Along with all the blessings of plopping your house down on a raw piece of land (peace and quiet, you can leave up your Christmas lights..etc.) you also accept the responsibility of setting up all the infrastructure. You build and maintain the roads, fences, and landscaping for your “neighborhood”. While landscaping was offered to us as part of our build, we passed on spending that money and like most things around here, preferred to do it ourselves. But, two years later, after the road (click to read about that here), the fence (we did that one twice! Here AND here) the gardens, the chicken coop…well, life….Ya know? It hasn’t ever been bumped to the top of the long list of to dos.
But this year, we are determined to get the ball rolling for spring and are off to a great start!
This past weekend, we tackled building our front flower beds using left over limestone from our build and some white mortar mix.
On a recent, warm day, we set out our rocks in a way we thought we would like. We lived with it for a few weeks to be sure we were happy with it.
To prepare for the mortar, we unstacked, being very careful to keep them in the order we had very thoughtfully put them. They don’t fit together just any way!
We started by digging a shallow trench for our rocks to sit in. Be sure to dig wider than the actual rock, you can fill in with extra dirt later.
We then poured half a bag of this white mortar mix into our wheelbarrow. (Wear gloves, and avoid breathing the mortar dust.)
We slowly added a cup full of water at a time until the mortar made a paste. Add water slooooowly so that you avoid adding too much and having to add more mortar mix. And then more water….you get it. Once you mix it, you gotta use it.
Once we had a nice paste, we used a trowel to spread the mortar onto the bottom and side of each rock. We pressed down firmly, and even though a lot of our mortar mix oozed out the sides, we scraped it up and spread it on the next one. Waste not, want not….
After an hour, and half a bag of mortar mix, we had finished the back flower bed, and done a good portion of one of the front flower beds.
Quick side note, we have been “working on” our difficult, rocky soil in these beds for a few months. By signing up on GetChipDrop.com, you can put yourself on a list to receive free (YES, FREE!) mulch in your area. Tree trimming/removal companies often chip the trees they remove and/or trim and then need to responsibly dispose of their mulch. We have received two truck loads and used it in many ways (hmmm. Future blog post maybe?!).
The moisture from the mulch helps softens up the soil, adds good bacteria and makes it much easier to work with.
We have already begun some little seedlings indoors and once Spring finally comes, we hope to have some plants ready to go in.
As always, I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you so much for reading about another adventure here at our Yellow House. See you next week!
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