Hubby started the day by picking up the used John Deere lawn tractor we bought. Total blessing from God! Our old one's engine blew last year and I mowed our property all season long with an old fashioned rotary push mower. Hard work, twice a week to keep up, 2 hours each time....boy I got in shape fast! Hubby was working out of town then, so the job landed in my hands. This year, we really wanted something a bit easier. I would have settled for a gas push mower, but hubby really wanted a riding mower. Luckily, we found one locally for a steal.
After getting the tractor, he worked on the old rototiller. It wouldn't start at all last week. This week it starts but won't stay running. He and our neighbor have been tinkering and making phone calls.
After that, hubby started cleaning out our road frontage. There was a few years of sand and salt, leaves and vines grown in along the stone wall that needed cleaning out. The ditch needed digging from all the sediment.
Once homeschooling was done, the children and I were able to join hubby and lend a hand. Our oldest brought in the mail and I was happy to see that our plants arrived! Roses, raspberries, black berries, gooseberries, service berries, strawberries, hostas, day lilies, and even a bunch of free plants like poppies, gladiolas and balloon flowers! I got on task getting about half the plants planted. The other half will have to wait. I need a load of horse manure for the roses.
After planting, I managed to pull up and fill in the last of the decorative pond. I transplanted some bulbs for the time being.
I seriously wasn't sure I'd have enough fill for the pond, but turns out I almost do! We have more roadside stuff we can add to hole.
Speaking of having enough, hubby had emptied new soil out of the compost heap to fill up my first raised bed. We had a composting bin, too, but now that hubby is building me a bunked compost heap, we're getting rid of the bin. I emptied the contents of the bin into the heap and it'll start decomposing quite nicely soon!
Where the bin used to be was some nice, new soil. I dug it out and found other places of good soil to fill my small raised bed.
Which I decided to fill with strawberries in hopes that I might actually get a decent strawberry crop. I hope the raised bed will protect them from the slugs that usually eat them before I do. One year, I only had one juicy strawberry. I picked it and discovered a slug had started in on it already. I ate in anyway. I was so desperate for my own fresh strawberry!
All the soil work is dirty work. I call this my country girl manicure!
To top it off, not only were we blessed with a lawn tractor and soil for my little raised bed, but our neighbor came down with his loader and gave us wood for the trees that were cut on his property the other day AND helped us move the large chunks of wood that were in the way at the top of our property. We have great neighbors!
Hubby and the older two boys stacked the slab wood for firewood, too. They also moved the slab wood we'll be using for the pig sty in place. We just need fence posts. Hoping for another generous miracle there.
We also did some raking, moving of things in the way and cleaning up. The yard is looking better and better. Things are coming together!