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Have fork will expand

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:48 pm

Whether it's a dessert fork and half a chocolate cake or a garden fork and untilled land, expansion is inevitable.

But in this case I am referring to the new garden fork I bought last week. A nice strong one.....Randy was with me and forced me (picture me holding out my arm so he can twist it and make me to buy it) to buy the good one, lifetime warranty and really nice. If I had been shopping alone, I would still be forkless because I wouldn't have spent that much money on it.

Along with the fork came the required new plants....4 small pots of Snapdragons, two pinky-purple and two dark wine red...a pot of burnt orange colored garden mums...and a Hyacinth bean vine which even tho it is an annual in most parts of the northern hemisphere can be a perennial here if the weather conditions are right....and 10 bags of cedar mulch, three of which are on the newest bed expansion you see.



The snaps are in front of the wheelbarrow, the garden mum is in the "witchy" planter to the left and the vine is planted way in the back hopefully to climb the purple "fence" trellis.

I started expanding over on the far side of the bed but found an ant bed, sprinkled some power on them and will get back to it when they are gone.

Worked on expanding the bed at the back of the house where that holder of my Dad's birds is, but the sun came out, I started smelling something burning, figured it was me since I can't stay in the sun for very long and left that one for a cloudy day.

So I moved and started on the expansion to take place on the other side of the headboards and was just way too sore and tired to do any more. Will get back to that part tomorrow.





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The more rain we get, the more garden plans I come up with

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:46 am

It started just before 5:30 a.m. this morning, Sunday, Sept. 17th. Thunder that rattled the windows a couple of times, a few lightning flashes and rain...beautiful, wet, heavy rain. When I got up there was almost an inch in the really large rain gauge out back.

Today is my second favorite kind of day. Heavy overcast all day and several really good soaker rains. It ended just about 6:30 p.m. leaving 1.5 inches on my yard. We met Lisa,Kenny and the boys at The Flying Fish for Kenny's birthday supper and I let him know that only someone important could get me to leave the house on a precious rainy day.

Tomorrow will be too wet to work out back, that's okay since I broke the handle on my garden fork last Friday and have to buy another one before I can start working on the expansion plans I have been thinking about.

The rainy day gave me the time to get my gardening notebook caught up. I know, I tend to get a little carried away with organizing things sometimes, but this way when I have a question about the care and feeding of one of my plants I can go to the notebook. I started it last year when I began planning on applying for National Wildlife Federation certification.
I have printed out info sheets on all the plants I have out back, except the annuals that won't last the winter and will print new ones for the herbs and annuals I actually buy next spring. And I have info sheets on plants I hope to get next year. I have them in the notebook by yard sections, even have some different types of gardens in the planning stages for next year.
For instance, around the wishing well I will build next spring, I am going to have plants/flowers that correspond with the birth month of close family members. There will be honeysuckle climbing on the well for June (Lisa and Amanda), Larkspur in blue for July (Randy and grandson Nicky), Red Carnations (or dianthus if necessary) for January (Randy's Dad), Daffodils for March (Randy's Mom), Rain Lily's for April (Me), Daisies for May (my Mom), Asters (Texas (Fall) Asters)for Sept (Kenny) and a Dwarf Burford Holly for December (oldest grandson Austin).

I started printing out pictures of plants for the secret garden and the herb garden and the new garden out front. Even printed out info sheets on plants I want but have no idea where I would put them.

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New life out there and it's not even Spring

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:32 pm

I have been stopping at the various garden centers lately to see what they have on sale. I have gotten 8 perennials that are still in good shape and were 50% off. Since our first freeze normally doesn't happen before mid-November, they have plenty of time to establish themselves and have a head start come next spring. This week I have brought home two Blanket Flowers, a Plumbago, two Lipstick Autumn Sages, a Scabiosa, a Mandevilla and a Hyssop. Last week it was four chrysanthemums whose buds are still so tightly closed I do not know their color, 4 petunias, three Lavenders and three Sweet Potato Vines.

I was getting the newest 8 perennials in the ground this morning and noticed that the Fig tree is setting fruit again. I was looking forward to having figs for jam and maybe extra for drying but didn't think there would be a chance of it happening in Sept or October since the tree was under such stress this summer, it lost all it's fruit before it had a chance to ripen.

One of my early spring posts included pictures of the maroon colored glads that started life as a bag of 10 for $1.00 at Dollar General. This morning I was digging them up so I could move them to the back fence later and just lost track of how many bulbs were there. Some were smaller than a piece of aquarium gravel, there were several dozen about the size of a sweet pea and the sizes went up from there to 2"-3" across. I know I didn't find them all because when I planted the Blanket Flower plants in that spot I kept finding more of the teeny-tiny ones. It will be interesting to see if they come up next spring. I still have the patch of pastel colored Glads to dig up tomorrow too.

The wheelbarrow (now planter), held Thyme, Petunias and a Phlox this spring and early summer. All of that died and has given the Purslane a chance to come back yet again and it is covered in buds. The wheelbarrow was filled with it three years ago and it just keeps coming back.

Tomorrow I will be digging up the Iris bulbs. I am thinking of moving them to the space in front of the rose bushes. Dividing them should give me plenty for a couple of nice full rows. The Fig tree is taking over their home and I can't see several of them when they bloom.

I do not yet see buds on the dwarf Hollyhocks, but the new growth has just about taken over that bed again.



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But on the bright side of this past week.....

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 5:03 pm

I have been able to do some cleaning up in the flower beds, pulling up the dead plants- not perennials, just some vegies and herbs that didn't make it thru August.

Found out that the Sweet Autumn Clematis I have had out back for 3 years will finally be blooming this autumn, it is covered with tiny buds. Really looking forward to that.

Pulled up the dead zinnias and daiseys I had left to go to seed. There are several new zinnias coming up and there is a really long, tangled Cypress Vine in that bed too. It is now climbing up one of the ladders I painted last spring. I never realized that Cypress Vine seeds were so prolific, haven't had one sucessfully flower out there in two years but the seeds from that last blooming plant still come up in unexpected places all summer long.

One of my Basil plants is coming back now that the weather has changed.

I also did some plant relocating out there. One Lavender was getting too much water where it was so I potted it until next spring. Found a small Snapdragon under the Lemon Balm so it is now potted until spring too.

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Bad things happen in threes

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 4:10 pm

Or as Randy said about 3:30 yesterday afternoon, "and the hits just keep on a comin'"

Tuesday on his way home from work, the right front tire on his pickup truck blew out about 20 minutes into his journey. Meaning he was on the side of a very busy highway changing the tire. About 15 minutes later, the spare he had put on started shredding and sending chunks of itself flying everywhere bending the fender and breaking out a light on the side of the fender. It didn't go flat and being only 15 minutes away from home, he was able to take an earlier exit and drive home on backstreets at about 10 miles per hour. He worked from home on Wednesday and Two new tires were bought on Thursday, $183.00

Friday morning was his normal everyother Friday off so we were going to start installing the wall of shutters to make my room more private. I had a load of laundry in the dryer and another one just starting in the washer when he passed by the bathroom and found water gushing up from both the bathtub and the toilet and in the process of covering the floor. Called a plumber and started taking stuff out of the bathroom....this is the only bathroom we have so while waiting for the plumber we did have to make a couple of trips to a local fast food establishment to use their facilities. Plumber arrived about 3 and cleared out the sewer line from our house to the city sewer line out in the alley. Bathroom usable again, $124.50.

Saturday we had the grandsons for the day. I had made a quick trip to the grocery store, opened the pantry door to put things up to find that water was about 1/4" deep and rising on the floor. The central AC drain line on the other side of one wall of the pantry had stopped up and water was overflowing. Thankfully this was something that Randy could take care of so no repair person was called upon to provide us with yet another bill for services rendered.

The shutters are still leaning against the wall and will be until at least next payday.



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There is at least one of these, maybe two

Category: FRED - the garden | Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:08 pm

Isn't she pretty? She is a Common Whitetail Dragonfly perched on the lighthouse nestled in the Lantana.
I think I have seen two out there. I zoomed in as much as I could, took this picture then I hoped to take at least one step closer but she caught wind of my plan and zoomed away.


Have you seen the ugly little bugs dragonflies come from? I had never thought about that until I was looking thru pictures on a website trying to ID this one. Nowhere near as cute as some of the caterpillars butterflies come from.



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We all slept better last night

Category: Random bulletins from my brain | Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 2:17 pm

Randy got home from Chicago safely early yesterday afternoon.
We have a waterbed and after 5 nights of sleeping on a hard hotel mattress I know Randy slept better last night.
I do not sleep soundly when he is out of town because I am a usually a little nervous, so I slept better last night.

Now poor Rambo, our 9 year old Field Spaniel really doesn't sleep well when Randy is gone. He knows that he is "on duty" more than usual on those nights. Normally he will sleep in our or Amanda's doorway or in the hallway between the rooms. But when he is on duty, he stretches out in front of the front door or is on the couch in the livingroom. His sleep is interrupted by any and all sounds outside, even the ones that occur every night and are routine, like the neighbor leaving for work at midnight. The trouble with that is then he "woofs" at the sound waking me up and I have to go check it out which makes me nervous about what I will see outside....thanks a lot Rambo : )
Then since he is awake anyway, he makes the rounds of the house to check things out. I hear him come into the room, sniff around, snort and then hear the tapping of his toe nails as he goes to Amanda's room and back into the livingroom.
Yesterday when Randy got home, Rambo was sooooo happy. He got his back scratched and a peppermint. He trotted around the house checking things out. He went out back to do his business and check out the yard. Then he stretched out on the livingroom floor and in no time was sleeping so soundly that his snoring could be heard from the next room. I don't think he moved for a couple of hours.
His world was back to normal so I know he slept better last night too.

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The pitter-patter on my roof

Category: Puttering Around The House | Posted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:40 pm

We have two large pecan trees on the north side of the house with several limbs that hang over the roof.
There are pecans up there but for the most part, they are either hollow or the nut meat is complete dried out from the lack of rain again this year. There is a chance for some of the still green ones to ripen successfully tho.

So sometime in mid August we started hearing - thump, rattle, rattle, rattle, clunk - as the pecans fell onto the roof, rolled down to the edge then landed on the hood of whichever of our vehicles was parked at the head of the driveway. That happened every once in a while, not often enough to be an irritation.

But late last week I started noticing that the frequency of the landings was increasing and that the pecans landing on the hood of Randy's truck were not whole but broken open. And the thumping and rattling of the pecans had been joined by the pitter-patter of tiny feet. Being way too early for "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there" I knew it was not his reindeer I was hearing on the roof.

I did some sleuthing around yesterday, spying into the trees and saw squirrels up there. They apparently are picking the pecans, peeling off the outer husk, biting thru the shell and either dropping the inedible ones or eating what they can and dropping the shells. Since the number of "tree rats" up there varies, sometimes the thumping noise is infrequent. But when several decide to have dinner together the noise level rises.

The hood of the truck is almost completely covered with pecan parts and you can't walk down the driveway without hearing the familiar crunching sound with each step.

Last edited: Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:31 pm

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