The Great Outdoors

One of the key selling points for our new house - aside from the perfect location between mine and Navah's jobs, the house itself, and the cute town - was the one acre of land that came with it.  When we put in our bid on the house, the ground was covered in snow.  It was a beautiful, woodsy location, but that was all we knew.  A nice portion of it was clearly lawn, but there's a fair amount that is woods with a tiny little stream.

So we've been excited to walk around on the property, get out with the lawn mower, and start buying some plant starts for the raised beds the previous owners put in.  Nothing's in the ground yet - well, aside from the garlic they planted last fall and a whole mess of chives.  I spent a couple hours this weekend preparing a few of the beds while Navah mowed the lawn, but we opted to hold off on putting the plants in since there were bad thunderstorms (including hail) in the forecast and lows in the freezing temperatures this week.  So the beds are ready, but the plants are waiting until a little later this week to go into the ground.  You can see them doing some sunning on the back deck up there - 3 tomato plants, 1 cherry tomato, 4 peppers, 1 okra, 2 kale, 3 basil, 1 dill, 1 lemongrass, 1 lemon verbena (oh, the glorious smell!), 2 marigolds (for pest prevention), 1 rosemary, 1 thyme, and 1 mint.  We're going back for a few more things, but we got totally overwhelmed in the garden store and had to just stop where we were!

Jammer's beside himself with excitement over the new space.  In the three years we've had him, we've never had a yard for him to play in.  We don't have a fence yet (the one in photos is just around the garden and we'll likely be changing out for a more basic chicken-wire fence), but he gets to go outside when we're outside.  When he's done sniffing (very big job!), he likes to find a soft place to relax - even if that's in a garden bed.

Of course, it hasn't been all fun and games.  As with any new house purchase, there are some surprises.  When we got several days of torrential downpours last week, our lawn quickly developed an impromptu "pond" - not to be confused with an actual boggy little pond at the end of a stream where our property borders our neighbor's.

At the closing, the previous owners had mentioned that the area on one side of the driveway sometimes flooded and that they'd put in a drain to help with that.  We looked around the day we moved, but the grass was high and we were tired, and we figured we'd find it another day.  Bad new homeowners.  The rain started before we got back out there, and it was clear nothing was draining.  Once the rain stopped, we tromped around in rain boots to try to find the drain with no luck.

Finally, the "pond" began to shrink, and I found the drain - completely clogged with pine needles.  We've cleared it off and hopefully it'll help in the next big rain storm.

Even with the pond issue, I'm so loving it here.  I loved digging in the ground (even while being traumatized by all the spiders crawling out from under the dead leaves) and walking around our yard talking about what we might plant where, watching the birds, and imagining friends and family visiting.      

Mostly, I'm feeling incredibly blessed that we found such a wonderful place to make our home.