Lots of updates, as some projects have reached good points to take photos. First off....
Those are my raspberries on the right, and then (front to back), three rows of blueberries, two rows of black currants, and then my fruit tree planters.
My raspberry trellises are in place, but I haven't finished painting them. There just hasn't been a long enough spell of no drizzle. No, the trellises aren't perfectly proportioned, but I really didn't spend the time to do so. I just cut approximately the same size pieces, eyeballed where to put them, and voila. A trellis. Additional pieces and/or wire can easily be installed.
There are three plants per bed, but each plant is sending out multiple shoots, so hopefully, they are well-spaced out. I think the sites I read said 2 feet, and they're right at 1 foot 10" or so, so hopefully that will be fine. Tough luck if it isn't!
Close up shot of the raspberry plants. Don't they look happy?
My cornelian cherries are still blooming, which is good for me. I'm glad all the blooms didn't fall off after transplanting them. Hopefully, that's a good sign that this year will not be a skipped year for produce as the plant recuperates from being moved.
This made my day yesterday. As you may recall, I planted my garlic in mid-December, just before winter started. We weren't even unpacked, but I had to get it in. I was worried though. a) I put my garlic in after all my friends did. Despite researching it and knowing I could put my garlic in the ground in mid-December, seeing their October-planted garlic beds made me antsy (but, we didn't live here in October, so no way that could happen). b) the garlic suppliers said to plant the garlic 6" deep. I did. I later found out my friends planted their garlic 4" deep. Again, antsy-ness.
I guess I shouldn't have worried! I did my actions based upon what the experts say is ok. I was fretting because everyone else's garlic is about 1' tall, but then again, they were planted in OCTOBER. Duh, Jessika. Last week, after not seeing one sprout (besides the occasional weed), I dug down to one bulb and found it with about a 3/4" long sprout. Ok, they're still alive, I thought. I covered it back up... then yesterday, I was out poking around in the backyard and.... GARLIC SPROUTS!!!! There are 4 total right now, but hopefully many more to come. I think there are 40+ bulbs in that bed.
See? Oh how lovely. I wanted to cry, I was so relieved and happy.
Ok, seriously, here is a good rule of thumb to follow: You know you may need to hop to it and build a coop when... You come home to this:
See the little chick SITTING ON THE EDGE OF THE BIN??? Oh, and that red wire? Well, it's fuzzy in that photo because ONE CHICK WAS USING IT TO ROOST ON! We're talking a bin edge that is 1' tall and a wire that is 2' high. The chicks have since been blocked in by bins and tall things. If they hop over that, they are in the laundry room, so I'm not too worried about them escaping. But yikes! My girls are growing REALLLY fast.
Here they are again. I left them a sneaky small place to still roost.
But look at these girls. SERIOUSLY. This was them a mere 12 days ago. And now they're feathered, larger, chicken-looking creatures. No more fuzzy chicks. I'm astounded. They PREEN themselves. They flap their little wings. They squawk. Craziness.
See, they even stand like chickens now. No more hunched over chicks.
The flocking instinct is still ever-present though. :) They do love each other.
But look! Does this look like a 2.5 week old chick to you? Yikes girls. I must have put some growth steroids in your feed.... This photo was taken 2 days ago, and I swear they have even more feathers now. They even have 1" long tails!
On to other projects....
This is partially where the coop is going to go:
Yes, it's gross. Disgusting. I don't know what used to be here, but now it's a dilapidated rubbish pile of junk. It's an eyesore, especially since it's about 15' from our deck. So, it's coming out and then that's partially where the chicken coop is going to go. Their run will run along the back fence.
Another picture of the disgustingness. Bleh. So cleaning that up: is one of my projects this week. Fun never ends, huh?
B bought me some strawberries. Ok, he bought me a LOT of strawberries. I think something like 100 of them. Um... now I have to QUICKLY figure out where they're going to go!! I have some cedar planks, so I might fashion some boxes really fast. We'll see. I am so happy he took advantage of a big sale on strawberries, but now I just have to hop to it.
I was up to no good last night:
Or, at least it may seem that way when you look in my dining room. We can't justify buying dozens of nice porcelain or adobe pots. It's just not practical on the budget. So, I had B get some old nursery plastic pots from the recycling store. I bought heavy gloss enamel gray paint, and I painted them. The gloss enamel sticks really well and only needs one coat. It's a little sticky (not tacky, sticky) for a few days, but then it's perfect. Not only do all our pots match, but they do look nice. They do give the appearance of nicer pots.
Close up. The reflection shows the gloss. I'm not worried about a scratch here and there; there are so many of them and they'll be at foot level, so people will see the color and gloss but not the small scratch here and there. Besides, who keeps all their outdoor pots looking spotless? Um, no one. Because the pots are filled with DIRT, which gets on the pots.
Overhead shot of the pots. There are more on the other side of the chair. No, I didn't paint the bottom of the pot or the inside. The inside will be filled with dirt and a plant, and the bottom no one will see. Only needed to paint the sides.
Rose planter to trim:
Here's a photo of the darn rose bush that has been pleading for a trim since we moved into the house in December. It's been sadly neglected, as has it's planter.
I need to trim this rose. This is where all the plants were being stored, so I couldn't trim this overgrown rose and bush because I didn't want to risk hurting any blueberries, currants, or raspberries. Now though, I can have at it. I want to fix up the planter underneath and plant love lies bleeding underneath. PRETTY. I also got some vanilla heliotrope seeds which I may put nearby. I haven't decided. I think some coleus would look better with the love lies bleeding. Up here, LLB is an annual, so I want some color (even if it's green only) there if the LLB doesn't make it very long. Hmmm.... I think the heliotrope and the LLB would be too much color, but the LLB with greenish (and maybe some reddish) coleus would be nice and not too overwhelming.
Speaking of plants, look what B got me for Valentine's day!
He knew I wanted a rose plant, and he found a nice pot for it also (we need to add some more dirt to it). I want a few rose plants, particularly a Just Joey rose. I have loved this rose for a long time and have hunted in every rose garden I've ever been to for it, just to smell it's sweet fragrance. There is a place online that sells them, but I'm hunting locally first to hopefully have the plant avoid USPS trauma. I haven't decided where to put the roses yet... I'm thinking maybe at the end of the blackberry patch in large containers.... that would be pretty. Traditionally, roses are put at the end of grape rows because the roses will show illness first, giving the growers time to help the grapes. So, if we grow grapes, maybe, for tradition's sake, we should put them by there? Hmm... It has to be somewhere that won't snag on my clothes though!
Just thought I'd show you a photo of my front planter:
It's right in front of the laundry room. I put bulbs in there, but I wanted SOMETHING in there for now, so I put in some random bulbish plants I found in the yard. I have my suspicions as to what type of plants these are, but I don't know and I don't care. I put different dahlia bulbs in there, and two different calla bulbs. Funnily, the first sprout I saw? Happened to be a seed from my hanging baskets-- it's a vining flower. FUNNY. The sprout is 6" long. Oh well, that will be a pretty addition.
That's it for now! I actually have work to get to. More photos later as projects continue....