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Garden Update: Composting, Becoming Greener, &Other Little Updates


Did I mention we got chickens? I feel like I must have. I know I did on instagram at least. I defintely plan to touch more on the whole chicken thing later-- specifically the eggs, because I sure did get a lot of questions about that--- from, everyone--- not just the internet ;)  I actually wrote a really long post on eggs before I even went to India and then let it slide away. So chicken eggs: later. For now: garden bits.

I feel like our garden goes through phases. Sometimes it gets an abundance of love--- sometimes, like this past month, it gets a bit neglected. But hey, it was understandable with everything going on. But even in the less love times, our garden supplies us with so many delicious items-- so we're grateful for it. This year we decided we really wanted to put some love into the side of the house (where we now house our chickens) and the front of the house. The back is just about done--- but the front is pretty sparse--- but still a massive improvement from a year ago.

We're always on a tree buying kick, but we try to be responsible about the whole thing and not get in over our heads. Keyword: try. But like I said before, sometimes you just have to jump in the garden game and do it. I've mentioned it before, but besides our local garden shops we also like to check out local plant sales at botanical gardens. We find the best help and inspiration resources there.


Nice things: We got these hexagon planters for the front corner of our house (thank you Wayfair) And Porch was kind enough supply us with other resources to spruce up our space a bit. Like plants-- rainbow plants (of course) for our little front area.

Bad things: We also had the gas people come about a week after we installed our front boxes and tear up our lawn (thanks for the warning, gas people)-- so we need to sprinkle it with some love once again.

We hope to put a fence in the front to enclose it our front yard. This will give the pups space to run in the front-- while allowing us to let our chickens run in the back without worry about them becoming Waylon dinner. In the meantime, we're debating what trees we want to commit to in the front. Marlowe and Alex also planted a lychee tree while I was in India--- and it seems we have space for another two more medium-large trees.

And you know what else we did last month? This ^ Basically it's like one of those flash sale things where everyone runs into a store at once to grab the same discounted designer outfit or wedding dress or whatever--- but for plants. So like, imagine us, running in and rummaging the isles as fast as we can to find a rambutan tree-- and then sadly walking away as we find the one and only rambutan tree had been swooped up. Wah.

We did however leave with a few papaya trees, banana trees, and some other smaller goodies. And no one actually cried.


This summer we plan to take the sunnier beds and plant in some sweet potato plants. No one LOVES sweet potato around here-- but they are really great crop cover for the scorching summer months and require very minimal work-- and hey, they provide food. We like food. 

Eventually we hope to put gutters on this side of the house to protect the bed on the right-- it becomes a pool when the heavy rains hit (often). We'll probably also have to put up a small fence around the bed to protect our beans from the biggest rodent: waylon the puppy. And we're hoping to add a rain barrel to the corner, behind our "christmas tree" to become even more green in our space.

And our chicken space! We're sort of in love with our tiny chicken coop. It fit perfectly in our hidden side corner. And we purchased bamboo fencing to provide a touch more privacy to the corner for our neighbors-- though we don't think it'll really be a problem at all. Our ladies are pretty quiet and our neighbors AC is the loudest thing ever and goes on year round ;)

Look how big the birds are! HUGE compared to the previous photo. I was so sad to come home for the hospital and see the birds 3x times the size. They're still adorable though.

So our big garden (green) actions this coming month? Composting for sure. We finally upgraded to a decent sized composter. I'd say about 97% of our garbage (not recyclables) is food or organic matter. We procrastinated for so long only because we couldn't decide whether we would build a composter or buy one, but finally, we ordered one and are very happy. Yes, it's not the most attractive thing, but it's so incredibly useful--- and it sits on the ugly side of the house anyway-- where no one hangs out.

And the chickens? Well, outside of being the cutest (and easiest) pets ever--- one of my big pushes for the chickens was the sustainable aspect. They provide eggs, sure, but they also create wonderful compost for our garden. It's likely that we'll also take after our favorite california friends and feed them dinner leftovers that don't get re-used--- I hope they like tacos. Just kidding, we never have taco leftovers.

We're all pretty happy with this space. With the exception of the gas people coming and mr. waylon puppy jennings ripping things up--- we've got a good lot going and growing. I'm most excited about fencing the front (like, nerdy excited)--- though it probably wont happen for a while. And I'm excited for our banana trees and lychee trees to start fruiting. And I'm excited to see how the front unfolds. If it's anything like our backyard transformation--- even half as good, well then, that's perfect for me.

What are your big gardening plans this year? Oh! I also want to plant a hell of a lot more flowers in the front. We always pushed more towards edible things, but we seem to host a lot of bees in our lawn and I'd like them to stay happy too :)

20 comments:

  1. That is an impressive garden! I tried growing tomatos, watermelon and pumpkins last summer. Gardening is HARD!!

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  2. We have had the same composter for a few years now. It holds up really well and we love how easy it is.

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    1. Good to know! I have a hound dog that likes all things food (and therefore gets into the compost pile) so getting this one might be the solution!

      Drea, your yard is my dream! I'm working on adding flowers and smelly plants to keep mosquitos away! Who knows if it actually works but I might as well try. ;)

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    2. awesome!

      @adrienne: my best tip for mosquitos is make sure all potted things drain VERY well. Mosquitos can breed in as little as one tablespoon of water!

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  3. how cool you have chickens! love the rainbow plants, too!
    xx nikki
    www.dream-in-neon.com

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  4. So exciting to see such a vibrant garden come together! I was SO pumped to finally be living with my (formerly long-distance) husband this summer, until we found out we'd be moving into a studio with no outdoor space :-/ oh well, will definitely be checking your archives for indoor planting tips!

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  5. Fruit trees are wonderful aren't they, and compost is such an important part of the garden, it pays to get it right. It's all looking lovely, I'm very envious of your chickens, it's a little dream of mine to have some too one day. I shall look forward to seeing any new trees you put in, and watching them grow and fruit. Fruit is one of the lowest maintenance things to grow, and one of the nicest. CJ xx

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  6. HA HA HA LEFTOVER TACOS! Do those exist anywhere in the world?! ;)

    I love your garden so much. I feel like I want to live in it. I pine for the ability to have a garden, but at the same time, I do like my minimalist lifestyle right now ... in a tiny studio apartment ...

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  7. That's a nice garden you have there, I would love to have a garden like that! We're also busy with making our tiny garden looking pretty :). I also love your blog, it's so colorful and creative!
    Love, www.ontdekbewijs.blogspot.nl

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  8. OMGosh don't buy sweet potato plants! Just use the ends of a sweet potato! Much cheaper! Be prepared that once you put them in though, they will keep popping up forever! I just pulled one from out garden at a whopping 1.65kg (sorry 3.6 pounds! I'm an Aussie) It seriously is bigger than my youngest daughters head! =D

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    1. we didn't buy them :) There was a huge stash leftover at Alexs work-- they aid he could bring them home :)

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    2. Score!! Even cheaper then, FREE! =D

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  9. Thank you that was just all the inspiration I needed to get our little vege garden back on track! I just told my husband yesterday that I wasn't going to do a garden this winter (the concept of BUYING vegetables feels like a very strange one though). We have a crazy rabbit, rat and pukekohe (a native NZ bird that looks sort of like a blue chicken with long skinny legs a ridiculously large feet) and they're eating everything in sight. It's driving me nuts and makes me want to give up altogether! Also I'm six months pregnant and have a 2 year old shadowing me all day so the poor garden has been getting rather neglected. After reading this though I know I'm not going to feel right just letting the garden fall to pieces. Thank you :). And you guys are doing a beautiful job by the way. x

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  10. I'm so in love with your garden and yard! I want to compost here, but we have issues with rats. How do you think this will do with it being off the ground? Does it seem like rats would be able to get into it? Chew through it?

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    1. We def. have rats in the yard and we haven't had an issue yet! It's only been two months, but I feel like the rats would have tried by now, ya know?

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  11. I had no idea Wayfair sold chicken coops. Can't wait to learn more about the new girls. Do you have a chicken sitting service nearby?

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  12. Gathering so many ideas!! Just wondering - are any of these photos pictures from your front yard? Have we seen the front at all? Just wondering.

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  13. I just love everything about this post. I have four teenage chickens that will soon be clearing my low, chain link fence - and your bamboo idea is amazing! Also, if you're looking for chicken-raising tips, Lisa at Fresh Eggs Daily is an amazing resource. All natural, mostly herbs: fresheggsdaily.com :)

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  14. i love posts like this. I am a constant gardener but I have days where I can't do much. But my garden always gives me so much love, warmth and food. We have a rambutan tree which feeds the birds and squirrels more than us. But we are ok with that :) We also have fruits trees like jackfruit, mango, bananas, canistel, chikoo(i forget what it's called in english)...i looked it up, it's called Sapodilla, rose apple...it's all in bloom right now and we are enjoying the fruits for dessert. I am also trying to grow tomatoes, ginger, sweet potato, pineapple, chillies n other stuff. it's so nice to receive so much love from the earth :)

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