Final Stone Projects for 2015

Final Stone Projects for 2015

2015 has been a year doing a lot of out door projects.  Some stone, some planting, some gardening, some tree clearing, and a lot of general clean up as there has been a lot of junk on the property prior to us purchasing here.   The stone projects are numerous and seem to be ever growing as my creative mind gets loose and the property starts to take shape.  The Stones tell us where they want to be, so as we clear and tidy things up, it will become clear where they will end up eventually.

 

Stones waiting for placement next year
Field Stone Retaining embankment

We are clearing a small area that already has a merry go round and swing and have dubbed it “the park”.  We do plan on having a fire pit area and setting a lot of standing and recumbent stones for a stone circle and sacred place.

 

I have been working more on my garden area as the three stone raised beds that I planted this year yielded a large crop and even today on December 31, 2015 with snow and ice outside, still has Kale, onions, beets and some Rainbow Swiss Chard in it.  Many of my herbs are still growing, although I have lost my chives, basil, tarragon, and one of my more delicate thyme plants.

 

Dry stack raised stone beds and walk ways

I built three more dry stacked raised stone beds and did some path and walk ways around it in stones and gravel.  We did line those areas with some plastic underneath and used a deep bed of pea gravel because the soil is fertile and the weeds seem to run wild.

This will allow me to plant up a lot more vegetables for my family to grow our own food.  I have been trying to buy organic produce as much as I can, but there isn’t always a large selection in the area as well as the quality isn’t always the best.  I find eating the non organic produce and fruit a risk all the time.  Some is covered more in pesticides than others and I get sick or slightly sick depending on how much is on it.  I can’t wait until our fruit trees and vegetable garden is productive enough that I can grow our own food.  I have a lot to learn in how to do gardening successfully, how to control pests naturally, and how to preserve and can the food once I do get it grown.

Sea berry walk ways

I also did a section of two walk ways between the sea berries and most of the beds that are flower and ornamental around the property were lined with field stones to give a definite edge that was still organic.  It certainly helps when mowing and striming to know where to STOP when approaching the flower beds.

I was the only one that knew exactly where things were in all the beds and I still managed to strim off the heads of several of my lilies.  Although Charlie says that is due to me being “dangerous” with the strimmer!  I mean really, me???

Walk ways and curbed beds

Overall, I do believe the look is coming together.  I recently had someone asking me if I was going for a “show garden”.  BWWWhhhhaaaa, again….ME?  NOT!  It will never be a show garden as I hate weeding way too much for that.

I did hand pick out almost all these rocks and transported the bulk of them to the ranch myself.  I did have a few loads brought of large rocks and boulders, and also some loads of the field stone.  This is an on going project that will take a fair amount of years to complete.

I have the ideas in my head but have had a lot of help executing them with several local workers and Charlie helping out.  Charlie and I did place the paving and stones mostly ourselves but a lot of the prep work was helped with from others.  I have had several folks ask my how long it took me to build the three raised dry stack stone beds.  I usually respond that “We will not discuss that”.  It was not easy, I had to tear down most of what was there and re build it several times and I honestly don’t know if they will stay standing up.  Dry stacking stone walls is fun, difficult, beautiful, an art form and something I am uncertain if I ever wish to try again.  It sounds a lot easier in the books I read before attempting it.  Isn’t that how it goes?

Stone beds

The edgings all lined with rocks serves several purposes.  The rocks give a definite edge to the beds, they keep the weeds down and stop the advancement of the grass, it is organic and looks great, as well as it surrounds everything with lovely stone and rock energy.  It doesn’t hurt either that is just LOOKS cool!

Ran Away….

Ran Away….

I woke up today and asked Charlie if he wanted to go to Grand Haven.  He said yes so we left the house in 20 minutes and were gone.  Ran away and threw the job list out the window.  We took the CJ 7 Jeep down and Chloe went with us.

Red Sun Flower

We walked along the Chinook Pier, stopped into a Celtic shop and bought a few fairies for the fairy gardens, looked at the boats and trains and wandered back.  We drove up and down the downtown shopping area and had a peek at what was there.  Stopped somewhere to grab something to eat and decided to take the top down off the Jeep.  Once it was folded down and tucked away it started to spit with rain.  I mean almost IMMEDIATELY.  I am not joking.  oh well.

We drove up to Muskegon and looked for Korina’s coffee place called the Brew House.  She has been bugging me to get down there and of course since it was totally unplanned we missed her by a short time as she had already left.  Sod’s law.  We meandered back along Business 31 instead of the express way and went through Whitehall and Montague to look for the location that has the farmers market and the artisan market.  I noticed that Dogs and Suds was open finally as every time I had been by they had been closed before.  We got something to eat and meandered home via the back roads.

Melisa and Chloe on the 2 new boulders
Melisa and Chloe on two new boulders

Charlie took photos of Chloe and I sitting on the two new boulders that I impulse bought for the stone circle in the woods project.  They were delivered last week and dumped by the front fence until we get a few more.  We have to decide where they will be place in the forest.  One is two ton and the other is 1.5 ton.

Charlie and the Sun Flowers

Charlie also wanted a photo of himself with the sunflowers to show them to scale.  These sun flowers were planted by the birds on top of my tatties!!  Sunflowers are doing great but I haven’t seen my tatties for some time now.

 

Red Sun Flower

I have been waiting for some time but finally the RED sunflowers that I planted just popped yesterday.  woohoo!

All in all it was an enjoyable day even if we didn’t get a thing done.  On a side note: my new short spikey hair cut really works well in the Jeep.  All that wind makes my hair stand straight up which is exactly what it is supposed to do!