Friday, June 17, 2016

The Garden in June

It's occurred to me that since we moved here, I've never given a full tour of our property when I talk about the gardens or yard. We bought this house as a foreclosure 4 years ago (Eeek! That long already?) and it's definitely been a lot fun, hard work, and learning experiences.

The house sits on 4, heavily wooded acres, which is about half cleared for the house and yard. As foreclosed properties go, the house was a great financial investment, but unlike many foreclosures, it was in great shape. However, the outside was a hot mess and when we first moved in, we had to hire a bush-hogger to come in just to mow the back yard!

Over the years we've spent the most amount of improvement costs towards improving the property - mostly in tree removal and bringing the once, bush-hogged, weed and tick farm back to a lawn.

Okay, so let's start the tour!

First the front of the house. I love the stone work and the front porch. Since we moved in, we replaced the front walkway, repaired the lawn, removed trees, painted/stained the porch, and replaced the gutters.

Looking to the right of the garage, we have my sweet little garden shed. This wasn't here when we moved in either and we needed a place to park the mowers (plural) and garden/yard stuff. The veggie garden is on the other side of the fence. 

The woods behind the shed are our property too (2 acres). We keep it wooded because we do have a neighbor next to us and during the summer we don't want to see their property. 

Going through the garden gate to the backyard, this is what we see. The veggie garden is to the right where the mulch starts. 

It's fenced in, as I think the previous owners had a dog, which I'm sure was a dog's dream! This has turned out to be HUGELY in our favor, as every one of our neighbors also have dogs and the fence keeps them out. :-) Surprisingly, the deer don't come over the fence, even with the veggie garden.

Now, walking to the back of the property and looking towards the house. My new hosta garden is going in the shaded, mulched bed on the right with the trees. The veggie garden us up to the left (out of sight) by the fence.

I spend a lot of time sitting on that porch just watching the world go by and enjoying nature. 

From that spot turning toward the right, we have our drain field for our septic system. When we first moved in here, I wanted to put my veggie garden over here LOL! You should have seen the look on our septic system maintenance guy's face when I asked if I could do this. :-)  I was so naive; I had never lived in a house with a septic system. 

You can kind of see my other neighbor's house on the other side of the fence (on left). They have the exact same house as ours and we're the only 2 houses like this for miles. The rest of the properties around us are mostly older, country homes. The wooded area behind the fence to the right is our property too. 

Lastly, walking to the right, through the drain field and to the right of the hosta garden, we look back at the house. You can see the shed in the distance.

It just amazes me how good the grass looks. When we first saw this back yard, it was waist high and mostly weeds and bramble. Every year in the fall we've been giving it lime, fertilizer, and over seeding. We've aerated it and dethatched; we keep the grass tall - 3.5-4 inches - in the summer to help protect it from heat stress. In the spring, we hit it with another batch of fertilizer and crabgrass control. I spot treat for weeds when I see them.

I love to walk around out here barefoot. 

So that's it! We rarely deal with the wooded parts of the property unless there are trees to be taken care of. We've had over 50 trees removed and probably a dozen stumps ground since moving in. I think this is the first year where we won't have our tree company come out, unless there's an emergency (knock on A LOT of wood!).

But mostly, I am here, taking it all in, usually with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in my hand...

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