March 8, 2009

Project: Backyard

My husband and I were busy bees these past few days. I needed to clean up the garden area and my husband got to work building a fence to separate the dogs from the rest of the yard. The yard will basically be divided into four sections: the garden, play area (with grass), dog run, and the deck.

1) The garden still needs to be tilled. The ground is soft and workable, but more rain came and my husband was tired from building the fence. We have one little strip worked. More importantly, though, we definitely determined that the garden will be 15'x15'. It's smaller than I anticipated, which will reduce our yield a little, but I think it will be more manageable, for now. I'll find more creative ways of growing food later. It does leave us plenty of room to maneuver around, allow for a storage shed, and hopefully a compost bin in the corner. We are buying a rain barrel (hopefully soon!) and attaching soaker hoses, which will be run down the length of each big row. We haven't yet figured out how to avoid soil erosion and promote good drainage, since the garden will be on a slight downhill slope leading to boggy, flooding land. Still working the brains on that one.

2) Dog Run: My stronger half was hard at work building a fence for the dogs these past few days. He set the posts in the ground and then yesterday nailed in the hog wire fencing. The fencing is not particularly strong so we'll see how it goes. Our little Daisy (a beagle) is the one we have to worry about. If anybody makes it through the fence, it's her. Unfortunately, since we aren't professionals, the posts didn't square up well - so we'll be building our own custom gate, too! We plan on putting some sort of small tree in the dog area to provide shade and using mulch. If we try grass, they will just trample it down.

3) Play area: This is the area from the newly built dog fence to the garden. We will be seeding it with our Eco Lawn seed this spring. We want a nice bit of area for little Jacob to play around in . The dogs will be able to use it too when we decide to let them out of the run. On this side of the fence, I'm going to grow morning glories, clematis, or black eyed susan - something to grow up the fence and look pretty. Along the wood fence, I'm planting sunflowers.

4) Deck: The deck is an already existing structure. We have a few chairs, a charcoal grill and a firepit. We'd like to add a canopy/tent, a side table, and possibly a hammock. The canopy will be great - our deck faces the west. It's impossible to spend a nice afternoon/evening out there because the sun is in your eyes.

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