• The Ladybird Landing

Spring; The Season of Ambition

Well Friends, Spring has sprung! This means many of us are cautiously emerging, bleary eyed, from our homes after a cold winter of consuming carbs, binging Netflix and dreaming of warmer days to come.

I do all of the above but I also dream of dirt, wood and productivity!

In-between Netflix episodes, winter is the time that I dream-up ambitious projects for the season ahead. Here is the list we will be striving to complete this year!

Project #1: The Secret Garden

On route from the house to the chicken coop, we have an unfortunate patch of dirt that refuses to produce grass. The soil is rock hard and shaded by a beautiful maple whose roots grow thick beneath the crust of the earth. We have attempted to grow grass in this area but failed miserably. Last Fall, we admitted defeat and decided to repurpose the space with our own version of a Secret Garden.

This oasis will be home to a water fountain to muffle the sound of the nearby road, raised beds that will be filled with fresh soil and beautiful cutting flowers and herbs to adorn our tables and meals.

We began this ambitious project last Fall by tearing up our sad patches of grass, building raised beds, mulching and installing an aboveground pond…otherwise known as a livestock water trough. Now that Spring has arrived, we can finish what we started by filling the beds with soil, planting flowers and herbs, and filling the pond with water & plants. We will also be creating a cozy seating area to sip cool drinks at the end of our days while we soak in the beauty of our hard work...or so that is the plan!

Fall 2018 - Freshly installed beds & pond, in the middle of tearing & covering the grass between.

Spring 2019 - Mulch is laid and beds a full of fresh, beautiful soil!

Project #2: The War on Cabbageworms

Every year we grow brassicas such as kale, broccoli and cauliflower. And every year, we battle with the dreaded cabbage moth! These moths have the audacity to lay their eggs on our brassicas which inevitably turn into cabbageworms who greedily gorge themselves on our precious plants, stunting their growth and creating unsightly holes & bare stems. This year I refuse to cow to the greedy moth.

I will stand and fight, correction, I will build and fight!

We will be building a Hinged Hoop House that will protect our greens, deter the miscreant moths and save my neighbours from listening to my angry swearing in the garden!

The inspiration for the Hoop House comes from one of my favourite bloggers, The Art of Doing Stuff. Karen, an expert gardener, has shared a step-by-step tutorial on how to construct a Hoop House that we will be following in hopes of worm-free broccoli and less “holey” kale. Stay tuned!

Project #3: Goodbye Wave

My husband and I live in the country, which means much less noise than the city, but we also live on the corner of a busy country highway where the sound and sight of cars is non-stop. As well, our lot is wider than it is deep, meaning a small backyard and a very large side-yard that fronts onto the road. We installed a cedar tree hedge on the highway side but left the front of the side yard, facing the side road, treeless. This means that as we work in our yard, our neighbors have full view of the many projects we are working on. It also means, I wave A LOT because I refuse to be a neighbor that does not wave…I see us as the welcoming committee!

This is the east side of our property facing the highway with a cedar hedge.

This is the south side of our property, facing our side road. The stop sign is the corner of our side road and the highway. As you can see, no privacy!

This year we have decided that we want more privacy but when you put the words privacy, fence and 80 feet together, you are looking at A LOT of money! So we will be DIY-ing a privacy fence. After searching the web, I have come up with a cost-effective, low labour idea that I think just might work. My hope is that it looks presentable and reduces the amount of waving I do in a day.

We tested a panel this weekend to see if it would meet our needs and we love it! Now we just need to build & install nine more.

Project #4: Bee Kind

One of the projects I am most excited about this Spring is the purchase of a beehive. It has been a dream of mine for a long time but also one that’s a wee bit scary. Four years into our gardening journey, we have learned the vital importance of bees to the success of our garden and have begun to educate ourselves on their importance to our survival as humans. Bees are fighting an uphill battle because of the choices we as a society have made but I have hope that we can reverse the damage we have caused. At The Ladybird Landing, we will be doing our part by providing a sunny little oasis for a couple of hundred new friends and plenty of flowers to fill their bellies.

This little guy loves the Zinnia's as much as I do!

I have leveraged these cold winter months to prepare myself for our bee haven and ensure we are set-up for success, hopefully with minimal stings! The first step was to take a beginner’s beekeeping course through the Ontario Beekeeping Association. Next, I joined the Wellington Beekeeping Association and found myself a mentor. At the end of the month, we will be attending an in-person workshop at a live beeyard. Lastly, the big Bee day will arrive on May 11th when we pick up our young hive.

Please help us pray to mother nature for for friendly bees!
Our sunflowers get a lot of bee action in the summer!

Project #5: Sit Still

I always have a long and challenging list but of all our projects, this will be the most difficult one for me. I am one of those individuals whose brain is permanently stuck in overdrive. I can’t stop creating lists and devising projects to fill the spare time that we do not have.

But this year, I have promised my husband that we will take the time to admire our hard work, to breath deeply and to sit still. Wish me luck!

Happy Planning, Friends!


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