Sunday, November 27, 2011

Rainy Afternoon and Google Earth

Google Earth can be entertaining on a rainy November afternoon.   I discovered the 'historical' image tool today and wandered off to find our house.  The first image from February 2002
You can see the house with the front yard bisected by a walkway.  The driveway is on the upper side of the house with a patio in the ell and garage to the back.  Trees shade the whole backyard and the front is grass.  Well, short green plants, some edible like dandelions and dock and hmm...well, ok other weeds.  Forward to June 2006

Closer than this and it begins to look like pointillist art, but you can see the back yard has lost some tree cover and the front yard is dead grass/dirt being prepared for gardens.  March 2007 is much clearer.
The trees are not in leaf yet, so you can see the back and front pretty well.  The front has gardens with grass strips around them, there is a single fence across the front of the gardens.  The fence helps the place look nice between crops and provides some support for vining plants like peas, hyacinth bean vine and the like.  In the back, you can barely see some white X's, those are square foot gardens placed corner to corner.  The X's are PVC pipe to make little hoophouses.  You can see them closer here.  The light 'trail' on the lower side of the house is our lesson on buying 'soil' and letting it be dumped without examining it.  River silt is not good on gardens.  Quite a contrast with the dark lovely soil Lee has created in the front yard, isn't it?  Soil conditioner and compost are your friends when starting a garden.
The latest shot is from September 2010...
The front fence is covered with hyacinth bean is the arbor over the sidewalk.  Gorgeous vine and vigorous grower.  We won't grow it over an arbor again as we had to spend way too much time pruning so we could get to the street! 

A note on tree cover.  If you'll notice in the first shot above, the trees in the upper rear corner of our lot shade that area.  They were spindly tired pine trees and by the third shot they are gone.  You can see that by 2010, the neighbor's river birch again overshadows that rear corner.  This isn't a problem for us as that tree is to the north, our cherry on the south side(which almost melds with our southern neighbor's maple)  shades most of our back yard.  However, when you are figuring out where to put your garden, watch out not only for shade or future shade from your own trees, but those of your neighbors as well.


  1. Nice! This is what I'm aiming for in my yard. We have lots of areas that can be used for growing veggies and fruits. Still working on convincing my husband to convert the front yard to a garden.

  2. Start small and plants that are edible? I used beets as a substitute for 'monkey grass', very pretty along the sidewalk or flowerbed edge :)