Front yard clean up and dealing with Spring time in Idaho.

Between getting in the fire wood stacked and the backyard garden beds cleaned up and planted the front yard has been on the back burner. I have been doing the minimum to keep the grass mowed and the weeds under a little bit of control. But the front yard needs a little bit of TLC.

I pulled out the short border fence around my beds as the fence was so overgrown with grass and weeds the fence itself was stopping me from cutting down the grass around the border of the planting beds. I can use this short border fencing in some different areas for flowering plants and in the alley way planting beds where it will be easier to weed-wack without having grass growing in and around the fence.

The planting beds that I’m doing in the front yard is going okay. A few of the peas survived transplanting and the decorative kale is starting to come up. My garlic is doing great but that bed needs a lot of weeding and cleaning up as it is a bit of a mess right now. I think these beds would make a great place for fall plantings as it gets a lot of sun but the area is somewhat protected from harsh weather by the house.

I got started cleaning up the holly shrubs. This not a true holly and I think the plant is commonly known as Oregon grape. It has year round shiny green leaves with stickers at the point of the leaves. It puts out a berry/seed that is green is spring that turn to purple through the summer. It can grow 14-16 feet tall but can be pruned back to 18 inches in. tall in the fall and fill in again by the next spring. This is a very tough plant that puts down deep roots and seems to be very drought tolerant. This shrub makes a great bird habitat as every spring I hear the little birds chirping though I never see them as the are so well protected by the leaves. I think this is a great shrub to plant for a wind break, a barrier as it is prickly and if you trim it once a year it is easy to control the growth. This plant is very drought tolerant and seems to do well in sandy/poor soil. I’m not sure if I have the correct name for the plant but hopefully I have described it well enough that some one can correct me it I got the name wrong.

May has been both hot and cold. It got up to the mid 80’s F. and in a couple of days it will 60 degrees F. for a high and rainy. I’m not complaining as we need the water as it has been a dry spring in SW Idaho. I have got most of my fans setup to pull cool air in via the windows and setup some sort of breeze ways in a house that does not have an open floor plan. The new windows and siding with a little bit of insulation that was added helps keep the house cooler but I lost some cooling/shade affect cutting down some trees in the yard. I think if I could make a wish from the Home improvement fairy it would be to install a small 2 unit Mini split system in my small home. I figure it would cost at least $6-8 grand and that is not a bad price for a new heating and cooling system. I just don’t have a few grand sitting around to pay for that system. So I’ll make do with a couple of window Ac units in summer and my wood stove in winter as all those items are paid for and my electrical costs in summer is not that bad even with using window units.

Boomer the dog seems to be fully potty trained as we have not found any “accidents” for a few weeks. I could see how a person that had a job could get a peeved having a dog that chewed on everything in an 8 hour + workday. I go shopping and I occasionally find a slipper or shoe out in the yard. At least I have not found any chewed up shoes.

I’m giving him raw marrow bones and searching for toys that stand up to his chewing thing. Boomer has had a few walks but I need to get more consistent about his daily walks as that seems to calm him, as well as use up some of his excess energy. I’m almost sure that Boomer never had a yard to roam and patrol. We are all settling into the new normal but after about a month everything is working and all that is left is some fine-tuning.

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