Thursday, March 29, 2018


 I read about this idea of Huglekultur and decided it was perfect for the discarded logs and branches on the perimeter of our yard. One is supposed to dig a trench, but we already had a recessed spot, so piling in the logs and branches was the next thing to do. We did this pile in less than 30 minutes, then took a break and will return to the project again soon, as there are still many logs and debris all around the yard to add.
After the majority of wood is compiled, we'll go with leaves and then maybe purchase some straw or pine straw to add to the mix. Topping it all with soil or well rotted manure as the final layer and then plants!
A 'how to guide' for building a hugelkultur (raised bed garden)
Our Huglekultur pile is in a rather shady spot so I don't imagine sun loving veggies would work for us, but certainly other edible plants would be advisable. The idea is that it is a compost pile of sorts but works as a garden too. Neat eh? The decaying wood becomes spongy, holding in water and making it available to the roots from above. The bonus is that it usually requires little watering or weeding, and breaks down slowly over the decades.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Easter Stole

Finished a week early (!!) an all white stole for our pastor Michael.  I really hope it doesn't drag on the floor or trip him up. I tried it on my husband and it works, phew! Pictured here is the before the piping and lining and lace is added.
I used some interfacing as the base and sewed the strips on alternating as I worked my way up. All white on white fabrics.
The back neck which may stay this way or have another bit of lace attached. We'll see what he thinks.

The finished look, with satin piping, and Battenburg lace which was just donated a week or two ago by a new member of our Knitwits group. In fact all of this fabric was donated by members of the church.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Red Cardi Finished!

Thanks to Lee for her tremendous patience, as I have finally finished the cardigan I promised her way last year! Shame on me for my s-l-o-w-ness. But with these rotten rainy windy days, it is really great knitting weather for me.

The yarn is Mirasol Akapana 65% Baby Llama, 25% Merino Wool. And Ella Rae Lace Merino Extrafine Superwash Worsted.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Garden Dreaming on Rainy Days

A little garden history...skipping some bits. In Hixson, the house before the previous one, I had a garden covered in wood chips with raised beds made from concrete blocks. I did this myself, altho Dave helped with the block buying, loading, stacking and pushing the wheel barrow. OK...we did it together. 
 The first year I used only one row high and decided that was a mistake and then added a second course, making the beds deeper/higher and easier to plant. Two courses made close to 15" of soil, enough to plant some trees and knock out rose bushes, without digging into the clay below.

Concrete block isn't glamorous but it is easy to afford which makes sense to use in the back yard. 
But now, I have a landscaper and will have to convince him that I really want to continue using concrete blocks for my raised beds and especially now that I have found BIGGER blocks!
The previous size was 8x8x16" and the bigger ones are 8x12x16" which makes the twin openings 9x5" instead of 5x5". That is a lot more space for the plants that I put in those openings and therefore more moisture and root space is available to the plant. Woowoo!  I went all the way to Georgia to see those blocks in reality, at a Home Depot 8 miles from home. hahaha.

 Rain has prevented anything else from  happening in the garden cleanup and so I am rethinking and re-imagining what it will all become. Sigh. Patience.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Garden Plan Prelims

We have one really sunny area, in front, so I hope to keep a lawn alive and green there. RB stands for red bud trees and dw stands for dogwood trees, two of my favorite trees both for the blossoms in Spring and their leaves and shape. I'd like to keep them in a mulched area with big flower pots between them.
 Then behind the sunny area is the shady yard where we will have a doggie fence with a gated arbor, like this:gated arbor - Google Search
This 3'  Welded Wire Fencing The 3 foot high wire grid doggie fence will be attached to the existing timbers but will have less visible uprights in the line between the house and the rest of the fence.
 Here is the view inside the yard. 

 The yard extends behind the house and is shady and full of dropping leaves and seed pods. The dogs will stay here, and we'll have a seating area that can easily be swept. Behind the fence we'll have a path surrounding and connecting all the parts of the yard. 
On the shady east side of the back yard, I hope to have a Japanese style garden with lots of ferns, hosta and other shade loving plants. O boy!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Garden Start

Cue peaceful sunrise music...This is the view from the front door at 6:37am.

 Moments later the cavalry have arrived to demolish all the overgrowth and weedy trees in our yard. 
 The fence is down and they took it away. Yay! It looked good in the listing pictures but was a mess in reality. Behind the fence much of the bamboo was cleared out, but some remains. It will stay because it hides another mess behind it, concrete boulders retaining the football field behind.

 The wood chipper eats the last of the large trees. 
Friday was the last sunny day and after a rainy weekend the yard is a muddy mess. It is so much bigger than we realized now that the fence is down and the perimeter cleared. We have sunny areas, and quite shady spots, wet, dry, low and high.
The landscaper, Nick will return today to discuss plans for the yard. A million ideas have been swirling in my head and I really don't know what to do. Hopefully Nick will solve some of the mysteries.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Under Contract

I'm happy to say we are under contract for our downtown house. Yay! 
While in theory it was my dream home, it was not such a dream in reality. Impossible to keep clean and noisy from the fire engines, ambulances and freight trains, no where to walk the dogs without fear of them getting loose and running into Main street traffic (happened more than once!) and just too trendy for it's own good. 
Can anyone live like this without a bottle of spray cleaner constantly at the ready?
We know from experience that deals can fall through (since we've done that twice already ourselves) we are hoping this one is a go, and we await closing at the end of this month, or sooner.
So I am feeling a bit philosophical.  Our current house may be our last (never say never) and it is far from perfect, but it is definitely quiet, homey, easy to keep clean and safe. I have enlisted a landscaper and we await the drying out of the yard to begin the massive transformation. 
What I have learned is that a home needs to be conducive to gathering, close enough to chat without moving furniture and/or shouting. There needs to be sunny rooms and shady porches, trees and plants that surround the yard to coax a stroll. I am so happy to have a cheerful spot with lovely clumps of jonquils and grape hyacinth currently in bloom. My potted hosta are coming up and some have even been transplanted into the front planter beds. A garden is really important to us.
My kitchen is just right for anything I might want to cook and not having to eat at a counter has made meals just so friendly and conversation inducing. And the studio has become the family room while still allowing for creativity. We are so happy.
So it was good to experience downtown living to learn what that actually meant. The sale price of that house wiped out the cost of that try out, like it never happened. Heehee.