Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let's take a tour....

Taking a tour is almost a daily ritual around here.  It's so nice to work hard, accomplish much, then take time to walk slowly, look around and savor. 

Out the back door we go....


to boxes of hundreds of native plant plugs from Cardno/JF New.


Excitement!


Much time over the past couple of weeks has been dedicated to preparing the space and putting these plants into the ground.


Silliness about plants; it's the most fun!


Back of house area after putting in many native shade plants.  It's lovely!  Now for some twinkle lights. :)



This area was a bit tougher.  It's south of our green barn and surrounds the entrance to this building.


After removing the weeds and marking other sprouted natives with our circles...


we put in many, many plugs.  This will be a riot of color!


How about next to the house?  Yes, more plants there too.  The entire area south of the house is now filled with little plant plugs.  Some of the plants we put in last year are starting to flower and providing nectar to beautiful pollinators. 




Little plant plugs out front too.  Many, many Spiderwort (Tradescantia) will make for quite a scene next year!


2 flats left.  Wetland plants....must create that little wetland space first!


We also planted 10 new flowering dogwood and 25 shadbush serviceberry.  Look closely and see all those little flags.  There will be many fruiting shrubs/small trees here for wildlife.  See this awesome, awesome book for more about landscaping for wildlife. 


Back to touring...laundry is back on the line outdoors.  It's fantastic. 

 

The skies are so blue with brilliant puffy clouds.  We'll be excited to seed this grassed area this fall with native prairie plants.  Goodbye lawn!



How about food?  Why yes, there's lots of eating happening here.  We picked up these delicious strawberries from a neighbor, but we put our own plants in this year for the future.


Sugarsnaps?  Snow Peas?  Chives?  Plenty!



What to do with them all?  Why a toasted Israeli couscous salad, recipe courtesy of Vegetarian Times, sounds perfect.  


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Storm Windows

When we visited our most favorite B&B this past winter, we noted Sarah's (the owner) quality storm windows  - custom made in Michigan.  We did not want to replace our house's old windows, but did want to improve upon the old storm windows so we placed an order.  Thanks to Steve's awesome measuring skills, they all fit!  Amongst our vegetable garden planting and 150+ native plant planting (more on that later), we've been installing storm windows.  Yes, it's a bit busy around here...

Getting started:


Nice colorful storms!


We first clean the storms...


and scrape and clean the windows.


Then we screw them in place.



And - voila!  A window ready for opening and letting the fresh air in without the cats escaping.


We've currently have 13 of the 24 storm windows installed. 


We love the way they look!





If you have older windows with character and are considering replacing them with vinyl or any other kind of replacement window consider this:

1) The This Old House Guys affirm that quality storm windows coupled with original historic windows are just as energy efficient as replacement windows.
2) There is much research illustrating that most heat loss is due to inadequate attic insulation and other major leaks and that replacing windows has a poor return on investment compared with other energy efficiency improvements that are often ignored.

Then do what you want (that's what we did) because it's your house.



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Planting Time 2012

This week is major planting time for us (in addition to some other fun projects which we will share later) so let's take a look around the garden.


The raised beds are all planted...


garlic...

carrots....


asparagus (next year we can harvest!)...


rhubarb...


leeks with self-sowed sunflowers...


peas...


kale, horseradish, chives and cilantro...



tomato bed prep...


lots of healthy soil critters under the mulch...


Steve having fun with soil preparations...


prepared beds ready for more plants.... 


Happy planting!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Spring Hike

Spring is in full swing here in Ohio and we are loving it!  Recently we took a trip down to Clear Creek Metro Park and enjoyed a great day of cool nature sightings.

Red Admiral...


Amazing Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)...


Eastern-tailed Blue...


Spicebush Swallowtail nectaring on Gill-Over-the-Ground (Glechoma hederacea)...


 Working on duskywings...



Horace's Duskywing...


Eastern Comma....


Love this Golden Ragwort (Senecio aureus)!


Question Mark...


Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar...


Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violaceae)...


Devil's Urn Fungus...


Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)...


Food for the soul...(all of it, really)


First morel!


Eastern Tent caterpillars...




And a new one for us...Gemmed Satyr...


Hope you all are getting out and enjoying too!