Cynthia St. Charles Store

Friday, May 31, 2013

Landfill View

 Joe has started hauling away the rotted timbers from our landscaping demolition.  He took a pickup load to the landfill and they directed him to "Area 4", where mainly construction materials of a certain type are to go.  He came home telling me the view from the dump was remarkable, so I went along for the second trip to the landfill.  This high spot at the landfill has a good view of the Beartooth Mountains off in the distance. 
The landfill is remarkably close to the Yellowstone River!  It shows up here in the mid right side of the picture.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Up to Snuff - Intermediate Bearded Iris

Today is my birthday!  No plans for today, but will have a "Mexican Garden Party" with family and friends this weekend.  We will serve margaritas and will enjoy the iris and new landscaping (which, sadly - is still a work in progress!  Wish it was done!)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Intermediate Bearded Iris are Starting!

 The one above is called "Tantara".  The one below is called "Honey Glazed".  I really love these Intermediate Bearded Iris - they bloom after the SDB's and fill the gap before the Tall bearded iris start blooming. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

More Dwarf Bearded Iris

 This one is called "Pitter Patter".
 I don't have names for either of these.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Sunny Honey and Fingerprints SDB

 I have a lot of nice clumps of this purple SDB Iris called "Fingerprints".  The clumps look great all around the edge of my terraces.
I have only one clump of "Sunny Honey" (below). 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Waterfall Construction - Getting Closer

Here is the waterfall after adding some more rocks around it.  I have tried the waterfall to make sure everything is graded properly.  When I get everything in place, I will use waterfall foam to fill in all the cracks and seal it up so the water flows down to the pond and does not back up behind the rocks or anything.  I watched a lot of YouTube videos about waterfall construction.  This is the second waterfall I have constructed, but I really want to get this one right.  I don't expect to do it again!  Michelle tells me it looks just like a big pile of rocks.....but I think it will be improved by the addition of some plants, etc.   I am actually quite pleased with the effect so far.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pond and Waterfall Construction

 I spent several days fiddling around with the placement of the pond and waterfall.  When I was finally happy with it - I laid this foam backed bubble wrap all around.  This is to protect the vinyl liner from being punctured by any sharp rocks or roots that are in the ground.  They make a polyester product just for this, but I did not want to spend the money on it.  This bubble wrap is what Joe retrieves from the furniture store trash.  He keeps a large supply on hand for his online sales business.
 After the cushion layer, the liner is put  into place.  I will need two liners - one for the pond and a second one for the waterfall.
 This picture shows several levels of the waterfall and some of the flagstones around the pond in place.  This took several days for me - with help from both Michelle and Joe.  Joe is installing the buried electrical exterior electrical outlet.  Michelle is building a set of stairs and laying the flagstone wall cap (see below)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

More Dinosaur National Monument Petroglyphs

 This lizard petroglyph is about 8 feet long.  It is high up on this cliff (pictured below).
 Quite a number of well done petroglyphs are found up on this cliff - which involved a short hike up the hillside.

This is the view of the valley below from up at the petroglyph level on the cliff.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Preparing for the Pond and Waterfall

 We left this area without the landscape brick because I plan on adding a pond and waterfall here.  This area previously had a stairway and a very tiny pond and waterfall.  This time, I plan to expand the size, depth and location of the pond.  The racoons were getting my fish before, so I quit keeping them.  This time, I will create a safe place for the fish to hide so maybe they won't be eaten by the racoons.
 The picture above shows the area before excavating and below - the pond excavating in progress.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Quartz Flagstone

 We've made three trips to the brickyard to hand select the flagstone for the next phase of this project.  I like this quartz flagstone.  It is very sturdy and also (relatively) thin.  This is the same flagstone that I used on the patio I built in the front last year.  We are able to load half a ton per trip into the back of Joe's Grand Caravan (his "work truck").
My apologies to those who follow my blog for my art process.  This is not fiber art, but I do feel creative when doing this, and there is no time for my studio these days!   Above the top wall, I have transplanted some of the iris rhizomes that were dug up during the excavation.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Terrace Building Finished

 We have finished building the three levels of terracing behind our house.   We still have a bit of leveling to do with the dirt, and then we will add a natural flagstone cap.
A few iris and daffodils survived the process.  They are kind of buried right now, but I will deal with them in the next phase.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Iris of the Year!

I have been anxiously awaiting this first iris blossom of the year!  I have most of my iris labeled with the registered names, but this one does not have a tag.  I am pretty sure it came from the Big Sky Iris Club sale at the local Farmer's Market.  

At this point, I have about 250 different iris planted in the terraces out front.  I have tags on most of them (with the registered names) and they are recorded in a spread sheet (something I started last year).  This year, I hope to get a photo of each one that blooms, and I hope to record the date it blooms on the spreadsheet.  I will keep track of the ones that die and I will not plant those again.  Instead, I hope to have large patches of healthy iris.  I am keeping the good growers and good bloomers and the rest can go.  I am not really out to amass a "collection".  Rather, I am hoping to do some artful landscaping.... I want color blocks around the yard!

Iris work well in this location with minimal care and little water.  I also love them - so I joined the local Iris club as well as the American Iris Society! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Landscaping the Front

 Our steeply sloped front yard was formerly a fire hazard, with several large junipers and a lot of dry native grasses.  After two wildfires swept through our neighborhood, destroying homes within 1/4 mile of our place, we had the fire marshall come walk through and give us suggestions.  That spring, 16 junipers were removed along with a lot of pines.  He told us the dry native grasses should go too. 

( we have also finally disposed of the wooden retaining wall in the back that he told us was a fire hazard)

I have found that iris grow well at our place and they don't require much water (always a concern since we have to haul our water from the water station - we don't have city water or a well).  Iris are a good plant for fire safety - they really do not ever burn well.   I have gradually been adding a stone patio and terraces to the front to create more living space and a place for my growing iris collection.  Above, I  have dug this new flower bed terrace this spring to create a place for replanting all the perennials that had to be removed during our reconstruction of the terraces in the back. 
This flagstone patio was installed last summer.  I have found this cast iron water fountain and I have rigged it up with a solar powered pump.  I need to do something about the line that is dangling, but I am very happy with the way this thing works!  Solar power is totally the way to go on this!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Final Stretch with the Natural Impressions Landscape Brick

 These pictures show the last two tiers being finished up.  We should finish up today and then will start building the pond and waterfall.