Happy New Year! I had intended to get this post out before the end of 2022, however I just ran out of time. I would like to say it was because I was busy, but really, I just had a very lazy few days to end the year. It has been a very busy few months leading up to Christmas, and I have a very jam-packed early 2023, so I took advantage of the downtime and spent most days walking the dogs, cuddling the dogs, playing with the dogs…you see the theme here. I also spent some quality time with family. Kurtis was off most of the time too, which was so nice. In the past, he has generally had to work almost the entire time I am off around the holiday season, but this year he only had a few work days while I was off. He also enjoyed the downtime. His job is quite physical and he hasn’t had much time off, so his body enjoyed the rest and relaxation.
Looking back, I realized that I didn’t do a map for 2021. I did do an irrigation map, but in reality, the map itself did. not change much in 2021. Due to weather and other projects, like fencing the remainder of the yard, we didn’t actually get a lot of landscaping done in 2021. The fence took up quite a bit of our free weekends, and I think in 2021, due to the weather, we weren’t able to do much in the yard due to health risks from wildfire smoke. So, I quickly updated the small bits of work we did in 2021, which was removing our raised beds and finishing the lower most wall on the left side of the yard. Technically the fence is also in the map, but it isn’t as noticeable as landscaping changes.
We made some pretty good progress in 2022. We managed to just about completely finish the rock walls. Looking back at some of my previous year posts, I am always so gung-ho in the winter with my expectations of what we will accomplish in the yard. I apparently thought in 2020 that we would finish all the walls in 2021. Ha! I forget that although we love our garden and look forward to the end product of all this landscaping, we also have other hobbies and interests that compete for the landscaping time such as fishing, camping and biking. That being said, we are just about there. I am actually confident this time that the last 2 partial walls will be filled in the spring and bring an end to the era of rock wall building.
So what will 2023 bring for our landscaping plans?
The strawberry tower on the bottom left corner of the yard has literally started collapsing, so that will be taken out in the spring. We will see about saving some of the plants to add to a new patch in the new wall area. We will also remove the small garden bed beside where the strawberry tower stands.
We will also remove the tree stump. Although it is a neat feature, especially now that the bark has fallen off, it is just in a very awkward location. We will get that out in the spring as well so that we can finish the path off nicely.
From there, we are going to start working on levelling out the bottom of the yard. This will include putting in a path in front of the right side of the yard with a step down. It is more sloped that we thought back there, so there will still be a few tiers we will have to step down to make it somewhat level to the fence line.
We will also need to make some adjustments to the irrigation lines at the base of the yard because we plan to put some sprinklers down there for the micro-clover lawn we will put in. The lines are fairly well buried, but to have sprinklers added, we need to go a little deeper with the lines. We will also pull them back to the fence line so that we can water from there out to the garden beds. We don’t want to be over-watering the garden beds at all.
I would love to have the micro-clover growing by early – mid summer if possible. It will make our lives a lot easier to not have to spend back-breaking days weeding that area. With levelling & digging out the area, we should be starting pretty fresh for getting micro-clover established. We will also add some nice top-soil for optimum growth. We will however, likely have to do this in sections due to the dogs. We will fence areas to establish the clover and then move on once it is nice and strong. To do the whole back area, it will likely take the summer if we do it in 2 plantings.
We decided on micro-clover because we are in an area that often has limited watering due to drought conditions, so we would like to put in something that does not require as much water. Once trained, it also doesn’t grow as tall, so the maintenance and mowing is much lower than a traditional lawn.
Other items on our list that we hope to accomplish, but will have to see how the year pans out is to cap all the walls with wood tops. Ideally, this is something I would also like to get done in the spring before the spiders start moving in. It doesn’t take long to do it, probably a day to get them all topped. We also want to put metal caps on all the fence posts in the yard, which includes the rock walls. Again, a fairly simple task that isn’t too time consuming. This one is a bit of a priority to help keep the posts in good condition for a longer life-span.
We have some more walls to build. Luckily they will be stack-stone, which are much easier than the rock walls. These will finish off the ends of the garden beds and allow us to add more soil to the beds for proper growing conditions. We also need to extend the stack-stone wall we built at the top of the path down to the path wall. Right now it just goes to the first wall. Though, we may leave that first area as a path instead of making it into a garden bed. The dogs really seem to have adopted it as a path to get from one side to the other.
We also want to add stairs from the arch between our cedars down to the path. This will make a great access point for the new garden beds we just finished building walls for. We would also like to add some stairs to both sides of the yard, up the fence lines, for easier walking up and down. Also, it will help minimize the weeds on both sides.
I would love to start cementing the paths between the beds, but I am not sure if that will be in the cards this year. We are definitely going to level them out and get crushed gravel on them. I guess we will see, but I am going to try to be realistic and say that will likely be a 2024 plan, when the yard is more finalized with the other pieces that need to be added in first like the stack-stone walls and stairs.
And of course, we are looking forward to gardening in the new areas. We will be doing some shuffling now that we have 2 new beds to work with. We will likely start planning in the coming month as some of our seeds may need to be started fairly soon.