What a wonderful year, 2020, eh? I know I wasn’t on here for the last of it. More on that soon. In the meantime, a summary of the year…
New chicks provided hours of entertainment for 2 hungry cats. A puppy ensured we left nothing we cared about on the ground and as he grew we eventually had to keep the counter clear too! Maintained a pure sugar diet powered by chocolate chip cookies and liege waffles. Saved on not going out to restaurants. Squirrels stole my walnut stash from the tree. Updated my signature capsule wardrobe with a variety of “work” sweatshirts and jogger pants. Invested in backyard farming in the front yard. Fostered 9 animals and cleaned up a ton of puppy poop. Spent my hard earned income online shopping… for clothes I’ll wear in 2022 (2023?). Became obsessed with seed starting. Watched everything on Netflix and then rewatched all the good shows. Grew too many tomatoes and canned them for future botulism. A street-found fire pit provided a backyard vacation destination. Raked a bajillion leaves from the many trees at Berrybrier. Made new friends waving through the front window at strangers. Like actually, made real friends that way. Switched things up by occasionally sitting on the living room chair rather than the sofa. Obsessed over puzzles as a nightly activity. Made more cookies.
Goals for 2021? Don’t get COVID. Walk around the block…again. Start beekeeping. Buy another houseplant. Plan vacations for 2023. Get vaccinated! Finish one of the projects I started in 2019. Avoid getting stung to death by honey bees. Spend more time in the garden. xo, LO
The landscape lighting featured in this post was gifted to me by Kichler, all opinions and installation suggestions are my own.Please read your instruction manuals and consult an electrician if you are unaccustomed to working with electrical!
If you saw my One Room Challenge reveal, then you know my front garden underwent a major transformation this spring! It has evolved from sad and weedy to a magical space that brings me so much joy. I now go out to wander through the garden a few times a day! While I love plucking through the yard in the daytime, the garden in the evening is definitely my favorite. It is so soothing to sit out on the bench and read a book, or watch the sunset, or chat with a friend. The garden feels utterly magical as the sun turns the sky pink and a big part of that magic is the addition of Kichler’s landscape lighting!
I am so excited to share these pictures with you because the transformation of Berrybrier’s front yard is blowing my mind! The space is now so much more beautiful andfunctional! This project took so much work though and certainly didn’t happen overnight. Hours and hours and hours of weeding went into clearing the garden. Then I moved a ton of my existing plants, added more plants, and laid all the stone path. It’s so wonderful to see it all come together just as I first imagined, it’s completely transformed the whole look of the house. Let’s take a closer look!
It has been raining a lot in Portland. For about a week and a half now it’s been rainy and the temperatures have dipped. It’s by no means arctic out there, but for this California girl, it is cold! I’ve been trying to sneak out into the garden to get work done whenever I can, but I draw the line at excessive rainfall. I really dislike being cold and wet. My motivation to do anything dwindles. Unfortunately, this is putting a snare in my One Room Challenge progress! I’ve lost whole weekends and lots of evenings to rain. Though some of my plants are loving the soaking, my hot season veggies and my roses are barely tolerating the dampness. I’m looking forward to the end of next week, when that summer sun returns (hopefully for the long haul!).
In the meantime, on my days I have been able to get in some time in the garden, I’ve been working on tackling the vegetables, getting every last start into the ground and figuring out a trellis system! I’ve been going a little rogue with garden spacing after reading Kitchen Garden Revival by Nicole Johnsey Burke. I’m planting everything close together and hoping to trellis it all upwards. That means a few measly tomato cages probably won’t cut it. The majority of my tomatoes are indeterminate varieties, meaning they will continue to grow and produce until they’re killed off by fall frosts. I only selected one or two determinate varieties (which grow to a certain size and then put out their entire fruit and then die). And I have over ten varieties of tomatoes, y’all. It’s going to be crazy!
This was another week of doing a little bit of this and that in the garden. It’s funny working on a bunch of things at once because it feels like small accomplishments, but when I look at the end results I’m impressed with the progress! The upcoming weeks before the One Room Challenge comes to a close are going to be more specific. I’m going to get the electrical set up this coming week for the new landscape lighting and work on my new front steps too. Those aren’t small tasks at all! They will be super time consuming and both are project I haven’t done before. I’m nervous and excited.
I put a poll on instagram this week asking if anyone could guess what project I was working on. No one guessed correctly! But the mystery project is now revealed: I build stone steps to mitigate the elevation change from the sidewalk to the ground level of the house! I will still be building the wood stairs that lead down from the porch to the ground, but this was the first step in creating the new entrance to my home and I am so excited!
This has been an interesting week in the garden. I feel like I’ve done a lot… but also not very much? I think the work I have done is a lot less backbreaking, so perhaps I’m literally feeling a difference in my body. I’m not as sore! I think its a transition time for the garden too. The early spring flowers are fading, but the summer flowers aren’t quite up yet. It’s been cool again too. I’m hoping in the next week, when we have some glorious sun and temps in the 80s, the garden will start popping again!
Oh boy, this is one post, but so many hours and days and weekends of work! I feel like I’ve been weeding this garden for 6 months and gooooodness I am freakin’ exhausted. I started doing a thorough weeding of the garden back in December shortly after I had a giant pile of wood chips delivered from a local tree trimmer. I tried to get all the roots so the weeds would stay gone. I thought I’d be done in a weekend, maybe two if I didn’t work too many hours. Boy was that a huge underestimate. I worked in the yard at least one day almost every weekend for the next 2.5 months. I’d weed a section and then sheet mulch it. Then I’d move on to the next area. Some spots were fairly quick, but some were packed with teensy tiny bulbs that I knew would be able to push through the mulch in the springs. I was sifting the dirt some days to get all those tiny 1/4″ bulbs. Ugh. It was endless! And the worst part? I’m still working on it. Sure, now I’m doing other things in the garden too, but I never actually finished weeding everywhere!