Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Love Caterpillars!

Not the fuzzy kind that turn into butterflies. This kind:

Boy, in the right hands they make short work of all that has to be done in my back garden.

I noticed my pictures are being cut off on the right hand side by the blogging site. So click on them to make them bigger.

I am just so glad that it is not ME or Nigel doing all this work on our own. It would have taken us weeks to do what our contractor has done in a couple of days.

More on the New Back Garden

I really need to keep up with this every day or every other day so I don't end up doing a long series of posts like this, one right after the other. Well, I'm playing Catch-up.

OK, last week the work started with the landscape contractor. He started on Monday, and worked pretty much all week on it. The first day he scraped up all the grass -- too bad, it was really very nice grass, but it would have gotten completely torn up anyway with his two digging machines. One is a little bobcat, and the other is ummm.....a big digger.

He started out by removing the little fence around the swingset, and then used to digger to take out the concrete plugs that held the posts on the little fence. The landscape contractor's name is Chris Gilliam, of Gilliam Construction, and he uses that big machine like a surgeon uses a scalpel. It's pretty amazing to watch.

You can see in this next picture where he started taking up the grass. It was a beautiful day, nice and sunny and warm. In fact, he had great weather all of last week while he was working. Cool -- in the 40s -- but no rain.

He also took down the little ratty piece of fencing that the previous owners put up to hide all the crap they had thrown beside the shed. He took that down and then pulled all kinds of stuff out of there. Blackberry brambles that had taken over, a wheelbarrow, even an old lawn mower, that he thinks he may be able to make work again.

He took out the landscape fabric that was under a couple of the beds too, and put all the stuff in a big pile to be hauled away.

This was all pretty much the first day's work.

My New Back Garden

It's been so long since I posted here, I hope I remember how.

I really need to keep a record somewhere of all the changes that will be happening this month in my back garden, and this is a good spot to keep pictures and post my thoughts and recollections.

The week after Christmas Nigel and I started a sort of back and forth consultation with a landscape contractor from Gig Harbor, and between the three of us we came up with what I think is a great plan for the back garden. Here's the layout we came up with.

On the left will be a nice big water feature, a disappearing stream and waterfall, with a patio and path right nearby to give us a good view of the water.

I'm looking for someone -- a landscape designer who is familiar with PNW natives and with shrubs -- who can help me choose the plants to go in the beds. I want a nice mixed shrub hedge at the back, with some woodland plants among them. Not sure yet what will go in the planting pockets around the water feature.

On the right hand side will be two large raised beds for vegetables. I've ordered a bunch of veggie seeds to grow there, from Victory Seed Company.

Here's what I ordered:

Radish, White Icicle - 7 gm. Packet
Eggplant, Black Beauty - 0.25 gram
Lettuce, Kagraner Sommer - 4 gm. Packet
Lettuce, Lollo Rosso - 4 gm. Packet
Lettuce, Merveille de Quatre Saisons - 4 gm. Packet
Lettuce, Red Romaine - 4 gm. Packet
Fennel, Sweet Florence - 0.5 gm. Packet
Soybean, Black Jet - 1/2 oz. Sampler
Cucumber, Bush Crop - 1 gram Sampler
Spinach, Bloomsdale Longstanding - 4 gm. Sampler
Pepper, Purple Beauty - 0.25 gram
Tomato, Cherokee Purple
Tomato, Sausage
Squash, Cocozelle - 3 gm. Sampler
Squash, Early Prolific - 3 gm. Sampler
Pea, Oregon Sugar Pod - 1 oz. Sampler
Pea, Freezonian - 1 oz. Sampler 
Pea, Green Arrow - 1 oz. Sampler