Designing a new backyard garden

Now that there’s more space since the concrete’s been removed, now what? Just kidding, there’s been some progress, we’ve added three new raised beds to finish off the raised bed garden area (shown in upper left corner of photos).

For the remaining newly open ground it will be more of a sunken garden with a grey water reclamation area, a underground grey water irrigation tank, a section for espalier fruit trees and tomato trellises. Last night we had a discussion on what options and ideas we could implement. So many ideas came fast and furious so Jules sketched out a rough draft of  ideas on a piece of paper (nice piece of art don’t you think, can you decipher it?).

As with all new projects, we planning and revising as we go along, thinking of new ideas and improving old ones.

As you can see in one of the photos that the raised beds have some coverings on them – yep they are new here on the homestead this year. We finally broke down and invested on some row-cover to cover all the raised beds.   It will make things a bit easier, not having to run out and cover everything during the night when there’s frost advisories and it’s cold and dark and well you get the picture — big whoohoo for that!  

Another advantage is keeping the excessive and unwelcome leaf drop from our neighbor’s two trees from falling and completely cover the beds with leaves when the Santa Ana winds pick up. Now picking salads and other crops is easier than having to constantly pick out leaves — yippee. Yeah, we get excited over the simple things around here.  


Reminder that the deadline for this month’s delivery is today (Thursday at 4pm) Like to join?  


A collapsible rainwater collection bag. This is a great idea (especially to install in the unused crawl space of a cellar), I contacted the company and unfortunately they aren’t available in the United States. Drats.
Am I hot or not?


It’s official, I finally have a name – about time! My human parents have finally named me “Cat Stevens.”   They called me “Cat” for so long what should I expect anyhow? They say that this “majicat” was a famous singer/songwriter.   I guess I will have to tolerate the name, I would prefer otherwise, but they do feed me, I have a nice place to sleep and they recently bought me some toys so I guess I’m ‘OK’ with it.

Of course, humans have this weird habit of nicknames, I am also affectionately referred to as Boo Boo (my owners say this is a Southern term for endearment– whatever!). I’m also referred to as Spanky ‘cuz, they say I can be naughty at times and warrant a spanking (sheesh, really?) and  my owners think that that I’m a ‘little rascal’ and a proud member of the “he-man woman haters club.” I can’t understand why they think I hate woman, I
looove them. I like giving my two gals kisses! Bye now, I’m off to ambush my toy mouse. Mighty hunter… Rrrrrr.


Once and awhile we come across some plants that have been developed by the Dervaes family.

Last night Jordanne made a amazing discovery on Europe Ebay.   Someone had listed a 1950 catalog that was printed by the “well known” Dervaes nursery in Belgium.
Unfortunately the bidding had ended. Too bad, it would have been nice to have something like that.   Gardening runs deep through our veins, it’s our family’s heritage.


  1. Nancy Kelly says:

    You folks are awesome. The bread looks delicious and makes me think of taking it up again, I last made bread from scratch 34 or 35 years ago!

    Any suggestions on SIMPLE gray water recycling would be much appreciated. I have my washing machine water set up to go into a garbage can in the house, which I then tip into a garbage can outside the house, where it sits for a week (and hopefully gets less toxic somehow!) before I use it for irrigation. I fondly call this my gray water recycling system but would love to have something better but must be simple, I do not do plumbing! I know little about water reclamation – is it time that makes it less toxic, or should I have lots of plants in it or what?

    Also, I have 10 cats and I keep thinking if I were to walk my walk about being sustainable, I would raise rabbits for cat food instead of making the Purina corporation rich. Now that you are live with a kitten, any thoughts that way? I have to admit the thought of killing and skinning rabbits is daunting.

  2. Laurie says:

    Oh, yes, he is a hottie! I showed the Jazzcat his picture and she thinks the mighty hunter thing is a real turn-on!