Saturday, May 23, 2015

Settling In

It's going on five years since we moved to our little slice of heaven.  In the beginning, it was a blank slate with a nondescript 1950s ranch style house plopped down in the middle of it.  The former owner had erected a clothesline and a storage shed in the back yard and had all of the trees removed from the property.  Apparently her husband had remarked to her once that all trees were good for was dropping branches on the roof.

We bought the house in October of 2010.  The photo from the listing was taken in September of that year.  I decided to take a picture every year on or about Labor Day to chronicle the transformation of our front yard and gardens.

Milquetoast.  From the listing (2010)
A little better a year later (2011)
Still better another year on. (2012)

2013.  Note the fence coming up the west side.

I wish I had more pics from this angle but I keep forgetting to take them! (also 2013)  The first tree we planted can be seen near the sidewalk here.  A State Fair apple tree.
Last fall (October-ish 2014).  A few more trees are planted.
This is our fifth summer.  In these five years, we have worked carefully to transform our place into our personal little shangrila.  This year, we put in the last of the fruit trees.  I have to give props to my husband.  He was hesitant to put in fruit trees at all. He was worried about the work that they would bring.  I reminded him that fruit trees are not very big and give a big return in apples, cherries, pears, peaches and plums.  All of them make for mighty fine pie.

In total, he planted three apple trees, two pear trees, two peach trees and two plum trees plus a row of cherry bushes along the alley.  We also have red currants, gooseberries, and black raspberries.  'Pie' is a magic word around here.

I sat on the porch and watched it rain for awhile today.  All those trees are starting to look pretty good.  In my mind's eye, I could see how they might look in a few years' time.  It made me smile to think of it.  Fruit trees feel like 'home' to me.

Spring is a fertile time of year.  Things sprout and grow from the earth and from within the mind.  The new ideas for our place are many and multiplying daily.  We have several projects that we've started and need to finish.  Other projects are in the works and a few have been set aside for next year or maybe the year after.  The more we talk and work, the more it feels like it's where we belong.

We're settling in.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May Update--In Pictures

It's hard for me to comprehend that it is May already.  The winter seems to move so slowly for me.  Once spring has sprung, it's like Mother Nature puts her foot to the floor and time starts to speed by quickly.  Fortunately, spring makes me want to take pictures of the gardens.

So here's what's going on at The Slice:

Cayuga viburnum--I wish you could smell this!
Volunteer cilantro coming up around my onion set...and what looks to be a small grass seedling of some kind.

Some lovely daffodils

The Korean Lilac is in full bloom!

My favorite tulip came back yet again.
Wild violets in my perennial bed coming up through the rug juniper.

My hubby's fancy schmancy tree propping rig that helps my State Fair apple tree stand straight and tall.

The rig also comes in galvanized steel.  This one is holding the Kieffer pear up and allowing it to straighten up and flower right.

Jalapeno peppers peeking out of their white plastic cloche.
The peppers inside their cozy cloche. This protects my plants down to 30 degrees F.  It also works really well for tomato plants.
Growing the potatoes and onions together worked really well last year so I'm doing it again.  With fewer potatoes.
Radish crop circles.
Sugar snap peas coming up with a few extra radishes.
Volunteer fern leaf dill.  This stuff is everywhere but I'm not complaining.

That's it for now!  A lot of new things are happening at The Slice this year.  More to come.