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Archive for the ‘back yard’ Category

An outdoors table setting, morning day or night!  For serving coffee and hot cereal, a spread of vegetables from our now fading garden, dishes and cutlery from a nearby Goodwill, and a few leaves from our maple!

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My jonagold apples

I did the organic route and every single apple got worms so far
These apples were used, I cut away the good parts and made an apple pie with them!

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Fellini wondering when all will be ready to eat

John basting his pork ribs that he smoked all day

His secret sauce

shucking the corn

yes there are bugs so we know it’s organic

grilling the corn

Soaked in water then grilled

Fellini wondering when it will be ready to eat

and the feast is ready!

beans, ribs, shoulder,corn,collard greens, cherry pie, tomato salad,watermelon

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5x-kitchen3

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5x-bathroom

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Snowbells are here!!!!!

Sent from my iPad

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young garden and the man that planted new grass seeds, for the third time

lettuce garden

hyacinth grow wild in Oregon

bluebells

azalea

apple tree jona gold when it was about three years old

fig and bushes

strawberry flower

fern on my back porch

antique roses from early 1900

hydrangea bushes grow wild

the wisteria took nicely

figs

currants

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pink roses

pink roses

a bush we saved from oblivion in a corner of our back yard when we bought the house

grows tall, full of blooms….

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our sewer line is being replaced! OMG Portland makes you do this if your sewer joins another’s and if you want to either sell your house or add a second bathroom, and at the tune of $6000 or so you are obliged to do it

side view near house

another side view

mud and holes and pipes

john staring down the deep hole

our lovely back yard

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this red rose is about 7 inches across in bloom and it is from a bush we saved in the back yard of our 1897 victorian house, for sure on old variety and its scent is unbelievably intoxicating, heady, perfumy, hard to find these days in the hybrid rose world

my roses and peonies from our local store

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our house

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a wall in the neighborhood going up

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a red rhododendron

rhododendron red

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rain rain go away

a handful of pine needles, from the old Western  “cedar” I believe, clogging the entrance to the funnel of the downspout…disaster!!!  People please don’t plant large evergreen trees next to your homes!!!  These were planted 40 years ago and are nothing but disaster!

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purple aster

purple aster

Purple Aster—this is a plant that took over a part of my garden by itself, out of air, and rooted itself deeply and invasively, choking other things in its way.  I pulled it out but but now will have to turn over all the soil as its roots splinter easily and spread like chickweed!

NativePerennial. Propagates by seeds. Time of bloom: July to November. Seed-time: August to December. Range: Newfoundland to Manitoba, southward to Virginia, Ohio, and Illinois. Habitat: Moistfields and meadows, banks of streams, swamps.

Stem three to seven feet tall, stout, grooved, erect, reddish purple, bristly with short, stiff hairs, branching near the top. Leaves three to six inches long and an inch or more wide, oblong to lance-shaped, long-pointed, rough above, bristly on midrib below, toothed along the sides, clasping the stem with an auriculate base. Heads in loosely branched panicles, on rather short pedicels, each about an inch broad, with light yellow disk and many pale purple or lilac rays; bracts of the involucre usually in two rows, linear, smooth, green, spreading. Achenes hairy, the long, tufted pappus nearly white. This weed is in bloom so early that flowering stems are often cut with hay, and seeds ripen on the stalks. (Fig. 302.)

Means Of Control

Deprive the plant of its loved moisture by better drainage. Prevent seed production and starve the perennial roots by frequent close cutting, and so fertilize, cultivate, and improve the ground that better plants will supersede the weed.

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I would like to plant trees and bushes there, maybe repeat the arbor with climbing trellis pattern….John said to just put the pavers over the sand. I think a tree and bushes from the perennial garden would look great.

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With this old house, we inherited a large clump of bamboo on one side of our yard.  It has been a great privacy screen and looked very cool.  The problem was that it was spreading rapidly and we initially thought, after much consulting and research, to but a barrier in the ground, a two foot deep hard plastic sheet that would prevent the roots from spreading.

early bamboo clump

early bamboo clump

The fact that the bamboo was dropping its leaves everywhere all summer was another problem.. It is 2o plus feet high and is called black bamboo.  Well prized but not correctly used in this case.  The barrier worked, kind of, but it pushed the roots into the neighbors yard, growing another clump of bamboo in the back of his house.  It also started growing more vigorously and we soon had a monster in the yard.

so after a trim

so after a trim

here the barrier was put in place into the ground and then this happened:

the year after the root barrier

the year after the root barrier

The stalks were multiplying, all the time confined in a four by four space.  So, I was constantly chopping it back and it just seemed to rebel by growing faster and stronger.  John got some bids on removing it and he said it would cost about $700.  This seemed absurd to me.  I found two guys, landscapers, out of business, on craigslist, whom we employed and paid $20 per hour each.

They cut down the bamboo, leaving some 10 stalks intact as per John’s request,  and then proceeded to chomp at the root system.  They found a massive clump, and a pick axe had to be used.  Luckily we had one in our basement. Then the handle to the pick axe broke.  They had to go to the store to get another handle.  Then the tip of the pick axe broke.  Then they started to use a chainsaw to cut though the root system.  It ran out of oil.  Then they had to go get car oil for it.  All this in 100 degree heat.  They said they never saw such a thing.  This bamboo had an unbelievably gnarly, tough root system.  I am sure this happened because we enclosed it last year and it had nowhere else to go.  So the lesson is this; do not plant bamboo unless you want a bamboo forest and a bamboo root system taking over your entire yard!!!  IT IS INCREDIBLY IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTAIN!  if youd o do it right, be prepared for maintenance.  I just couldn’t do this myself , it requires a sturdy strong hand of a gardener, or your husband, if he is willing to put in the time!

huge mess of roots

huge mess of roots

root samurai

root samurai


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lawn at the beginning

lawn at the beginning

The lawn was just patchy grass, we had it removed and turned over a few times then the guy flattened it with a drum and laid new sod over it. The problem was that the soil was too compact and the sod grass started dying the next year.  We then hired another guy to come and pull up the sod, and amend the soil, while eliminating all the weeds and spreading new grass seed.  The process was time consuming and ended up costing $250 plus.

planting new grass seed

planting new grass seed

grass is coming in patchy

grass is coming in patchy

After all that the lawn was taken over by weeds.

some weeds are taking over

some weeds are taking over

He said it was just seeds from the air, landing, every kind in Oregon, actually.  I thought it was in the manure he amended the soil with.  He said no, but I still think it was.  I was stunned, I pulled them slowly by hand.  I also kept adding more grass seed in the patchy spots.  After about 100 pulled weeds I stopped.  Then I started spraying.  I sprayed weed killer on it a few times and finally, now we have grass mostly.  It actually looks like a real lawn.

present day lawn

present day lawn

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back yard

 

overgrown bamboo

overgrown bamboo

The back yard was large and sunny but also suffered from neglect.  Patchy sod, a huge compost pile consisting of bamboo sticks, leaves and pine needles and two homemade raised beds.  There was also a huge uncontrolled bamboo grove, seemingly planted without any consideration for the plant’s pervasive nature.  No easy feat mind you.  We bought the house with a barren back yard. Nothing but a few flat pavers and raspberry bushes.  

back yard before

back yard before

here is the old yard

here is the old yard

consruction debris in backyard

construction debris in backyard

It took 2 full summers to get the garden we have now.  A lot of it I did myself and some of it was done by Marcos, a daylaborer.

I asked him to make me three perennial beds, put in some new sod and create a small space for vegetables.  After that I put in new soil and edged the perennial beds.  I planted hundreds of perennial seeds in small circles, marking each one.  I also planted a few trees, a fig, an apple and various small bushes.

seed beds
seed beds
flower beds

flower beds

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