Saturday, May 22, 2010


my favorite time of the day is early morning on our front porch
sipping coffee, listening to our bird friends,
flipping dreamily through a magazine
or simply gazing out at the beautiful mountain view
and fertile fields that stretch off into the distance

sometimes I can't help myself and I stroll through our gardens in my pjs, coffee in hand, to admire nature's work
I thought I would share some glimpses from this morning...

it was difficult to get a good pic as it swayed in the breeze but our Trollius europaeus is in full bloom & is just gorgeous

Phlox subulata - so easy and such a charmer

Who can resist that face? Pansies always make me smile

it may be "common" for some folks but I just love my Centaura montana

one of my favorite shrubs we planted last year - I am a sucker for anything gold, orange or chartreuse in the garden and this beauty stole my heart with its foliage

sweet little Heuchera blooms gracefully nodding their heads

and here is my summer experiment...please do not pass judgment on the weedy unfinished paths - that is next on the project list :)

we are gaga over recycling and repurposing wood pallets - not only can you help save them from a landfill ( as many businesses just throw them away) but you can usually find them for free. My hubby has become a pallet expert using them for all sorts of projects that we've dreamed up - we've made a plant house, compost bin, low walls/fencing, furniture, etc. You can paint them which looks nice but I prefer to let the wood age & weather. It's quite addictive, once you start you can't stop!

so this spring I had hubby help me build wood pallet raised veggie beds - these were super simple and will be easy to maintain. Since we moved here we have practiced a modified lasagna gardening approach which we swear cuts down on weeds big time. Never tried this? It's super simple, we lay down thick sheets of newspaper, soak it really well with the garden hose and then topdress it with mulch and soak it again. Then you let it "mellow" for 2 weeks or so. Once its mellowed its super easy to dig into and begin planting. The idea is that the newspaper suppresses weeds and their seeds, yet breaks down and gives back to the soil. The worms contribute too - they just love it! Some folks swear by tilling but we've found that it only gives weed seeds a better chance and we aerate with a pitch fork prior to applying the paper.

we've experimented a lot with this technique
sometimes before mulching in spring we lay down some fresh paper around our plants in existing beds then mulch
we almost never rip out sod when starting a new bed - hubby scalps the sod with the mower, we cut a clean edge and then lay the newspaper right on top and mulch. The sod breaks down and feeds the soil and it saves a ton of digging and tilling time. its very effective for us

So back to our summer experiment...
These beds were suited to our lasagna gardening which was a big plus as well. Once we laid out all the beds, we proceeded in adding our layers of newspaper and then on top we added our own mix of quality soil until it was almost level with the top of the box. Will take more pictures to share as we make progress throughout the summer - my hope is that we will have a wonderful bounty of veggies. Oh and the weedy paths? we will use the same lasagna approach only modified further - we use cardboard instead of newspaper as it takes much longer to break down and then topdress it with either mulch, gravel, etc depending on the application.

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