Watch a garden grow:

I hope you will watch as the garden grows...I will focus on native plantings, working with "nature" instead of against it, all of which add up to low maintenance plantings! (I Hope) I am a naturalist by heart, and to be quite honest a lazy gardener! so.....Please enjoy watching our mini backyard farm grow from concept to reality as we give birth to the Rabbit Hutch and colony, and continue to grow the Chicken Coop....All in all I will enjoy journaling here myself and watching as my family changes the little piece of Earth that God has loaned to us!

Jan 24, 2012

Hard work on the Koi Pond


I spent most of our gorgeous weekend working on and around the pond.....We are so close to finishing it! Well that means it will have water and fish....but it will take a while to really "finish" it...as I need to build decks on two sides, place some sort of capping over the railroad/liner tops and of course I will need plants :) Here are some before and now pics to keep ya up to date....I threw in a few Garden pictures...because...well you know....we always have to remember why we go to such efforts! And what makes it worth it!
things like  ...........The Titmouse that has taken over the flycatchers home.......




On to the work:  


 beginning....I had a vision of a great Pond that would sit here...Deep enough to give my Koi more room, but high enough above ground to work as a bench to both sit with the fish, or watch the Chickens....We are far from there...but I can see it in my mind :) and it's beautiful!



Barrel set up and plumbing

Settling Chamber and static basket
I started with the filters....I went with 55 gallon drums, two in parallel will act as settling chambers coming from a Bottom drain gravity fed, the theory is the large debris will settle in the lower section and with the help of a static media basket remove it before the water goes out to the next set of barrels, which house my Bio media. I made two Strapping barrels, they will house 9000 feet of strapping material each, with a blower manifold for agitation and clean out periodically! I got the plans from a great group of people on a Koi forum...www.koiphen.com...I can not say enough about all the generous support they have given me in my adventure! 
Strapping Barrel- Bio Filter



To check out my Koi Toilet Bottom Drain modification ck out that page! Look for the link....in my pages!

We went with a Hexagon design, for the ease of water circulation. I am so glad we did! Just with the little bit of water we flowed in, it swirls like a perfect vortex!



A great moment as the liner is placed and water finally flows! A year in the waiting !!



What to do with that extra dirt pile? Slope it up and create steps to what will be a small multipurpose deck, covering and hiding the barrel filters and also for relaxing and lounging!


This will be the bench side...once capped, sitting here will allow you to be up and personal with the Koi...the feeding station perhaps, but also a seating area looking towards .....well...I guess where you are sitting right now ;) is the coop... LOL......it will be a nice spot under the mulberry tree to watch the hens scratch around and get out of the summer heat....


I have alot of woodworking ahead of me :)




 I have been studying up on permaculture, I think I will incorporate this practice here around the Mulberry tree on the slope.....That will be a blog of it's own :) 




Something  beautiful to leave you with...Rosa "Love"


So remember to leave me a comment and get out there and  spread some seed...;)       janine

Jan 9, 2012

It's January.... Need Inspiration???????

I have loved the weather so much this January... It just seems natural for me to head out coat and all to start on the big projects and  planning for the next season...I love flipping through some Spring and Summer pictures...to remember what bloomed well and when! Wanted to share some of my favorites with ya! Our Lot is just one acre and backs up to a wetland, so no one will live behind us....These first pictures are from the first year and the 3rd year..Ohhhh how things have changed....
The first structure to go in was the chicken coop, moved twice and It has since been upgraded a few times :) The back side yard can get wet during the summer, so we let nature take it's course...We placed a few Maples and cord grasses and wildflowers that first year and then let it go....
And Go it did.... That was just a few short months before The "Hurricanes" hit, all 4 of them...."Francis" flooded the entire backyard and left behind pine tree and wax myrtle seedlings everywhere...They have completely taken over the 20 feet right off the fence line...this area now is called "our woods" Crazy how amazing nature is!

The early meadow




This was our very first "born here" chick born Spring 2009



The Amaryllis at Easter


The strong and steady Zinnia in the heat of summer, they don't come much more vibrant than this!


I love me some Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia Rotundiflora)...a butterfly lover's must have!  
It is a very tall, back border plant....I have had it in my garden for 12 years now.....it started with one small seed head from Epcot during the flower show...sshhhhhhhhh.....our little secret ;)



 The always invasive but sooooo sweet smelling Honeysuckle. It now engulfs our new coop cages


 My favorite rose......"Sweet Vivian" and it does smell so sugary sweet!


 My mystery rose...One of my first roses obtained before I started keeping track of their names....Anyone want to give it a guess? I've always thought it might be "Granada" ..ANYONE?


 A beautiful salmon hibiscus


 This is redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana), it grows native around here in areas that are wet seasonally...I hope to make a small bog garden beside the butterfly balcony section dedicated to them....The swallowtails flock to them! If I can keep the Sandhill Cranes from eating them.....They think of it as their snack food...




 The Year the Aviary went in was Summer 2010...best year ever with the Susans!!! All volunteers...no planning that year...just spectacular Black Eyed Susan's blooming everywhere



Summer 2010....Oh how I'd love  that white "Iceberg" rose to be that lovely right now!


Rosa "Love"  Given to me from My Love :)  for Valentine's Day a few years back..
She is a sweet smelling Grandiflora Rose, Red with White on the backs of the petals.....

So that has definately gotten me inspired..How about You????....so while the weather is just right here in Florida, lets get out there and get to work planning our spring and summer gardens and if you are stuck in the house this time of the year then pull out those old gardening magazines and catalogs...and get ordering!
Please let me know  you are enjoying the Blog by leaving a quick hello in the comments...so I know you stopped by!  And please don't forget to spread some seed ;)  janine