Late Fall projects and Backyard Cleanup!!!
This is our side stairway off the back kitchen door. It was one of the first things we did back in the 80's to improve the house. The original stairs were concrete underneath, crooked, and without railings...hardly to code. We covered it with wood, but it was poor quality and warped, split, and got ugly---the reason I never showed photos of it.
Originally the stairs curved, but Hubby redid the bottom base in concrete and ripped out all the old wooden steps and replaced them with higher quality (safe for ground/water contact) wood now in a straight line.
We also have had issues here with nesting animals and wasps...so lots of wood later, insulation, caulk and this is the result so far.
The railings are still missing, but the wood is sealed and tight now. He is also going to remove the vent as we no longer have a dryer in the basement...again trying to critter proof.
Before: The adjoining flower bed was shortened to expand the stair base and straighten them and new boards added on the side. We switched out the dirt here, replanted the Iris, Sedum and small Del Oro Lilies. In Spring I will probably add a new vine to this bed. This area is on the East side and is very hot with blasting sun until 2pm each day.
AFTER: Just a little tweaking and some nice light on the space! I've always wanted to do something with the concrete? But, then flowers fill this area up anyway.
Onto more clean-up. Our lot is a bit over a quarter of an acre, and we use every inch of it. When you are both in the mid-70's---120 feet back and forth is a lot of work. THIS is my 'workhorse'. This is our second garden wagon---the other one disintegrated. Just a little yard cart that the sides come off of...nice tires and just the right length handle to pull. I couldn't do all my pots/decor without it. Back and forth to the compost pile a million times during Spring and Fall.
Before: The East side of the house was still a disaster...the beds to the right have been basically cleaned out. I pulled out the last of the old stump below the Dragonflies. We needed to add fresh dirt to there. I will plant some 'transplanted' Iris in that spot...should be pretty in Spring.
AFTER: I did get all the leaves blown into the backyard late yesterday and Hubby cleaned up all the construction mess. This concrete is beginning to need a facelift---maybe next year!
Today I planted 5 Iris roots in new dirt. It will be odd not to have a pot or a chair for annuals here next year. I will plant some taller plants or a vine in back.
Crazy marigolds are still going strong---even after at least 3 frosts?
Glaring sunshine, but our Fairy landed here along the fence. The bushes had swallowed her by the porch and she may need another more permanent home again. Perhaps in the front yard? The Zinnias here and there have escaped the frosts.
Four-feet from those Zinnias are the Giant Hosta and you can see the frost results. We will let the leaves stay until Spring---for the bees to have some protection.
There are so many trees surrounding our property and we have two large Silver Maples, which we had severely trimmed last Spring. So leaves should be about half of normal.
This is today, while yesterday we had chopped them all up with the lawn mower and then the lawn vacuum sucked them up and bagged them. Seven huge bags went into the compost pile, and this is just from the backyard.
With all the garden waste the compost pile is already more than half-full. It was down to under a foot deep with soil this summer, we used so much for projects. I've already dumped 80% of our pots into here. It's work, but really 'free' soil and free fertilizer...one of the reasons all our pots produce such great flowers and veggies.
A totally GREEN thing to do.
We never burn any yard waste.
These stairs were blown off twice yesterday...LOL.
I managed to get the garden almost totally stripped. I rolled up the fabric and collected the stakes for next year. Much of the ground up leaves from the yard end up in here, and then Hubby will till them in later this Fall. We have a forecast for good weather for at least another week or so.
Once Hubby is done with all his other projects, we need to tackle the inside of the Greenhouse, make it more critter proof and change to a thick foam insulation. Apparently regular fiberglass insulation is just a HOME for mice.
Amazing, last of the Roses...9' in the air, and tufts of bedding oozing out of the birdhouse. We have a myriad of birdhouses everywhere on the property...I love all their chatter, and sparrows will land very close to us if we actually sit still.
Meanwhile, this flamingo does look out of place amongst so many leaves from our trees.
This old bird bath was our first backyard purchase in 1984. The birds love it!
The last crops that are frost resistant, our two types of Swiss Chard and Broccoli.
Both these were stunted in the unrelenting heat this summer, but have gone nuts this Fall with growth and production. We will have at least one more fab pick of broccoli despite the bugs having their way with it.
We organic garden---so the bugs just take their share. I douse my produce in lightly salted water when cleaning and that makes sure we aren't getting any extra protein.
Hiding along the fence are the tomato cages. Normally, I sort by color---LOL, this year I realized I hadn't---so we have a pastel photo-op for Fall.
I harvested many blossoms for seeds, but these I left for the birds. The Zinnias here are pretty much done.
Our giant Marigolds are still blooming strong and the bees were still busy!!! These were all planted from saved seeds.
We are getting there...how are you doing?
Happy Fall Clean UP You All-
And this is just the BACKYARD!
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