Monday, July 07, 2014


Country living hasn't worked out quite exactly as I had planned.  My ambitions out number my ambition by far.  As you well know, we've been flung a few curve balls since we moved.  It's caused me to take MUCH longer in accomplishing things around our so-called homestead.  Again, I almost threw the towel completely in on growing anything around here that resembled food for yet another summer.

When we moved here there was no real landscaping to speak of, so everything we do is completely new and has required a lot of manual labor on our part.  There was one existing flower bed around our front porch, and I had resigned myself to leaving it alone.  It wasn't planted the way I would do it, but it looked nice enough.  One less thing to worry about while we tackle the laundry list of things more pressing around here; chop wood to heat during winter, mow the grass, trim the trees, build a barn, build a chicken coop, build a hearth for a now needed new wood burner, etc.

Our home when we first purchased it with original plants.

A different plan came about, and I'm glad we are seeing it through.  Jack Frost bit real hard this winter here in SE Michigan.  We had numerous days with sustained 30-degrees BELOW ZERO temperatures.  I don't recall a winter that found me spending more time indoors ever in my life.  Well, the star attraction around our front porch was four lovely rosebushes that bloomed spring through fall.  The problem?  They are only cold-hardy to temperatures of 20-degrees below zero.  Yes.  They died.

My damaged trees and dead rose bushes this spring.

Once we determined the rose bushes were not coming back my husband cut them off at the base with his chainsaw.  We left it like that for a short while, but it was driving me crazy.  We're nearing the end of planting season, so vegetable plants are easily found for 99-cents here, and perennials can be picked up for Buy One, Get One FREE.  My kind of deals.

The kids and I stopped at a farm stand that we pass on our way back and forth to the chiropractor.  We found four heirloom tomato plants, 12 bell pepper, and four jalapeno peppers along with some daisies and a couple other flowers. I managed to keep them alive in their pots for about a week and was anxious to get them in the ground.  I kept trying to determine how it was I was going to get these plants into dirt, but be it pot on the porch or in the ground I really wanted to see them grow.

Fortunately, my hubby agreed to dig out the rosebush roots this past Sunday.  I decided to run out to a local feed store for rabbit food and bird seed.  Well, they have four greenhouses.  I found two kinds of lettuce totaling eight plants, four eggplant plants, two large basil plants, four slicing cucumber plants, and some more flowers.

The front bed along the porch replanted with flowers and vegetables.

The kids and I managed to get most everything in the ground right in the existing flower bed around the front porch.  We still have some peppers and lettuce to plant along with some flowers.  I am thinking the produce plants will go in big tubs on the porch, and we will add the flowers to a perennial bed we have been trying to establish the last couple of summers.  First, we need to pull a lot of weeds!

Seems funny to have moved from a postage stamp sized yard to nearly 11 acres and still be planting like I live in the city.  For now, this is a simple solution.  However, I still hold out hope for my cottage-style raised bed garden.  One day.  One day.

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