We’re not moving again. Three years ago, we were lucky enough to land ten acres, five of which were manicured floral beds. Fantastic, right? It’s out of control. Our gazebo collapsed under the weight of a major rain this weekend and online forums are all, “You should have taken the cover off before the rains.” Thanks, assholes.
We got chickens* again and raised beds and hoops, new irrigation lines and sticks and spigots and an additional timer and that just upped the guilt and feelings of ineptitude. One English Garden. One rose garden. One peony/rhododendron garden. A rock garden. A dozen cherry trees. A fruit orchard. A berry orchard. All on home-made irrigation with three separate timers. Bulbs and manicured grasses down the driveway and in the side and back yards. TEN ZONES. Know what I know about zones and in-ground irrigation? Exactly nothing.
Bleeding hearts are trying to eat the rhododendron/peony gardens. We are over-run with dandelions and native grasses. The ornamental cherries look like shit. Apple maggots are coming. The mosquitoes are already out. The dogs are blowing their coats. We got a cool thing called a Mister Stacky, where we’re starting lettuces and herbs. I’m going this week to choose a jillion ornamentals for all the pots, and working on a fix for the gazebo, because I refuse to pay to replace a perfectly good infrastructure, no matter what the online tools suggest.
What I do know is that it’s a HUGE amount of work to keep everything tidy and productive and I need help, so I’ve hired help.
Now during the summers, until I can master three different timers, we move the big sprinkler over the driveway into the lawn green spaces. We are getting our ancient inherited CubCadet riding mower fixed so I can mow because a) it’s kind of fun and b) landscapers are expensive. We’ve run drip lines for our raised beds, and a soaker hose line up front for wild flowers.
*Chickens! First year, we got hens that we allowed to free range. They all got poached by coyotes. Then, last year we got hens and unexpected roosters from a trusted source who basically screwed us, and this year another trusted source shipped us sick chicks that died. We replaced them, and the year-old hens are producing like crazy and the chicks are almost ready to meet the mean girls in the new giant run. Everything’s coyote-proofed, and hopefully our Ruger will discourage interlopers.
We have a new house going up in our eye-line. Thankfully its a pretty cool house, they are nice, and our gigantic maple tree affords us half-year privacy. They have three little girls and are 2A friendly, so we’ll warn them about the coyotes that just last week treed our Siamese.
The food truck’s kind of a bust right now because there’s a serious roof leak, and water got under the flooring and it’s buckled and horrible and non-certifiable by the health department. BUT! We have friends who are amazing contractors and are committed to fixing it for me so I can get back on the road. I can see the gardens from the truck windows when I’m parked at home, and it’s daunting.
The husband’s career is an amazing, rewarding challenge. By “challenge,” I mean occasionally soul-crushing betrayals, in-fighting, pettiness. Such is the F&B business, I guess.
Hummer feeders are up and filled. Raised beds are 3/4 planted and seedlings are hardening and going in tomorrow. Lilac trees are in full bloom. Help is coming for the overgrown beds. Irrigation is in place and nothing is busted (so far). Apple maggot traps are going up in the morning, and the cherry trees are in crazy bloom. It’s a 90% win.
The Pacific Northwest. We get to go do this: