We have had so much rain for several months now! Even when it doesn’t rain, it has been cloudy a lot. I’m not complaining. I know our gardens need it, the animals need it, but our SPRING needs it too…especially since it is our sole source of water for the house. In between all of the rain, we had a load of dirt dumped for our veggie garden. We moved here too late last year to put in a garden. We did have a few tomato plants we put directly into the ground. The ground here is mostly rocks, though, with only a little bit of soil. We finally got it all spread out, but then it kept on raining and I had to wait to make the rows and finally plant them. My neighbor had some extra seed potatoes and cucumber plants which she gave to me. I also bought some tomato plants, herbs, acorn squash, peppers, and then I also planted some seeds. I planted beets, two kinds of kale, leeks, corn, squash, lettuce, etc. When the corn starts coming up, I’m going to plant beans and peas to grow up the stalks. It’s a rather ambitious garden, and I usually over-plant, so we’ll see how it goes. The dirt was full of earthworms, so I think we having a shot at having a decent harvest. Bud put a fence of chicken wire around it to keep the chickens out. One year before we moved, the chickens decimated my garden. They ate every plant, and I had to start over with new plants! Someday, I’d like to have a picket fence. Since we moved here, I’ve envisioned having hydrangeas in front of the house. We had some leftover dirt from the veggie garden that needed to be moved, so I built a rock wall in front of the porch. I collected, hauled and stacked them. Most of them I collected from the dry stream bed…TWICE. I collected as many as I could that were the right shape and size. It rained and rained and rained, which caused the dry stream bed to flow. Then, I collected MORE rocks that were exposed after the rain. That still wasn’t enough. One day, Bud hooked the trailer up to the car and took me down the gravel road and I collected some from the side of the road. Bud gave me some pointers he read in a book about making rock walls. I’m not sure I did it exactly right, but the neighbors have all complimented it. It was sort of like putting a puzzle together. You have to find the right shape and size and fit them so that they don’t ‘rock’ (no pun intended). I think the rock walls look like they have always been there. Bud worked on the rocks below the steps, and I think they look so nice! It accents the garden walls. I planted hydrangeas that are supposed to bloom all summer long, plus some Lantana and some Vincas. I’m not sure I have enough sun there to sustain them, but I hope they do well.
Vincas grew prolifically in the Houston area, but they don’t seem to do well here. I’ve tried planting them in the wash tub in front of the mailbox before and they died. This year, Bud planted some Petunias in there and they are doing good. So far, the Vincas don’t seem to be doing well in the garden box either.
I got inspired after doing the garden boxes, and made an herb garden. Bud moved some flat rocks behind it to showcase it and now I have the Queen Mother of all Herb Gardens. I planted some flower seeds that are supposed to cascade down the rock wall and also some tall flowers in the back. A while back, the electric company came and cut down some dead trees that were in danger of falling on the power lines. It’s more advantageous to spend money and man power to cut them down now, rather than waiting until one falls on the power lines in a storm and having to do it during a crises situation where lots of people have lost power. We paid a neighbor to come with his tractor and drag them down the hill. We are going to have someone with a portable mill come and make them into boards and we are going to side the house with them, “board and batton” style to match the out-building. These logs are HUGE. One of our neighbors told us that one of his greatest regrets about his homestead was that he did not plant fruit trees the first year he moved there, because they take so long to start producing fruit. Not wanting to make the same mistake, we made it a priority to get some fruit trees planted this year. We have planted several kinds of apples, pears, peach and cherries. I dug most of the holes. The soil is so rocky, part of it had to be done with a pick axe. Bud planted them and kept them watered until the gates of heaven opened up and watered the earth again. This, again, was a good thing, because he had to fill buckets up and drive them up the hill to the trees in the flatbed trailer! So far, most of the trees are doing well. There is only one we are really worried about. We planted them in the pasture along the road. It has been so nice to be able to do some work outside. Last year, we were just ‘surviving’ and trying to get the inside of the house liveable. Also, Winter lasted a lot longer than we were use to. I enjoyed it, but I was ready for the next season. I LOVE having four real seasons!