Friday, September 27, 2013

Blank Canvas

When we bought our house, we knew that the inside of our new home had been completely redone. We had new electrical, plumbing, cooling, and paint. The front landscaping had been done and everything looked good. Everything except the backyard. Our backyard was a blank canvas. Nothing was growing in it except a row of oleanders serving as the fence with our neighbors and one lone bush/tree. We quickly hatched plans for a tree-less treehouse, raised garden beds, chickens and fruit trees. Most of those plans had to be put on hold while we waited for cooler temperatures. It is not fun doing manual labor in 115 degrees!

In the past week or two, we have slowly begun to work on the yard. I have taken a few classes through the Valley Permaculture Alliance, hoping to gather a lot of good information as we design our yard. A fruit tree class opened up a lot of potential for the yard. We have dreams of apple, peach, pomegranate, grape and apricot. The order for those has been placed, and we expect the bare root trees early January. With a whole lot of care, water and pruning, we hope those will be a great additional to our yard.
Dave has been busy with the rototiller, breaking up the hard packed earth to make way for plants and growth. Eamon helped Dave out with the tiller. He took a turn navigating the big machine through the yard. He was quite impressed with his accomplishment. The tilling took a few days due to an errant wheel and low fuel. The fuel was an easy fix, but the wheel that fell off was a bit tougher. The kiddos and Dave took the metal detector out trying to find the missing fastener for the wheel. They found part of the piece as evening quickly approached, which was great fun. A trip to the local hardware store supplied everything else that was needed, and last night Dave finished the job. (Yes, we could have skipped the metal detector as my dad said, but using it was so much fun - treasure hunting at its finest).
We didn't want to till originally, preferring to amend the soil lasagna style instead. A few rains changed our minds. We noticed the yard sloped toward the house and garage creating pools near the structures. Now that the tilling is done, we will be moving some dirt around the yard to lessen the slope. There is much work still to be done, but we are making our first crack at that blank canvas and it feels good.

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