Tuesday, 6 May 2008

the making of the garden and a house update

i returned from tanzania to a VERY different house. my painter and drywallers took out the whole ceiling on the first floor...

this is what my ceiling looks like naked.

this is just PART of the junk from the ceiling

this is my toto toilet deconstructed. actually, just not constructed yet.

this is andy the carpenter and matt the plumber (please note) working on the toilet.

what was once starwars fabulous is now almost a closet.

my bedroom pretending to be a construction zone

my super awesome sink i got for $25 from community forklift

so now i just have to find some tile that will look awesome with this.
i am open to any ideas.

i took the week after the whirlwind trip to tanzania i took a week off of work to focus on the house. dianna's amazing friend heather and her husband erivelto visited with their darling baby giselle. heather is a soil scientist and a landscape architect and designed an AMAZING back yard garden for me. we began the construction of the garden. we are talking about her maybe coming back to do more later...but she definitely started me on a path. she taught me about companion planting and espaliering trees (Espalier is the term used to describe the process of training trees, shrubs, and woody vines against a flat surface, such as a wall. You can also train them to a freestanding fence or trellis.)

in full discloser, when heather told me she wanted to make my raised beds out of corrugated steel and wood i was less than enthusiastic. but NOW i love it! but it was a PAIN in the butt to do it! we learned alot of lessons.

i was a dingbat for not taking more photos during construction. here is eri about to finish the beds (after working on it for 5 days.)

here is team fabulous!

this is giselle, the happiest little girl ever

eri and i deconstructing the bathroom
i need to take a photo of how it looks now.
he came down stairs at one point
(after the pizza had been there for about 40 minutes)
and announced
it was awesome!

then the next weekend we had to fill up the raised beds with soil. the first third was 2 parts sand and 1 part compost; the second third was 2 parts compost and 1 part sand; and the top third is 2 parts leafgro and 1 part composted manure.

leafgro is so awesome that it deserves it's own post. but i will just say this... from their website:
By composting leaves and grass clippings that would have normally been disposed of in a landfill, the Maryland Environmental Service converts organic wastes into a valuable resource. Leafgro® is a superior quality compost used extensively by the landscape industry and homeowners as a source of humus for soil improvement. Leafgro® is an outstanding example of recycling at its best.

The composting process begins in the fall of the year when leaves are collected and transferred to yard waste composting facilities where they are placed in windrows. In order to accelerate the decomposition process, the rows are turned and shredded on a regular basis. Beginning in the spring, grass clippings are added and the turning and shredding continues. After the composting process is complete, it is dried, screened and sold under the registered trade name, Leafgro®.

here is holly as we prepare to start hauling 1.5 tons of sand and dump it into that 2.5 ft bed.

this is HALF of the other soil stuff...

the other half

the empty bed

this is what 1.5 tons does to a ford

it was so scary to drive the truck. originally, the people i got the sand from were only going to give me one cubic yard (1 ton) of sand. but when i got it i could see that there was more room. so i asked if i could get another .5 of a cubic yard. the guy said, if you want i can put it on there but if it was my truck i wouldn't do it. i thought, well it is a rental, so why not.

as i pulled out of the lot and got on the main road i realized that if i went over 45 mph it felt like i was kinda hydroplaning. but then i realized it was because the front wheels were not totally on the road. so with white knuckles and sweaty palms i made it home.

please not the clearance between the bed of the truck and the wheel.

so we started hauling the sand in these home depot buckets.
it turns out that my back doesn't like shoveling
and so holly did most of the shoveling and i did a large portion of hauling
i am mad that i didn't get a photo that really demonstrates the steepness of these steps!

taking a break

this is what the truck looked like done

this if for heather...holly turned the entire bed to mix the sand with the compost

this is what it was like done

making nitrogen fertilizing easier!


once we were done, we decided to plant my belle of georgia peach and my green plum

dirty and happy and tired and hungry

i had signed up for the smith mtn lake triathlon before i bought the house. i missed it on saturday because i just had too much stuff to do. i am sure i made the right decision but it was a bummer to miss the race. i do think i got at least an equal workout to a sprint tri.

once we were all back (me and holly, dianna, lindsay, morgan, and liz) we went to sushi taro and i think i ate more sushi than ever. it was so deliscious and well deserved.


DarkChocolateDaily said...

I want that yard! I love what you're doing with it.

Amy G. said...

this is AMAZING kim! looks like you're living your dream in the restoration of this house. dad would have been stoked about your garden!!

Dianna said...

You are SUPER fabulous leaning up against that garden with your hat. I think you and Holly are an urban American Pastoral.