Finally…We’re Starting the Boonville Cottage and Garden

I know…it’s been months and months since my last posts.  We’ve been so busy.  That’s my only real excuse and I’m sticking to it. 

:::sigh::: 

I won’t go into all of the details, but I can say that it has been a busy year.  The great news is that at last, we are moving forward with our beautiful house and garden plan in Boonville!  We have had the property up for sale, but there were no takers, so we’ve decided to take it off the market and proceed with our original plan to build.  My “Old Woman’s Garden” will finally be happening!

It’s not really a, “house,” but a charming, 1-bedroom cottage that will be rented out to vacationers.  It’s going to be perfect for our guests visiting our beautiful area for wine tasting, cheese sampling, hiking, relaxing and taking in the annual music festivals.  Everything is within walking distance…wineries, brewery, restaurants and music.  The Mendocino coast is only a 30 minute drive away with plenty of vineyards to visit along the way. 

The cottage will be old-fashioned and traditional, clad in creamy, white siding and featuring a bright, red door.  There will be privacy and a beautiful, outdoor space, (I’m hoping for a screened, sleeping porch, budget permitting,) and of course, lots and lots of flowers. 

Boonville Cottage Floor Plan as it stands now.

The plans have been submitted to the county and we don’t foresee many problems with the building department.  The only thing is that they are extremely busy right now, due to the 2017 &2018 fire victims rebuilding.  We certainly don’t mind waiting in line for them to be taken care of first.  We expect to break ground in the spring and it shouldn’t take too long to build. The septic system is already in and we have a well for water and public utilities readily available. 

I’ve already started ordering the plants for the garden, which will probably take several years to take shape.  Various hydrangeas and roses will be the main foundation plants.  Hedges will provide privacy and there will be the proverbial, white picket fence and trellis. The 20, old, apple trees will remain on the property, as will the large shed that we recently painted a soft, barn red. 

Boonville Vacation Rental Garden Plan

The inside of the house will be very traditional with a playful nod to the past.  Of course, there has to be a perfect bed…big and lux…the kind that you never want to get out of.  I plan to make a couple of quilts for that.  I’ll also have lots of furniture redo projects, including some old chairs and a Victorian settee that will need repairs and reupholstering.  We’ll need some interesting artwork too.  Who knows what else I’ll find on Craig’s List and at the antiques fair between now and then.  I’ll keep you posted about those.    

Pictures…I’ll be posting those soon.  (I know, I know, I KNOW!  I’m so bad at taking the pix in a timely manner…my apologies.)  I’ll get the “before” pix up ASAP and will bring you progress updates all along the way. 

Wish us luck!  Building can make, or break a marriage.  This will be our 4th house project and we are still going strong, so it must be a good thing.

~ C

New Gardens For The New Year 2017

New gardens planned for 2017.  Already?  Yee gads, I’m still recuperating from Christmas!  Time certainly does not wait!

More Garden Chores In January

As each growing season ends I always think to myself that next year, I’ll cut back on the gardening.  I’m just getting to old to do all of this.  But, as January rolls around and the garden catalogs start to pile up on my coffee table, I begin to feel a renewed energy and optimism.  So, instead of cutting back on my gardening chores, I end up expanding them.  Last year I put in a beautiful, cutting garden and lawns around the house.  This year, I’ve already added a mini, grape vineyard to our food garden, expanded our blackberry patch, as well as enlarged our fruit orchard by adding 15 new trees.  I also plan to put in a demo garden to spruce up our commercial property in town, as well as planting a dozen “Lady Banks” roses.  Over ambitious?  Maybe.  Talk to me about that in August.  Right now, (…sigh…) I just can’t help myself.  New gardens are so inspiring!

Keeping Up With the Compost

The biggest obstacle that I have to growing so much stuff isn’t the initial plantings, nor the tending of the gardens.  It’s generating enough organic compost to keep the plants going through the summer to fall. Right now, I’m creating wheelbarrows full, but in reality, I need truckloads.

I could go out and buy a couple of dump trucks full of compost from our local garden supply, but that’s expensive, especially since they would charge me a pretty penny to haul it up here.  Besides, I don’t know what goes into it.  I definitely want it comprised of organic materials and I certainly don’t want any seeds from invasive species up here.  I have a tough enough time with the wild radishes and bindweed that showed up in the hay we brought in a few years ago.  Call me a control freak, but I need to make my compost myself and be fully aware of just exactly what is going into it.  I should go out and gather leaves this morning, but geesh, it’s cold out there.

Now is also the time to get started

The new, early spring plants like peas, lettuce, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, for the veggie garden have to be started now.  Early flowers for the cutting garden need to go on that list too.  My dear husband made me a seed starting tray out of redwood.  It’s just beautiful!  (Thanks hon, I need about 25 more of these please.) I would absolutely love a greenhouse, but alas, I won’t be getting one this year.  Starting the seeds on the porch is my best option right now.  I may break down and make a temporary hoop house.  They’re ugly as sin, but I’m getting desperate and I just may have the materials for that lying around.  I need the space and warmth for my early starts.

Cleaning Out 2016 Plants

Of course, besides starting new plants, I still need to clean out the old ones.  With all of the rain and cold snaps we’ve had I haven’t been able to get out to the veggie garden, which is still a tangled mess of dead vines and weeds.  There are some perennials in there like the asparagus and artichokes that need cutting back and dividing.  The grape arbor could use a hard pruning, as well as the orchard trees and berries.  This is also the year we plan to put a deer proof fence around the orchard…lots of work, lots of money.

Demonstration Garden Planned in Boonville

Also, as I mentioned earlier, besides my new gardens at home, I’m also planning on putting in a demonstration garden and climbing roses at our bare property in Boonville.

New gardens and updates for shed in Boonville are coming soon
Front of the shed that faces the street. It’s in dire need of an update and new gardens.

It’s about a 1/6 of an acre with about 20 old apple trees and a medium-sized shed structure on it.  The property is a real eyesore right now, so I’m getting ready to clean up the land, paint the shed and plant a pretty garden.  The shed will be “barn red” and covered in yellow, “Lady Banks,” climbing roses.

Lady Banks Climbing Rose, perfect for fence and shed.
The fence and shed will be awash in yellow, “Lady Banks,” roses.

The “Gawd awful,” ugly chain link fence will also get the rose treatment.  The dirt there is OK.  It’s valley bottom land so the soil is not so terrible, but it still needs amending.  (Shewwwwt….Now I need even MORE compost.)  The land is totally flat, so it will be a good place to plant the different kinds of corn we’ve ordered, being careful not to cross pollinate them, of course.  Other summer crops will go in such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, sweet potatoes and herbs.  It’s starting to sound like I’ve got an native American theme going on, so maybe I’ll stick with that and just go for the summer crops.  Eventually, I’d like the Boonville garden to produce tons of food year round that can be donated to the local food banks.

So, as you can see, I’ve got my dirty hands full all year.  I have a ton of ambition right now.  We’ll see how far I get with my plans for the new gardens.  I’ll be sure to post updates.

Keep on growin’

~ C