The basement finishing project is getting there... slowly... but at least we're making progress.
Hopefully within a few weeks it will be completely finished and I'll be at the "it was hard and I don't want to do it again any time soon... but it was worth it" stage that seems to follow BIG home projects.
(don't you just love projects that involve dry wall? ;)
The outside project I've been working on has been nothing but fun (well... fun and lots of hard work... but mostly fun).
I spent all winter looking out the kitchen window at the area in the backyard that used to be the chicken pen... and making plans. There was one decent looking tree out there (it had been a bush before I seriously pruned it!) but everything else was dirt, straw and weeds.
After our dear friend Al passed away last summer and I bought some of the concrete animal statues and an old bench that had been in his yard at his estate sale, the kids and I talked and decided to plant a tree in memory of Al and our friends Lynn and Mariah, who all passed away within just a few months of each other. But with all of M's medical problems last year, I just never found the time or energy to do anything about the plans we'd made... so the area we planned to put our tree remained nothing but dirt and weeds (with a bench and several concrete animals).
I finally started work on the area about a month ago, and it's not done yet... but it is close enough to post a few pictures.
This is the only "before" shot I could find. Lili's chicken coop moved with her, and the bush in the background is the one I pruned into a tree.
Here are some "afters"...
Here's the whole little area, it is off my kitchen garden. That cedar post sticking up will hold a metal rural style mailbox I have that will hold my gardening tools. I'm going to decorate the mailbox and seal it before I mount and start using it.
I put in a row of peonies because they remind me so much of my mom. She always loved them and although she wasn't a gardener, she always grew a few peony plants in the yard. The taller plant is a pussy-willow I put in because I love them so...
Here's our "remembrance" tree. It's red maple that M and R got me for Mother's Day. I planted it right away of course, then spent the next 5 hours puttering out in my little garden. It was the perfect way to spend the day...
A little rock garden I put in at the base of the maple tree. It still needs to be filled it with a few more perennials...
The old bench we got at Al's estate sale. It's a perfect fit for our house. Like everything else around here, it leans.
The view looking from the kitchen garden south. The black wire "towers" will hold my green beans, the cattle panel next to the compost bin is a back wall of the giant tomato cage I'm building this year. Once I get the tomatoes in ( in a week or two) I have more cattle panel sections cut to fit the front of the "L" shaped area I've set aside for the tomatoes. I think the cattle panel pieces will work well since they are strong enough to hold up the plants, and the spaces between the wire is big enough to get my hand through for harvesting.
What's left of my little project is fencing off both the kitchen garden and the newly landscaped area, and finishing and mounting the mailbox. I had some wooden fence posts out behind the barn that we weren't using for anything, and there was enough for this little area, so the kids and I will start working to get those set soon. Then we'll just have some wooden crosspieces to add and it's DONE! (Just in time to start the "real" gardening! :) )