I went to bed at 7:30 last night and didn't wake up until 6:30 this morning. And I could have slept in. I was alil tuckered out.
I started off Saturday morning getting a load of hay. What turned out to be a trip to get about 40 bales of hay ended up a trip going to get 80 bales of hay, so when I got home, I had no idea where to put them all.
The "hay storage" area of the garage is not yet roofed. I have no problems admitting I'm on a tight budget. I'm not the type of person that gets a stallion for free and claims I paid $10K for him. No need to put on airs here! I am what I am what I am.... I do fine, though--have enough to feed my horses, dogs, cats, pay bills and then whatever is left, I use to feed me (and thus my mass supply of Ramen noodles). Money is definitely not unlimited, though, and earlier I had to make a choice between finishing the roof and running the lights, so I chose light. I can always tarp the hay, afterall, at least until I can get the new roof up.
What I didn't plan on was being able to get so much hay so early. Hay before winter is wonderful, but I had to get a bit crafty (and work my tail off) to make a suitable place for it. I decided I'd go ahead and use the old garage, which is in fairly bad shape, but part of the roof is still good and it is centrally located, has a nice floor in it, and the sides are nice and sturdy and will help keep the tarps from blowing off. The only problem was, it was a MESS!
I had been storing hay in here, only about 20 bales at a time, tarped, but to put 80 bales in here, it needed some serious work!!
So, I set about cleaning it all out...
...and unloaded all of the hay (yes, by myself, with my bad back--uber fun, yo)!
Sophie was SUCH a big help (she said sarcastically). She felt so majestic atop all the hay on the trailer!
She looks especially gamey here, I think.
And because I was glutton for punishment (and since I was in town anyway), I picked up a bunch of plants on sale for the place. In my own defense, though, they were really, really, really on sale. I mean really. At $1 or less a piece, who can resist some lovely evergreen and flowering bushes?
Only problem is, I have to get them in the ground right away. It's winter afterall, and cold roots in tiny plastic buckets do not do well at all.
I had planned on landscaping the house after it was re-sided, but I couldn't find any better place for this Wine and Roses Weigela (regularly $22.98, I got it for $1).
Lots more landscaping to do here.... Sad, isn't it?
Up against the holly (on the right), though, it will look so beautiful (well, once the avocado green siding is ripped off and destroyed to put it out of my misery). In case you don't know what a Wine and Roses Weigela looks like, when not in winter-mode, here's a picture:
Pretty, huh? They bloom all summer, too. I've wanted one ever since I first saw them for sale in the spring, but just couldn't bring myself to spend over $20 on one plant. Now I'll have two of them (the other will be planted over by the new shelter out back).
Then, across the sidewalk, I decided to plant the tiny Juniper Andorra that I got for $.50. I was actually thrilled to find this little evergreen, as I've thought often about what should go here. It's a tough place, as there's a large tree root in there that makes it impossible to plant much, and for sake of interest I hate to just fill it in with more cement or rock.
The little guy is barely visible now, but he'll soon spread and take over the entire area (subject to trimming back to keep off the walkway, of course).
Here's how he'll look in summer:
With the other plants I decided to go ahead and add some interest to the road-facing side of the old garage/hay barn/barn/carriage house/old house.
Yes, that's one building.
We have a really hard time trying to figure out what to call it. See, this part, the house-shaped part here?
THAT was the original homestead house!
It's one room, with a chimney, and an upstairs. I keep meaning to blog about it, but it's such a mess, I keep wanting to get it cleaned up first.
It's on my list. Cleaning and blogging, both.
Anyway, the house was turned into a carriage house and then a garage and then a feed bin. The feed bin portion will be hay storage until I can build a nice, new barn. The garage is a garage and the carriage house portion is a nice area for tools, etc. The original house will hopefully be my workshop someday for restoring and storing antiques. It needs a LOT of work, though. Most people would probably just tear it down, but it has a lot of history, as it is very likely a 150 year old house, so we're going to do our best to save it.
Right now, it's really rough, though. It's kind of silly to landscape it, but when you get plants for $1, might as well start in!
On the left (you can barely see the branches sticking up), is a Purpleleaf Sand Cherry Bush. There will be one on each side of the west side of this building. Since cherry leaves are poisonous to horses, these will be the only cherry trees on the place, and they are a good 150+ feet away from the pens, and would have to blow through 2 buildings to even get near the horse area.
One can never be too careful.
But, they are so pretty when in bloom...
...and even when not in bloom.
I am complimenting these with some nice junipers. The closest one (which I forget the name of) is a low-growing (but not ground cover), true-green version.
The other is the lovely, layering Old Gold Juniper.