I haven’t been on here for a bit talking about our homestead because we’ve been busy updating it! We have about a quarter acre in a farming community and we’ve been working on the outside of our simple little farmhouse. I imagine these projects will go throughout the summer, so I wanted to provide updates along the way.
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Oh, spring! If for some reason you weren’t sure whether or not spring was here, just look outside at the growth. Mother Nature really makes her appearance when she’s ready!
I have so many big dreams for the farmhouse garden. If you don’t already know, we live on about a quarter acre. A small lot with a small house. But it’s just me and John right now, so we’re kind of a small family! We would love to fill the farmhouse with little footsteps one day too, but one thing at a time…
We have a front, side, and back garden. The chickens are in the back garden so we have been working on the art of creating a backyard full of veggies and flowers without having them ruin it. We want to let them free roam so the art is figuring out how to plant around them. And it is an art…
Farmhouse Front Porch
I love filling the front porch with flowers. We planted some peonies and have some nice bushy plants which I honestly don’t know what they called. We were lucky that when we moved into this house in 2018 that the previous owners had some landscaping done and freshly painted the house.
I would actually love the house to be painted white. I’m not sure if that’ll happen this summer or maybe next. The current paint job is a good one so there’s not a whole lot of NEED to do re-paint… so other ideas may come to fruition before that one, which is totally OK with me.
I have a video coming up with a spring farmhouse front porch refresh where I will share all of what I’m talking about today. But for now, here are some previews 🙂
Hanging fuchsia basket
Simple hanging basket hook on Amazon
You can find these at your local hardware store too. We have a traditional farmhouse entryway with a white bench and fencing, and the hanging basket just looks so traditional and pretty to me. It’s very welcoming too.
We also have this unused part of our side yard that I will make pretty. It’s grass with a small section of dirt so I’m thinking big peonies or maybe a step ladder style planter box like this one. I bet John could build that pretty easily too.
Starting the Retaining Wall
This is part of the backyard we worked last week. As you can see, the chickens love kicking up the dirt and getting it in the rocks. Well, the french drain we installed a few months ago is under those rocks, so we don’t want a clog to happen down the road. So we fixed that problem by adding more stones to the retaining wall so when they kick the dirt doesn’t fly over. We don’t want to restrict the chickens because they love free roaming, it makes their eggs better, and they’re taking care of our bugs. Solution found!
Stay tuned for my next post to see how this looks when we finish it.
Gardening and Chickens
So far my best solution to gardening with chickens is to use retaining walls and plant high plants. Little seedlings don’t do well because chickens love to kick around the dirt, so anything without big roots will get kicked up.
We have a retaining wall that separates the dirt from the grass. This looks beautiful and we love it but the chickens have been kicking dirt up over the wall in one section and it looks weird. So John got some more bricks to add another layer of retaining wall. This solution worked perfectly! Chickens can kick around the dirt all they want without it spilling onto the grass.
I also realized that fencing is a reality. I used to think fencing looked bad and I didn’t want any of it. But that was before chickens. And I LOVE our chickens. So if you want chickens and a backyard, fencing is very important. Fencing is now my best friend 🙂
Dreams for the Farmhouse Garden
So big dreams for this yard include painting this red fence white. We have neighbors in the side and back and to be honest I don’t know the rules around painting a shared fence. But it seems like if it’s on your side, you should be able to paint it. Right? We’d love to replace it too, but that may be too much effort and not necessary. We’ll see.
We are also learning how to grow seeds. There’s the trough planter box we made a few weeks ago, and then a garden planter bed on the ground. All our seedlings are doing well so far… so well in fact that they look like they need to be transplanted! I’m thinking they are getting a little big for this box so we’ll see if we can find another space for them…
The dream is to have a nice cohesive yard that chickens can roam, veggies can grow, and flowers can bloom. And we’re getting there!