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While the chicken coop cleanup is temporarily on hold due to my husband's broken nose (long story, but I guess softballs aren't actually soft when they land smack in the middle of your face) I have been trying to start and finish other smaller projects. One of those projects was to clean out the bullpen. I've gotten about 70% of the cleanup completed and that's the worst part, so once that is done we can move on with the fun stuff. Like building the raised beds and painting the exterior wall. Here are some before photos and don't judge, I think once the cows came over and dropped some cow pies it only made everything grow that much more.

Once upon a time, the bullpen was an enclosure for the bull on the property. There's also a large water tank that isn't used anymore sitting just outside of it. I thought this area would be perfect for a cutting garden. I love flowers and am constantly surprised and excited by the variety of flowers that we can grow here. I'm going to give it a shot next spring, but wanted to get as much set up this year as I can. And then next year it will be like I live in a movie where I walk outside in the morning and cut my own bouquet. Or else I'll kill everything or it will be eaten by bugs or we will have a drought, or an extra rainy summer. You never know, but I'm willing to risk it. And if it fails at least I've gotten another small corner of our place cleaned up, so all will not be lost.

I worked for about six hours pulling almost everything out of here and it looks so much better already! There are some crazy saplings growing through the concrete, so all week I've been googling things like "kill saplings" "poison trees without harming bees" "how much ibuprofen is too much at one time?" What it looks like right now:

Here are some layouts and concepts that I'm leaning towards, as well as some of the flowers I would like to plant:






I think we will be able to fit four square beds and I will also incorporate a few vegetables with the flowers. I also think we can lay some gravel or something down in between the beds and will add a rain barrel to the northeast corner. I would love to add a decorative paint element on the area that looks like it used to be a door, just above the pen, to the right of the window.

I found this seed packet picture on Pinterest and it's perfect!

image The vertical rectangular shape that's already framed out really lends itself to a seed packet being painted here. I've got my fingers crossed in the hope that we can get this done before it gets too cold to paint. Once again, keep checking back as I will update as soon as we've got some more progress on the bullpen.

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