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dooley's Blog

The days are going too fast!

Category: Yard work! | Posted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:08 am

Today, I had to give the kitchen a good cleaning. I've been spending too much time outside, maybe. I have a large rectangular table in the kitchen that has become a catch-all. It was near ll am when I was finished with it. Then, we went into town and bought some dog food and the papers. I sat and read the papers. I must be slow or the clocks suddenly sped up because when I looked it was after 1:30 in the afternoon. I quickly got up and made sausage and Kale soup for lunch. Then, I went outside and hoed some weeds in the garden area and between the rose bushes and when I came in I had to check what had been going on here at the Stew. Before I knew it it was 6:30 pm and I had to go make some sandwiches for our supper. Now, it's almost 8 pm and the day has gone by too quickly.
The whole week has been that way. I finished planting the tomatoes and cucumbers and put down mulch on my black plastic and started to mulch around the rose bushes. We had to go buy some more mulch to finish them. I did that after I did the weeding this afternoon. But, when we were buying mulch and of course a few more bags of garden soil I found some pepper plants that needed to be planted and some zucchini and yellow squash, too. I planted seeds for the squashes but they haven't come up yet so these will give me a bit of a start while I'm waiting. dr found some sweet onion sets. They will need to be planted too. Did I tell you that we downsized our garden area? Just a kitchen garden, we said. It's about 12 by 30. It's almost full already. So, where will I plant 8 pepper plants, 12 squash plants and 60 onion sets. The onions need to be 4 inches apart.
Well, being experienced and "old" gardeners we will find a place for them, I'm sure.
I finished the slipcovers for the frontyard lawn chairs. Then, we found some foam mattress pads at the thrift shop that will make just the right padding so I will bring them back inside and modify the design to fit the padding inside and they'll be more comfy. I built the circular flower bed in the middle of the semicircle of the chairs and the rocker. I still need to retrieve a couple of logs for side tables. I was sitting and looking it over. dr said, "What?" I said, "rocks." He said that it did need some rocks around the flower bed up to the chairs and maybe even under the chairs to mark the sitting area. I thought the ground looked too "dirty." There is no grass under the trees. But, we have enjoyed spending a part of each afternoon or evening sitting out there.
I still need to get the plants into the flower bed. Maybe tomorrow. No, tomorrow is library day in the morning and in the afternoon we need to do those vegegtables. Are vegetables more important that flowers? Maybe they are since the prices of them keep going up and up. I'm not sure growing them is too much cheaper since I buy the starter plants but they sure taste good all summer. It's getting to be salad time.
It's a good thing the days are getting longer, but I sure hope things slow down a bit so I can fit everything into them that I need to get done. Every day we seem to start with a list of things that didn't get done yesterday.

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Every day a little more gets done!

Category: Yard work! | Posted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:11 am

Every day we get a little more done. I'm sure about 30 years ago I could have gotten this all done in a few weeks. But, now I've been working on it for the most part of a year. I'm hoping to be able to put some pictures on here soon. But, we have some of the trees planted. Today, our young gardener planted the fig tree. It's a mission fig. I let him do it all himself while I cut roots and little scrubby trees that keep popping up all over the yard.
It looks good and he mulched it and watered it when he finished. He asked questions when he needed to and I showed him what he needed to know. I had a hole dug so I had him look at how deep it was dug and how wide and the water well I made around the top. Then, he knew how he should do his hole. Then, he put in the soil and manure and mixed it and put in the tree and filled around it. I showed him how to loosen the roots a bit. He finds it all very interesting. He's always ready to do something else.
He and Brian moved the wood pile from the front yard to the back yard today. They have to finish stacking it neatly yet. That was a lot of work. They moved it on the garden wagon so they didn't have to carry it. They still have the kindling pile to move. It's still in big pieces so they are going to cut and box it before they move it. Then, we will be able to finish cutting those scrubby trees and start to plant the new trees in the front yard. We can dig some flower beds and get some seeds planted. Glenda said that last fall she pulled some branches down from her Carolina Jasmine and buried them in the dirt. I'm supposed to go see if they grew roots. If they did I'm supposed to go cut them and bring them down to finish the fence line. We couldn't do it today. Maybe tomorrow or Monday. We watered everything and I moved the rosemary and basil from the small pots. The basil went into a large tub. The rosemary went into the ground. I have little basil and thyme coming up in the boxes that I planted last week. Maybe tomorrow we can start planting what I bought yesterday. There is just so much that you can do in one day. I wonder when days started getting shorter. I thought that only happened in winter time. We stopped at noon and went to have a Subway sandwich. Then, we did some more until everyone was hot and tired. It was 85 degs today and mostly sunny. After we ate this evening I went out to the front yard with my photo books to read more instructions but after a busy day isn't the best time to try to decipher instructions . So, we just sat and let Chance wander around and enjoyed the cooler evening. We talked about what needed done and how we could do it and how the deck will look when we do it and all sorts of things. Of course, that dog that didn't want in the yard and kept digging out suddenly wanted into the yard. Tough! Now, Chance has a front yard and a back yard and that dog has a small space and the driveway. She's getting friendlier so maybe one of these days we will be able to catch her and take her to the shelter. I'm thinking maybe we can borrow one of those live traps and put a bacon strip in it. We'll see how it goes from now.
Anyway, it's getting done a bit at a time and some day we'll look and say, "We're done!" Of course, you are never done because there is maintainance and in the fall you put everything to bed for the winter and start over in the spring. Hopefully next spring won't be so hectic.

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Trees, bushes, vines and more!

Category: Yard work! | Posted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 1:51 am

Last year we moved down the hill to a smaller place. It was carved out of land that had trees, bushes, brush and lots of weeds. I spent most of last summer and fall chopping down brush, digging up roots and generally trying to make a front and backyard. I had a few health problems that slowed things down but I worked on it whenever I could get out and do it. I didn't plant much at all.
I did get 10 Blaze Climbing Roses planted along the fence line with the house next door. They didn't do very well because we didn't have an outside water line and they didn't get watered as much as they should have. Last fall, I planted five small crepe myrtle trees that I bought at a yard sale. The man said take them home and plant them. They looked like dry sticks. But, I planted them. Today I was digging out grass and weeds that grew around them. Grass and weeds will grow when nothing else does. I noticed that three out of the five are getting green buds and leaves. I'm hoping the other two will have some tomorrow. I mulched around them today. A friend gave me a rose bush. He didn't know what kind it is but I planted it along the fence with the others. I don't think it is a climber though. The climbing rose bushes are doing very well this spring. I fed them Miracle Gro and have been keeping them watered. In December I planted daffidols, iris and freesia. The daffidols are getting flower buds. The iris that Toni sent are getting flower buds. The other iris are growing steadily. The freesia must be a later flower because the largest are only about three inches and I see they are still coming out of the ground. Today, I mixed alyssum, dwarf marigolds and dwarf zinnias and sprinkled the seed in the flower bed with the freesia and daffidols. I'm hoping they will fill in the spaces when the bulbs die back.
I dug along one fence today to plant morning glories. I will dig along more fence tomorrow. I need to put the seeds to soak before I go to bed. They germinate better if you soak the seeds before you plant them. I nicked nastursium seeds today and put them to soak. I'm not sure where I'm going to put them but I'm thinking along the fence between the rose bushes. I planted four lilac bushes in the front yard last week and two bleeding heart bushes in large pots. Then, I planted two purple leaf honeysuckles along the fence line fence in the front yard and a confederate jasmine on the fenceline between the house and the rose bushes. I'm thinking I may have to put some morning glories along the fence between the honeysuckle and the jasmine to fill in that space at the end of the house.
We bought four small trees at the plant sale, The two dogwood trees are growing and have lots of little leaves. We put them in buckets because they were so small but we may have to put them into the ground before long. The two little plum trees are just straight sticks but I notice little buds on them. They will probably stay in the buckets until fall or maybe spring next year.
Today, I bought basil, oregano and thyme seeds when I went to WalMart for mulch and potting soil. I planted them in the cassette tape cases that I got when the library lady was throwing them out. I'll let them grow in the cases until they get too big for them. I need to put my other herbs into bigger pots. I have a tub of mixed lettuce/greens, a tub of spinach, a tub of kale and a tub of swiss chard. I have lots of little foam cups filled with potting soil that I haven't planted yet. We bought black plastic to put in the small area designated as the "garden." It's not down yet. It's been too windy to do that since we bought the plastic. I planted a row of pole beans along side of the back deck. I will need to put some string down from the fence on the deck for them to grab onto. So, I have things started this spring. The front yard is still full of roots and some brush and some scrubby trees that I need to cut. I bought some wildflower for shade seeds. I want to put them under the trees that we are leaving. There are still some brush piles that need burning but it's too dry to burn and there is a burn ban. It doesn't stop everyone from getting out and burning but it does help. The other day the air was full of smoke and it was hanging at tree top level. The news said it was from a fire about forty miles from us. The wind was blowing the smoke. It was a wildfire that got out of control.
I'll be back outside every nice day that I can until I have what I think of as a yard.

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