I’m back!  We’ve been busy with major life changes and lots of projects I hope to share soon. Our awesome niece came to live with us right before Christmas and we have been going non-stop getting settled into our new routine. Before I show you what we’ve been working on IN the house during the long winter, I thought I’d celebrate the new warm weather and share our work from this last weekend!

Last year when we moved into our house we immediately planted veggies and herbs in the planters edging our deck. About two months later, just about the time we started seeing the fruits of our labor we got little baby Thunder.

baby black lab

So cute, so sweet, such a demon. It wasn’t long before he ate all our plants. (Eating things is kinda his purpose in life.)

Then Thunder started learned how to dig. Once he grew big enough to run around with his big brother, Samson, they started doing daily sprints in the backyard making sure to do their slide and turns right where they could scrape off all signs of the new baby grass Montana and I spent so much time and money getting started.

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This year we’ve given up on growing grass in that corner of the yard and decided to work around the pups by making that our new garden area. That corner of our yard is a bit awkward anyhow, since it slopes down and water runs out there.  Hopefully later this year or next we will have the time and money to install a french drain and fix our water issues as well as install a new stone patio across the back of the house. Knowing that we’ll have to be digging ditches that run through that corner I planned on doing our garden in planters again this year when I stumbled upon this beauty on pinterest.  (Unfortunately I couldn’t find the original source.)

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Love! It was a bit hard to find the troughs/stock tanks at a price I was willing to pay but I persevered. They’re available on Amazon if you can’t find them locally and want to buy them online, but Lowe’s and Tractor Supply also carry tanks in various sizes slightly cheaper.  Unfortunately Lowe’s only carries them as an “in store” item and only at rural stores.  Thankfully Montana was willing to drive out to the Leesburg Tractor Supply on his day off and pick some up for me.  The half barrel planters are sold at all Lowe’s and Home Depots as far as I know. They seem to be much easier to find.

I also lucked out recently and after a year of searching on Craigslist for used oak wine barrels under $200 that I could use to make a rain barrel, I’ve finally found a winery down near Virginia Beach that sells them for $100! Score! Now I’m no hippie, so for those of you that know me well you might be a little surprised that I would want to make a rain barrel. However, it rains so much in Northern Virginia during the summer that I can’t stand the idea of paying for water out of a faucet to water our garden that I could be getting (chlorine free) and for FREE to water my plants. Also, wine barrels are pretty.
To go along with the barrel theme, I decided to make my garden markers out of wine corks. Unfortunately I had half as many corks as seeds so I only marked the herbs. (Truth: As of this writing, a mere 2 days after planting, Thunder somehow snuck over and ate ALL of my garden markers and some of the dirt/unknown seeds. I cannot win.)

Wine Cork Garden Markers

Sunday we spent the afternoon planting seeds. (Make sure you drill holes in the bottom of your stock tanks as they are water tight.) We planted a few of everything including: green beans, zucchini, sunflowers, basil, oregano, arugula, lettuce, parsley, cilantro, bell peppers, tomatoes, and carrots.
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Eventually we’ll have to move the planters out of the way when we install our train but that should be easy peasy. Then we’ll put gravel down in that area before we put the planters back so we keep down the mud.  Now we wait.  Hopefully in a month or two we’ll have some fresh food! If not… we might have a dog for sale. (Kidding… I think)
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