Green Velvet

Wow, what a  busy day today was.  I woke up, went to church (in case mom’s reading; see mom, you’re not the only one praying for me), got home, had some coffee and read the paper.  I then cleaned the litter box and organized my studio.  Followed by taking the family to the Indians’ game.  We then came home and planted our six boxwoods.  I also started organizing the garage and planted four tulip trees.  All in about twelve hours time.  Not to shabby.

Getting my studio ship-shape is critical.  I’ve got a show coming up in June and need to really get in there and put paint on canvas.  Hopefully I can get some art done and sell it to pay for all this stuff.  I like having studio space to spread out in and knowing I can finally unpack everything and get to work.

During the last week phase one of the landscape went in.  All the front yard beds and lawn are roughed in.  I am so tired of looking at dirt and unfinished parts of the house that I desperately needed to go to the nursery and get some plants.  We came home on Saturday with six green velvet boxwoods in the back of the RAV4.  Today our little plants found their permanent home.  Five were planted between the garage and house per the landscape plan.  The boxwoods were three for seventy-five dollars so we got six.  The six bush found it’s home just off the corner of the garage.  He’s the first in a line of nine that delineate the orchard from the yard.  He looks funny all by himself.  Someday he will get friends.  The landscape plan calls for eighty-one boxwoods in total.  Most of which are in the backyard.  Wow, that’s a lot of boxwoods.  We’ll pick up more on sale in the fall.  For now I was willing to pay full price just to get some semblance of normalcy in an otherwise unfinished mess inside and out.

Just before I quit for the day I planted four tulip saplings.  Tulip trees, also known as Yellow Poplars, are native to Ohio and grow to be the tallest and straightest trees in eastern forests.  I’d venture to guess that if these four little saplings someday make it to full height they’ll more than offset the amount of poplar trim in the house.  Each can grow to be 80-100 feet tall and have trunks in the 4 foot diameter range.  Those sizes are rare though, usually they’re harvested before then.  In theory my (or someone’s) grandchildren can harvest these trees I’m planting now and turn them into cash if they’re so inclined.  If everything, tree-wise, lives for the next hundred years, there should be a nice variety of hardwood on site (poplar, maple, walnut, oak, etc.).  Obviously does me no good in my lifetime, but that kind of misses the entire point of this entire project.

The nice excavating folks who installed our landscape put in a nice flagstone walk between the house and garage.  Check out the picture below. 

Sadness today, we found a dead baby turtle on our newly created pea gravel path in front of the garage.  Looks like he wandered onto the beaten path and fell victim to the warm Spring day.  I ceremoniously disposed of his little body before the boys could see him.  No sense adding a “circle of life” lesson to the day’s accomplishment list.

One other thing I did today was plant some seeds. There was a patch of top soil between the lawn and the orchard that is, according to plan, destined to revert back to its natural state.  I roughed up the soil and planted a bag of native Ohio wild flowers and grasses we received from the Summit County Soil and Water Conservation District.  We ordered four packets of seeds through the District’s annual sale of native Ohio trees and seeds.  We’ll seed a few more areas in the coming days as well.  The vegetation on our land is pretty good at reclaiming the barren areas, but we figure it can’t hurt to help out a bit while adding some color.  The flowers will be great inspiration for our artwork as well.  Here’s hoping the wild flowers come up.

Ok, long day and work tomorrow means I need to get some sleep.  Hopefully tomorrow I can get the ball rolling on fixing a few plumbing issues indoors and get more of the garage organized.  ‘Til then, stay out of trouble.

My studio is ready to be painted in. The large table is my dad’s old desk from years ago.

Thank you lord, I finally have a ramp which means I don’t have to walk up and down to load up the trailer for art shows. This is one of the fundamental reasons we built this place.

Flagstone walkway. Pea gravel is horrific in that it gets everywhere including inside the house. It looks nice though.


Boxwoods ready for planting. In between them will go three plants that I can’t recall off hand. For the missing plants, we couldn’t find the exact species we wanted at our local nursery so we’ll search online.