A Garden Post!

It’s mid-June now! My iris blooms are done, we’ve had three tree stumps removed, and I’m just now ready to share what’s happening in my garden.

Typically, Central Wisconsin plants out veggie plants on Memorial Day weekend. It’s been a warm Spring though, and I planted out May 19th. We went from 30+ inches of snow in April to 90 degree temps in May.

I lost a lot of varieties of Iris and pretty much all of my roses. I’m not too worried though! The most important plants (my collected heirlooms) survived. I will post in-depth about my perennials, especially those I’ve collected from family.

Our yard is a work in progress, just like the entire house. It’s needed a lot of attention, and will take years to get right!

A few photos from our first few months at the house:

We have a lot of plans for the yard…but we’re still working on the inside, so I’ve just been stashing plants where I can for now.

This year the garden is going strong, despite losing a lot this Spring, and my first attempt at growing tomatoes and peppers in bags! So far, the grow bags are already more successful than my last 3 years of tomato growing attempts. Almost all of them have little green tomatoes set on them.

I grow almost all heirloom varieties, mostly because I love the crazy options, ability to save seeds, and some of the stories that come with them. I do grow two hybrids, and for a special reason. Jet Star and Celebrity were both favorites of my Grandma Petersen. She bought me some Jet Star for my garden during her last summer (and I still have the little tag for it). It’s a way to honor her in my garden every year. Plus, Jet Star and Celebrity are just good tomatoes, anyway.

Here’s a little a taste of whats happening in my yard this year, right now:

 

I have a lot more to come and later this week, I am going to attempt my first post that really focuses on what I want this blog to be about. Stay tuned!

The Renovation: During

Two years ago, Todd and I moved all of our belongings into our uninhabitable house and realized it would still be awhile before we could live there. Our lease on our apartment was up at the end of May. June 1st, we had a problem.

Fortunately, railroaders are pretty generous folks (well, most of them). At some point, I would say at least half of all railroaders are in need of a place to crash for a while. This time it wasn’t just Todd, but me, Robin (our cat), and Boxy (our turtle). Our friend, and fellow railroader, Joe, offered us his place. So, for about a month, we lived in a room in the basement.

During April and May when we were spending countless hours on the house, we didn’t have a bathroom. I got over my fear of public bathrooms pretty quick. I’m also pretty sure the people at Kwik Trip thought we were homeless for as many times as we used their restrooms and ate our meals from there.

I should note, Todd was working on the house during all of his weekends and some times while waiting to go into work. I was up by 5:00 every morning and at the house by 6:00. I had until about 8:40 before I needed to leave for work. We had no electricity turned on. So, I would paint, lay floor, sweep, pull nails, etc. I would usually stop by after work too and work on things, until it started getting too dark.

When we did finally move into the house, we were still without a kitchen and shower. I spent my 30th birthday helping Todd put in our shower. During the so many days we didn’t have a shower… I washed my hair and our dishes in the backyard.

It was Thanksgiving before we had counter-tops and a kitchen sink.

The “during” portion of the renovation was pretty intense. We took out all the flooring, all cabinets, gutted the entire bathroom. We also ripped up 3 layers of sub flooring in the back two rooms. Oddly enough, there was more than one layer of dry-wall in several places as well. We also had a lot of electrical redone and all of the plumbing.

I’m getting anxious just writing about this. It was quite the ordeal.

Below are some of our “deconstruction/construction stage” photos. Including…when I broke the chandelier (and cut my head open), when the cat decided to break into the food we had stashed in the basement, and all our belongings crammed into the living room.

I promise I will get some of the garden before and after posts up asap! Maybe even in the next few days.

The Renovation: Before

When we first looked at our house,  I really loved the big windows, the big yard, and the fact it was a 1950’s ranch. I did not love or even like much else about it.  But, as Todd says, “It just felt right.” We knew it was going to need some love, a lot of love. We thought, after the home inspection the majority was going to be cosmetic, well…

Before we get into all craziness we ran into, let me show you what we started with! The gallery below is what the house looked liked just after we got our hands on it. And when the panic began.

We closed on the house at the end of March. Our apartment lease ran out May 31st. We thought we could get it done (enough) in those two months, to be able to move in comfortably. HA. I will show you next week what we did in those two months.

Some of the crazy features you can’t see:

  • the 2nd bedroom was not only bright turquoise, the ceiling was yellow, and the closets were painted lilac.
  • The bathroom had two different light fixtures, one was broken
  • the extent of how bad the paneling was on the wall with the fireplace and laundry room.
  • The garage…it’s all paneled too.
  • just how grimey everything was.
  • And you can’t see how much of sag there was in the floor, in back part of the house, where the bath and laundry are… oh and that the toilet was sinking!