Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

The grounds

Please enjoy this photo tour through ‘the grounds’ at our home.


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Last month, we were greeted with bursts of color. The forsythia bushes were in full bloom in early April. (Yes, you’ll notice that our building permit is still hanging in the front window. We hope it will be coming down by the end of the month. Keep your fingers crossed for us!)

The back yard garden will hopefully fill in with all of the transplanting I did last year. Along the fence, we still need to turn the barrel (that I painted the same color as the house) into a rain barrel.

The trillium plant, that I bought last year at the Grand Traverse Conservation District’s plant sale, looks fantastic among the myrtle. The grape hyacinth plants near the sidewalk are putting on quite the show right now. The lilac bushes and forget-me-nots are showing off. I still have several red tulips reaching for the sky and have noticed the bees searching for pollen in my blooming back yard.

Enjoy the garden tour. Things are slowly coming back to life.

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Backyard update

A modest amount of yard work has been going on in the back yard. I’ve been working on relocating existing plants to maximize the garden space on a tight <read free> budget. I thinned out some hosta plants and transplanted them to the garden near the garage. I also divided and transplanted tons of day lillies, so that next year the rock wall along the garage will be sporting many orange blooms.
Backyard (2)

The gooseberry bush in the back yard also found a new home. No more thorny shrub to intercept the rugby ball (Wyatt’s game of choice in the back yard.)


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Gardens are beautiful… even vegetable gardens. More and more people are growing their own food.

Garden (16)Tomatoes on the vine.

Garden (13) A future red bell pepper.

Garden (17)Cayenne peppers.

Garden (20)Wild tiger lilies in bloom.

YardHere’s a shot of the back yard. It’s a far cry from what it looked like this spring. In July, we even re-seeded some areas that weren’t taking so well.

Yard (3)The side yard also is shaping up to be a great place to throw a frisbee to Wyatt or play catch.

Yard (2)The Manitou Tall Ship happened to be sailing by when I was out with my camera. You can’t beat views like these.

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Sunnybank, a private residence, was built in 1894. The home has been fully restored both inside and out. The English style Victorian garden is absolutely stunning. The home is located on historic Sixth Street in downtown Traverse City. Please join me on this photo tour of the lovely gardens.

SunnybankA stunning Victorian estate.

Sunnybank (46)The “open” sign indicates the garden is open to guests and visitors.

Sunnybank (18)

The high fence walls make the garden it’s own micro-climate. Sunnybank (21)

Plants seem to thrive at Sunnybank!

Sunnybank (26)

This is the view from the door into the garden from the alley. If you look closely, the homeowner is tending the garden.Sunnybank (30)

The building is the owner’s private garden shed.

Sunnybank (32)

This image was taken from the stairs that lead into the house.Sunnybank (34)

On the west side of the house, there are many shade gardens.

Sunnybank (38)

Here is just one of many beautiful doors within the garden. The hardware is incredible.Sunnybank (42)

The front yard is also beautifully landscaped.

Sunnybank (44)The brick path leads to a wonderful wraparound porch. I love the urns that flank the porch.

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Compost bin (4)We built a compost bin! Here, we were setting the posts. To make the bin, we used leftover wood and materials, so some additional prep work was required.

Compost binIn this image, I was priming the wood. Then, I used the exterior paint that was leftover from the garage. So the compost bin will blend in!

compost bin (13)David put it together. Because we utilized existing materials, our posts were of varying lengths, but we figured it would be OK for our bin. After all, it’s for rotting greens, banana peels, potato skins and the like.

compost bin (3)I primed and painted the posts and touched up the screws. It blends in pretty nicely with the garage.

compost binThen I filled the new bin with the giant pile of weeds that we’d been storing. Sheesh, it’s almost full already! The plan is to turn the compost with a pitchfork to aerate the pile to add oxygen.

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tomatoes with a viewHow ’bout that? These staked tomato plants have it made, eh? We’ll see if my make-shift garden area produces any fruit! The stakes used are actually lathe that we removed from the house. So, you could say that our house is holding the tomato plants up! I’m hoping for a great crop and would love to do some canning to enjoy the fruits of my labor well into the winter months!

Because we’ve been busy with other home renovation projects, the garden hasn’t been tended with the proper TLC that it needs. The weeds are taking over and I am not exactly on top of the pruning required for the tomato stake method. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

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