Alright, so these last couple haven't really been outings, per say. But it's something we've done as a family. Who says you have to go somewhere to have an adventure?!?

The previous owners of this house left scattered perennials here and there (90 % of then day lilies), but nothing I'd call a real garden. So as soon as the ground was thawed and the last frost date was passed, we got out our green thumbs and got to work.

To keep the kids busy, we first built a sandbox under the apple tree.

kids in sandbox

Rosa and Caleb in sandbox

Months later, they still spend hours playing in the sand!

With the kids distracted, we got to work on the main garden. We staked out the boundaries, called all the utilities to come mark their lines, and started digging.

Alex and Lee in garden

Here's Lee standing on the last patch of grass to be dug up.

Lee digging

What soon became clear is we were digging up history along with the weeds and grass. We uncovered part of an old foundation...

old foundation

...and many, many other "treasures".

old bits of stuff

The biggest problem was tons of glass. Broken bottles, windows, plates, and other glass things. Bricks of all kinds also were unearthed. We tossed most of the glass for safety reasons, but here are some of the other things from the early 1900s we rediscovered:

A door knob.

door knob

A very heavy door lock of some kind.

door lock

A chunk of cement with tiles on it.

A chuck of cement with tiles on it

A bottom to a glass container of some kind. It says "NO. 71 PAT. IN U.S. DEC. 22 1903 JULY 17 1906 A 3"

glass bottom with writing

I was so excited to get these two intact! (I guess the archaeologist in me came out.) The taller one says "Dioxogen" and "the Oakland Chemical Comp'y" on it. I did some research, and Dioxogen is what they used to call hydrogen perioxide in the early 1900s. The smaller bottle still has it's dropper in it. It says "Vicks va-tro-nol" on the bottom.

brown bottles

An old tin cup and a marble and bouncy ball.

tin cup and balls

Empty tubes of toothpaste! They say "Colgate dental cream with gardol" on them.

old toothpaste tubes

The neatest find, I think is this old figure of a horseman.

man on horse figure

We also found a lot of rusty metal bits of things. Lots of nails!

metal bits

This is an old license plate. It says" Minn 139-726 A 24" I don't know how old it is. (Postscript: We had someone contact us about the plate, telling us that 1924 is indeed the date. How cool is that?)

old license plate

I did some research on this thing, too. It says "round oak". Round oak is a type of old wood and/ or coal burning stove/ heater. This is one of it's feet. I'm sure some of the other metal bits are also from the stove.

piece of stove leg

We found four of these. I have no idea what they are, and would love it if someone who knew told me!

metal gadget

Anyhow, while this project was going on we also moved all the rock from the south side of the house to give each boy their own garden, put some of the rock down on the north side where we replanted the ferns and moved the lily-of-the-valleys, and took out a whole bunch of the day lilies (Lee brought them to his work) so we could make a herb garden off the kitchen. Here the herb garden when first planted in late May:

new herb garden

And here it is now:

growing herbs

The boys are very proud of their gardens, and are very good at keeping them weeded and watered. Here's Caleb's mostly marigold garden:

Caleb's garden

Corbin's pretty garden:

Corbin's garden

And Alex's tall and lionish garden:

Alex's garden

I had a vision of what I wanted my main garden to look like, but was having a very hard time finding the Arbors I had in mind. Finally we found them at Walmart, of all places. Here's the garden slowly coming together:

garden with arbors

We used part of the old foundation we got up as a bench. The kids love it!

old cement bench

After much debate about what our walking path should be made out of, I decided to just use some of the rocks we had on hand. Rosa loves walking through the garden.

Rosa on path

The garden is a mix of perennials and some annuals flowers with tomato, pepper, zucchini, and cucumbers. So far all are doing well, despite the digging squirrels and munching rabbits. Check out the garden gallery for neat photos of some of the flowers. I'll close this page with some various views of the garden.

back view of garden

view of garden from corner

side view of garden

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