Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hard but satisfying labor

We are making some changes for the comfort of our new old motorhome. We have had -- for the past several years -- a canopy deal over our 5th Wheel trailer to keep it dry and undamaged by golfballs and falling redwood branches. But, that's not good enough for the motorhome. The FMC must have better so we are getting two new metal carports (Like these). The back one will house the motorhome and the front one will be double wide and will house two cars side-by-side. The FMC will be able to drive through both to it's little spot. We had to move a gate and dig up some debris (dirt) in the driveway, move a planter bed, and otherwise do some serious manual labor.

So, of course, we called on my inlaws. They love this kind of thing -- really! And, we all worked at it. Greg got a new shovel and pickax. Our old shovels are . . . old. The old pickax had actually fallen apart completely. And, we spent a few hours on it. We took a break for lunch and ate some amazing deli sandwiches that we made ourselves. The kids helped too -- digging and shoveling dirt and leaves into the wheelbarrow.

We got enough done for the carport people to deliver the carports now with no problem. Eventually, though, we'll finish it up by adding in a planterbox along the neighbor's fence and a rock retaining wall along the rest of the driveway down and around the mailboxes. The retaining wall will also have a planter box component to it as well.

My mother-in-law and I also tackled the front beds. The person we bought the house from had put in an English Cottage Garden in our front yard. Myself, I called it the Deer Salad Bar. I have replaced most of the inappropriate plants (like rosebushes -- ever seen what a deer can do to a rose bush in just one night?) with Lavender. Deer don't like lavender but I do. There were still a few Agapanthas left though. Agapanthas are very popular landscape plants because they are so hardy but deer do love them. I, however, do NOT love them. I don't like the flowers and I don't like they way they take over a garden and make it their own. I also don't like the way any tiny bit of root that you leave in the soil becomes a new Agapantha plant come spring.

Anyway, we dug the buggers out which is difficult work. There were two big clumps and then some "volunteers" from where I had dug out past clumps. Agapanthas are so tough that the clumps that I dug out 4 years ago and tossed on a mound of dirt for a friend who wanted them to come pick up (only she never did) are still growing happily sitting ON TOP OF THE DIRT! Evil plants! We found some volunteer Lavender plants coming up in one spot and replanted those. We put down some weed cloth and put fresh redwood bark over the whole thing. Finally, I hacked back my lavender. Lavender benefits from a good hacking (like 1/3 off!) once a year. It's hard to make yourself do it but the plant is much happier.

It looks so nice. See . . .
Lavender 1 Lavender 2

Oh, and last thing . . . after giving it great thought. Laura, this is a picture (not a good one, mind you) of what feels like home to me.

Feels like HomeThese cabinets came from IKEA. They were among the first furniture that Greg and I picked out and bought for ourselves that weren't hand-me-downs. They house our special books and art that we have collected as well as Greg's extensive music collection -- the right hand one is almost exclusively CDs. In front of it to the left is our Taos drum that we bought from the artist in Taos. On top of the cabinets are two amazingly beautiful duck decoys carved and painted by my grandfather. To the right, along the hallway wall, is the start of our picture wall. The first framed piece is our wedding invitation and next to it framed on top are the kids' birth announcements. It's the first thing you see when you walk in the front door and when I take a moment to appreciate it, it definitely feels like home.


LauraHinNJ said...

I love lavender too, but my DH calls it the *devil plant* because of the way it has stubbornly taken over one bed. Makes me and the bees happy though.

Thanks for posting your *home* pic - lots of nice comforting things there.

-llm. said...

Oh my! Lavender is "devil plant"? Has he dealt with Agapantha??? Lavender is so well behaved compared to that menace! :)

That cabinet has some of my favorite things in it. It gives me a warm feeling.