-- Back in the office --
Well, I'm back in the office. - Can you believe it? lol I have been tending to important communications and projects and the like of course, but it has been a while since I have had the ability to put in more hours. Wow - to see all your communications to me is fantastic, I so appreciate them. I've had numerous review project queries and several article queries coming through, even though their queries came in some months ago. So expect some great content!
This spring we started a huge project on our house - digging out each foundation wall, cleaning it and painting 2 coats of cement sealing paint as deep as we could dig (about 2 - 2 .5 feet deep, we have really heavy clay and lots of rocks here). That project led us to widening and lengthening a front flower bed, and creating a walkway surrounding the house under the overhang of the roof. The walkway for the most part is basically a thick layer of gravel that will have cement pads spaced out in the center of the gravel path to use as stepping stones. Sadly the one part that is done is currently being used to store supplies that we need for later this summer. lol
While doing this we generated a heck of a lot of sod to run through the compost system. That meant we needed a bin open so we just combined 2 bins, creating space for layering sod with organic matter. Since we were digging up the area around the walls anyway, we took the opportunity to improve the slope away from the house for drainage. In some spots, i.e. where the walkway is, you can't tell there's a grade sloping away from the house because the gravel is level so that the walkway is safe to walk on. The ground underneath however is sloped properly.
2 weeks ago, we started on the last wall - but this one came with a whole other project. You see the narrow side lawn between us and a neighbour is really super steep and was really ragged as far as how level it wasn't. lol It was really hard to mow and water, and I'd often woken up old injuries by lurching on uneven ground. This meant we had to remove all the sod. Whew! Then dig down the long, long wall for the painting project. Then create a proper grade, determine where the walkway will be and how big the flower bed will be - and then start digging the swale.
For those of you who are not sure what a swale is - it is basically a ditch with a drainage pipe and gravel that is buried under the lawn, it prevents sopping wet spots on the property by draining the excess water away during wet seasons, etc. Eventually, the swale will go from the base of the garden, along this side wall that we are working on now, and join with the drain pipe we have in place for the eves troughs. Whew!
Anyway, at this point we are digging the area for the swale and drain pipe project, but expect to begin filling the landscape area with compost, etc. within a week or two.
This project means we no longer mow or water the area. The ground will be mulched (gravel for the path, bark on the bed), so it will retain water better naturally. The bed will be landscaped with both edible and beneficial perennials. There will be a second (small) water feature at the top of the side lawn that will play water "music" for us at the back of the house.
Anyway that is where we are at now with this huge project. I've included a few pictures to show you what we've done so far, but none of the areas are completely finished, we've only just begun the project after all.
...for those of you who've been curious, our family member is doing well in full time care now and the stress has plateaued. Thank you for your compassion, patience and understanding :)