And we’re making very good use of it! After our collapsed pallet fence around the front yard had been removed, Will got busy cleaning out the part of the woods next to it that we plan on including in our fenced front yard. After cutting down a few dead and in-the-way trees, he used our little Kubota to shove the leftover branches into piles, after cutting the trunks into firewood for next year. Then he got Old Trusty, our big bulldozer fired up and shoved the gigantic piles of branches down into our burn pile so they could dry and safely burn next year when there’s snow on the ground. (We’re very careful of fires around here!) When it’s all clean, we are going to fence it with 6-foot fence to keep out the deer. Then I’ll plant some hostas in the shady parts and wildflowers elsewhere. I think it’s going to be really nice.

Will cleaning up the leftover tree branches from our new part of the front yard.
he little Kubota made easy work of shoving branch piles out of the yard.

Some of our chickens had been escaping from the orchard, which is their run. I wouldn’t mind but those darned girls just have to dig big holes in my flower beds for insects and just for the heck of it, I think. And I mean holes! Some are a foot deep. Not good for the flowers! Today, I went out and examined the fence. Sure enough, there were a couple of spots where they could get through the fence. One was a bagged spot in the chain link fence next to the coop and another was where the chicken wire next to the stock panels had sagged down to the ground. I fixed both spots and re-enforced a couple other suspicious places. Now, we’ll see if they get out again. I’m doubting it. We will have to herd them in tonight. The wolves have been howling fairly close to the buildings and we don’t want to tempt them with a chicken dinner.

With the new part of the front yard cleaned up, we’re going to fence it so I can safely plant flowers without deer invasions.

— Jackie


  1. everything looks so pristine, calm, especially the Old Trusty Driver. good to see him healthy an active. my hens Love to make holes the herb side of garden where they winter. i ve had to block them away from that section. cant wait to see your yard in summer when all in bloom. take care.

    • We’re enjoying the process of turning the woods edge into part of the front yard. Yesterday I spread wildflower seeds on the disturbed soil and today it’s raining softly. Such fun!!

    • I can’t wait. I’m also going to put in some hostas, daylilies and iris, as well as who knows what. I’m a plant addict but sure enjoy the blooms!!

    • Naw. Our deer are better mannered than some, I guess. I’ve never had deer jump into a six foot fence, either here or in Montana. Going 8 feet would be so much more costly. But, I do hear some folks have high-jumping deer!!

    • I don’t have an issue with deer eating any non-garden plant except during the one drought year a decade plus ago. Though one *always* samples *one* asparagus every year. Go figure – deer acting like cats LOL.

    • Oh, yes!! Last year, part of our old pallet fence had fallen down where I didn’t see it. The deer came in and mowed my hostas and tulips down to the ground. The hostas recovered after I fenced the deer out but, of course, no tulip blooms last year!!

  2. Everything is looking great at your place. I love to clean up in the spring; although, I don’t have much to do anymore. I do mostly container gardening; but I still love my flowers and spices. So we are just getting over Locust winter and it will be warm enough to put out the petunia boxes and the spices. We only have Blackberry winter to go and that can be as late as Memorial Day. I have enough old towels and covers to protect my pretties when that comes along. So you and Will enjoy the good weather for now. There are always spring storms that come along down here in souther middle Tennessee. I saw a Tennessee blue bird, a red headed wood pecker, a sparrow and purple house finch in my back yard this morning.
    So, everyone, enjoy this beautiful spring day.

    • Our migratory birds are back and our old mother Canada goose is sitting on her nest now, out in the beaver pond. They come every year and raise a batch of babies.
      We won’t be frost free until around the first week in June. Some days it’ll be 80 and the next, drop to the high twenties!!

  3. Looking good. I really enjoy seeing all your progress. Seems we never get it all done, but there’s enjoyment in the process. Such exciting plans. I look forward to seeing the results.

    • No, we never get it ALL done!! It’s just a process. But we’re having fun watching the change come about. Then it’s hit the gardens, full tilt!!

  4. That will be a beautiful front yard with hostas and flowers. I live in a 55 plus community and so can only grow vegetables on my patio. I think It is going to be more productive this year, It has been a learning curve for me from my 1/2 acre. We, volunteers from our community just spread 2000 bags of mulch in the flower beds outside each unit and in the common beds. Has really made our spring flowers pop. I’ve got a few more bags to spred around my place. My tomato starts are doing well….we love the Bill Bean and Amish gold slicer… do all my neighbors !! I am going to document with pictures my Patio garden this year. Glad you got those places fixed so the hens can’t get out….they love to escape and find new areas to dig in…

    • They sure do. No more escapees so far. As it’s too early to work the the gardens here, we’re enjoying fixing up the new part of the front yard.
      I hope you enjoy your patio garden. I know I did, last year, when I put in a small garden on a rubber mat, next to the front door.

  5. We’ve had “hey, it is spring” but “ha ha, not quite” weather. Asparagus and garlic are handling it well. Doesn’t seem to be phasing the native plants. We’re surrounded by woods so while the “planted by people, expanded by squirrels” flowers aren’t all quite as perky as they were, they are doing much better than others in “the hood” whose yards/flower area aren’t quite as wooded.
    We have three pretty safe burn areas (concrete blocks, surrounded by gravel, no underbrush) yet we are still really careful. We burn small amounts at a time, adding more when safe. Sad to say far too many do no due diligence when it comes to conditions, burn warnings, common sense.
    Every year, I have one asparagus stalk that has been sampled by a deer. Otherwise, no deer problem in the garden – well except the occasional one taking a short cut without sampling.
    Read an article recently those in the 17 year cicada area can expect 1 million cicadas per acre. No wonder the wildlife gorges! And the long span between hatching ensures they won’t go extinct.
    Still a while until more planting so I need to do a quick weed of the strawberry patch. Always satisfying to find the precision fall weeding paying off in the spring. Not many weeds except the new-2-us red dead nettle. Outside the edible garden, I’m have at it. It seems to be keeping out the garlic mustard in some areas. Which is fine by me.
    There are time when wanted greenery has to go-for-the-cause. Always a bit sad but is the right choice for the long run. Hostas – talk about a hearty plant.

    • We love our hostas (and so do our deer). I just found out they are edible. The hostas, not the deer, even though both are!!
      We’ve been getting periodic, nice rains. So, the fire danger is way down. Thank God!! We sure hate fighting fires and we’re surrounded by woods.


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