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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yard Work Has Begun

It's not quite summer yet, but it's been feeling and looking more and more like spring lately. So I'll take it. Sunday was still a little chilly, in the 50's and windy, but it was sunny for a majority of the day, which allowed for us to start on our first outdoor project this year: The walkway! I'm super excited to start on this and have been wanting to get it done for a while now. It will be a nice paver and rock path from the front door to the driveway. And will definitely beat walking in the dirt (sometimes mud), and through the lawn.

Trent spent a few hours getting started on it Sunday afternoon. First he outlined where the edge of the walkway would be with some stakes and string.

It starts from the front porch and wraps around, along the edge of the landscaping, to the driveway.

The grass has been patchy here for a few years now, since we walk this path everyday on the way to our cars and back. Things aren't looking that green yet either, being March still and all!

The path is about 2 1/2 feet wide in the front, and after it curves around, it's about 3 foot wide. It goes slightly down a slope, so we're planning on carving out some stair steps into the path, too.


After he laid out where the path would be, he tilled the ground, which really made it start to take shape. We could definitely start to envision what the new walkway would look like.

Since there's a slope on the side of the house, Trent had to level out the ground at the bottom but leave it tilted just a tad, and leave a slight hill for drainage to run down. We'll probably build some kind of additional retaining wall between the landscaping and the walk path.

Here's where the steps will be:

Trent kind of carved them out with the dirt, but our plan is to build them with rock and concrete forms. The concrete will help to hold them together and keep them sturdy.

It's really hard to capture on camera, but there would be 2 or 3 steps there, depending on how you look at it!

So we've got a start on our first outdoor project of the year. I'm pretty excited for the nice weather and to get lots of things done outside this summer.

And, while Trent was laying out the future walk path, I planted our first flowers for the garden. Since it's best to wait until April or early May (after the final frost) to plant them outside, I thought I would get a start early and plant some in containers inside. Then on nice days like we've been having this week, I'll set them out on the porch to soak up the sunlight.

I used what I already had on hand for containers. So classy, right? Styrofoam cups, filled with soil in cardboard containers. Whatever works!

I just filled all the cups, poked a hole in the bottom of each for drainage, then planted a few seeds in each cup. Then I put a teaspoon of my organic fertilizer in each one.

I didn't have very many containers, or I would have planted as many flowers as I could. But I only had 16, so all I got through was one packet of Mini Zinnias. I don't know really how "mini" these are, so it will be cool to see what they look like when they bloom!

I wish I could have planted the large ones too, but this little packet went quite a ways. The back of the packet says it only takes 5-10 days to germinate, so we could see some seedlings coming up pretty soon! Though they don't bloom for 36-60 days. So technically, we won't see any flowers probably until May or June.

In a month or so we'll transplant them into the garden out back. And plant our other seeds and bulbs. I'd like to get some more containers to start my other flowers inside, too. I'll either have to pick some up or get creative again! We'll see what happens...

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