a long-overdue update (sorry!)

wow.  sorry it's been so long since we updated.  Spring has sprung in Southern Middle TN and we're just trying to keep up!

The trees are blooming everywhere.  The dogwoods and redbud are total showoffs, but our fruit trees are doing nicely, too.  We lost one of the pear trees  (it never took) so although the blooms on the lovely Kieffer that remains doesn't need a pollinator, we probably still won't be getting any fruit, it being so young.  We returned the dead tree last fall but only just went to the nursery yesterday to replace it.  Oddly the replacement tree we selected - a "Moonglow" is going to be larger than anything else in our orchard. I also found some pawpaw trees at the nursery, which I want, but we'll go back and get them later.

The deck is built and it's stunning!

Kelly and I have been enjoying our morning coffee out there, and watch the stars come out as we lean over the railing every night. Kudos and warm appreciation once again to Tim Harris and his merry Men (danny & Dave) for doing such a great job.

Although we have this lovely deck, we have only two lawn chairs, so I ordered a metric crapload of patio furniture.
two benches, two small (2 seat) bistro sets, one large (4 seat) bistro sets, and 4 (2 seat) "bar height" bistro sets.  There will be parties on this deck! y'all have to come visit now, and drink sweet tea from one of the existing 16 chairs, or the rocking chairs we haven't bought yet.

The deck has created a square space of open land that's just begging for a flower garden, so that's what we're doing now. I bought some flowering shrubs, a bunch of rosebushes and a bunch of trees, which are going in right away, and next week I'll be on hands-and-knees doing clumps of perennial groundcover and putting in the flowers I've started from seed (not sewn directly because of the chickens propensity for scratching for seeds)
Oh, speaking of chickens, we're down to 3 plus the rooster. Goldie's gone, as are the other two reds, so we're left with two Leghorns and the remaining Dominecker (Dominique) hen, who recently survived an attack by a stray dog! She's got 2 tailfeathers left, but she's 1) not limping and 2) still laying, so she's fine.
I also bought six huge flowerpots to place around the deck. Kelly's going to build frames for them out of the leftover siding wood, to cover up the plain old plastic. They're all on wheeled scooters, which serves two purposes: first, of course, to make them easy to move and clean underneath them, and secondly, to keep the pots from sitting directly on the deck and causing the wood to rot.

Click through for some other photos of work that's been completed recently: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mockingbirdacres/ Sorry we haven't put much on flickr lately, but one of these days we'll put more up there.

We're planning on the open house -slash- housewarming party for May 1st. We've got a lot to do before then, but it's certainly doable. If you want to come paint, plant seeds, or put seedlings in the garden, you're invited to stop by. The pay is non-existent, but the free meal program is pretty substantial. wink!

Today I learned: it only takes about an hour to pick up enough rocks for the base-layer of six 16" diameter flowerpots.