Thursday, April 16, 2009

spring projects

Our house is small, but we
have an awesome yard. There's
this super cool tree with a kid-
sized doorway. I've finally
eradicated all the poison ivy within
the yard--knock on wood--and now
I have big plans. Through this
natural arch I'm going to make a
secret picnic spot, with a
fieldstone patio and this picnic
table. It's been out of stock since
I saw it online last summer, so
I'm impatiently waiting until the end of April when it's supposed to be available again. It will seat 8 kids, plenty of space for my 4 plus some friends. I'm hoping they can enjoy summer snacks and meals outdoors and give the grownups a little space at the big picnic table.

Some of my other ambitious projects will be a large stone sandbox, stepping logs, and of course landscaping for the lot. I'd like to connect our property to the rail trail with a japanese-style garden bridge, plant more berry bushes, and get a stone or wood bench. I'm going to try to find my own stone (like I did in Vermont when I built a stone garden wall, hauling rocks off the mountain 1 or 2 at a time), transplant my ever multiplying hosta, lilies, and lilac bush (that I planted when Ryan was a baby, now taller than me and requiring much pruning).

I'm taking it upon myself to maintain a section of the railtrail, starting with some pruning and poison ivy spraying. We've already made a path up to the school playground fence that the boys call the "war hill" despite my insistence on it being called something more benign like "adventure hill". I'd like to find a nice bench and trash receptacle for the nearby brook that can be enjoyed by any of the trail's denizens. Add the purple marten birdhouse that my mother-in-law donated, more digging to drain the swampy area near the brook, and continual purchases of mosquito dunks, and maybe we can survive without our maintenance-money-pit Mosquito Magnet.

My husband wants fruit trees--not sure where we can put them though. I've already abandoned our garden in anticipation of a new garage in its place (when we eventually have the money for such construction). Maybe I'll get some of those nifty spire apple trees that don't take up much space--we only have 1/2 an acre.

What are you doing to improve the outdoor space in your part of the world?


Anonymous said...

It's difficult to improve outdoor space when you rent. Last year, I bought window boxes and planted flowers and basil. I then put those on our tiny fence that surrounds my postage stamp sized yard. I put pots of lavender out. (Can't plant stuff in the ground because the landscape company pulls it out! Yep, they are clueless).
Also last year, I bought a small patio table and chairs set. It just has 2 chairs because it's too small to fit more.
Hey, it's better than nothing. ;-)

beanjeepin said...

I'm interested in how you got rid of your poision ivy. We think we have a ton and want to get rid of it.

veganf said...

beanjeepin - It took 5 years of spraying what I could see, and removing tibia sized vines from tree trunks.
However, some friends solved their poison ivy in a unique way--they put an add on craig's list, offering $100 and dinner to anyone who'd be willing to come pull it all out. A woman responded and accepted the job. She showed up and refused the gloves, pulling it all up with her bare hands!!! Apparently some people are just not at all allergic! Anyhow, they paid her, all enjoyed a lovely dinner, and now their yard is safer for their 2 young boys.