Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Perfect Timing

I moved into my new house in February this year. As soon as I was unpacked, I started working on the gardens.

I had the pond removed, an irrigation system installed, the side sidewalk removed, and a new front sidewalk installed. I brought in about 100 pieces of concrete edging, new sod where the old side sidewalk was, and countless bags of topsoil, rose soil, and mulch. By the way, I swear by Living Earth Rose Soil and Houston Mulch, in case you were wondering.

The front yard


I enlarged the tiny front flowerbed.


My house was built in 1885, so I went with antique brick for the new sidewalk.



The Old Pond

First the pond had to be removed. There is also a small pool in the back yard, and two water features were overwhelming to take care of. The pond is gone and the fish have been given a new home.


The act of removing the pond was a fiasco. The people that I paid to do it only made it look like it was removed. After a good rain I found out that I still had a pond. My Dad spent many back breaking hours busting up the concrete that was at the bottom of the pond so that I could have a regular garden instead of a water garden.


The Side Yard

This sidewalk was in an odd and never used place, so it had to go!


I planted a Brown Turkey fig in the small garden by the fence, I am planning to espalier it.

Looking at the side yard from the opposite perspective


The Vegetable Bed

The yard was sodded in November 2012, but wasn’t really cared for so the grass hadn’t rooted well by the time I built this cinder block bed in April. Usually I use the newspaper method to build my beds (laying down newspaper, wetting it, then covering it with dirt, which will kill the grass), but it was pretty easy to pull the grass up inside this new bed. I filled it with about 8 bags of Black Cow cow manure and garden soil mix from the dirt yard.


I guess that was a great combination, as you can probably tell from the picture below. My tomato plants are outgrowing their cages and I’m harvesting tomatoes every day right now.


All of the gardens (including the vegetable garden) are watered with drip irrigation and the grass is watered with pop-up sprinklers. So, why perfect timing, you ask?

Well, because it’s time for the annual Garden Bloggers Fling (in San Francisco this year) and it’s reaching 100 degrees here in Houston these days. With the plants, most of them started from my old garden, in the ground and my upcoming travels, I won’t have to worry so much about watering. I have to say, that if you have the opportunity to put in an irrigation system before planting your beds, that’s the way to go. I did the opposite at my previous house, only after years of moving around a sprinkler on Saturday mornings.

I’m very excited to have this much accomplished in my first 5 months of living here. My next project is one of the “hell strips” in front of the house. Can’t wait…