Monday, February 11, 2013

Waking Up The Springtime Yard

I have spent a few hours of my Sunday/Monday weekend outside working on my back yard.  Yesterday’s outside time started with a post-snow gleaning of all of the dog poop that accumulated while snow was on the ground for a couple of months.  I did get out there while the snow was thick and heavy on the ground and do a gleaning at that point, but yesterday saw the very last of the back-yard snow gone and, with a warmish day in the works; I thought I should take advantage of the lack of rain and get out there and, well, glean.
That done, I spent a lovely hour outside working on pruning some of my shrubbery and the apple tree.  There’s a pile in the middle of my back yard awaiting removal now. I also, however, discovered that my wheelbarrow’s tire is flat as a pancake and that there isn’t an inner-tube – which means I either need to learn how to re-inflate a tire that doesn’t have an inner tube (I researched online and it looks too complicated) OR I need to acquire a wheelbarrow tire inner tube (MUCH less complicated and most likely my plan of attack) some time this coming week.
I need my wheelbarrow, you see, to help when I am removing pruning cuttings and also when cleaning up the winter debris and mulch I put down.  My compost bin is about to get a lovely rotting down leaves!
Once I had raked and composted the grass and leaves left over from fall, I moved my herb pots back to their space along the side fence and hauled out my bistro set – maybe a little early for it at this point, but it feels good to have it out and welcoming for the first dry day of sunshine I am home and can have a coffee outside!  I left the BBQ put away - but I suspect it too will be coming out very soon!
Next up on my list was to untangle my clematis from the temporary trellis-y thing I had it on last year and to affix it to the trellis-y screen that is currently (theoretically) hiding my oil tank from view in the back yard. Quick note to self, clematis is a MASSIVE pain in the bottom to be untangling and re-hanging – so never again plan to do something like that! The screen it is now affixed to is one it can stay on for years to come – or until I get rid of the oil tank for good and claim that space for addition to the house – whichever comes first.
I also started the work to set up where my 2013 vegetable garden will reside.  I have laid out the patio squares in between the legs of the arbour that will be acting as my gate into the garden (incidentally, it will also be what I grow my beans up over as it is the perfect height and size for me to grow green beans on) and then last of all I removed some weed suppressing cloth that the previous owner had put down under gravel along that area.  I will have a HUGE job ahead of me where screening out all of the gravel is concerned – there are stones and so forth all over the place in the area I plan to start my garden in, but this is something I can definitely do in stages.  I’m not entirely certain WHAT to do with all of that gravel when I screen it all out – maybe use it to augment Navijack when I am looking to sink fence posts and pour concrete?
I also found more new and interesting “crap” during my labours – a very old style pitchfork head, some spike things that I am sure are for gardening (but will have to ask my mum about) and another shovel head. I also harvested some sunchokes from the patch that grows along the back fence - I'm going to try experimenting with them this week.  I can't think if I have ever had them before and I know I have never cooked with them, so this should be interesting!
All done, I am soaking some dishes now and have a cup of tea steeped and ready for drinking.  Time to put together a list of supplies I will need for my next stages of the spring garden project.  Metal posts, some wire for fencing, a heavy duty screen for getting gravel out of the soil, an inner tube for my wheelbarrow’s tire, and a new hose to name a few…. I wonder if I can locate any of these things using freecycle?
With love across the waters,