Jun 30, 2009 | 4:27 AM PST
raindrops keep fallin' on my head.. ok- the rain was down to a heavy drizzle,so I donned my raincoat and headed out back.These silly plants...they dont know that the sun hasnt been out for 3 weeks,they really dont care-their a bunch of happy blooming idiots anyways.I picked a big bunch of pink Peonys' for the vase-the blooms seem to last a long time,as the 1st vase isnt ready to chuck yet.The back house gutter seems to be having a problem.Write that on the list. The Hosta sent up their spikes and ready to burst any moment now. I'm down to one pair of sneakers here,my other pair being at the other house, and my boots along with them,so I quess you know I was totally soaked by the time I came in.I dont know why I didn't just put on Jims boots...duh.Veronica Speedwell is blooming,so I picked some grass out of her feathers,,she looks quite dandy.I think I'd like more of her...The dutch Iris in the tire planter is in bloom, along with Johnny Jump-ups I didnt plant,,,the" Blaze rose bush" is loving all this rain,now 8 ft tall and in bloom.And silly me, I dont know why the first thing I should do every time is put on gloves,cause I always end up picking at something, and getting dirty-but I always forget to.I havent gotton myself trained yet-I quess...well at least I have rain barrels hanging around,so I can always wash my hands,,,I strolled into the blueberry orchard to see my friends.Most have a good amount of fruit on them,starting to turn blue.While I was there- of course, I had to pick at the weeds,,hence the muddy grass hands.After I washed up,I checked the Clematis,a pretty new one is putting on a show-and something seems to like nibbling at the 3 of them.Then that something found my Coneflowers, and sheared many of the shorter ones off.Hmm,looks like some action is taking place in the wee hours of morning.I took the celery planter out of the seat,and moved it over by the house,as its grown back good after being eaten the first time.I've got quite a line of Roma's growing up,as in the low bush blueberry bed,so they got thinned out a bit.I dont know why I bothered to actually plant tomatoes,cause now I have about 40 going.The 6 intentional ones,are doing fantastic-tripled their size,plenty of flowers.The radish are pushing out of the dirt,so I plucked one,nice and round,and observed the drowning carrots-squash-peppers in a sea of short grass weeds,and not doing well with all this rain.By now its raining harder,so I told myself to just ignore it.What will be-will be.Back over to the fence line,the double buttercups or maybe its primrose,I dont know, is full bloom,and drooping down from all the wet.The asia lillies that got the red beetles seemed to fair ok- and putting out for me regardless-a bit chewed up,but deep red blooms.The white Phlox that I mowed down last year because of powdery mildew is looking its best now,supposedly its rain & humidity that causes it-but since we've had nothing but that-and it hasnt gotton it back yet-is a mind twister.But the comfrey has it-way on the other side of the yard.The little Wisteria has many leaves-also being bothered by some insect- something.One huge strawberry 3/4 ripe,and I'm wondering who gets to eat it first,me or the woodchucks...I swear they are like mini vacuum cleaners on this lawn of dandelions.On the very first batch of tomatoes that my brother planted in tubs,-then got hit with a late frost,only one survived.He said the heck with them,and dumped them-but one made it thru,I found it floating in a tub of water-rescued it,brought it in the house-babied it-and then put it in the top tier of the planter. It didnt budge one iota for at least 6 weeks.Then the rain came,and its taking off now.I have no idea what type it is.Well-I've been saving all the ends off the tools that fall apart.Yard art they call it.You fasten it all together and make animals and such out of them.Ends of rakes-hoes,shovels,etc.I'm getting quite a collection now,as I brought home another rake end,from the other house.Time to get a tote,and gather them all up,till I'm ready to do something with them next year. All the hanging baskets dont look good at all,kinda like mush.Now that was a good waste of money...The Stella's have plenty of blooms,not popped yet,alongside the line of Rudebeckia's that are being eaten by the woodchucks.They seem to have their culinary favorites.I told them to take the Jerewselum Artichokes,as their way out of control,but they didnt listen to me apparently.The bush morning glories are hanging in there-lots of leaves,so I think they'll be ok.I'm taking 2 rain barrels to the other house,as I have many here,when Jim starts fiddling with the plumbing redo-if theres a problem,then at least I'll have some water.The potatoes in the washtub are doing good-nice and tall.And I didnt figure out where to put the poppies-so I quess I'll just plunk them in the raised bed for now-alongside the hydrangea and speedwell.I picked up a package of wild lupine seeds up north,to plant next to the roadside telephone pole.They have alot of wild lupines up in that part of the state,,not as much around here even though they'll grow anywhere here.I quess I'll start a movement of sorts,and promote the Lupine.Well- I was pretty much wringable by the time I got in,,but the yard is surviving ok,if not downright thriving...
Jun 29, 2009 | 4:27 AM PST
green green grass Our grass here looks like it could use another round of mowing.But of course we cant, as its pouring again.The whole state got one day of sunshine on saturday!-then back to rain. We drove home in pouring rain all the way on sunday.The forecast is all week of rain up till friday.Then we head back north again.So the chances of this lawn getting done by then are real slim.oh-well,got inside work to do anyways.The stay up north was a good trip- we actually have cold running water now! yippee!,and Jim thinks we may have hot water on this next trip!.It turned out to be a good trip,making it in less time-4 1/2 hrs.,and quite productive.We met up with the bushhogger guy,who got that done for us,then we were able to walk the large yard area. I was eating alpine strawberries,as there was a rather large patch out front-before they all got smushed down.Theres no shortage of garden snakes,,or black flies there.Then we met up with the bush-hogger's brother who excavates, and will take down the large ol' chicken coup-and move out a rather large rock slab for us.As its 3 ft across, and about 4-6 inches thick, we cant bring it home-dang.So we gave it to his wife.One more small pile of debris left to haul out of the cellar.We had to mow down a good portion of the perennials mixed in tall grass,just to be able to walk around,and get to the sides of the house to work- but they'll grow back. I'll get a bunch of the tall poppies dug up next weekend,as we'll be building a front step right where they are.This time I left 2 shovels there and a large container.As there's Thyme everywhere- thats all I could smell walking thru it to unpack or repack.I've also got my eye on the rocks, as there's a huge arrange of rocks thru out the perennials,which have to come out.So Jim will get the trailor closer for me this time- and I'm bringing home a slew of them.We also managed to get the tv going, and bring in one channel nice and clear.I'll don my raincoat later this afternoon-and go check on things in the yard,and pick a spot to plant some of the perennials when I get them here.
Jun 25, 2009 | 5:13 AM PST
playful kits.. Ok-talk about extremes..It finally stopped raining yesterday early morning.It stayed cloudy but started warming up,so I gave it a few hours- then said the heck with it I've got enough time to mow.Landon and I went and did a couple errands,then went at it. The grass of course was still wet-so it clumped up,and I wont have time to use the grass sweeper today,but it was better than leaving it.The grass can only be left for one week,after that you have a hard time just walking thru it,or cutting it,it gets so thick and tall.Now they're saying its going to get sunny & hot-very hot.I checked on things growing as I was mowing- the Peony's are blooming,so I brought in 2 blooms to enjoy the fragrance. Not that I can do anything about anything if there is a problem,as I am time challenged right now.I'll be lucky if I get a cuke,can pick it, and eat it.lol. Taking care of the house we live in is quite a handful at times, never mind add another one to the mix. The last 2 summers we spent up north just clearing it out- now we're in the fix-it stage.And everyone was shocked when I said no gardening for me this year.I'm crazy,but not that crazy.Of course,one needs a ton of money to remodel a house, so we're only doing basic stuff,and fixing what is broken-which is still quite a list.I'm not even going to get to the upstairs painting this year,only doing the kitchen-living room & bath downstairs.I hate self stick tiles.Their all peeling up,so it needs new flooring.My mom's is simply wearing out,but not curling up,so she needs a new floor also.Well-the good thing about that place is there are plenty of herbs for cooking. Roughing it a bit,& reduced to cooking on a grill or using the coleman camping stove is a bit of a challenge,but at least the garden herbs should put some flavor into the food-as the kitchen staples are few,and this trip I remembered to pack the salt & pepper.So keeping the meals simple and uncomplicated is a must.It will probaly be another trip or two before the kitchen stove is up and running.Dang-I'll be happy to have cold running water,maybe hot,hopefully this trip,instead of hauling water with us.This time its Porkchops. Dip in an egg,then roll in breadcrumbs & crushed sage.A yummy flavor,and there's plenty of sage there.Jim will replace a busted water pipe,install a new hot water tank,and hopefully that will do the trick & I'll have that hot water.We'll haul water again just in case, and I'll finish the cleaning of the kitchen cabinets.We'll both load up what debris is hanging around,and bring back a load to the dump.My Stella D' Oro's here,have started blooming-I enjoyed a few blooms last year,but bought more as their a more compact plant,and dont make a mess or spread.If the woodchucks don't eat all of them,I might get some good stunning blooms this year.I had one yellow Dutch Iris bloom the other day,they ate it-but havent found the purple ones in the back yard yet-ha-ha,so I'm enjoying them.The Annabelle Hydrangea has doubled its size,new last year. The woodchucks were playing with each other yesterday-kissing each other and tumbling around.One of the babies was trying to play with the mother,but she wasnt in the mood I quess,so it went after another sibling,and they went tumbling around-acting just like kittens.Landon and I sat on the steps to watch them,they were pretty interesting to watch.Even though my seeds are old, I always plant a whole package just in case-but they always germinate.All of them. So I planted Roma's in the front bed-and now have to thin them out a bit. By golly the little tykes are getting up there and surpassing the grass weeds in the bed,which is good,as theres no time to weed. If I get anything off them,which I'm sure I will get something,then thats a plus.Jims truck is ready for inspection this next week-so hopefully that passes,and nothing else is needed.Next is the Honda...
Jun 24, 2009 | 2:26 AM PST
We're so glad we decided to go with raised bed gardening.We've had all rain since we got back from up north,and a regular ground garden would have floated away by now,and I'm sure we would have lost everything.We know those that have planted straight in the ground are having that problem. Even the raised beds arent looking that great,but it could have been much worse.The 6 tomato plants are really liking all this rain though. They've continued to grow, and are now flowering-I hope for sun once the fruit starts.The woodchucks are sampling flowers here and there,glad I have enough perennials spread around.The weather is suppose to start clearing tonite,and a forecast of at least 3 days of sun before us.We're heading north again very early a.m. friday-so this lawn doesnt get mowed again till I get back.This trip we should have the water up and running, and come back with a load of yard debris. Well-another year of accidental tomatoes popping up,in the low bush blueberry bed,where I mixed compost in.Well- that will give me plenty in case some of them dont make it. The guys have the chimney down to the kitchen level now,and the wall in back of the stove is gone so they can get to it better. Because of all the rain,each digging job has been held up,and we're on the list,so hopefully they'll be able to dig within the next 2 weeks here,so we can start building the pole barn.As everything is dependent on everything else in a chain,it's all up to mother natures cooperation.My moms place gets one day of digging-then we're next for one day after her.The digger is stuck on a septic system job because of the rain,but right now its finally looking better,with the rain letting up.Once they get started,the building will go up fairly fast.I actually see a dry road out front-so its looking good right now...I hope we stay on a roll...
Jun 18, 2009 | 5:14 AM PST
sitting still.... We drove up north Friday thru the rain-but by the time we got there late afternoon,it had stopped. We had a busted water line,but the neighbor across the street gave us all the water we needed from his garden hose.The next trip, the line will be fixed.We put in one long full day,and steaks on the grill,and nitey-nite time wasnt far behind.The absolutely huge poppies were starting their blooms,and a large garden snake decided to sun himself on the rock step going into the living room right in our way.It sure did look like he just ate a good meal-and I hope it was the mouse that was in the house over the winter.We had a waste container arranged to be there when we got there-and JIm started right in gutting the small dining room area. Once gutted-it looked better than the disaster that was there. As the small roof needs replacing from a bad leak-half the ceiling was laying on the floor-so anything was better than the mess that was there.A pad of paper with a growing list of items needed on the next trip,and general discussion of what was going to be done.Rick went up on the roof and pulled out the stainless steel chimney going back to our house,then boarded it up with no problems encountered. Although he did tell us by next year we'll need a new main roof,but because it wasnt huge- it wouldnt be too exspensive.ok- write that down...I stayed in the kitchen scrubbing all day,and got the top half done. We all got our projects done,and a few more smaller things.Heading back on sunday morning,with another full load to the dump,we passed many yard sales along the way-but with a truck full we were to tired to stop.I've already started my low bush blueberry bed here,so will dig up more from that place in the fall to add to it,but I know I'll probaly make another bed. The next time- a shovel goes with me,to start transplanting perennials again. I'll let the poppies go thru their bloom time,but a set of steps are going to be built,and their right in the way,so they have to come here. After the round of rain at our place,the yard needed mowing at home again.I didnt get to that till yesterday,and it was thick like pea soup-and Jim got the sweeper out and got all the clippings swept up for the compost & around the garlic bed.One side left to go this morning,as another 4 days of rain is approaching,so it has to be done.I'm chopping up the garlic for steak last nite,and remembered I was suppose to pick up a pressure washer I bought on a yard sale.As it was just up the street, that didnt take long,then back to the ribeye steak.I do have a seat planter next to my rock bed,that I can & do sit upon and reflect-no doubt that I do need to do more of that. And no doubt at least a couple more are needed,as its a large area.Today, I can finally get to those Lavendar plants that are being swallowed up.They've been growing for 4 years, so have some size on them,and are very pretty in bloom, and smell great.I would rather have them in front of the house though,but not till next year,as we'll be soon digging again in front.We have a very popular magazine here called "Uncle Henry's".It lists 2nd hand articles for sale, and we found our cellar stove for heating,made the call-went and picked it up,another long ride,but so totally worth it.Decided to put in that cellar bulkhead thats way down on the wish list,now bumped up to top place. That will also add daylight-fresh air and dry the moisture out of the cellar. There's something about only having one door down there that bugs me.The oil tank-furnace can come out pretty slick,especially with the help of an excavator,and the new stove in,once the hole is dug & they break thru the foundation.The site for the pole barn will only take him an hour of digging he says,so time is not a problem.Thats all suppose to happen within the next 2 weeks,depending on rain. So if it lands on our weekend to go north,we'll stay home,and reschedule the next trip.The purple Lupines are almost done blooming here, and the "Red Rocket Lupine" is just starting to take off. That one I like much better,and got one for mother's day-which needs to be planted once I find a spot-which probaly wont happen till I sit my butt upon the seat and reflect...
Jun 12, 2009 | 3:37 AM PST
thats some bad hat Harry... I have 3 big lavendar plants side by side starting to fill in.If I didnt know they were there, I'd miss them walking by. They are so overgrown with tall grass.So I quess I know what I'll be doing next week.We've had a good amount of rain,today again all day. But the yard is doing well with the drinks,so thats ok with me.I've plenty to keep me busy inside-and I dont have to water the plants which is a plus.There are 4 kit groundhogs in tow-we kept counting 3-till the fourth finally showed up.Heading up north this morning,for our first round of demolition at the other house.By the time we get back sunday-the lawn will need mowing again,and I'll probaly be ready to ride and smell the grass.All the rain has popped out the bush morning glories I planted-which is good,and all the rain barrels are overflowing.The rain has slowed down all the outside construction stuff this last week,but we have some inside stuff just in case.My spring bulb bed is about done now,and the Iris is blooming,now waiting for the Dutch Iris.The Clematis is ready to pop also,but needs some sun I think.So glad we're not getting the japs yet, and by the time they return in full force perhaps next year-we'll have the chickens to take care of it,which I am so looking forward to.For the 1st time in my life,I've got 4 houseplants that I've managed to kill for lack of water.I quess that means that my attention is elsewhere.I've slowly dwindled my houseplants from 50 down to 13-now its even less,and it doesnt bother me either,as I'm happier outside or tending to other things, so I dont know how the heck all those years,I managed 50 to start with.Another wall gets demolished in the kitchen soon,when we ready for the new chimney,and I'll get another cupboard in the process,which is pretty cool beans..
Jun 9, 2009 | 2:34 AM PST
big flowers.. As this is the 3rd year for our resident groundhog,we thought it was a boy, as we didnt see anyone else. Oh- no- it has 3 kits in tow now, all munching happily on the dandelions, and letting us take pics.it appears they're only eating a diet of that and weeds,and they hibernate in winter.Other than a couple large holes at the edge of the property,they dont seem to be bothering anything else. We're pretty sure it was Mr. Rabbit who got at the small bushes. The strawberry plants are absolutely huge,and now flowering-but i want to cover them with a light cloth to protect them. Another trip north this coming weekend,and tires for the truck today.We kept getting hit with lite frosts-but I covered them on the nights they said-their looking a bit pewny,but holding on.Its warm days mostly and much cooler nights,so the hot weather veggies are struggling a bit.As we're going to kill the grass around the 5 ft. stump- Jim will pick up a black tarp today-and we'll cover with lots of mulch/or the white rocks.I've been wacking it down a little at a time. Then we wont have to mow it anymore.Its right in the firepit circle area,and just an overall difficult area to tend to because of the tree roots.So the question is- do we do rocks or mulch-we have about 9 bags of the rocks on hand, and a high pile of mulch...
Jun 4, 2009 | 2:44 AM PST
some-bunny's baby... He must have been somebody's bunny once upon a time. We pulled into the drive before dusk,last night,the car wasn't 6 ft from him and he just sat at the bottom of the steps,munching away. He didn't move till Jim opened the car door and stepped out. He's been bopping all around this yard-sampling the treats.But for whatever reason, he keeps coming to the steps area.-oh-oh, I have the small bed here with 2 celery plants in it-that he hasn't touched yet., and 2 small lines of Roma's popping up. We went out to the gardenshed, and pulled down a roll of chicken wire,just in case.ok- this isn't ol'MacDonalds farm now. The groundhog ,jim says is nothing but a butt.A big ol' butt,fat & happy critter. So, all these low lying beds will definitely have to be surrounded with wire next year. I dont think either of them will bother the big garlic-unless their italian. Strawberries-? I dont know. well- the groundhog cant get up into the tall beds,but Mr. Bunny can if he stretches.Do they eat-peppers-tomatoes & squash..? well- we'll have to do something with that before the lines of carrots pop up good. I put some pop up strawberry plants that appeared in the circle bed.They've been out of that bed for 2 years-but it produced 6 more for me,so I put them in hanging baskets. The bush morning glories have popped-Lupines are starting and Iris.Sunny and on the cooler side this week-just right for planting anything,and yard work. I'm picking thru the wood pile today-separating the dump stuff from the burnable,and scraping down the Hoosier Helper. I found a bag of pine needles,so I put them around the last line of blueberries we put in, and all the berries are doing real good.I'll get out the trimmer this morning,to tackle next to the house.We ended up cancelling plans on the pig as the exspense was too much, and we dont eat very much pork anyways.When Mom found out how much it was going to cost-she didnt want to either.I need the freezer room for my veggies anyways. But I still want a small flock of chickens next year,so when we build the wood shed this summer, we'll build a small hen house on the side of it.They are my secret weapon for bad bugs,including the japs when they come back. After the initial sighting of them-they havent bothered us-as the weather has changed,so maybe they'll take this summer off,but I'll be ready next year...