10.04.19 Creating a Picnic Area – Part Three, Maybe the Final One – for now!

I’ve been sharing with ya’ll the steps we’ve taken to create a picnic area in part of our property we haven’t used for anything before now. This will be the last in this series about “Creating a Picnic Area” until next year when the grass has covered the ground and all the flowers and plants start blooming – hopefully!

Back when we first purchased our property here in Amite it had to be cleared and if we wanted to get to the other side of the ditch, a culvert had to be laid to replace the ditch back there. These first pictures are from way back then.  The circled area is what we are now calling our picnic area.

  This one is looking back from the new picnic area to where our storage building and house were under construction.

What I liked about this photo was that it shows how small our pine trees were when we first moved here compared to how much they have grown to now!

The pictures I am sharing below aren’t going to WOW anyone.  The grass runners and flower/plant clippings don’t look like anything great.  A lot of it is covered with pine straw to give the little clippings a better chance of taking root and flowering.

We’ve done a lot of runner transplanting over the years and since moving here.  I’ve learned the most successful transplant works when the runners are clipped into small segments and any dead blades removed before planting.  It’s so hot outside that I do the cleaning part with a big blanket over my lap, a container with the original runners, a pan to put the new small clean segments in and one for the parts cut off.  In the past, we’ve planted the whole runners and they’ve had a difficult time getting established and survived.  All of these new clean smaller segments are rooting and surviving! Here’s my setup for cleaning and clipping the runners!

This is one of the bare areas that I planted the small runner pieces.

   You can’t really see the little grass pieces in this second bare area but there are at least a hundred of them planted here.

A third small area where grass pieces were planted. We will be planting ryegrass back there to keep the soil in place since there is a slope in all directions.  We have to wait until it is 65 degrees during the day and since it’s still in the 90s here right now, it may be a while!

A hundred or so clippings were planted from lilies, lantanas, hostas, red sister (Florica Cordyline Plant), ferns, Gerber daisies, creeping daisies, spider plants, and other types of green ground cover. I purchased the spider plants and some of the hostas but the rest were transplants. Here’s a bucket of a few transplants.

This is where those plants and more were planted. Mostly all you see of those plants is pine straw on top and all around them!  Next year I’m hopeful we’ll have a big fern, nice lantana plant, and lilies blooming along with the hostas, spider-like plants and other Lillies!!

.Another area where clippings were planted. This area includes a hydrangea plant, marigold seeds, lilies, spider-like plants, hostas, and creeping daisies.

Next to the plants above is a beautiful shaded pathway into the woods between our home and the neighbors across the pond.

Creeping daisies that I am hopeful will grow up the metal trellis.

We’re hoping by next year the grass will have covered the dirt and the flowers will all be blooming.  The two large oak trees back there provide shade there almost all day.

I’ve been working a lot on pulling the pine needles off of all the pine branches Roy cut down. I had some help this weekend from my precious granddaughter Madisyn who is 10.  We spent some time sitting back there in the shade, pulling and pulling.  Some of the pine needles have turned brown and I’ve been distributing them among the gardens and around the trees.

Needles off of the branches. This is about 1/20th of the needles!

While Madisyn and I were plucking pine needles Roy was busy hanging the new hammock.  This one has a pillow and is sooooooo comfortable. Didn’t quite expect this but even though we purchased the hammock on a drastic price cut sale but the chains from the hammock to the pine tree cost twice as much as the hammock!

These five azalea plants came from Chip’s house.  They almost died in this heat. Chip and Misty replaced them with some beautiful gardenia plants. We took all the plants they dug up..  We cut them back as much as possible and belive these five have a chance of living. They are planted along the fence line.

In between two of the azaleas, we placed our little swing that used to be white and now is a Saint’s swing! It holds some fun rocks!

We used the area around the two huge oak trees to plant lots of clippings.  Around this one, we also placed rocks our grandchildren painted for us. One is a baseball field, one is a dance studio, one is a pumpkin patch and one is Madisyn’s school.

Too many different plants to name again are planted around the other oak tree. A lot of the clippings are covered with pine needles here. I painted three rocks that say Happy Fall Yall to welcome people to the picnic area. Of course, there is an LSU and Saints rock and a Southeastern rock is being painted right now! I found metal flower stakes at Dollar General on sale for 50 cents each so you’ll see them throughout the area.

Roy bought an LSU bucket to haul water from the pond to the plants before he put in the water line.  It’s now our official trash container back there!

Fast forward to today and this is what the picnic area looks like from the top of the hill near our house.

Here are some pictures from various angles of the finished area.  Like I said originally the plan is for it to be pretty next Spring and I can’t wait to share that with ya’ll.


And now the best part, in my opinion, is the startlingly beautiful view of the pond from the picnic area. If you don’t click on any other photo to enlarge, do it with this one.  I remember when we first went over there to work and after working for a while I turned around and saw this view. I immediately thought, Thank You God for this amazing blessing!

I thought I’d end with this picture of Roy sleeping in the hammock nearest our house.  We’ve spent a lot of time in that hammock while creating this picnic area. I have a video of him snoring while in the hammock but I like being married to him so I decided against sharing that one!    

Ya’ll have a Blessed Weekend!




09.18.19 Creating a Picnic Area – Part Two

I didn’t say this in part one but this series of blogs is mostly so we can remember what we did while creating the picnic area on our property. If you want to read it we appreciate your interest! Once it’s finished and you want to come to visit us there

Part of the project we are calling “Creating a Picnic Area” included bringing water to the new area for cleaning and plant watering, balloon filing and other fun things!

We priced renting a ditch witch to make the 160-foot long trench for the water line and it was $165.  My hard-working husband being the beast that he is decided he should dig the trench himself. For four days in the early morning and late evening he dug 20 foot long segments of trench each time.  Sometimes when I didn’t catch him doing it he dug more than 20 foot at a time.

We got the 160 foot of pipe from Coburns in Hammond.  My ingenious hubby tied it all to the side of our truck to get it from Hammond to Amite.

 This is the PVC pipe that the pipe and faucet are mounted in.  This is located on the fence betweem the two fig trees.

And the digging began! Smartie Roy watered the pathway where he would be digging to make the digging a bit easier. He also brought his outside fan there to help with the overwhelming heat we are having. The trench pathway at the top of the hill leading to the origination of the water source.

This is where Roy tied into the water source.

The pedestal is where Dora use to connect for electricity and water.  

We’ve seen lots of This Old House episodes about putting expanding foam insulation in the walls and other spaces.  Roy wanted to do this using the liquid form in the PVC tubes at the beginning and the end of the new water pipe.  He mixed part A and part B of polymerplanet together and it was so cool watching the foam work its way up to the top of the tube.  It overflowed a little big making a mushroom shape on top.  Roy sliced that off and put the cap on! Both end pipes are well protected against freezing. These are pictures of Roy mixing the parts together and the foam insullation filling the pipe.

  All of this was done so we could have water close to the new picnic area.   

This put a big smile on my face!

In Creating a Picnic Area Part Three I’ll share photos of the new picnic area and the view from that area!

Ya’ll have a blessed week!

09.13.19 Creating a Picnic Area! – Part One

Bridging the Gap – post three

The side of the end of our pond didn’t have a lot of improvements until recently. It was on our list but money and other issues kept us from working over there.

This photo is from Google satellite. I’m sharing it so you can get a good understanding of where “side of the end of our pond” actually is.

A little back story of how we got to the point where we can Create a Picnic Area is needed. When we first purchased our property we had a ditch going from our neighbor’s land to the pond. It was difficult to cross and made it difficult getting access to our property on the side of the end of our pond. As many will remember that was a huge project all in itself.

Here are some photos of the area back in December 2015 of the culvert installation area and the area on the side of the pond I will be writing about.

The ditch was difficult to navigate so we (of course I mean Roy) and a big piece of equipment dug deeper in the ditch to install a massive (massive to me) culvert.

Once the culvert was laid in place we had an unexpected monster monsoon rain and the culvert kept trying to float into the pond.

Roy worked out in the rain for hours rescuing the culvert from floating into the pond. Once the area dried he created a very secure means of anchoring the culvert.

You can see in the video below that the water continued to wash around and through the culvert making it very insecure.

We’ve come a long way since getting the culvert secured and covered with dirt. We spent many hours planting small patches of grass to cover all of the areas shown in the picture above.

In case you’re really interested in the issues and what all went into getting the two culverts together and fighting to get the culvert finished here are three posts from back then. I know most of ya’ll don’t care but there is that really curious group who weren’t with us back then so here they are.

Bridging the Gap – post one

Bridging the Gap – post two

Bridging the Gap – post three

This year our project is to “Create a Picnic Area” surrounded by plants, a hammock and lots of visiting space. This started when we found a square picnic table with four benches on sale at Tractor Supply Store. Being Roy, he doesn’t do anything halfway so the picnic table became a project all in itself! When planting bushes and plants that far away from our house we had no way to water the plants and clean the paddle boat and picnic table. Part two of “Creating a Picnic Area” will be about how that need was achieved.

Ya’ll have a Blessed weekend!


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