Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Five List

Well, 38 weeks and counting.  Not that I'm keeping track or anything.  As I wait (mostly) patiently for baby to arrive, I've been trying to get our yard cleaned up a bit.  It's been somewhat neglected this summer, so my goal is simply to prepare it for the fall so that there's minimum maintenance to do to prep it for winter with a newborn around. 

1- Trees:  The area along the back of our fence was disgusting.  The grass had all been worn down by my son and the whole area was just full of dirt and weeds.  This past weekend my dad and my husband planted a few cedars and mulched the rest of the area.  We'll see what we might want to add next year, but for now, the area looks finished and should look good throughout the winter with the evergreens in place. 

2- Play Area: We previously had no dedicated play area for our son in the back, and his toys were taking over the yard.  With baby number 2 on the way, we decided it was time to do something about that.  Given our limited budget with my impending maternity leave, we had to get creative.  Instead of creating a stone patio, we bought resin patio stones and created a 9x9 play pad in the back left corner of the yard, where there's shade in the afternoon.  I'm actually really happy with the results.  The area was put down in less than a day, and is safe to leave down all winter.  The dark grey colour is attractive, and our next door neighbours thought they were real stone.  I also like that because they're resin, they won't fade or crack, and if my son falls down, the landing is pretty soft.  We piled all his stuff over there, including his pool and water table and a toybox.  Now our yard is easy to keep clean and our son has an area all his own.

Well, it cleans up  nicely...

3- Vegetable Garden:  This is still a work in progress since the vegetables grow at their own pace!  However, I've been trying to keep on top of things as the ripen.  Here's what I've done so far:  Green Beans: blanched and frozen, Tomatoes: Oven dried and frozen, Herbs: Cut and dried, Garlic: Picked and Cured.  The plan is to can some of the hot peppers and some tomato salsa, make some pesto with the basil, and to continue freezing the green beans. 

Some tomatoes from the garden

4- Perennial Area:  So, one side of the perennial flower garden looks good, while the other side, not so much.  A few things didn't do well this year, a couple of things I didn't like got yanked, and now we're left with a big hole.  And I'm too pregnant to really care.  What's the plan then?  Well, we're going to shovel out the red mulch and replace it with black like we did along the back fence, and then probably plant an evergreen bush, like a boxwood where the hole is.  Done and done. 
The good side

The not so good side

5- Grass: Le sigh.  The heat waves of May, June and July coupled with the lack of rain (although it's coming down pretty good right now) have led to a disastrous lawn situation in the backyard.  The groundcover left over from the previous owner continues to creep up, and all the running my son does has left the backyard grass struggling.  For the first time, not only is it going brown in areas, but there have been a ton of weeds that have sprung up.  This will be the last area to tackle, and probably not until after the baby's born.  When the weather starts to cool down, we'll tackle the groundcover and weeds, plant grass seed, water and stay off the lawn.  If all else fails, we'll worry about it next year!

Our focus for the fall...

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