This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Day in the Garden!

After a year of ignoring our beautiful back garden, we, that is up until today mostly my wife, have begun the slow and steady process of ridding the beds of two year's growth of weeds and self-propagating plants and trees. We are under the gun a bit since we have hired an outfit to come in with, get this, 36 yards of bark to cover the beds. For those who may not know just how much that is, it is the amount that would fill a cube that is one yard wide, tall and deep. It will be quite a mountain of bark when it is dropped inn our driveway!

This stuff is supposed to dress up the beds, hold down weed growth and cut down on the amount of watering needed. So, the nasty stuff growing in the beds has to be gone before it makes sense for them to lay down the bark.

We also have the looming deadline of my retirement party for B'ham friends and family next week. Since there is the likelihood that the party will pour out into the garden, it should really look its best.

Yet to do:

  • Get the 3 fountains up and running.
  • Power wash the upper patio and lower decks.
  • Plant up pots with annuals for color.
  • Plant veggies in raised beds.
  • Hanging baskets for Secret Garden entrance.
  • Re-mount the bird house that fell when a section of fence went over last winter.
  • Set up all irrigation systems.
  • Set the front garden irrigation system.
  • Sort the contents of the barn and get it organized.
  • Cut down the cloches to fit the Secret Garden raised beds.
  • Round-Up weeds and ivy poking through from neighbor's yards.
  • Trim branches of trees hanging too low making mowing difficult.
  • Fix spinning art in upper raised bed.
Well, that's all I can think of for now. I'm sure my wife will add to the list but that's pretty good for now.

I must say, the yard is looking a lot better. The buttercups are pretty much gone or as gone as buttercups can ever be. The beds have been taken back from the wild and returned to civilization. A second truck load of weeds, branches and lawn has been accumulated and is ready to take down to the green dump.

Best of all, my wife said to me today that we have created something beautiful here and she is right. When I think back at what the back garden looked like when we moved into this house 16 years ago and consider it now, it is something to be proud of. Now that I am retired and have more time to call my own, I have an opportunity to make it even more beautiful and to better maintain what we already have. Hmmmm, maybe I can start work on the cascade and pond I have always dreamed of? Better stay tuned!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

First day of Retirement

We spent the night at The Willows last night. Had a fabulous meal that lasted 3 and a half hours and included 12 courses. Incredible! After breakfast we packed up and headed for the Whatcom Chief, the little ferry that whisked us back to the mainland.

Arriving home I headed off for my first nap of my retirement. Unable to sleep I got up and mowed the lawn. We also hired an outfit to shovel in 3 inches of new bark into the back garden beds next week. The rest of the day has been about finishing the few details still unfinished with my school website and e-mailing or Facebooking thank you notes to so many that took the time to show up at my departure from school the last time yesterday.

That's it! 1 paragraph describes my first day of retirement. Not too exciting, huh? Well, there's always tomorrow!