First Planted Area

Ta-Da!   Due to cooler weather and more energy, I finally finished a project started some weeks ago!   This area project was designed to fulfill the following needs:

  • Introduce sloping grade away from house instead of the water catching trench the stucco guys left
  • Protect the stucco, while providing an area for growing things
  • Handle the run-off from the roof, until I get the gutters installed, should we ever get rain again.
  • Provide growing space for tall annual plants that will shade the west wall so my house is not such a furnace from 3 pm until 10 at night AND do not need growing support in the way of lattice work/pergola’s because I have other plans for this area – – eventually.

After messing around with this for some weeks and having two plans not work out, here’s what I settled upon as the solution for the first two issues:

Like My Life A Work in Progress
Like My Life
A Work in Progress

And after many weeks of working 15-20 minutes at a time, I have two-tiers of blocks, rammed firm with sand, second tier slope all news papered and mulched, planted with Mammoth Head sunflowers, red sunflowers and at the very, very front area – a slew of those teeny-tiny white and pink alyssium seeds which defy planting by hand. Salt shaker and a gentle raking and we’ll see how it goes.

Finally!  One project done - 14 million left to go!
Finally! One project done – 14 million left to go!

I put up a temporary fence to protect the area from Oakley, as she just loves digging in the dirt – until she understands you’re trying to grow stuff in it – 🙂

I now have nearly 60 square feet of the place in maintenance mode – (I try not to think how many square feet are left to go – it would just depress me!)

Iris Bed in Maintenance Mode
Iris Bed in Maintenance Mode

On a rather quieting note, as I spread my wonderful mulch around, transported from my pile hauled in last year, it occurred to me I may not be able to get this wonderful, economical mulch again anytime soon.

For you see, this mulch comes from the Black Forest Slash and Mulch program and it is located in the heart of the current Black Forest Fire Zone.

I checked their website this a.m. and no updates indicating they are burnt to the ground, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

This program allows residents to bring in their ‘clean-up’ debris from their home place, where it is chipped and piled into large stacks of mulch.   During the summer, as long as you are a non-commercial entity, you can back your truck up and shovel all the free mulch you want.   On Saturdays, you can donate $4 and sit in your truck while the on-site loader fills your bed.

Because our soil out here on the eastern plains tends to be a tad on the alkaline side, this mulch is perfect for so many applications.

I’m really hoping the mulch program place escaped harm – I prefer this kind of mulch over the bagged kind you can purchase for so many different reasons.


Funny how 10 degrees difference and cloud cover had such a fantastic impact on how much I got done outdoors today.  I actually worked steady for nearly 2 1/2 hours and we are now starting on our second tier of tires for the south perimeter fence.  Which means we are nearing 50 tires done in the project.

There’s such a quiet satisfaction in moving things from the “Material Area” to “Permanent Spot in the Landscaping Plan”.

My heart is light and my mind cheerful as I take a break from being in the great outdoors – had to share my joy!


10 thoughts on “First Planted Area”

  1. You’ve been busy, Tamrah – looks good. i wanted to say one more things about that cooking station and solar oven. and thought it best to comment over here on your site, instead of andra watkins,

    The important thing about anything soalr is to choose the sunniest spot possible. Watch the sun for a few months, or even better, a year, so there won’t be too much shading. If I lived next door, I’d come over with my solar pathfinder, which is a simple tool to determine the year round path of the sun and how it interacts with the surrounding horizon and nearby trees, etc. The bottom line with solar cooking is to use commom sense i.e. check the weather first, and don’t try to solar cook in the dark.

    I really relate to all the projects on the go. 😉 Best regards – Bruce


    1. Thanks for all your help and links Bruce! I got caught up on my awards posts, read your recent posts, but haven’t yet read the link for the solar oven. Getting ready to head over there now! 🙂 As for the solar path, I have a spot picked out for the permanent structure located at the southwest corner of the house – with fold out reflector flaps and properly slanted glass, it will receive good sunlight for at least 6 hours a day, year round – course, summer time, I’ll be getting my bread cooked in no time at all, as long as it Lunar Bread…LOL

      I moved into my place in December – right before the solstice, so just need to mark the sun positions here in a day or two to finalize landscaping plans for winter/summer- –
      I’m really glad we found each other at Andra’s – I do not feel so alone in my projects now! Thanks for reaching out and all the assistance!


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