Landscaping Decision

garden pathway
Gravel or Sand?

As we continue with our projects around the house we have been contemplating finishing the garden pathways with either gravel or beach sand. One would be more formal and easier to keep clean, but the other would be fun to walk through on our way to the water below. Let us know your opinion in the comments!

Garden Progress – Spring 2019

Garden progress - before
Our Kitchen Garden – Before

Our kitchen garden area in its unimproved state was somewhat embarrassing and scary. Scary because of the bugs really, but that is a post in itself. The garden actually looks better in this winter photo than it did in person. The only thing that I had time to accomplish last season was the removal of weeds on our stone hillside and the addition of mulch and baby lavender plants in a few areas.

Garden progress - before drainage issues
Garden Drainage Issues

While our “waterfall” is beautiful, it currently flows down the stone hillside right next to the home’s foundation and washes a path across the yard taking everything it touches with it. Spring of 2019 has been a very rainy season, which has been both good and bad. Good, because we have had plenty of chances to troubleshoot potential drainage solutions. Bad, because having the front end of your car buried in gravel after the driveway washes out above it can be both annoying and expensive to fix. Particularly on a weekday morning. That is another full post in itself.

We are in the process of creating a splash pool to receive our seasonal “waterfall” and a dry creek to carry it across the yard in a controlled manner. Once the splash pool and dry creek have been completed, I can work my way up the hillside creating a new waterfall path and then we can regrade the driveway above it to direct the water to it’s new route.

garden planning
Our Garden Plan

I mulled over potential designs for several months before we finally took action. Originally, I wanted to do a traditional garden design with low hedge borders and a fountain in the center. Our property, however, did not lend itself to such a garden as both the hillside and shoreline are irregular in shape and beautiful in their own right. Since I would rather work with nature rather than fight it, we went with more of an organic design. In the photo above I had begun digging our new drainage trench and had reworked a few of the stone retaining walls for a more organic feel.

Garden progress - may 2019
Garden Progress – May 2019

Our native soil is a lovely mix of clay and rock, so to grow anything other than weeds we had to import a truckload of topsoil for the planting areas. At this point in the project we had just put our new topsoil in place.

Garden progress - june 2019
Garden Progress – June 2019

The above photo shows the current state of our garden. We have begun to add our garden plants that were grown from seedlings this spring (this was the first time I have ever succeeded at this) and have our irrigation in place. I have yet to cover the irrigation lines because we will be adding a few additional lines in the next few days for a new hedge along our property line and I still need them uncovered for troubleshooting purposes. Our waterfall pool is partially in place, but I need to finish the stonework along the sides and at the bottom yet. I also have a collection of ornamental plants that I still need to get into the ground. Honestly, I think our garden area looks worse now than when we started, but it is a work in progress and most things worth doing take time.

I will continue to post updates to the garden as we make additional progress and give you a sneak peek of the new hedge project once we have it in place. I hope you are all enjoying the last few days of spring!

Lavender Garden Inspiration

Although it still feels like winter, March is finally here. With it comes the relief of longer and warmer days and the transition from winter’s stillness to excitement of the spring and summer seasons. We have so many outdoor projects to do once the weather breaks, starting in our new kitchen garden. Lavender will play a huge part in the design of this new outdoor playground. I can’t wait to get started, but tonight we have more snow. For now, please enjoy our lavender inspiration board and hope for warm weather soon!

Late Winter Plans

As the latter part of our crazy home renovation journey unfolds, I am starting to do the design for my dream closet and our kitchen garden. With the “stressful” part of the renovation now over we can begin to share some of the before and afters and bring you along for the rest of the journey through the more fun projects we have planned. Stay tuned for new design posts coming in 2019 as these projects begin!

For now, enjoy my mood board for the garden projects that we are going to start once the weather breaks.

Thinking Ahead To Spring

Now that the holidays are over and January is already halfway gone, we are thinking ahead to spring and warmer weather. Our first task outdoors now that the exterior construction is complete will be our kitchen garden. We are STILL under construction indoors, but I can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel. Plans for Liskabora’s reopening are underway and I have a lot to share very soon! For now I will leave you with my inspiration board for coastal garden design. I will do a step by step of our actual garden as it begins to unfold.

Planting Update Early June

We are not as far along as I would hope for with our planting this year, but we have managed to get most of our containers planted and going. I plan to keep adding to the garden over the next few weeks with plants that do well late in the season. We also lost a hydrangea bed that was on the north side of the house – not sure what happened to the plants, but we are going to transplant the survivors to other areas and transform that bed to a salad/shade herb garden. It will be an interesting shade garden experiment and I will post back with what does well.  Meanwhile, our tomatoes that were planted from seedlings are doing excellent.  We lost most everything else we tried to start from seed, I think next year I will try to plant them in the pots they will eventually be in.  Sneak peek of our deck renovation is also included – more pictures of the finished product to come soon!

container gardencontainer gardening

Organic Oyster Mushroom Kit

Mushroom KitI picked up an organic mushroom growing kit from the people at Back to the Roots to see if we could grow our own oyster mushrooms at home. Guess what, it worked! It will be interesting to see how many harvests we can get.



Organic Gardening Tips 5

Re-using food containers and toilet paper / paper towel rolls for growing seedlings is a great way to save money and the environment. In my opinion, any of these will work much better than most seed starters you can buy in the store (seed starters are just too small).

Organic Gardening Tips 4

I love the idea of deep mulching – this seems to be a great way to both fertilize the soil naturally and keep down weeds at the same time. When we have our “big garden” this is something we are definitely going to try!

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