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Let me introduce you to some of our new friends.

I discovered my new gardening friend the other day while working in the yard; yesterday, I was able to sneak up and get a picture of him while hanging out laundry:

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And Pogle met this guy upon entering the house after work last night:

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He has since decided the TV is a much comfier home than Pogle’s head, however, and now resides near Argy the Dragon and Dust Puppy (Earl Grey the Dragon has taken to playing with sharp pointy things and is currently banned from the TV).

Decorative and functional?

I’m hoping I have enough brick left over to do something like this to a corner of the front yard where pog and I are always cutting across:

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Just imagine that the brick is flush with the concrete. 😉

In my head I see getting a post light put in between the brick and the dogwood, as well as ground cover or small plants all the way from the tree to the brick. What do you think?

May I have some more, sir?

Pogle wanted everyone to see what 3 tons (he says) of brick looked like:

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My new 225 gallon rain water tank:

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And a shot of the volunteer daffodil blooming:

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Now to try and get the ferret to sleep again (it’s 4 AM). >.<

Why can’t I have normal weeds like everyone else?

Mutants #1-6:

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(bonus toe for scale)

Mutant #7:

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At least there were a couple of rays of sunshine in my garden:

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Volunteers!

On childhood Tetris viewings…

I was complimented on my brick-stacking ability while we were unloading my truck tonight. All those hours of watching my mom destroy tetris as a child had to pay off in some way, right?

Of course, its equally possible all those hours spent playing Stronghold and building castles affected it somewhat too. Videogames are good for a lot more than creating killing machines out of today’s youth, take it from me!

Can’t sleep, the gnomes will eat me. Can’t sleep, the gnomes will eat me.

Unless…

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(Gnome Be Gone, image copyright http://www.cleanairgardening.com/)

Before I built a wall

We’re trying to decide if we should put in a chain link fence this year. It’d pretty much take all of the money we’d set aside for a shed (we have no garage or outdoor storage) and dip into our savings quite a bit, so it’s a big decision. Here’s my list of pros and cons for the decision:

Pros

  1. Putting up a fence this year will establish one of the major “bones” of the property. This would allow me to go forward with any permanent plantings I wished to put in this year (i.e. trees or shrubs) without fear of them needing to be moved in the future if we decided to put in a fence at a later date.
  2. All of the fences in our neighborhood are chain link fences, so we would be staying within the aesthetic of the area.
  3. A chain link fence will provide a trellis for me to grow both vegetables and screening plants to help block/distract from our neighbor’s weed patch.
  4. May increase our property value because a fence would prevent children or pets from reaching the scary road we live on. Will also make it easier for family members visiting with pets.
  5. Will define our property lines and limit trespassing (the neighbor’s dog likes to use our yard for his utilities, even though he has a nice big fenced in yard of his own *sigh*). May help prevent theft of items stored on the property.

Cons

  1. Putting up a fence this year will mean no shed for another year, which we really do need as my laundry room is half full of gardening and auto supplies/equipment. We simply can’t afford two different projects of this size in a single year.
  2. Some of the neighborhood fences are ugly and run down, decreasing the aesthetic of the area and of owning a chain link fence in general.
  3. Will not protect vegetables growing on fence or provide a barrier to prevent neighbor’s weeds from encroaching onto our property.
  4. May decrease our property value due to cheap appearance and con #2; we may not recoup the cost of the fence when we sell the property. Would cost extra money to “disguise” the chain link at the front of the house with split bamboo fencing (example)or plantings to create a better curb appeal.
  5. Side fences are shared with neighbors. Should they decide to remove or sell their fences, we will have to pay over twice the cost we paid to fence just the front and back of the property.

I’m stuck. Opinions welcome. 🙁

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With silver bells, and cockle shells, And marigolds all in a row.

Last year I tentatively bought a few plants at the local Lowes: the selection wasn’t very good but I knew where to find them, unlike a local gardening center. This year, I’m going for broke on my gardener status. I ordered seeds for our vegetable garden and for some flowering perennials/shrubs.

This is my first time starting plants from seed but that’s pretty much the only thing that’s going to fit into the budget if I want to get some flowers in around here. This year I mostly stuck to a selection of taller perennials to place along the edge of the property and in front of the house. These are all heat/drought resilient varieties, so hopefully they’ll establish while we have a little rain this spring and make it without any extra watering because, quite frankly, we don’t really have the water to spare down here in the south.

While the seeds are within my budget, the mulch and soil conditioners are going to put me over. I tried so hard, but maybe we should just get a lot of the major projects out of the way this year: graveling the north side of the house and driveway (thus extending parking area into a dead zone part of the yard), putting in a walkway to the deck, and installing a fence. I already have someone working up a fence quote for us, so we’ll see what happens.

I really want a pretty yard this year, though. >.>

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