Friday, May 22, 2020

Starting from Scratch... Here's the progress

Although it's hard to believe, some of you still don't realize that we moved. Yes, that's right... We don't live in the Marblemount wilderness anymore, but moved 55 miles West, right by the salt water in the Skagit Flats. I wrote about it here. Or you can watch the video that explains it here.

I realized I actually never wrote a blog post in the two months since we moved! I'd like to start by showing you the garden progress, and in the next post will show you the progress with the shed and gigantic mountain bike jump Steve and the boys built.

Let me preface this: we LOVE it here. It's so different than our Marblemount homestead, but oh so welcome. There's less rain here, less driving, much more biking, and the beautiful salt water!

Two months ago, we started with a blank slate. Lots of lawn surrounded by huge fields, and a few ugly standard box-store foundation plantings around the house.

Before we had fully moved in, I started digging in the yard.  I had transplanted and potted up some of my favorite plants from Marblemount, and I began finding spots for them here.

Friends gave me plant babies. Other friends gave me gift certificates to my favorite nursery, which happens to be only a ten minute drive from our new house! Dangerous!!!

If you have followed my blog for a while, you know that I like Old English cottage style flowers best, so in they went.

It's much windier and drier here, but my babies seem happy. Below is a picture I took this morning. Not bad from nothing, eh?

There are Old English roses, lupins, lemon balm, irises, California poppies, pulmonaria, chives, and dozens of newly planted dahlia tubers. One of my friends gifted them to me, since he always has lots of babies.  This saved me literally hundreds of dollars!

The other priority for Steve and me was the vegetable garden.  We originally planned on simplifying, and not having a big garden. Ahem. So much for that.

We started rototilling up a plot, and it looked ridiculously tiny compared the huge garden we have in Marblemount.

So the next time Steve had to rent a tractor for work, he brought it in and plowed up another spot.

We ordered a couple of truck loads of compost, which cost $30 each and is totally worth it, and then I made raised beds. The soil down here is much more sandy, and I'll have to water more. But it's good, fertile soil, since this is one of the most famous agricultural regions in the country.

I also put up some of my prayer flags, which our three kids were very upset about. They didn't want other people to think we are all hippies. I tell you, we had a pretty big argument about this, and in the end, Mama won, because I don't care if my kids are embarrassed about this.

Plus, the flags will hopefully act as scarecrows for the birds. Hippy scarecrows. You're welcome, kids.

As of today, the third week of May, our garden is in and thriving. Peas, lettuce, kale, bok choy, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, beets, onions, cucumbers, beans and tomatoes.

We don't have deer problems here, but the @#%^* bunny ate my newly planted Wisteria. I'm letting our big dog Raka chase the bunny, so he'll be deterred by living under the shed and making one hundred thousand babies... I don't think it will work.

We bought and planted three apple trees from Cloud Mountain Farm, because the best time to plant fruit trees is ten years ago.

Although we still have our large orchard in Marblemount, we also want apple trees down here. Not to sound all show-offy here, but our homemade hard apple cider that we made last year with our own apples is better (and cheaper) than store-bought.

So there will be much more cider in our future. Once this friggin pandemic is over, you'll have to come over, sit in the windy yard with us, and admire the view while drinking hard cider.

Next time, I'll show you the progress the boys made with the shed. You'll also see why my hair looks grayer than ever, and not only because my hair dresser is in quarantine. Mostly it's because Luke built a 9-foot high mountain bike jump, and he regularly launches himself off it.

So tell me: what's new with you????

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