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Archive for November, 2010

The cottage in the country

My husband and I moved here to this tiny house in the country in July. It was once a farm hand house on a dairy farm. The house we left was a about twice the size of this so we had to get rid of much of our possessions. We suffered only a brief moments dismay at that but quickly decided we had way more than we use and simplification would be a blessing. I mean, why are we working ourselves into the ground caring for so much stuff that we don’t use? It was a very freeing experience.
This little house, which I will call Holly’s Cottage, is a blank slate inside and out. I’ll talk about inside later. Right now I will address the yard, which when we came had a large wild cherry tree in the back yard, a nondescript maple in the front and a half wine barrel filled with depleted soil and planted with strawberries which turned out to be worthless.
My goal is to turn this bit of ground into a lush garden. I noticed that there are few birds here and those only passing through. There is nothing to attract or protect them. I hear them singing to the world in my neighbor’s yard up the land but they don’t like my yard. I also notice when digging my first flower border, that there were few earthworms. The soil is sandy and easy to work but needs a lot of work.
The problem is that I have little, very little, money to spend toward this dream I have. I love a challenge and is a big one.
Because it was so late in the season I found a 50 cent rack in Lowes for the plants that were dying because they were so root bound. I bought only a few, hoping they would fill the bed I had dug on two sides of my back deck and sprinkled with bone meal. Some were perennials and some annuals. They were so happy to have their roots in soil with room to grow and they have rewarded me with thick lush foliage and brilliant blooms.
My landlords brought some shrubs to me, 5 nandina, a loropetalum (Chinese fringe flower bush), a holly shrub, and 2 dwarf Japanese hollies. I lost only two of the nandina. I also brought some plants with me, most from friends long ago and from the farm where I grew up. They also love it here.
I found my way to Arbor Day Foundation on the internet and ordered some trees and shrubs at low price fitting my low budget and look forward to their arrival.
My purpose here is to chronicle my journey to accomplish big dreams with little cash. I think it will be fun.
I am posting pictures taken by my son-in-law so you can see the current state, which includes my original flower bed and what I accomplish along the way. I hope you will enjoy traveling with me.

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