Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Rhubarb

Late in the spring, I dug out a garden bed and planted some rhubarb. The photo shows the rhubarb a couple weeks after it was planted:

The picture is rather plain but that is to be expected since the rhubarb was just planted. Fast forward to a few months later and take a look at the current photo:

To provide a size reference, a standard five gallon bucket was included in the photo. As can be seen from the picture, the rhubarb is very happy and growing like a weed so to speak.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Working on the garden pond

Progress was a bit slow this weekend but I did finish up a few small tasks. The first task I completed was back filling the second terracing wall with compost. I also managed to add a smaller terraced section in front of the second wall. The smaller terraced area will hold a poppy bed. It should be quite colorful next year once the poppies have a chance to establish themselves.

I even had a chance to spend some time working on the garden pond. Mostly, the effort went into creating a small border using bricks. The brick border will be used to provide a level surface to lay the flagstone border stones onto. The pond liner will be placed in between the border bricks and the flagstone. That way, the bricks are hidden by the liner and the flagstones will have something level to hold them in place. I'll probably place some mortar between the bricks to hold them in place better. At this point, the bricks are still not completely level as I only did a quick job of digging and leveling. I'll need to level the bricks with each side of the pond so that each brick as at the same height of all the other bricks. That will be a rather time consuming task to finish.

Along with laying out the brick border for the pond, I also set up a brick foundation for the area the waterwheel will be placed into. The waterwheel will be about 3 feet in diameter and will be made out of cedar. I haven't started work on constructing the wheel yet but will probably start next weekend if the waterwheel plans arrive in a timely manner.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Moving the banana tree and other small tasks

For me, my days still consist of seven days a week working in the yard. On week days, after I come home from my job, I head straight out into the yard and work until it's almost dark. On weekends, I get up about 8:00 AM, eat breakfast and then spend the full day in the yard working until it gets dark. Man, that's a lot of work. At this point, I'm really tired but the project is getting closer to completion. I suspect I have about a months worth of work remaining.

All that work is starting to pay off. The yard is starting to look much better than it did a few weeks ago. For example, here's the latest view of the pathway that runs between the terraced flower beds.

And here's another viewpoint looking from the front of the yard towards the back of the yard. The dry stream bed on the left side of the picture looks really nice.

I still need to work on the garden pond. I managed to spend a bit of time leveling the outline of the pond. At this point, I need to order the rubber liner that will hold the water. Any further work on the pond will have to wait until I have the liner ordered.

Some of the other tasks I managed to do this weekend were things like moving a lot of plants around. Some plants like the banana tree had to be moved in order to make enough room to allow constructing a small dirt wall around the garden pond outline. I also spent a lot of time working on the second terracing wall which the first pictures shows.

Well, that's enough writing for now. I'm tired and have to go to bed before I fall over from physical exhaustion. I'll post more pictures of the yard as the project continues.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Slow progress on the garden pond.

Progress in the yard was a slower this weekend as the garden pond is a complex project. I managed to construct the foundation for the little foot bridge. That required digging and leveling the soil, using adhesives to bond the concrete blocks together, and trial fitting the bridge to the foundation. After a bit of tinkering, the brigde was level and fit it place nicely.

Installing the pond liner will be one of the more challenging aspects of the project. Each side of the pond needs to be level to prevent the water from overflowing. There is a small grade to the area I'm working with so I have to build up the dirt in some place. One of the areas I have to build dirt up in is very limited on space as it is next to the pathway. There is only about a seven or eight inches of space to build up the dirt wall. Hopefully, the dirt wall I've built will hold up against the water pressure. I'll definitly find out once I install the liner.

Here's a picture of the new pathway that I finished up this weekend. The weed block fabric still needs to be trimmed up but the pavers are in place and the soil has been packed in around the pavers.

It's time to get ready for sleeping. I'll try to post a picture of the foot bridge in the upcoming week.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The second garden pathway is now a work in progress.

Since it was the 4th of July, I had a three day weekend to work on the yard. A lot of tasks were accomplished in that time frame. What I refer to as the center island, was completed as of yesterday. I hauled a total of 14 cubic yards of compost to fill the island. There are even a few flowers planted in the garden bed. There are a total of five pots of creeping phlox that I planted around the edge of the block wall in the front of the bed. Eventually, the creeping phlox will grow and drape over the edge of the wall and have some vibrant pink and blue flowers.

The next large phase of the landscaping project has started at this point. The current phase is to add a pathway around the center island. If I were to venture a guess, I'd say there's about 80 to 90 feet of pathway that needs to be constructed. My brother stopped over tonight and we managed to put down about 16 feet of pathway before it was time to quit. I'll tackle it again tomorrow night when I get back from work and add more of the concrete paver stones to the pathway.

I also put a little time in working on the garden pond. Most of my effort went into preparing the section where the little foot bridge will go. The bridge is about 4 feet long and will span over a small channel in the pond.

One of the unfortunate side effects of working outside so long this weekend was the fact that I sun burned my head. Since I shave my head, I should wear a hat outside in the sun but I forgot. The net result is that the top of my head is quite pink and very uncomfortable. That's one of the drawbacks about living alone, no one is there to remind you of the little things you overlook like that. Oh well, I'll wear a hat next time I work in the yard so my skin has a chance to recover.