Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘terrace

Neglected Properties

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It’s a shame that the neighboring houses around ours have fallen to such neglect. It reflects badly on the value of our property. I wish those responsible would put in a little effort to maintain the integrity of their homes.

I think maybe birch bark isn’t the most durable choice for roofing material. That unit is probably a little drafty.

I’m going to light a fire under the owners to inspire them to make some repairs to those houses before the tenants start spreading bad rumors about our neighborhood.

After Sunday’s initial excitement of making progress on the garden terrace using reclaimed fence posts, Cyndie pointed out the creosote smell of the wood posts. It reminded her of the railroad tracks by her grandma’s house.

A little research has us both feeling disinclined to proceed with burying the chemically treated posts in the same dirt we plan to grow our future food.

It will be a lot more work, but I’ve suggested making a low retaining wall of rocks. A more feasible alternative that holds promise would be to use the cedar planks we removed from the deck last fall. Although much of the ends of those boards were rotting, there is probably enough solid wood to serve our purposes.

Whatever we end up choosing, I hope it will look classy enough to offset the derelict birdhouses around here that threaten to give this place a bad reputation.



Written by johnwhays

April 21, 2020 at 6:00 am

New Garden

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Sunday afternoon launched our effort to create a new produce garden at Wintervale on the slope at the end of the driveway.

We plan to use old reclaimed wooden fence posts for a retaining wall that will create a terrace for a flat garden plot. There is space below it to add a second level farther downslope but we are going to start small. If all goes well, next year we can expand.

After my first challenge of devising a way to connect and secure all the posts, the more complicated next step involves installation of barriers to the local wildlife who are known garden pests. Cyndie wants me to bury hardware cloth to block burrowing critters. Great idea, in theory. A hassle to accomplish in reality.

I’m recommending Cyndie put in a giant hasta spread nearby to offer deer a more enticing alternative to leaping over the fence I plan to build. Then I can make that barrier primarily designed with rabbits in mind.

Cyndie got right to work breaking up the turf and confirming how much of our soil is clay. There will be a fair effort to doctor the soil toward maximizing the plant growth potential. Of course, there is a handy resource of composted manure available a short distance away, but she is talking about also adding some sand, too.

I’m just the muscle on this project. I’ll leave those decisions up to her for now.

Before calling it a day and heading in to shower, I snuck down to hook up the come-along winch to the pine tree stump to see if it would stand up straight.

Close enough for my purposes, of which I currently have none. Just seemed like something to do. I have a high suspicion it will tip again at the first trigger of high wind or excess moisture since the roots have all been thusly stressed and held for months in that previous lean.

That fact has me hesitant to plot any significant artistic endeavor for the stump until it has had time to settle in the upright position.

It is located beside Cyndie’s perennial garden, so carving it into a gnome seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, I don’t have any plan to learn how to carve a gnome out of a tree stump, so that most likely won’t happen.

If it stays standing for a year or so, I’ll have had plenty of time for inspiration to strike.

I’ll likely be busy fixing garden fencing in the meantime.