April 20, 2008

Patio is taking shape!

The total number of tractor-bucket loads of dirt and manure is now to 78! but I think I am nearly completed with three sides of the house. I actually 'heeled in' some perennials that my mother in law sent home with me.... and 99% of the patio and step is done.

I still have work on the sidewalk, edging between the gravel driveway and the lawn area, the beds around the patio and the foundation planting areas, etc.

Here is a photo of the 'patio'.... it is not completed yet, but I had to put out my table and chairs! :)

I have laid and then redone half of the walk to the driveway! I can't seem to keep it straight, and I am using lines, and squares!
I finally realized that the 'square' pavers I had bought at 'the cheapest place' were not exactly square! So now if one doesn't butt exactly up against the first, I just rotate it until it fits better.
Not exactly correct, but it will have to do, for this 'do it yourself' project!

April 7, 2008

Serious Landscaping Has Begun!!!

Spring is 'not yet arrived' here in Montana. Nights are still in the low teens (F) and the daytimes are lucky to get into the fifties. Just in the past several days, have the south-slopes of small hills begun to show a tint of green. Even the weeds are not yet sprouting along the south edge of the roadways.
However, I am hard at work around the new house. It is really in a stage of discouragement, rather than excitement.... but I am hoping any day will bring a turning point!
The official total of tractor bucket-loads of dirt, manure, etc. hauled in around the house is now at 63! That does include last year's efforts, but the 14 this year have been the ones that need to be spread around by hand shoveling!!!!!
I think that is what is so discouraging: For every load I haul in, I see where I need two more! And each pile of manure or dirt simply seems to disappear when I start throwing it around!

BUT, in reality, things are getting better, and I must keep reminding myself that all the time I put into the soil now will mean so much in the future success of any planting I will do for years to come!

In the past, I have tried to use 'shortcuts' in preparing a new planting area... and it doesn't work well!
Well, have to run now... lots of baby animals here on the ranch.... and that means hours of chores! And then back to more shoveling!
I'll be back soon with some 'before' photos and some graphics of my design plans!
Mrs. John