Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, Permaculture, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, Chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting and more...

Jun 18, 2023

Wild Weather/Front Yard Garden Redo, Thrifting Scores!


Wild Weather/Front Yard Re-Do:
Life has been busy, so NO blogging lately! Settled in my new job nicely, took a lot of brain power I will say. We've had some very WILD weather since May, a lot of rain, some snow and wild temperature swings. We had some flooding on the street right near ours two weeks ago. The force of the water pushed the manhole covers up and off! We had some severe monsoon type rain. Then rain off and on mild temperatures. We had another monsoon rain last week. That resulted in the basement office (across the hall from where I work) having 4 inches of water on the floor. Luckily it triggered an alarm for cleanup and there was no permanent damage. Getting cool again with a freeze advisory in Oregon tonight. The rain's been great for the perennials!


It's been tough on everyone's allergies sadly. Pollen city. It has made it hard to do gardening trying to work between the weather systems. I've gone between wearing summer clothes and winter clothes. We had  some firefighters in the Boise National Interagency Fire Center going up to Canada to help with their fires. I feel really bad for them but I think this is going to become a regular thing sadly. Crazy weather, excessive rain and droughts. 

Before shot

Last year the county came through, widened our street and added sidewalks which were much-needed. We knew it was coming, which was good, so we were able to plan ahead. Since we had a lot of shrubs and perennials right along the front sidewalk we were able to move some of them to the back yard. We figured we would save of those more mature plants. After the process was done the county had added a steep slope on the front with turf. We decided to let it winter over and then re-do in the spring. Dave was able to remove the first strip of turf closest to the sidewalk by hand. We both went shopping and picked out some things we liked. All drought resistant and low water.  I thought it would look nice to have something tall that would stay green year round in the corner by the sidewalk and driveway. I think it looks nice! It's  a Juniper-


We opted for some different kinds of plants with different colors and textures. We choose a nice tall grass by the end and then mixed in with some different perennials and shrubs. We relocated one of the shrubs from the backyard into the second section, but it died. Bought a replacement. The other one survived. Dave did all the planting, then put down weed barrier and bark-dusted. With a tight budget we're going to do the rest of it this fall and next spring so that the whole slope will be landscaped, no mowing.  I would like to remove all of the front yard turf but Dave is not a fan so far. Time will tell. Really happy all our fruit trees are really loaded this year! Love our peaches-

Red Haven peaches

With various projects and the weather we got kind of a slow start getting the vegetable garden planted. We went through this last year! Luckily I had started some things from seeds and we had planted some cucumbers, two different kinds, kale and collard greens. Those have done okay with the crazy weather. I also started from seed some rainbow Swiss chard and added a couple store-bought ones and started those in a wooden planter box. I also started some basil,  transplanted outside into another planter. We finally bought some veggies, Dave planted the various tomatoes, yellow squash, Italian and Gypsy Sweet peppers. They will be slow to get going, but worth the wait. Our normal summer are so hot they will grow thru most of October-


Thrifting Scores!
I hit a local thrift store this week and got some really great deals! My non-stick 13" skillet I use all the time was starting to fade. I spotted was a 12 inch like-new non-sick skillet. The lid I already had fits perfect, $4.00-

I found a Stanley coffee mug for $3.00-

When I got home I realized part of the lid was missing that you push to drink. Luckily the Stanley website has replacement caps, so for $10.00 I ordered one, then will work. Still saved quite a bit on that one. It will be good in the winter to be able to take my own hot tea to work. We don't really have a break room in the part of the building I'm in. No where to get hot water.

I've been meaning to make a "bug hotel" but then saw one for  $10.00. We mounted in our backyard on our maple tree! Will attract pollinators that don't sting and hopefully they will find it this year. To buy the bamboo alone to make one of my own would have cost more than this-

Got a fun little wreath for my kitchen dining room display area. $2.00! Fits right in with the color scheme. I previously had a thrifted French style clock, but decided I did not need a third clock in the dining room-

Spotted a nice Fleur-de-lis statue that I will paint for somewhere in the house. Not sure what color yet, maybe dark blue? I only found out a year or two ago that I'm part French. There is quite the history with the symbology of fleur-de-lis going back to very ancient times, including the Egyptians. It's a really fascinating symbol. I always thought it was just associated with the French but it goes way back before that-

Found a nice summer weight blouse for $4, perfect condition. Nice large glass container that I will put flour into, $3.00. Really interesting that a lid that came with it actually has a canning-type rubber gasket on it, it fits inside the screw on lid, never seen this before-



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