Sunday, July 1, 2012

Progress on the Project List and Pictures from the Garden

I crossed another project off my list a couple of weeks ago, by extending an urbanite path past our hammock and our tool shed out to the alley (on the left side int he photo above).  Frankly, even though I had this on my list, I never really expected to do it this year. 

I think this and the potting bench really improved this part of our garden. Below is a picture before the urbanite path and the potting bench.
And, this picture shows the difference- the potting bench really separates the rooms and the urbanite path directs your eye to what is around the corner.
The path out to the alley (and the tool shed) is much better defined and interesting now.
Our little cat Junebug (if you recall the reigning 2011 Cat of the Year) even helped.  In her last days, I took her outside to enjoy some sun while I worked on this.  Junebug, like all our cats, was an indoor-only cat, and when she'd go outside with me she would just sit by me and sleep.  I think in her own way, she enjoyed being out in the sun participating in a garden project.
And speaking of garden projects, check out my friend Amber's blog- watch as she converts her lawn and yard into a native plant garden and beautiful vegetable garden.

So, to recap, here is my list of garden projects for 2012:
  • Make a three bin composter-
    • Done- here is a link to  more information about the composting station.
  • Prune the white clematis on the arbor behind the shop 
    • Done!
  • Install a nest box camera inside the nuthatch box.
    • Done!
  • Move the apple tree to the north east corner of the vegetable garden so its gets more light and water.
  • Moving the apple tree will require relocating the rain barrel and path, then a little re-landscaping in the new and former location
  • add a little fence or wall between the outdoor dining room and the hammock area 
  • Continue my insect collection
    • Ongoing, and still enjoying the heck out if it.
  • Connect the urbanite path in the back all the way to the alley. 
    • Done!
Still to do in 2012
  • Install power out to the greenhouse.  This has been on my list for a few years, whether I write it down or not.
  • Add some more shrubs to the front of the house- I've been working on this for a couple of years and I think it is starting to come together.
  • Replace urbanite in front of the greenhouse and on the side yard that has settled too low. Replace it with larger chunks. It became painfully obvious last year that these low spots were too annoying to live with (it turns out, it was easier than I thought it would be to ignore this!)
  • Build a fence in the front yard- I keep forgetting this.  Kind of a big project, maybe I'll save it for the Spring 2013.
While working in the garden, I do take some time to look around and see what is going on. Here are just a few pictures of what's blooming in the garden now. We are probably a week away from things being at their peak, and right now a lot is flowering.
Yarrow (Achellia millefolium) and hairy false goldenaster (Heterotheca vilosa)are starting to bloom- I think of these as summer (or late summer) flowers.
Showy milkweed (Aesclepias speciosa) is starting to open- one of my favorites.
Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata) is beginning to show itself
It's been a big year for Clarkia (Clarkia pulchella), in our garden but also on the hills around Missoula.
The fleabanes (Erigeron speciosus and E. subtrinervous) are really starting to bloom

Everyone enjoys a fleabane including this scarab beetle (Trichiotinus assimilis)- a bumble bee mimic.
For whatever reason our mountain hollyhocks (Iliamna rivularis) are blooming their heads off- it is quite a show, but I also wonder if this might be these plants last big hurrah.

Our green roof provide us with striking, if not unexpected, views from inside the house.


  1. It's not much of "To Do" list if most things are done :) I'm impressed at how many big projects you've gotten done this year. Goodness knows how easy it is for these long term projects to keep getting postponed and procrastinated upon/on. And the pictures are great, your yard truly looks gorgeous.

    1. El Gaucho!
      Thanks, as always, for commenting, and for your compliments. Yes, there are plenty of items on the list that always get put off, but I keep putting them on their to try to hold myself accountable! It is easy to ignore a lot of these. Having a blog is a nice way to keep track of what you want to do, should do, or need to do, and even celebrate some accomplishments!
      Thanks again, I appreciate all your comments.

  2. David,
    Wonderful photos of your yard and projects. What's the bumble bee species on the hollyhock? We don't have many species here with the orange coloration. I'm hoping you're planning a post about the insect collection some time. Really interested in what you've documented.

    1. Hi Heather!
      It is obviously not the best picture, but it is a Great Basin bumble bee (Bombus centralis).
      Good idea about the insect collection post- I thought I did one, but I think I just intended to. It has been an amazing experience- I learn something new every day.
      I love your blog and I am always inspired by it.
      Thanks again for your comments,