Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wow! I found out how to post photos I think!

In March 2010 I decided I was going to have the gardens of my dreams.  I have wanted my own rose garden for over 35 years, and NOW I wasn't going to let ANYBODY derail my dreams.  So I hired a yard guy to help me, and I removed a railroad tie retaining wall from the bank behind my house. 

Off I went to the nearest Walmart where I bought up pink, rose, yellow, white, and apricot packaged roses for $3 each and I ended up with over fifty of them.  I used the bank as the basis of my rose garden design.  I made planting holes in the sod and planted the roses with garlic around them.  Roses love garlic you know.  Garlic is supposed to repel aphids. 

I am too old to have the energy to use a big tiller, hoe, etc. to fight weeds in the garden so, I called my farmer friend Adrian and got a large round bale of hay.  The hay would smother the grass/weeds, keep the soil moist, and as it decomposes it will enrich my heavy clay and limestone soil.  Thank you Ruth Stout, your books are my inspiration!

I laid cardboard and newspapers thickly around the roses and covered them as thickly as I could with hay.  The hay covered paper began to smother the sod and I had a rose garden! 

Here is a photo of my hay mulched rose garden, taken in July.

During the same time I was working on the roses, I was also trying to start my vegetable garden.  I used the old railroad ties I removed from the bank, and bought lots more at the local farm supply store to create three raised beds directly on the sod.  The raised beds were 8 by 16 feet.  I used my dad's steel fence posts to support the trellis I was installing down the length of each bed.  I found wire cattle panel fencing at the farm supply store for $20 a panel that were about 12 feet long.  Wired to the steel fence posts, the panels became my permanent vegetable trellises.  No rinky dink tomato cages for me!

I used more of the hay from the huge round bale to mulch my first 3 raised beds.  Then, I planted my vegetables through the hay mulch, watered them, and waited.

And here is a photo of my hay mulched vegetable garden taken at the time.  Note the young asparagus plants on the left.

Here is the start of my herb garden.  I planted sage, lovage, basil, sorrel, french tarragon, spearmint, peppermint, chives, oregano, rosemary, salad burnet, thyme, and a few others.

Along with a rose garden, I have always ardently prayed for a water garden.  I never thought I would get one, but my yard guy had a Bobcat!  Suddenly it was possible.  Between the Bobcat, the yard guy, a pond liner, and the multitude of limestone rock in my yard we were able to get a small  water garden going.  The weekly farm auction gave me the "stone" fountain for only $22. And here is my water garden at the base of my rose garden bank.

Isn't it wonderful?  I have photos! 

Monday, September 27, 2010

I will NEVER Move again!

As some of you know, I have recently spent the most horrendous week of my life -- moving my stuff into the family home and removing much of my parent's stuff.

I have had all of this "stuff" in storage for the last 7 years and I had no idea how much stuff there is!  I am up to my neck in boxes, furniture, and appliances.  Organizing is a task that has to be taken in tiny sections.  First one thing has to be moved in order to access these needed items over there, which are waiting for the shelves/other vital parts to be usable so that this can be put away!  On and on we go, and where it will stop.....................nobody knows. 

The only good thing that comes out of moving is that you are forced to de-clutter as you go.  For each item that I select to go inside the house, I am proud to say that 3 or 4 items are put in the discard pile.  By the end of the century I might see an end in sight.

I do have a game plan, and that helps a lot.  My focus is to create a home filled with sunlight and warmth.  It needs to be a place where I can truly be comfortable in every room.  The atmosphere should remind me of happy times and the love of those dear to me.  I need plenty of space for the kitchen and kitchen equipment since I love to cook and preserve from the garden.  I want my guests to be comfortable and private.  I need a spacious sewing/crafts room so I can be creative.  And I need to have my garden.

Speaking of gardens, I have already started that particular project.  My father did not believe in a lot of landscaping, so he left me a blank slate.  Since March of this year, I have put in 20 fruit and nut trees/twigs [they are only a foot high or so].  I planted over 50 roses of various kinds including Knockout roses, hybrid tea roses, floribunda roses, and grandiflora roses.  I have a large herb garden with the perennials in place.  And I have installed five 8 by 16 foot railroad tie raised vegetable beds -- complete with cattle panel and steel post permanent trellises!
As soon as I figure out how to post photos of these gardening projects, I will!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thank you for visiting my blog.

I am writing this blog to share with you, everything I have learned over the past 50 years about decorating your home, equipping your kitchen, gardening, cooking, and baking!

I have so many interests and such a wealth of information at my fingertips; that several people have urged me to share it publicly. 

First some background information about me.  I grew up on a tiny farm in Kansas.  Our 14 acres were planted as an orchard, so we have all of the apples, peaches, apricots, grapes, walnuts, stawberries, blackberries, etc. that you can imagine.  My mother was one of 14 kids and grew up during the depression, so none of the food we grew in the acre vegetable garden or the fruits and nuts was wasted.  I learned at mom's knee how to cook, bake, preserve, garden, and etc.

I have a Bachelor of Science dergee in Home Economics/Interior design from Kansas State University.  And my mother taught me to love and appreciate antiques.  I have collected antiques myself and have inherited many lovely pieces.  For a short period I made an excellent living as an antiques "picker" for an antique shop in Kansas City.

While at school, I worked in restaurants as a cook and became interested in cookware and equipment. 

So to get the ball rolling here, I will publish articles on various subjects of interest and take comments and questions.  Welcome to MY World!