My new place

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

So Roybird requested photos of my new place....... I got the camera out and took some. None are great but should give the idea.

First here's the mountain, looking way too bright, peeking between the trees:

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

An attempt at a mirror self portrait, me standing in my new office space. I have just come in from working on the compost out back. So this is my glam portrait, in my fashionable winter gardening couture. hahaha



This message was edited Nov 28, 2009 1:53 PM

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Let's see what's next. Oh yeah, this is a view of the office, with the window behind the desk looking out on the garden.

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Around the corner, through the kitchen, you can sorta see, to the left, the sliding glass door out to the garden in back, where we will go next:

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

So this is just outside that door. There is a concrete sort of covered patio area and then this bed with a big tree and some rather sad vinca major, but lotsa possibilities as a shade garden area. Three or four foxgloves transplanted there by moi. Looks like they will survive.

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Stepping out into the yard, on the left is the bird feeding area left by the owners, and in the back irises around the big tree (not sure what kind, there are a couple deciduous trees and some fruit trees as well as the pine and juniper) The big bricked around bed in the center has several clematis, some violets, something that looks like leftover snow-in-summer, some other dead stuff that got left there, some things I transplanted, and the big tree is sick (what is it, pine borer beetles?) I have some ideas about that........

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Looking back toward the house, another bird feeding tray attached to the dining room window. The bed under it had been used for vegetables.... I took out the landscape fabric and the bricks that had been put around, forked some compost in, and transplanted some eating herbs........ To the left of that are containers I planted with winter greens though I may have started too late, I am still hopeful. Covered with chicken wire to keep out critters, and at night covered with fabric and a board as the racoon might actually figure out the chicken wire! I may use some clear plastic over too, to give enough warmth to get the seedling going, as they are just limping along now putting out the barest beginnings of true leaves........ Kale, spinach, two kinds romain lettuce and a mixed greens mix....... fingers crossed! ;-)

boy did these people love bricks, and that big bark chip mulch, it is all over everywhere. don' like.

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Turning back around toward the back, this is the other side of the back yard. Bricks around each tree like a too tight girdle! The one that has irises around its base, Paj, you would have things to say here I am sure. Badly need to be thinned! And the ones in that earlier photo, in the back corner of the yard? They are not only covered with leaf fall from that tree (which I finally got around to raking some away today) but they have that bark mulch on there too! I wonder if they will even bloom....... but the owners seem to have felt successful with their iris and the rest of it.

Anyway, I am glad to have this nice shed, and while the compost right next to it is okay, I honestly can't find a really good place in this yard! without major redesign...... so I put it there. The photinia hedge is a good thing, not exciting, but it does provide some sense of sanctuary in what is otherwise a fairly open terrain. I like the privacy here.

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Okay, here is the bed to the other side of that shed....... where I did get some plants in the ground before moving in. I mulched it with the abundant pinestraw though I do not like using that as mulch it is a heck of a lot better than that awful bark stuff. Here are a lavender, agastache, erysimum, some rose campion, one of the hollyhocks Roybird sent seeds of (I moved two of the basal rosettes, two of the many many there were, this one, the biggest, got put in the ground, the other one I moved is still in a container but doing fine.......)

There are a number of butterfly bushes in this bed and around in some of the other beds too. I love those! I did take out two nandina from this section, don't have much use for those, they did nicely as a compost addition though. ;-)

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

*sigh*

This is the Peace Sign "Park". It is part of the property here though its fate is unclear. The owners want it maintained but whether I, or we, want to do the maintaining is a question. The owners will do the work if we don't want to, but I am not sure how I will like their coming around and doing stuff..... There is a flower bed on this side up against the fence, in which they have more iris and perhaps other bulbs. There were fruit trees that got removed due to reasons I am not clear on. The paths that make up the peace sign are problematic because they are simply gravel on top of really shallowly laid landscape fabric/weed barrier. The weeds care nothing for the so called barrier and happily colonize the gravel paths, leading the owners to feel the necessity of spraying weed killer, because weeding by hand is truly overwhelming.

bad design, I say. but what I want to do about it or what I am actually able to do about it, I don't know. If I want to do something over there which I will maintain, I have permission, but I am not sure how much work I am wanting to commit to............ or what or what or what. heck, only been here about two weeks! ;-)

Anyway, the Peace Sign does not rest easy in my mind.

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Well, I think that's enough for now. A whole lotta work. Here's another picture of my office, with the computer in it this time. You can imagine me sitting there. Which I am. ;-)

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

and to finish this, here is the mountain again, the Shastina side this time, on the other side of the tree-in-the-way:

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

Nice digs and a very big garden opportunity. The discovery will be a delight of what you have. It doesn't look excessive in design so you can relax the first year. I don't mind bricks but I like them in the ground making a mosaic with grass or plants between.

Dolores, CO(Zone 5b)

Congratulations, Kyla! Looks like a very nice place and as Sofer said lots of gardening opportunity.

Santa Fe, NM

OOOh!, Kyla. What a nice, big, open space with plenty of sun and privacy and trees and a mountain. I like it very much. I am fond of bricks, but would use them differently. I even like the peace sign path tho it probably needs some re-doing. It looks like a nice walk for farolitos in the winter. You will probably have things coming up that you can't see, now. All around that path I can envision lavender and thyme pushing out the weeds. Or sedums. Lots of possibilities. Thanks for the pictures! An excellent tour!

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Thank you...... It actually was much more appealing in earlier autumn when more things were in leaf.... the bricks, well, they are mortared in place so I have to work with what's there. And the peace sign path, Roybird, what's farolitos? ;-)

Unfortunately, the weeds come into that gravel of the path, which is not a place for lavender and sedums or the like..... I will be ruminating over how it might be worked with. It does have possibilities for sure!

Right now what I most want to do is put another bed where some of that lawn is, in front of the redtips, so I can plant more veggies and herbs than the current layout seems appropriate for. Whether to just do this or to try to get permission has got me stumped..... as The Lawn seems to be an important feature. To the owners. The thing is, whatever I do will be beautiful and it will so improve the soil that if someone later on wants to replace the lawn, it won't be that hard..... but convincing the owners of that might not be all that easy.

so I dither while winter continues to loom...... ;-)

Santa Fe, NM

Kyla, I was just hoping you'd ask about farolitos! We also call them "bagolitos". In Albuquerque, Dave will tell you if I don't, they call them luminarias. Luminarias are actually bonfires. Farolitos are "little lanterns". They are small size brown paper bags with sand in the bottom to weight them. The tops of the bags are often folded down about an inch or so and votive candles are placed in the bags, in the sand to hold them. The candles are lighted at night on Christmas Eve to guide the holy family and/or Santa Claus or your friends and relatives to your house. Labyrinths are lighted by farolitos, too. Commercial establishments and people with dubious taste use electrical lights shaped like farolitos. But, the light isn't right.

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

Oh, Roybird, how delightful. I did think perhaps it was a leading statement..... and I am aware of the term "luminarias" -- here though I would be fearful of fire with paper and candle flames.... though I know it is often done.

Um, isn't Santa Claus part of the Holy Family?

*just kidding* ;-)

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I suspect all the saints are part of the holy (extended) family. And that must include more than just the Catholic saints, since they're bound to have missed a few!

People here get the word "luminaria" confused with the word "luminary". So they end up with luminaries lining their walkway. I'm not sure what happens then. They just talk late into the night about relativity, metaphysics and evolution?

Santa Fe, NM

I don't want any luminaries lining my walkways! Kyla, I wouldn't worry too much about fires because the candles are small and sit in sand. Besides, there are people outside by the bon fires keeping an eye on things. Singing carols and drinking hot beverages. Farolitos are launched in to the air on mylar kites and so far, so good! We often have snow and ice on the ground by Christmas Eve, too.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

I just luv those lumina thingys. I was in Savanah for the holidays one year and they were everywhere and looked so prettiful! Roybird are you going to have them at your house when I visit? (Only 15 more sleeps until I'm on the goose express. YIPPEE!) Thanks for the luvly tour Kyla. There is so much space to work with! I think the owners will luv your ideas as they will be brilliant. Maybe draw up some plans to show them?

Santa Fe, NM

I think we will have farolitos when you are here! Fifteen more sleeps? Til January? Did I miss something?

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

She's taking the Canada Goose Express. Honk honk!
There have been many voices high up in the air lately.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Roybird we fly to LV on Dec 15th and then we are winding our way around AZ. We are spending Christmas in Green Valley and then heading east into NM. I WILL pin DH down for dates for Albequerque and Sante Fe this weekend at the latest. Otherwise I will pick dates and simply leave him under a cactus somewhere on route.

Santa Fe, NM

O.K. Gotcha. Hope you will be able to post to us and tell us about the trip!

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Bringing the laptop so should be able to beam from most places (I hope).

Santa Fe, NM

An exciting trip to the South West. I want to come! I am trying to save up for an exciting trip to Florida in the spring, however. Spring seems like a long way away. :(

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Nice place Kyla. I like the scenery around your yard too and it seems a great environment.

Winter is a good time to cogitate on your garden. Myself, I would be reluctant to take on much landscaping on someone else's property. I guess it depends on how long I was planning to stay.

BTW, which couture designer do you use?

Gastonia, NC(Zone 7b)

lol. the designer is La Thriftstore.

I have that same trepidation about changing landscaping, DwID, but heck, that was what I tried to ascertain when I moved in: Do I have a free hand? Or not? I got a couple unqualified "yes" answers and then after we signed the lease there were some equivocations.

All I want to do for starters is open another bed in front of those photinia so I can grow veggies and herbs. Time's a-wastin, if I am going to do it, too. In the next week I will make some decision or other.

Found out this morning that the lot behind us has been sold and there will be a house constructed on it. That was a blow! But I feel, at the moment, I do not want to move again very soon and it is so nice here........ sigh. Always sumthin. ;-) Construction noise......... hmmmmmm. The fellows (self-described as worker bees) I talked with over the back fence were real nice and clearly had dealt with perturbed neighbors before (I was being very kind but still saying gee, there goes my peace and quiet......) I hope it will be okay. Our bedroom windows face out back there. My housemate does not have blinds or curtains and doesn't want them! I do have blinds, but again, it's the noise I cringe at the thought of more than any decrease in privacy as I feel the layout of things will preserve the visual privacy adequately. I hope. Fingers crossed. They say they will likely not start til end of December.

Dahlia, sounds like such a fun trip you are embarking on! I do hope you can post and send pictures as you go along. Especially when you meet up with some of these other folks in here.

Here's the flicker in the tree, taken from my bedroom window!

I think of your pictures of your lovely garden shed, whenever I look at this one here, thinking, it needs honeysuckle and stuff around it like Dahlia has. ;-)

Thumbnail by Kylaluaz
Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

Equivocations. Hmmm. :-| Maybe they wanted to attract a renter but really didn't want you messing with the yard too much. Maybe they are OK with changes as long as the changes don't degrade the property value. The single bed seems like a good starter.

I've shopped La Thriftstore too. My observation is that there isn't much there for men. Women and children yes. I did get a Cashmere sweater for $4 once. It was in perfect condition except that it was smaller than it was originally. It fit my 4 year-old daughter perfectly and she loved it. Only 4 year-old in the neighborhood with Cashmere.

Santa Fe, NM

Cute. Kyla, my friend Karen is a total gardening person and a renter. She doesn't want to put lots of money in to her rental either. However. She does some beautiful and fantastic stuff with very little money. I'm going to ask her if I can take some pictures. Her garden is actually best in the fall. She has a Japanese kind of thing going with conifers, ground covers, interesting rock paths. I get garden envy over at her house and it makes her happy! My friend, Greg, also rents And has an amazing garden in a small, walled area. His is more of a rose garden with tons of vines and ground covers. His looks Gothic! He has about 60 roses of various sorts. He totally cuts them back and has all new growth every year. They are Very Designery, imaginative people who are doing these incredible things! I am so jealous it makes me sick. Karen is majorly in to soil improvement and Greg claims he never does anything to the soil. Go figure!

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

Well, it looks like a nice place for gardening, and any place, rented or not, has challenges. Have fun!!!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Bummer about the construction, Kyla. Hopefully they get it done quickly instead of poking along for several months. Maybe your new neighbors will plant a nice tall hedge so you're not looking in each others windows all the time. Perhaps you can find something to make a nice trellis or arbor to place between your bedroom windows and the neighbor's house. If you need some hops for a nice screening vine anywhere I have plenty to share. The guys who maintain the park keep cutting the ones that escape past my fence so they probably need a new home anyway.

Helena, MT(Zone 4b)

I have 2 or 3 cashmere "trail" sweaters. They were a tad ratty when I found them at the thrift store, but work fabulously for a layer on a cold day X-C skiing. I also scored a gorgeous turquoise plaid Pendleton. It was completely crumpled, so no one had bought it. The wrinkles came right out, and it looks new!

Katlian is right about screening. It goes a long way. Our neighbor across the alley is busy building an arbor to screen the dang trampoline next door. What an eyesore, and it's in their front yard!

Santa Fe, NM

I would like to have better screening in my front yard but already have an ugly 4 foot tall chain link fence set in concrete which I'm always trying to grow things on with varying degrees of success. I don't really want another fence or wall as it would cut light and make it hard to see out! Works both ways. I'm thinking strategic trellising might work. Sorry to hear about the construction, Kyla. They generally don't work at night, on weekends, or before 9:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m.

Kalispell, MT(Zone 4b)

I see no difference in planting on a rental or at my home. How many plants do we lose each year and replace with joy? How many plants do we decide to replace and do, how many plants and places in all of our gardens become a personal pleasure by this shifting in time. Go For It Kyla!

Carson City, NV(Zone 6b)

Oh, by the way, the tree rings are rather funny looking. I'm pretty sure your yard was the victim of a Clayzian prank.
http://www.renegadegardener.com/content/114treecircle.htm

I think the peace park would look much nicer with herb beds between the paths instead of grass. Lavender and chamomile are wonderful calming herbs that are quite pretty too. That would let you move the herb garden out of a bed that could be used for veggies.

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

On the what to plant/landscaping line, I wouldn't re-do the peace sign landscaping. Pulling up rocks, re-doing the fabric, putting down enough rock so that it actually deters weeds - whatever combination of things, I wouldn't do them on somebody else's property unless I was going to live there more than 10 years and the work of dealing with the weed bed exceeded the work of making it right. On my own property, I'd go deal with the peace sign.

Ennis, MT(Zone 4a)

I agree with Dave. But if it was your place, wouldn't a labyrinth instead of the peace sign be great?

Albuquerque, NM(Zone 7b)

A labyrinth would be fun. You could also do a rendition of a famous painting with rocks and different colors of Poppies and/or other flowers. Imagine a rendition of Hieronymus Bosch's "The Garden of Earthly Delights."

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