Buying a house these days is not like the heady good old days of free ARM’s being given out to every one who asked without any type of references what so ever. The difficulties of house buying in this day and age are near infinite it seems. We finally closed after the Mortgage Officer had literally gone through six different companies. One wanted us to have slightly better credit. One wanted us to not buy in this neighborhood at all. One wanted a bigger down payment. One wanted us to carry more mortgage insurance with a bigger up front payment. Ironically, paying a few thousand MORE for the house got us to go with this last one AND a smaller down payment. This of course was all on top of the seller’s two lenders who had to approve the whole thing. It was literally down to the wire before foreclosure and only proof that we were interested in the house and had an offer in allowed the lenders to keep from doing so. Ironically, this has caused us to get two “letters” from companies seeking to refinance us on our “foreclosure” due to the time it takes all the public records to get updated.
So here is the old owner’s garden. In the middle of December when we first were browsing the market.
Here is the same view, last week. I’m letting the second bed go because I’m planning on starting a whole new one in another part of the yard so weeds are pretty bad. The front bed will go away in the fall after we’ve harvested everything. There are two brandywine tomato plants, a Japanese heirloom tomato who’s name escapes me, white sweet corn, Anaheim hot peppers, another heirloom tomato, and “pizza” peppers. This menagerie of plants were products of an impulse buy at Costco, who had six organic plants (Tomatoes and peppers,) for $15 or so.
Also in the picture are two Camas plants which are doing pretty well considering they’re still in the pots, a Chinese Tea Plant, and hidden way in the corner are four lonely strawberry plants that the squirrels ate before the berries even had a chance to get ripe.
Off picture is two potato stacks made of old truck tires and filled with red potatoes. Thanks to “Steve”, the previous owner for leaving them in the garage for me to “dispose” of, along with 40 plus gallons of used motor oil. The theory is to plant the potatoes in the first tire then when it’s 6-8 inches above the top, put another tire on and more dirt. Repeat until you’re four or five tires up. Then harvest in the fall and enjoy the bounty of fresh potatoes.
The eventual plan is to dedicate a large portion of the yard to vegetables and fruits. The good thing about the weeds and grass is that right now they’re providing plenty of foliage for the compost piles, which will of course make it’s way back into the raised beds next year. I might also have to add a green house for early starters to increase the growing season. On top of this all, I’m relearning everything I might have ever known about gardening.
Luckily it’s mostly common sense.