We’ve been quite busy since our return from our mini-vacation in Oregon last month. I know I haven’t posted the remaining photos from the trip but, in all honesty, taking care of the yard before the weather gets worse seemed more important at this point. I will post more Oregon photos soon but first, here’s what we’ve accomplished in the last month.
We started on the garden wall in the North Yard in the morning and by the afternoon we had three rows in place. Originally we were going to mortar each row but as we were leveling the first layer we thought that it might be better if we just laid the stones in place without mortar as: 1) we could lay in the stones much quicker; 2) we could reuse the stones in the future without having to clean the mortar off; and 3) the wall could be easily rebuilt if damaged in the event of an earthquake. All sound reasons and because of this decision, we were able to put three rows in by the end of the day.
We were originally only going to lay in two rows but as we thought about it, we realized we really needed a third wall.
Once the third row was in place my wife gathered the various flower pots around the yard and placed them on top of the third row.
We also began work on a new strawberry wall just behind the garden wall. If you follow the wall to the patio table and look to the left you’ll see the circular strawberry wall.
The next day we used some of the extra stones and built a new circular bed for two Sweet Chestnut trees that my son and my wife had started from some chestnuts that were pulled aside from the chestnuts for dinner. We placed the chestnuts in containers, made sure they had good sun and plenty of water and waited until the right time to plant them. There are two chestnut trees that twisted around each other in the pot and were planted that way.
The next task was to repair the front arbor, trim the roses and Andromeda, transplant the Calla Lilies from the south yard to the front yard, and do some general trimming in the front yard. Then as we were looking around we realized that we needed to pull down the ivy that had been climbing the fir trees out front. We had pulled some ivy off of a few trees previously but decided all the ivy climbing any tree needed to be pulled down. Ivy is considered a nuisance plant in western Washington and when I saw what they were doing to the trees as they climbed, I understood why.
While I always thought ivy climbing up trees was very picturesque, I truly had no idea what the damage climbing ivy does to a tree. It’s not too bad if you pull the ivy down before they’ve had a chance to really “root” into a tree. If not rooted it’s fairly simple to detach the ivy or, if it’s already climbed too high, to simply break the branch so the ivy above the break dies.
However, its a different story if the ivy has had a chance to root itself into the tree. If this is the case, as it was on one tree, you cannot pull the rooted ivy loose from the tree bark and you have to literally cut a section of the the ivy trunk to kill the ivy above the cut.
Even as we were working removing the ivy there’s always a chance to capture a part of nature’s natural cycle of life.
Finally, one last shot of the north garden wall from inside the house. It was raining heavy (almost three inches in two days) and as I looked out, I saw pooling water that needed to be taken care of before winter blasts in this year. To ensure I knew where they were, I took the picture from the screened in window and thought it came out very nice.
We also transplanted strawberries from the “old” garden bed into the newly built strawberry circle.
And, two days ago we laid in 1 1/2 yards of 50/50 topsoil and still have another yard to lay in on the front yard.
So that’s much of what’s been accomplished in the last weeks. We still have more to do and it will get done one task at a time.