Thursday, June 14, 2012

Before and After (Actually, During!)

My neighbors and I have been super busy creating the kind of yard that we want- one that sustains us with food, medicine, and respite. We had our work cut out for us, too. The property has been neglected for a while, since for the first two years the people in my unit were horrible and no one wanted to be in the yard near them. Before that, no one has done anything in the yard for quite some time.

Remember my horrible 1970's era bushes in the front of the house?
Ugly. A real eyesore.

And they hid gross decades of trash, too.

They are GONE. It was sooo hard getting those things out of that large planter box. First, we took a chainsaw to the shrubs. Then these horrible stumps with viney roots were left:

We are saving it to let the cukes and eggplants grow over them.
Don't let it's compact-ness fool you. Many of those long roots were cut off with shears or a saw. It took hours of grueling work and many people to get all 4 out.

What does the box look like now? It is in process, but here are some pix:
Long shot, from my steps towards the neighbors. Pond in the center, Plants and doo dads on the sides.

My neighbor's side is neater than mine. All my cool things were left behind with my peeps in CA.
Working on acquiring fun things.

Her side- I will have a matching lattice on my side for the morning glories we planted on my side soon.

Above my neighbor's side.

My foxglove.

My side has morning glories and other vines planted behind some Hostas.

Where my trellis will be by the end of the weekend- waiting for my morning glories to come up!

I have also made progress on other parts of the yard. The side has been cleared for veggies:
Before: We transplanted the wildflowers to the front, eliminating some grass.

After- tomatoes, peppers, cukes, eggplants, and more!
The herb spiral needs more bricks! Here it is so far, next to a small bed of herbs, framed by beer bottles. (I also planted wildflowers on the slope near the driveway, and they are coming up really well!)

My neighbor is ahead of me. She not only has her side bed filled with herbs and lettuces (hers is rimmed with wine bottles), but she has her trellis up for her vining flowers. (See mine on the lawn, waiting to be cut with my neighbor's dremel tool?)

Here's her side trellis and a salvaged stair rail (it was in the box behind those awful bushes!) for our green beans.

Lettuces and basil.

Basil and oregano

So there we are so far! I haven't shown you the back, but the neighbors got a FREE gazebo (minus the netting) off of freecycle, so we are growing thornless blackberries around it for shade. Pretty awesome, if you ask me!


  1. I love the changes! How exciting. Now I want an herb spiral. :)

  2. It is really exciting. I hope to improve the homestead, year by year, so that we can can and sustain ourselves through the winter and make medicines, too.


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