Monday, January 17, 2011

My Carnival Project

This is the first time that I have participated in any sort of blog project. I've considered Mosaic Monday and others, but the project Carnival over at My Garden in Japan intrigued me.

We moved to The Garden Spot two years ago the end of February. The move was a huge change for us. We went from a city lot to 5 acres. We had two water features, a wonderful vegetable garden, a nice rose collection, and while there was always something else to do, we had a mature landscape. Our new place also has a mature landscape with nearly a 100 mature tress, pasture, lawn and flower beds, but there are also some spots in desperate need of work. One major project was accomplished last year: to get the entire acreage on the large automatic sprinkler system that draws from the well. Mission accomplished, mostly. Here, then, is a list of this year's projects:

  • drip system in the garden beds attached to the sprinkler system
  •  removal of tired, worn out bushes and sprouting tree stumps
  •  finishing conversion of  the storage shed that we moved from the old house into a potting shed/hen house.
  • get hens
  •  continue to refine the vegetable garden and get it on the sprinkler system--the list goes on and --, but most certainly build our two water gardens
  • 2 water gardens: a 1,000 gallon pond 36 inches deep so that we bring our gold fish home (living at the neighbors) and get the water lilies out of their temporary home in a horse tank. The second water feature will be a small water garden in the front courtyard. We bought a preformed tub for this small water feature, but the larger pond will be hand dug. The Head Gardener here just turned 60 and while he is still quite agile, strong of back, will, and fortitude,  the initial digging will be done with a small back hoe.
Our first project of spring will be to finish the court yard. I want a dramatic front entry.

The front court yard had plant material: scruffy bushes, tangled vinca, a mound of dinathus, and an assortment of weeds and remnants of an older garden

On the other side of the side of the side walk, a sickly rose that has already been pruned and an assortment of crocuses, and more weeds.

Now we have a clean slate with which to work.

Last summer I planted new roses and a clematis in the corner at the far end. I am quite excited to see it bloom, which it will this spring. It was planted late in the fall, but really took off before the first frost.

The Plan: 3 trellises along the wall  to give an architectural back drop. The front entry faces the west, so while it has cool shade in the morning, it gets very hot in the afternoon, so I will need hardy plant material. We will also add some sort of stones and rock, and some solar spot lighting. I want to keep the area clean and simple but inviting and restful. I bought this trellis at Tuesday Morning (the planter in my header came from there as well--love that store), so it is doubtful that I will be able to match the trellis, so I may end up with 3 different ones or place it another spot and buy 3 matching one. I need hardy, heat resistant climbers too. 

I've spent quite a bit of time the last few days on the blog. I will slow down a bit now. While I will have Mondays off from school, I will have to use Mondays for grading and planning, but I will be reading and commenting on all of my blogger friends and making new friends. One of my New Year's resolutions is to not spend so much money on magazines, and the beautiful photography and wonderful stories on your blogs seem to be satisfying that addiction. May all of your garden projects for 2011 be grand and glorious and successful. 


  1. Wow, five acres is a big change! We have one acre and that is plenty. It is just too wet to do much right now, so we await a few Spring days.

  2. That is a huge change but so exciting to work with an almost blank canvas ! .. I will be very interested to see what vines you decide to use with that hot afternoon sun .. I have to work with more vertical plantings since my back and front gardens are small but the bonus of having more privacy with vertical plantings is something I really want as well .. Have you considered Trumpet vines ? they are very hardy in difficult conditions .. I just put one in last year and I'm hoping the hummingbirds will love the flowers. There is always another project no matter how many we do in our gardens!
    Joy : )

  3. Sounds like alot of work ahead of you. Things are looking really good and you have such exciting plans. Looking forwarding to seeing how it develops.

  4. I was right! It is a VERY BIG spot. Even comes with mature trees. I love it. I love your red brick wall too. I would rear hens for their eggs and fertilizer if I have all that space.

  5. If I were twenty years younger I would swap my manicured garden for yours, not that you would want a garden with just one third of an acre. I look forward to viewing your progress.

  6. Wow, you have a great and very big garden to work with! It certainly will be a lot of hard work, but I am sure you will enjoy every minute and the results will be amazing.
    Keep us posted on how it goes, and best luck!

  7. Can't wait to see the progress...and the hens! You'll love chickens--fresh eggs and free fertilizer:)

  8. Hi Ann, thanks for commenting on my blog, good to "meet" you! You certainly have a lot on your plate taking on such a huge space. I hope you leave yourself time to enjoy it all, it sounds as if it could be rather overwhelming! Your courtyard ideas sound lovely. If you painted all the trellis the same colour you could make a feature out of one of the pieces being a different style, but still integrate by putting matching new ones either side? Hope your goldfish come "home" soon!

  9. You have a lot of big plans. Could you save yourself some work by planting plants that didn't need supplemental water?

  10. Hi Ann: I agree about the photos on people's blogs! It's helping me to get through the winter, too. It will be fun to see your garden developing.

  11. Hi Ann,
    What a neat carnival and I love your post. Before we moved to New England 9 years ago we gardened in Northern Nevada ... High desert climate much like you are gardening in now.. seeing your photos remind me of my " old home" and gardening ways. I am inspired by this carnival topic and will play along too! I love your " new" rose garden and your plans sound wonderful...
    Happy Planning~

  12. Hi Ann ~ Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. You have a pretty bed for roses. We used to live in Highlands Ranch, CO. I miss the snow and skiing. Sounds like you have a lot of plans...i would love to put in a drip system. It is definitely the way to go.

  13. You have an excellent todo list, too! Yay for hens and water gardens! I wish I could put a better irrigation system on the list for this year but I am betting it won't fit into the budget.

    I'd love it if you'd consider How to Find Great Plants for one of the blog carnivals you participate in:

  14. Wow 5 acres to work with. Looks like it will be a very busy and productive year for you. Thanks for giving me idea of making combinations on my garden arch.

  15. Ann, How exciting to have nearly a clean canvas . . . of 5 acres no less . . . to create your own paradise. I look forward to watching your garden grow. The brick walls make an interesting backdrop for your plantings. Good luck with all of your plans and your school work too. Thanks for your lovely comment!

  16. Hi Ann,
    That is a huge project you have started on your new property. How exciting! It looks like you are already off to a great start. I look forward to seeing all the before and after pictures!