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Friday, June 4, 2010

June (JUNE!?) 4 Friday Farming Update- Harrison Style

I promise to squeeze in a Friday farming update about our house this evening. It'll be tough, as I need to get ready for a bridal shower/ pseudo bachelorette/ fun evening out that my friends Jos and Kelly are so graciously planning! I'm looking forward to some fun girl time!

In the meantime though, let's talk about the landscaping we did at the lake last weekend in preparation for the cocktail hour. It was kind of the final push of landscaping installation (or reduction, see below), before El Weddingo... now 36 days away!

You may remember that in the past my parent's lawn has looked like this, when they purchased the place in 2005:

Guests to our wedding will notice a few changes. First, the juniper (?) tree directly behind my dad is gone. So is the tree with the reddish leaves to the left. You see, my dad has a love affair with cutting down trees and burning them. These two trees were getting into the septic system, and had bugs all over them, respectively, and thus have been removed. Because Mike loves chainsaws. And burning brush:

So Memorial Day 2010 involved more tree cutting down. The property is dotted with bull pines, which drop pine needles into the gutters and create a fire hazard. It does, of course, mean Mike gets to use his blower:

Saturday morning when Gretch, Mom and I ran into St. Maries to pick up flowers I got a text from Dusty: "Holy shit... TIMBER!" Down came four trees before I really had a chance to take a picture!

Guests will also notice that the juniper bushes near the lower deck are gone, as is the cherry tree in front of the shack in the back of this photo.
See how the ground slopes downward to the retaining walls in this photo from last summer? A little too much slope... not even... kind of a fall hazard. And the grass didn't grow up to the retaining wall, leaving this dirt space (possible encouraged by Mike and his trusty Roundup).

This spring my folks hauled in about half a dump truck of topsoil, and tried to even out the grass surface. They then seeded it, and overseeded the rest of the lawn in an effort to even it out.

Another issue with the old landscaping was the mosquito breeding area West Nile Virus incubator fish pond. We never ran it. In fact, dad tore out the sprinkler system, because we didn't have enough water pressure to run it and flush a toilet at the same time (A situation which was remedied through a major project in the spring of 2007). It looked like this last summer, not bad, but not great. Actually seriously gross...

Since we're not fishpond people, dad ripped it out (maybe Mike should be a demolition contractor?):


They backfilled the area, and seeded it to grass:

So what did this whole mess of grass and dirt look like over Memorial Day? Well, I think we made some progress. The grass has grown in to the edges of the retaining wall (it's still a little soft). The irises are about to bloom (too bad they don't bloom a month later!)

And they're hard to see, but we planted blue, white and purple petunias, blue lobelia and some other blue annual that I can't remember in the beds. It'll be a bright, cheery, and very festive set of plants in 36 days!

The other imporant piece of information here is that the above photo was taken at about 5:30 in the evening, about 21 days before the summer solstice. Since we're getting married about 21 days after the summer solstice, we'll assume that the shade provided by the bull pines across the street in the above photo will be the same on July 10. So we have shade, on the lawn, at 5:30 in the evening. And spots of it at 2 PM too, as shown in the photo below:

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