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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's (Almost) All Going According To Plan...

Jef, my contractor, and Jim, his partner were here this week to get the pergola done.  I didn't expect them until next week because they had a kitchen to finish elsewhere, but evidently the floor hadn't been completed on time at that job, so they showed up here Monday.  With the exception of several lengths of 1x4s, which Jef underestimated, and the addition of 4X10 beams across the ends which I decided I wanted, and the paint of course, the pergola is finished, and here it is.

It goes across the entire back of the house, from one end to the other, and I am pretty pleased with it.  I'll have to wait until much later in the summer to finish painting it because the pressure treated wood needs to continue to dry which will take awhile.  The very tops of the joists and the 1x4s that cross them are painted, however, so I can get my reed fencing up there for this summer since I won't be able to plant anything to grow on it until next fall.  I'll probably put in grapes. I also need to get a fascia board installed along the front of the deck.  All in good time.  I also got the end of the fence and the old, falling-apart gate replaced!

From the other side of the fence, the top of the arbor looks fine, but in this picture, it doesn't look level, does it?  I'll have to ask Jef about that when he comes back.  I'm hoping to grow something like a clematis over that arbor.  The new gate is great! It swings in, instead of out, and everything is pretty solid.  I'm happy about this development as well.

 I also finished getting the spot for the three sisters dug up.  What you see just beyond the patch is a sod wall.  I didn't know what else to do with it, so I just stacked it up.  Steve mentioned that it will be useful for when Santa Ana attacks, and I said maybe so, but it won't hold up to cannon fire, and Santa Ana will surely bring cannon with him.  Such a smart aleck.

Then last but not least today, I emptied the corner of the kitchen where I've been stacking up cardboard boxes so that I can get a start on the hutch corner, which is probably just going to be a set of open shelving.  We'll see. Anyway- the cardboard is for laying under bark in the backyard. I'm not sure that I have enough, actually.  It sure seemed like a lot stacked up in the corner of the kitchen, but all broken down in the garage, my stash no longer looks so robust and adequate.

And grand news- all the Tulameen raspberries, save two, are now up, and I expect the last two to follow suit.  The last of the Autumn Britten raspberries is up now as well- it's a good two or three weeks later than the others, which makes me wonder if maybe the nursery packed an extra Tulameen, and shorted me an Autumn Britten, since it's now emerging with the rest of the Tulameen. What do you think?  The boysenberries are still stuck at only one out of five emerging, but the last of the apples to break dormancy have done so, and I'm truly relieved.  The Bramleys' appear to be two-year old whips instead of one-year olds like the rest of the apples, and I had butched them pretty low for espaliering.  So when they took their time breaking dormancy, I was getting pretty nervous that I'd killed them.  But yay! I didn't!   So everything is up and sprouting leaves, except the aforementioned berries.  I also have beets, carrots, and radishes sprouting outside, and the asparagus appears to be taking off.  Everything is going according to plan!


Miriam said...

How incredibly satisfying this must all feel! The pergola and gate look wonderful, and it sounds like all your hard work in the garden is paying off. It's going to be a bountiful growing season chez Paula and Steve!

Diana said...

Paula, wonderful garden gate and pergola; you are going to love the shade it provides. Spring is finally here and everything is coming up blossoms. ;) Have a great week.

sissyjane said...

A comment, not a critism...Are you sure you want cardboard under your bark? With your Oregon rain, won't it decompose rapidly? Isn't the whole idea to keep weeds out?

You may want to use weed cloth. It's very difficult to pick weeds amoung the bark.

Toni aka irishlas said...

The pergola looks wonderful! I like your gate, too.
All your hard work is paying off and you'll be reaping the rewards before you know it! I'm glad your berries are starting to grow for you. I guess the mystery will be solved once they start to fruit!

Paula said...

Sissyjane- it's precisely because it will decompose that I want to use cardboard under the bark. The bark will decompose as well, especially the small stuff that I plan to use- and eventually it will probably find its way into my compost bins and I'll have to do it all over again. My experience with the bark and weeds in my yard are that the weeds are easier to pick out of the bark than the soil! Also, if I decide to dig somewhere in the bark at a later date, decomposing cardboard will be a lot easier to dig through than weed cloth or plastic. From everything I've read, cardboard, or layers and layers of newspaper are ideal for putting under mulches. Cheap too.