My ever-present and patient helper, Sassy
Putting down bark chips is an ongoing project for me on the Small House homestead.
If only she could help shovel!
Every Monday Gene and I drive the 20 miles into town for our restorative yoga class, lunch with our yoga friends and to buy our groceries. Since we hardly leave the homestead any other day this is as much of a social event as it is a physical one.
Each time we go to town we also pick up a load of bark chips from a friend father’s blueberry field who has graciously blessed us with them for free. I typically spend one day the next week unloading, hauling and spreading those bark chips. Today Gene worked on putting up the gutters on the pole barn for the two new rainwater containment totes, this was my bark chip spreading day.
Bark chip bed around the arborvitae.
This is a laborious project as I shovel them into a 5 gallon bucket, filled our cart Vermont and then haul them to where ever I am spreading them. Our beloved Labrador Sassy is my constant companion in this effort.
Edging the wooded garden with bark chips.
Today I worked on edge of the garden bed behind Gene’s blacksmith forge. These chips will help to make things look tidier as well as build better soil. And with our sandy and very lean, oak Savannah forest dirt, better soil is something we can always use here.
One of my top five favorite magazines.
I entered our homestead garden in the 2015 Country Garden contest this year and although we have not been chosen, I decided to act as if we might be! So I have working hard all summer, weeding and spreading chips as mulch. If we are chosen, I have a head start and we are not, well things will be in great shape here anyway…I consider this a win/win no matter what happens.
In case you are not familiar with this great quarterly magazine, About Country Gardens is an excellent resource for individuals who want to plant their own garden. Each issue is filled with planting diagrams, design ideas and beautiful photos. This insightful magazine helps every reader discover their green thumb.
The call for country garden reads like this…..
Enter the Country Gardens Magazine Garden Awards
Do you have a great country-style garden? Enter the Country Gardens Garden Awards contest for a chance to see your garden published.
We want to see your photos and hear the story behind your inspirational garden or garden room.
Only amateur gardeners are eligible for awards; participants cannot earn their living from gardening, landscaping, or interior design. Gardens that have received other national gardening honors or awards, or have been featured in a national magazine, are ineligible. Please retain an original copy of your complete entry for your records; materials will not be returned. Images from entries may be shared online.
Submissions must be received by September 30, 2014. Award winners will be selected by Country Gardens editors to be featured in a future issue.
WHAT TO SEND
Send us your name, address, and telephone number, as well as color photographs or color printouts of digital photos of your garden, a rough landscape plan, and a brief description of your garden or garden room.
WHERE TO SEND IT
GARDEN AWARDS, Country Gardens, Code: WEB, 1716 Locust St., Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
Now I know better not to count my chickens until they hatch, however with our rural five acre spread and approximately 2 ½ acres in gardens, two hand-built chicken coops and runs, my hand papermaking studio and Gene’s vintage blacksmith shop I thought we might just be a viable candidate for the “Best County Garden” category.
Maybe they will even start a new category called Best Homestead Garden! My theory has always been… if you don’t ask, you don’t get! Wish us luck!
Small house homesteader and gardener, Donna