Our Garden + Yard

>> Monday, May 18, 2015

Mother’s Day weekend was spent in the mud this year. I will never pretend to have a green thumb. In fact, if it isn’t black, it’s at least turning darker in color with each passing day. The thing is, I really wish I knew more about plants and how to maintain them. My mother-in-law could spend weeks elbow-deep in the dirt, so she was kind enough to offer some help to get our operation up and running.

For the raised bed, we planted basil, cucumbers, tomatoes of a few different varieties, and some peppers. I wanted to get more, but also decided that keeping it relatively simple might be the best decision.

I also planted all those seedlings I started in the house in another section. Some of them -- pumpkins, mostly -- are doing quite well. There are a few other sprigs popping up, so I’ll be interested to see what survives and thrives here.

See the greens? They’re there if you squint:

Ada’s garden is a mix of different bright flowers and plants that she can care for herself. She loves bringing her little watering can over each night and giving these guys a drink. It’s this new fun part of the bedtime routine where we give all the flowers and plants water and breathe in some outdoor air before retreating into the air conditioning for the night.

She loves it. Can you tell?

Then on the deck we have some potted herbs. I decided to keep these closer to the door so I could run out and snip some when I cook. We have cilantro and more basil. Again, we stuck with the basics -- stuff we always use/eat. My in-laws bought me a beautiful hanging basket for Mother’s Day, so we have that hanging on a hook too. We also found a few other plants in and around the yard that we potted to add some atmosphere.

Of course, the compost bin!

Another big project we have going this year is scrubbing and staining the deck. Not sure when this will all go down, but the other day we got some rain so I went out on my hands and knees and just started scrubbing. It looks great, so once we get more rain today, I’d like to finish so we can stain sometime soon.

Can you tell what’s clean/what isn’t?

Stephen also has this thing about dandelions. The people who used to own our house did all the chemical lawn services. So, our yard has relatively few weeds . . . for now. But he goes out every single night and hunts down anything that might otherwise disrupt the ocean of green.

We’ll see how long it lasts!

Otherwise, the other “outdoor” issue we’re dealing with . . . ants. Tiny black ants. Hundred of them. They’ve built an ant highway in my dining room . . . that we haven’t been eating in lately anyway (so I don’t know why they’re coming in there). I’ve tried cayenne pepper and vinegar. Those two things actually worked with a smaller issue in the living room. Otherwise, these tiny guys just keep coming. And coming!

Some of my friends suggested cinnamon essential oil or terro or powder or other stuff. I am willing to try it all. We did cave and get some of that bait things that the ants are supposed to take back to the nests. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. We have never had an ant issue, and my skin is seriously crawling!

What are your big outdoor projects this year?

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