw this little guy this morning. I've never actually seen one of these snails in my yard and almost stepped on him. Being that he was "as slow as a snail" I was able to run and get my camera to snap a couple pictures.
Chicken coop update is coming. Just a couple years late, but it's going to happen!