Tuesday, July 5, 2011

2011 Garden Projects update

At the beginning of the year, I didn't think I had too many projects planned  for the garden, but I took a little time to write down a list of things to do, and I posted it here.  This is why I have a blog- it is my garden journal and it is a place to keep track of everything I'd otherwise scribble somewhere or forget to write down about the garden.

I planted some mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina), to replace the decadent aspen (Populus tremulodes)- and I even planted another one this weekend to replace an aspen that died suddenly last weekend in front of the hammock stand (below).  I have come to think of aspen as short-lived perennials, and that is fine.  Aspen bring so much wildlife- including wildlife that eat and kill them to the garden, that it is a fair trade (click here for more information).  Plus, we actually have more aspen in the garden now than when we started- they are just in different places, and they are always coming up in new areas.

I rearranged some plants in the front prairie, including getting rid of a green rabbit brush (Ericameria viscidiflora) and added a few Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii) close to the house.  In case you are wondering, the green rabbitbrush is now living at the Native Plant Garden at 8th and Grant.  Trust me.  It is fine.

I made a "cut-off" trail in front of the onion/ garlic bed (it is kind of obscured by the plants from this vew). The area near the grill shed is kind of a congested area in the garden and by adding this new trail/ path, people will be able to flow better. 
And along the way on the list, I added more things- a "green" or "living" roof for the grill shed, I started an insect collection to learn about and document all the insects in the garden (more on this soon), I removed the overhead garage door to the shop and replaced it with French doors (below), and I did some landscaping around the new space the French doors provide.

Adding the French doors to the shop was a fun little project and one I wished I had done a long time ago.  The doors add so much light and usable space in the shop.  Plus, they just look better.  I got all the materials for this at Home ReSource (a building materials re-use center, and my favorite place in the world to shop).
Green roof update
I didn't realize how much the green roof had grown, until I looked back on the post and slideshow from this spring. In general it is doing really well.  It is starting to fill in, and weeding has not been an issue.  I watered it for the first time yesterday (I planted it on April 24, but it was a very cool, wet spring).  Now that the weather has dried out and it has gotten hot (Sorry Susan, I know this mid-80's weather is not hot) or, perhaps, the weather has gotten more seasonal, I might water it once/ week through the summer. Here are some pictures showing the progress.
The picture below was taken right after planting, and as you can see, since then it has really filled in.
Below is a view looking down on the green roof.  It looks like a little prairie- just as planned.  All the plants are native to the Missoula area and include: Prairie June grass (Koeleria macrantha), Idaho fescue (Festuca idahoensis), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Rosy pussytoes (Anntenaria rosea), Cutleaf daisy (Erigeron compositus), Lanceleaf  stonecrop (Sedum lanceolatum), and  Elkhorn clarkia (Clarkia pulchella).  Click here for information about the green roof, including why I chose these plants.

To see the changes on the roof- here are a few pictures:  
Before- the old metal roof.
After I installed the green roof.
After some growing- it has really changed a lot.  A little tip- for garden projects, always take your "before" pictures in late winter, and your "after" pictures in the summer!
I made great progress on the list, but I still need to make that 3 bin composter for my wife, our compost management supervisor. But a new project has come up- another grape arbor.  There is always something to do, and a place to write it down.


  1. Love the red painted French doors, they look terrific. And the green roof has really filled in. I'm inspired to try something similar for a garden shed I have, thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. Great post. Love those French doors, very nice. Good pre, during and post pics. You're right about the aspens, we also view them as short lived perennials.....and they move around a lot.

  3. El Gaucho- I'm so glad my little shed inspired you. Let me know how your green roof comes out.

    Kim and Victoria- Thanks for the comments, it is so nice to hear from you.

    Tanya- Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it.
    Thanks everyone,

  4. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  5. Great project,....looks amazing