Gardening

Nov. 1st, 2015 06:44 pm
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
We had no plans for Sunday, as we had quite a busy couple of days last week. On Friday my dance friend Gerie visited so we talked bellydance. She's teaching my classs at the cultural center and she's enjoying it. It's a bit of a tough studentpopulation on account of the students being twenty and physical fit, meaning the classes have to be far more challenging and information dense compared to middle age students.

At 13.00 E.'s private student arrived (trumpet/horn) and I went for a much needed nap. Woke up just in time for our midwife appointment around 17.00 (all is well, we're in week 37 now) and picked up a nursing pillow on our way back. The pillow is making sleeping a lot more comfortable! We left the dog alone and out of the bench for fortyfive minutes and she didn't break down the house. She greeted us standing on the dinner table, looking smug.

Saturday we had a long early walk with Noushka in the off the leash park where we trained a bit on dummy retrieving.E. Left around 16.00 for a repair appointment for his iphone in The Hague and a gig playing dixieland for disabled people. I put out lanter s in front and gave candy to the trick-n-treaters at the door, only one family this year. Maybe more people might show up on November eleventh, during the celebration of St. Maarten. Children go door to door carrying a lantarn and singing songs, receiving candy in return. It's a Catholic holiday and we had some people last year at the door.

Today I received an email in my inbox about gardening, with a tip of using fallen leaves as mulch and compost. It was a convincing story (google: ted talk compost leaves) so E got sll excited about gettig a leave blower and a grass cutter and went to get them at the hardware store. In the meantime I started clearing out the weeds on the square foot garden and moving the remaining plants to one patch. The rhubarb, wild strawberries, strawberries and a potatoplant is all that is left now. Temperature is dropping and we're in the middle of autumn so the timing is perfect for gathering leaves and creating mulch. E. Gathered ten kubic meters and reduced it to about two kubic meters of shredded leaves while I removed dead stuff. The garden looks slightly more tamed now and is ready for the winter.

Time to huddle on the couch, eat mashed onion/potato/carrot and watchs a movie. I nave a feeling that our little girl will be born within the next three weeks so we better get stuff done while we still can.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
We started early with people arriving around 16.00. Two of our friends brought their kids, both of them have two blond haired daughters who quickly tried to take advantage of the open cookiejar on the table, and who demanded more apple juice. I had a silent pact with their mothers and gave them a small plastic cup and diluted their juice with water. Muwahahahaha.

That was kind of busy, also because the dog plus the kids was also demanding our attention. She'll have to get used to it, though a 24/7 kid in the house is probably different compared to four visiting girls in various ages. The vegan quiches and salads were a hit, despite the mango not being ripe, so I made an avocado/melon salad instead. I have to admit that by eight ó clock I was knackered and I didn't have much energy for chatting during the rest of the evening. At that point, some of the parents left to get the kids to bed.

The brass players did an hour of playing together which sounded okay most of the time. Confusion about what song they were playing was causing some dissonants here and there. It was fun and it made me happy to see E. enjoy himself. It really was a dream he harbored for many years, to have a garden and people over and play together outside. He drank a bit too much, as he was unsteady on his feet after the last guests left. But he is a happy, laid back person when drunk. He does want to talk all the time, but I fell asleep so it didn't bother me.I take it as a good sign that my husband wants to talk to me because he enjoys or conversation.

I did most of the cleaning up during the party so our house is relatively clean and orderly. One of E.'s friends brought us baby stuff they will no longer need and we added it to the mountain. It is taking on epic proportions in my dance room, I hope E. can finish the attic soon so we can start with the nursery. I am planning all kinds of tea visits with friends right now, thinking that at this stage I am still mobile and I can drive a car (the bicycle is giving me pelvic pain unfortunately) and I am still relatively in a happy mood. Pregnancy symptoms are making me kind of grumpy and I can imagine it gettign worse in the last trimester.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
I am very excited because tonight we've invited friends over and we're going to have a barbecue in our backyard!

Due to pregnancy, the remodelling, suhaila intensive and other things we haven't had a barbecue yet. It's already half July and the summers over here are mostly cold and wet, so every chance of catching a bit of sunshine is a good one. Last night I was up all evening trying out new vegetarian recipies because several people are vegetarian. Eduard is in charge of the meat. He's doing something with hare, roe and goose. Him being a huntsman means we're eating less meat, but what we eat is organic and a bit off the trodden path.

I am the person in charge of the vegetables, salads and cheeses. I made a Provencale quiche (roasted vegetables,  cheese free due to allergies of E), a quiche with spinach, feta and blue cheese (I have high hopes for this one), a couscous salad with spring onion, tomatoe, olives and mint and an avocado and mango salad. see, I can actually cook if I make an effort, it just seems pointless to spend extra energy on cooking most of the time. Cooking and homemaking does make me feel all warm and cozy on the inside nowadays.

Despite me being a bit social anxious I really look forward to having guests. I know them (They played brass quintet at our wedding) and I expect that a lot of the conversation will probably be about work, family and kids and such. No awkward fumbling for conversation topics, yay! When I'm tired I can go upstairs and take a nap or just read for a while and nobody will think I'm weird.

Another reason why I am so excited is because E worked really hard on finishing the attic in time for the bbq, this event is also symbol of finishing the attic and getting started on the nursery. Right on time as my hormones are all over the place and doing babystuff  seems to easy my anxiety and sense of impending doom.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
I finished a jb on document policies right before Ascencion day and now I am home. Took a long walk with the husband and the dog and a long nap on the couch afterwards. Heaven!

I took the next two weeks off with the intention of getting some of my backlog hobby projects done. Like making the dvd of Ada's funeral for her children, the dvd of my bellydance show in December, and maybe our wedding dvd from August. Or I could sleep in and hang around the house all day. I'll be in the Amsterdam childrem's hospital on the 20th for their kids tv. It'll be a mini workshop with some kids, all of it live. It's going to be fun!

I'd like to meet up with friends, like Barbara from Amsterdam who is due to give birth in a couple of weeks, and Arya who got her heart set on a Phd position so she can get back into the workforce. Yesterday I visited Selma, who recently gave birth to her first. She looked great and fairly rested, she told me her contract ended and she'll start looking for a part time job soon but in the meantime is glad she gets unemployment benefit. Their new house is almost ready and they are going to move in at the start of July.

Our house is surrounded by scaffolds and the builders will start next Monday on the dormers. In the kitchen garden I seeded two types of beans, the brocolli is doing well, the woodland strawberry is finally growing and I am trying to get the courgette and pumpkin to sprout. Add some Autumn leek in a couple of weeks and then the lollo rosso will be ready for harvest. Yum! We worked in the garden on evening the ground and sowing the lawn. It's a barren piece of earth right now, covered in green netting for protection against the birds and our own four legged terror. In three weeks things should look decidedly greener in our garden! Working in the garden is such a nice rewarding activity. Tiring, yes, but I love seeing the seedlings grow to full plants.

I'm off to find good spots for our mini sun flower seeds and to get the tomatoe plants back inside. Since it's below 10 degrees celcius at night, they can't stay outside yet. I take them out every day (5 plants) and hope to plant them outside permanently at the end of May. 
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
The weather is getting better and we are outdoors most of the time, reshaping our garden and getting it ready for the summer. I want to do some swuare foot gardening to the side of the house and I really wanted a tiny lawn where I can hang laundry on sunny days, where we can sit and read or let the future children play on the ground without scraping their knees. Eduard did most of the hard work, like carrying the sand in and creating paved paths to the back of the yard. I on the other hand dug out the plants we wanted to keep, told him where things were supposed to go, replanted when neccesary and took trips to the garden center. I regular gave him something to eat/drink and made him dinner after he slaved away for hours.

This traditional rolepattern seems to be working fine for us.

Last weekend the paths were finnished with left over pavement stones we had lying around. Eduard build two 1.20 x1.20 m raised garden beds (that's...4ft by  4 ft I think) and two smaller raised beds, roughly 50x50 cm (1,6 ft x1.6ft).  He build a trellis for the bean stalks and I researched soil, where to get it, and I bought 200L of garden soil. Which was not enough to fill one of the big raised beds so we're going to need another 600L I think. If people tell you gardening is inexpensive, I will laugh them in the face. The raised beds didn't cost much (repurposed pallets and repurposed sandbags for the lining) but good soil is expensive. We are making our own compost but it is hard to keep up and produce enough for the garden.

The next step is getting some better seeds. I've been working with the seeds we got at the supermarket, but the seedlings are just not up to par (only sweet pepper is doing well, the rest is on the tiny, scrawny side). We received seeds as a gift for our wedding so we are good when it comes to pumpkings, courgette, beans, lollo rosso, radish, corn (very nice biological seeds), endive, radish, tomatoes and sweet peppers. We could do with carrots, rhubarb, unions, potatoes and cabbage. Or base soil is clay but the raised beds are filled with the good stuff so I don't think that'll be a problem.

The biggest problem? Upkeep and watering contantly for the next six months. Thankfully we live in a country with a lot of rain, and we are not planning on going on holiday anyway since we're getting  dormers on our house in two weeks or so. The municipality licence came through and the  contracter dropped by this morning to retake the sizes for the window frames. Not much gardening for us next weekend, we need to clear out the attic and sit out three weeks of the contracter building stuff in our house. I took those three weeks off because I need a break, we'll see how much naps I can fit in while they are working upstairs.

Gardening

Apr. 20th, 2015 11:24 am
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
We're back at it. After our epic spring/summer gardening tour du force we've decided to get going on the rest. And by rest, I mean the fence outside, the kitchen garden, building an outdoor dog house (Noushka approves) creating a small lawn for a laundry mill and as a space for future kids to play, the herbal garden and then we have a bit of space left that's being filled with wild flower, an almond tree and the compost heaps.

Ambitious, we? Never!


This weekend we put the poles of the fence in concrete, using it to stabilize and strengthen the fence. Noushka is getting bigger and smarter every day and if she has the space to jump close to the fence she can work herself out of the garden. First we spend a considerable amount of time removing all the chicken wire that the previous owners wove into the bushes and trees. I filled the gaps with branches and such so Noushka doesn't have room to jump.

Eduard continued with paving two paths that lead to the back of the garden, while I was saving/replanting some of the plants, and weeding out others. I am starting to get a feel for what is weed and what is not, though I am still afraid I might get it wrong and kill all the plants.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
We asked to contracters to write a tender for placing two dormers on our house and replacing three window frames and the front door frame. Both entered and quoted a big difference in price. Since we really wanted the contracter to start before the summer, we discussed the pricing and the contracter who could start in time adjusted his tender. E is really good with reading and judging technical specifications in tenders, which saved us a lot of money (he came down 8.000 euro).

The good news is that in five or six weeks, the work will start.

The bad news: before five weeks are over, we need to clear the attic. The stuff needs to go somewhere, probably in my dance/craft room. I will probably not have my dance space while they are working and this bugs me big time. However, all for the greater good, right? I am financing the whole thing which is also a tad scary, as in we need to go to the notary to make it official. After all, we also went to the notary before getting married for prenupts.

In other news, the weather is getting warmer and I am looking forward to starting a vegetable and herb garden at the side of our house. I planted seeds in a tiny greenhouse in our windowsill and I am trying to come up with a planting plan. I want o finish my costuming projects in March and focus on the garden and performing in April-May-June.
mekyria: (2013 indonesie 2)
I have been away from the itnernet, except for posting pictures and short movies on facebook about the garden progress. E. and I took extra days off so we could work in the garden. It included electric chainsaws, heavy machinery, tree trunks and a lot of digging.

Before Easter, we cut down the beech hedge because it had grown too big. There is a fireescape in the back that people use quite often, and the path to our garage on the other side that we'd also like to use for parking our car. The beech had to go!Read more... )

The sand and stones for the terrace will be delivered on May 1th, and in the meantime we still have a wood shack to build and more time to clear. Our deadline is May 24th, as both our parents are coming over to meet eachother for the first time.

June 2017

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