Saturday, February 19, 2011

My new toy!!

Look familiar?

It's a CGI rendering of this shot of my garden:

I created it, as well as my entire property, using Realtime Landscaping Plus

For someone like me who has a yard that needs landscaping, lots of ideas, and the need to "see" an idea before I really know whether or not it's a good one, this is a total score!!

Forever, I've been wanting to add a raised bed to the area around our patio. Now I can in minutes, throw in some plants and see how it looks.   The software gives you a top-down view, a perspective 3D view (shown), and the coolest of all:  The ability to "walk" through your yard at any time of day. 

It took me an entire day to plot out our house and yard into the software. That was mostly because our lot is an odd shape and our house is angled on it, making it even harder. I spent lots of time running in and out with the measuring tape trying to get all the measurements right. But once it's there, you can start having some fun.

In other plans, I've installed a deck and hot tub, a second Tuff Shed. I might play with a pond. It's a kick! I recommend this to anyone who wants to have fun playing around with their landscape. Extra bonus: Once you've built something, it gives you the dimensions, etc. that will help you determine how much material you need to buy. Fun fun fun!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Okay, so it's not quite summer yet. In fact, it's not even spring. But it IS time to start a couple of my summer crops.

These two flats are this year's hopefuls in the category of tomatoes and peppers. I'm growing 5 varieties of tomato and two pepper.


Moskvich is an early tomato
Big Beef is a standard red
Valencia is an heirloom yellow
Brandywine is an heirloom red
Juliet is a roma tomato for sauce

I'm also trying the standard Ace bell pepper one more time this year. If I'm not happy with the results, I intend to be done with bell peppers forever. New this year to me is Sahuaro, which is an Anaheim pepper.

This year, I'm giving myself 90 days to grow from seed. Most books say 45-60 days, but I found last year they weren't as big as I'd like them to be within that time frame, so I'm getting an earlier start. My target transplant date is 5/15. We'll see!