Clean slate gardening in Kentucky

Questo è il seguito della conversazione The further Kentucky adventures.

ConversazioniGardens & Books

Iscriviti a LibraryThing per pubblicare un messaggio.

Clean slate gardening in Kentucky

Mar 16, 6:37pm

Time for a fresh thread, as the season changes.

We had unexpected sunshine today, so T and I went out and surveyed. I had laid down old carpets where first gardens are planned. To the left of the front door, with morning sun, I’ve put in an old rose, some peonies and lilies of the valley. Also moved that small clump of snowdrops there, as they’d likely get chewed up when I dig that part of the lawn.

To the right of the front door, I envision a dense cottage garden. But when I laid carpet there last fall, it quickly grew wood fungi; and I learned there had been a huge tree there. I was pleasantly surprised today when I rolled it back and tried digging. Yes, I struck wood, but it readily shredded. I should be able to put shrubbery in there right away. That is, after I dig trenches for the downspout drains. Priorities!

T played hard in the back yard while I attended to some small projects on the deck. Late in the day, I invited her to share the porch swing. She stretched out, asked for a blanket and snacks, and relegated me to a nearby chair. Hmpf! I shoulda knowd better.

Mar 17, 7:53am

SIL noticed my vases of forsythia blooms yesterday and asked where they came from. My WV bushes. But his bush isn’t blooming yet! I guess he’s never forced them. Neighbor asked if I will add forsythia to this yard. I didn’t think so, but the color and availability for forcing is tempting.

The neighborhood is having a spring fling dance in someone’s front yard on Saturday. Should be interesting, masks and distancing and BYO.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Mar 17, 8:37am

>2 2wonderY: I love forsythia, and when we moved to our house I planted some in the front yard, by the porch. Within a couple years I removed it, wrong location. It was spreading, crowding out the gardenia and hydrangea that had been there before.

I might try forsythia again, but not right away.

Mar 17, 8:56am

Right. The varieties with good clear color and long canes grow like crazy, and readily root for further expansion. There are some timid bush varieties that are not worth having.

Mar 17, 10:40am

I used the words “clean slate” with a bit of irony. You know of my basement water issues. It’s so significant, and yes house guttering is one of the problems, but so is hill runoff. It’s not a very big hill. There is a row of houses behind mine, but that street is the top of the hill. But digging here and my neighbor's yard (she’s got two teens digging a pond for her) I’m seeing slate. Now, in WV, there was an entire housing development built on similar land in the 70s and 80s where the foundations were swept out from under the new houses because of the pitched slate stopping water percolation and becoming a force to be reckoned with.
So building some swales into the backyard design is probably a smart move, as 100 year floods become every few years around here.

Mar 17, 10:56am

>5 2wonderY: would installing a French drain help? I've seen videos of them being installed on property that had a slope towards the house.

Modificato: Mar 17, 11:05am

That would be almost impossible or at least very expensive, what with the deck, the paved driveway and carport. The seller indicated some drainage added in the backyard which might be that.
The basement has a fairly sophisticated drainage system at the foundation level on the inside. I just need to reduce the amounts of water that get dumped on the outside.

I’ll be burying downspout lines out front. But still will have above ground line on the west side because of the massive roots I’d expect from my neighbor's trees. It’s not worth fighting it.

Mar 17, 11:37am

>1 2wonderY: Many wood fungi are edible. The shelf fungi often lend themselves to drying well, and are lovely in soups and sauces later. It takes most wood about six years to stop robbing your soil of nitrogen, and actually putting nitrogen back into the mix. Consider planting Fabaceae or Leguminosae in such areas. They garner a majority of their nitrogen from the air, not the soil.

Modificato: Mar 17, 11:46am

Daughter knows edible fungi to some extent but has shown no interest here, even though I’ve shown her pictures.

But I will consider your nitrogen advice!

Oh, hey, welcome to LT!

Mar 17, 12:15pm

>8 smirks4u: glad you joined us here at LT!

BTW, howdy "neighbor". :)

Mar 18, 8:37pm

We had marble-sized hail this afternoon. The weather kept changing so I just stayed inside and laid flooring in my attic crawl spaces and organized the storage that is going back there. Sure cleared what has been accumulating in that bedroom. Looks much better!

Mar 19, 8:27am

>11 2wonderY: and you have a metal roof, right? I imagine it was noisy.

I love organizing, things always look better once they're "tidied up"!

Mar 19, 9:14am

Yes; and that may be why daughter missed it; as their roof is asphalt shingles.

I’m refining shelving in the master bedroom closet this morning. Lowering the shoe shelves, for one, as I don’t have any high heels to accommodate. I’ll be adding a high shelf as well, for out of season stuff. And a 3-step ladder tucks nicely in here for general storage as well as easy reach for the new shelf.

Mar 19, 4:29pm

>9 2wonderY: Thank you, kindly. I am an acquired taste blend of opinionism and balderdash. Occasional morsels of factual content are entirely unintentional, and do not reflect the opinions of this station or it's sponsors.

Mar 19, 5:06pm

>13 2wonderY: I have two folding 2 or 3-step ladders, love 'em.

Mar 19, 5:49pm

>10 fuzzi: Thank you very much. There are some really good people here. I appreciate the welcome, friend.

Mar 20, 12:48pm

Before my eye doctor appointment yesterday, I had time to go around the corner and shop at Home Depot. They have many cheap options for gutter guards. Lowe’s has one expensive choice. So I bought a couple of samples to try in my gutters for proper fit and ease of installation. I also bought 50 feet of corrugated drainpipe and installed that this morning attached to the deck roof drainspout and carried it out past the house and to the front yard where I will trench it further out. There! One source of foundation water taken care of!

I also bought a small cordless circular saw. 3 3/8” blade. It works a whole lot better than other tools to cut away the paneling in the basement that has molded. At the moment, I’m only removing about 9” from the bottom. It won’t show behind storage units and will allow that space to dry out better.

Sunshine, so I’m headed back outside.

Mar 20, 3:43pm

I went out to the ridgetop to take stock and sort wood and tools. The ice storms (was that just last month?) did serious damage to the trees up there. Lots of raw wood being cut up along the roads up there and looks like Joe was busy cleaning up the driveway. Wood piles everywhere. He did my section too. Bless him. Jody has added some good rugged gravel on the driveway, so I need to hunt her up and pay my portion. I need to plan a few days up there straight, so I can cut the brush and burn it and catch up from the missed mowings last year. Fig sapling didn’t make it. Not sure what else yet.

Mar 20, 8:31pm

Dance party down the street this evening to celebrate the equinox. Met neighbors and introduced myself. Stashed a small notepad in my pocket and scribbled names, because I’m terrible at recalling them.
Even the teens came and joined the dancing. Everyone still masked and distancing, but nearly all the people my age have been vaccinated.

Mar 21, 3:17pm

Charged up the battery of my new hobby sized circular saw. I had one of the first ones that Makita made in the 90s and loved it. This one is a bit more awkward to use and not as powerful as I’d expect for today. But it did the trick on the basement paneling. And yes, the wood stringers were still wet in places. So this was a necessary action.

I keep wandering back to the porch swing and appreciating the beautiful day.

Mar 22, 8:17am

>20 2wonderY: I'm so happy you have your porch swing. :)

Modificato: Mar 22, 9:58am

It’s been nearly a week since T was here, but I saw her yesterday and we discussed plans. So this morning her dad reports she was already packed and out the door before he was ready; so he thought he’d better bring her over.

The milk is slightly off, so we made pudding with it. She came and reported that she’d stuck a finger in the cooling cups and sour milk was “just fine!” applied thus.

Mar 22, 8:56pm

Worked so very hard on the front bank today, hauling lumber and rocks, spreading plastic, and even putting some plants in the ground.
Neighbor came out and we collaborated on projects, one mine, one hers. Hers was removing a tree. Quite tuckered physically, and then too much talking at me from a couple of directions; and then T hit her limit too. She cried on my shoulder on the short walk home; not mad, just exhausted.
When Rose picked her up from my house, I rushed away to the ridgetop to again switch out materials. Blessed peace!! Oh man, I had almost forgotten how precious that stillness is.

Mar 22, 8:59pm

>23 2wonderY: how far is the ridgetop from your new place?

Mar 22, 9:00pm

Ten miles.

Mar 22, 9:02pm

>25 2wonderY: I didn't realize how close it was!

Mar 22, 9:07pm

Hoping the work load starts balancing for the properties, but there is always more excitement for the new projects.

Mar 25, 10:23am

I’m in WV for the week; but no phone service here. Got daughter researching why. So parked at McDonald’s for the WiFi, but that gets old. Don’t expect messages till fixed. Just imagine me digging in the gardens.

Mar 27, 7:35am

Today’s forecast is 74F and partly sunny. I’m doing yard work, beginning with putting screen up along the back soffit to discourage the birds from nesting under there and pecking their way into the house itself.

Mar 28, 11:57pm

Good Lord, I'm an idiot. I thought you just hadn't posted in a while.

I continue to be mystified by your industry. I feel better when I remind myself that you're, in fact, an android. Srsly, you are a force to be reckoned with.

Mar 29, 11:18am

>29 2wonderY: A former choirmaster entertained us with the story of his woodpecker.
His children and wife were constantly listening to a woodpecker hammering on the side of the house, making holes larger by the week.
One halcyon Sunday morning, they were all eating a happy breakfast when it happened.
Brrrat tat tat tat tat tat tat! He jumped from the table, grabbed his shotgun, stepped out the door and...
BLOWEY...blew a chunk out of the house it would have taken ten woodpeckers a month to excavate.

Mar 30, 8:56pm

Good thing the weather forecast was wrong today. Instead of rain, it was a beautiful sunny day in the 70s. My car is full of lumber from the garage and plants from the gardens. Heading back to KY tomorrow.
I found almost complete skeletons of a possum and a rat in the garage. I know feral cats have been living in there, as I saw how they were getting in and blocked that hole. Pretty cool skeletons!

Mar 30, 9:57pm

I can name five movies that would show you it's not feral cats but some misfit whose parents are both dead. We need a code word you can post when you say that everything is fine but you're actually in danger. 'Applesauce' is taken, as is 'Rambopantz'. Those are both long stories. Strangely, both 'cotton candy' and 'help' are available.

Mar 31, 5:40am

>33 SomeGuyInVirginia: Good point! I’ve been up all night thinking on this. ‘Butterball’ should do it. Don’t ask.

Mar 31, 2:46pm

Ha! It's raining here today so I'm not going to even pretend I'm going to do anything other than read my new Christopher Fowler and sit in front of the fireplace waiting for it to get cold enough to light a fire. Tomorrow the high is supposed to be in the 40s with lows in the 20s at night. After several days of warm and sunny weather that's going to be hard to take.

Mar 31, 6:12pm

Same weather here too. Dragged into Kentucky and I think my eyes were closed by the time I pulled onto the carport. Gonna sleep hard tonight, as I got a mattress pad for my discount mattress.

Apr 1, 4:18pm

It turned cold again here, with nights in the 20s. With that and a day with T, nothing got put in the ground. Temps should improve over the weekend.

I did find three more wool blankets in the WV house. I count them as reserve riches. They’ll be in demand if/when the utilities go down. Two lighter ones; I forget the tags. The heavy one I brought back and used last night was made for Montgomery Ward.

Modificato: Apr 3, 5:43am

My second eye doctor appointment was yesterday afternoon. It was just as stressful as the first, though not as much a physical ordeal. Was seen by a different doctor and got more information and a referral for the cataracts. Got home late afternoon and went straight to bed.

I had budgeted time before the appointment to stop at Hobby Lobby and have a mat cut so I could finally frame a beautiful silk print of ferns. This piece is done by a local WV artist, and now I can’t find any reference to him. I think it was a him. E. Estill is the signature. I’ll take a picture later.

Apr 3, 7:47am

I had my cataract surgery done years ago and my eyesight in that eye is still perfect. It almost seemed like a miracle, going from not being able to see hardly at all to having perfect eagle eye vision.

Ella Estill was a well known botanical artist, you've really got something. Pics please! It must be gorgeous!

Apr 3, 1:19pm

Cataract surgery is easy, hardest part for me was the eye drops. And I can now see 20/25 when the eye had been 20/400 for years. Not needing glasses to drive is still a joy. I've put off getting the left eye done due to RL, but hopefully soon.

Apr 3, 7:27pm

It was a beautiful blue sky day here. I began putting plants in the ground, but that wasn’t my focus. I started construction of a mini shed for the lawn mower and my bike. They don’t fit in the itty tool shed in the corner of the carport, and have been living on the back deck. I’d like to clean up the deck and make it entirely welcoming. But I am going to have to use it for projects. There’s just no way around that. But I can add pretty storage for potting and some carpentry. The evening sun is already reaching into the northern part of the western sky. The low shrubbery surrounding my yard is leafing out, but the big trees are still bare or just budding, so I got a lot of blue sky.

Apr 3, 8:31pm

>41 2wonderY: are you building the shed from scratch?

Apr 3, 8:47pm

Hoping to build it entirely from scavenged materials.

Apr 3, 10:06pm

>43 2wonderY: impressive!

Modificato: Apr 4, 8:35am

There is a shop (nearby now) that sells doors, windows and siding. For some reason, it all comes wrapped in wood. They pile the wood out front, free for the taking. It’s where I’ve gotten my raised beds for years, as one common piece of scrap is a rectangle of rough oak 3’x4’x6”.

Apr 4, 10:49am

>45 2wonderY: lucky you!

Modificato: Apr 4, 5:42pm

Rolled up some of the carpets out front along the house and laid the rest of the gathered fall leaves and covered them again. Not enough dead grass yet, but I will start digging tomorrow.

Finally took up the edge board on the deck that curved wonky, and trimmed it and flipped it over. Got it nearly snug; and it’s no longer a tripping hazard. One more egregious floor board needs taken up and kerfed to lie flat; but I don’t have a powerful enough saw for that job. I’ll see what SIL will lend me.

Confirmed that the obstruction my lawnmower hit last year is a grounding rod. Couldn’t budge it further into the earth; so I marked it for cut off or perhaps just planting a shrub there.

Apr 5, 4:28pm

T rolled out of bed last evening and cracked her clavicle. She can’t travel for a while since the immobile arm won’t accommodate a car seat. So I’ve been at her house rocking her. She’s reached her limit and even daddy can’t comfort her at the moment.

Apr 5, 5:03pm

Oh, poor baby! And at that age a few weeks is an eternity.

Apr 5, 5:04pm

>48 2wonderY: What is it about kids and collarbones?! Nearly every kid I have a passing knowledge of has broken their collarbone. Granted, that's not a ton of children; but how common an injury is that for kids?

Apr 5, 5:21pm

I broke mine the same way when I was 5 or 6.

Apr 5, 5:31pm

I think my sister broke hers. It is a common injury in children, partly because the bone doesn't harden completely until about age 20.

Apr 5, 11:27pm

>48 2wonderY: Oh poor little thing! Hearing a child cry always breaks my heart.

Modificato: Apr 6, 6:34pm

T woke late today and made no attempt to get up and out of bed for four hours. She was in her parents bed, with a bolster under the fitted sheet to protect her from another fall. But she just laid there and talked and played with me. I read a lot of books and brought lots of her furry friends in to visit. It was fun.

She wasn’t interested in food till afternoon, and her dad helped her maneuver herself to the floor and able to sit at her little table and eat oatmeal. She wouldn’t allow anyone to pick her up in any fashion; so we had to work out ways for her to do everything herself. She’s smart! It was a good day.

Took a couple of hours later to begin planting stuff. The local Potting Shed is open this week and I’m panting to do some shopping.

Apr 6, 6:56pm

>48 2wonderY: aw, poor baby. Sorry to hear she hurt herself. But at least she's got grandma...

Apr 7, 6:37am

>39 SomeGuyInVirginia: No, not Ella Estill. Here is my piece. I've asked for info from the local arts council.

Apr 7, 10:07am

>56 2wonderY: ::tears welling::

Modificato: Apr 7, 6:04pm

She’s feeling a lot better today. She was up for playing in her portable sand box on the porch while I dug dandelions and pussytoes out of Rose’s front yard. Better to get some gardening done; even if it’s not mine.

She started shade gardens under her maple trees last year. Ferns and hellebores doing well. Some irises and lily of the valley. She has a great patch of forget me nots, and she doesn’t appreciTe them. They may find a home with me.

Apr 8, 5:34pm

Theia and I are into jigsaw puzzles. The Dollar Tree store sells a variety; and I’ve picked up several with 24 pieces and interesting pictures. Each one has its own flow, identifying the starting places and building on. She doesn’t understand edge pieces yet, but she is very good at joining colors and shapes in the picture. Each time, she has more confidence and can do parts completely on her own. And it’s a good one-handed, quiet activity as well.
It rained today, so we were inside.

Modificato: Apr 9, 8:09pm

The garden shop is open! I bought classic blue hydrangea, a red double day lily and a deep purple ground phlox. Also a foam flower for daughter’s shade garden.

Got the mower out and did the front yard. I already need to expand my planned beds. Mowing is a challenge, even on the mildly sloped parts.

I’ve been planting pachysandra on a very steep slope in the backyard. I think I’d better engineer a retaining wall there too.

Apr 9, 9:19pm

Oh, I love those blue hydrangeas SO MUCH, and they just don't grow here. We can grow the Annabelles and the PeeGees and the Incrediballs, which are also quite nice. I have a couple of Quick Fire - waiting to see if they survived the winter...

Apr 10, 7:37am

I think I’ve got a Quick Fire dwarf, bought last year. And like you, I have to check on the ridgetop whether it made it through the winter.

Supposed to rain today; so a good day to plant if I’m willing to deal in mud.

Modificato: Apr 10, 12:30pm

>59 2wonderY: my elder granddaughter loves jigsaw puzzles. I've found simpler ones for her at yard sales.

>60 2wonderY: I've never been able to get phlox to thrive on my slope, so I planted junipers, the type that are no more than 4" tall and spread readily.

Modificato: Apr 10, 12:36pm

I wandered out back to decide how to spend the morning. Tried to make progress on the shed, but the saws I have aren’t powerful enough. Gotta borrow something from SIL. So it was the monster dandelions that won my attention. Entirely cleared the level around the deck and the first upslope. I think that’s all I’ll do in the backyard. Gotta focus on winter creepier at the edges.
So I went around front and cleared the steep slope at the sidewalk/street and then got a good swath of the front yard done before the rain got serious.
Came inside and toweled off and having a lie down on the heating pad (my good friend this year) and a mug of tea.

Apr 10, 12:36pm

>63 fuzzi: I’ve never been able to grow creeping phlox either, but there is always hope. New conditions, and a lovely deep color. Couldn’t resist.

Apr 10, 3:26pm

I was hoping to have daughter help me figure out the entire electrical layout; so I wouldn’t have to trek from basement to attic so many times. There are 24 spots in the circuit box, and most have breakers. But there is a small re-wiring job I’d like to get to.

There are two circuits that don’t seem to do anything (3 counting the dishwasher circuit I removed) and a couple of receptacles still not tracked. Oh, and I forgot to look at the furnace thermostat.

Back to the couch and hot pad. And this deserves chocolate.

Apr 10, 3:41pm

Oh, dear. If someone has to figure out the wiring we did when we built our house, they will be very confused. Not so many circuits. But standard would be upstairs lights on one, upstairs plugs on another. We put the front lights and back plugs on one, and back lights and front plugs on the other. We figured we would be able to see if one circuit gave out. We were not thinking that we would sell the house long before the morgage was paid off.

Apr 10, 4:23pm

That makes all kinds of sense. But this midlife upgrade probably was switched from an original 60 or 100 amp fuse box. So the entire back of the first floor is all one circuit, lights and receptacles. The living room is another. The kitchen and basement are parceled out all over the place. The attic is all one, except for a single receptacle that I can’t track.

Apr 10, 7:05pm

Went back out to finish dandelion patrol and my neighbor came out to say hello. I asked if I could dig one huge specimen from her adjoining bed. She indicated that she is cultivating dandelions and pointed to her crop at the far corner of her yard. Well, differing outlooks! She did pull the one I had indicated for her supper greens. And she is offended by the spring violets that grow everywhere. I pointed out that it makes a nice ground cover. I should have mentioned that it, too, is edible.

We agreed on the problem of light pollution and will work together on that issue in the future. Need to dig out my references. I think they are still in WV.

Apr 11, 9:05am

I like dandelions, don't mind them in my yard.

But honeysuckle and Virginia creeper are a nuisance extraordinaire!

Modificato: Apr 11, 7:07pm

Well, I’ve already got a barrel and a half of yard waste and it’s loaded; going up to the ridgetop tomorrow to fill in some holes in the yard left by the electric company.

Of course, there are more dandelions obvious today. The ragged leaf blends in well with the rest of the lawn. Another sweep should do it.

Apr 13, 6:33pm

I spent all of yesterday doing yard work. In town in the morning, ridgetop mowing and assessment in the afternoon. There is an awesome amount of wood trash to be cleared, even in the yard and meadow. The woods are so tangled, it’s difficult to walk through and the terrain is almost unrecognizable. Did find several flourishing colonies of ramps. No asparagus coming up. Fruit trees are finally flowering, peach, of course, but also finally apples and cherries too.

Today, I took it very easy. Started renovation of the table from daughter's house. I saw the legs of this table sticking out from piles at the town dump, and the attendant helped me pull it out. It has lived on Rose’s porch for a couple years, as a favor to me. It needs tlc. Today, I glued support blocks at each leg to make it less rickety. Will probably darken the legs and paint the top, or vice versa.

Took a bin of saved seeds and sorted it to finally plant all of them and be done with them. I’m setting aside one spot in the yard to sow them and if anything sprouts, I’ll be surprised and pleased.

After, took a long nap.

Apr 14, 12:58pm

>72 2wonderY: I love that table! It's beautiful, even as it is.

I like your idea of planting and seeing what happens.

Apr 14, 1:37pm

>73 fuzzi: I know. Who could be so callus to just toss it into the dump? There is nothing even broken off. I’ve bought furniture in worse condition. Other daughter has a smaller table with a broken finial in the center of the leg bracing. We found a fancy knob to glue on as a replacement.

Apr 14, 2:39pm

>74 2wonderY: it might have been an elderly relative's table, as in getting rid of possessions when someone passes or goes into a nursing home.

Apr 14, 2:53pm

Thing is, you put nearly anything at the curb here, and someone takes it away for re-use.

Apr 14, 6:07pm

What a day! Got my second shot and then invited T over. She was ready! We spent part of the day gardening. I got several items in the ground and also kept her from climbing, swinging, etc. She still needs to take care, but is feeling so much better. We moved to the area around the playhouse and I resumed dandelion removal. Those suckers are bigger than dinner plate size; more serving platter dimensions. They will out-compete anything I plant if not removed.
We worked till I was exhausted and I lured her inside with cocoa. It was lightly drizzling and a titch cooler than I like. She found her best animal friends and had a reunion till dad came to get her. I’m spending the rest of the day on my couch.

Apr 15, 10:44am

Unexpected sunshine today, but the thermometer is hovering at 48F. I should take advantage of the day, but I’m achy and lethargic - blaming the vaccine. I’m poking at a clean out project, but not with much energy.

Apr 16, 1:37pm

Spent yesterday in my jammies and mostly in bed until evening. Abruptly felt better. Started (finally!) decanting the 2020 blackberry cordial. I’ve offered to supply it for a baby shower next weekend. I feel like I finally have the technique and equipment right. It went smoothly and with much less mess than usual. Waiting to taste it with anyone who happens by.

I was going to ignore the rest of the dandelions, but they have come out in their true force - they are legion!!! Spent the morning ridding the upper yard, section by section. One last concentrated swath to do before I can mow.

Modificato: Apr 17, 9:59pm

Northwest corner of the house (facing the front) has three gutter drain lines needing dealt with. One is for half the front roof, another is for the entire rear roof, and the third drains the west side of the deck roof. It might be possible to combine two, but that’s a lot of water volume. I was contemplating trenching each one out to the middle of the front lawn, in this manner:

I’d need to do this before planting that area.

Today, I saw a pin that made me grin:

Instead of burying, two could just scoot inside the bottom of a raised bed, and the third could water the bed.

Remember, I don’t want any water seeping down that foundation; so I would have to line the bed at the back and part of the bottom; probably with a pond liner.

That would also keep the mail deliverer from tramping through that section. She has already smashed a small rose I stuck in the ground there.

Apr 16, 6:34pm


Obviously not going to be able to do it in future years; though it’s just strenuous now. Wintercreepier is more present than I thought, especially in the upper yard and around the playhouse.

Apr 16, 9:34pm

>80 2wonderY: unfortunately your links open to a whole page of Google search, not sure which ones you were referring to.

I love this design:

We don't have gutters on our house, they're not common here, probably due to the rate of rainfall we get at times.

If I did have gutters, I'd probably do some sort of rain barrel, or a dry creek bed.

Apr 17, 3:06pm

I’ve finally concluded I’ve damaged a tendon or some such in my left elbow. It has aches and complained for weeks. It quieted down after my day off; but that’s my lead arm. It’s just gonna have to continue aching. Not slowing down.

Took more dandelions out to the ridgetop this morning and saw signs for the college greenhouse spring sale. Stopped and bought a flat of random plants. Also pulled good brick and block out of a dumpster behind a school building renovation project. Valuable stuff! Can’t let it all go to the landfill. What a waste!

Picked up a few more pots of perennials at the farmers market. Prices are just too good. The pinks are gorgeous!!

Also went to the garden center with daughter. I’ve decided to put a peach tree in this front yard; plus I always buy myself a new rose for my birthday. That’s beginning to be a lot of holes to dig.

Modificato: Apr 17, 3:13pm

My peach tree is a 'blood' peach. The delicious fruits are dark red inside.

At one point most of the tree had died, but I was too lazy to take it out. Good thing! The dead parts are still there, but the small bit that was still alive has grown out into a much bigger tree.

Apr 17, 5:46pm

That might be the variety being offered this year. I don’t think they are open Sunday, but I may go look again. Ended not buying more today. Collected leaves raked to the curb down the street for creating new beds here. Then went to daughters house and helped her plant what she bought. She has much less free time than I do. The work went efficiently with two of us, and she had a satisfying garden day. T followed us around and helped.

Apr 17, 8:49pm

>83 2wonderY: sorry about your elbow. You might consider using an ace bandage on it when you have to use your left arm extensively, to give it some support.

I have gotten some nice plants at our local university greenhouse sales, but I've not seen it advertised this year. I did get several Pentas and Lantana plants at our local nursery yesterday, though.

Apr 17, 9:27pm

Apr 18, 12:03pm

>87 2wonderY: nice!

Thanks for reposting the link, though I enjoyed looking at all the gutter designs.

Apr 18, 5:37pm

I had a very definite schedule of activities planned for the day; all strenuous yard related tasks. Daughter asked me to take T for several hours. That wasn’t too bad. But my neighbor came over and a few minutes visit stretched to two hours.
So, I did not get anything planted.

I did start the day disassembling the old washing machine and hauling the parts up out of the basement. I get so tired waiting for someone else to act.
I laid big sheets of cardboard along the side fence and covered them with leaves. I went down the street and gathered the remaining leaves from neighbor’s pile.
I went back to that dumpster with a step ladder and pulled out a nice collection of stone, block and brick. Will establish a better place to stack it tomorrow when I unload.
I’m not done yet with the dandelions, but I made progress again.
I mowed most of the rest of the back yard, including the steepest part. Whew.

Apr 18, 6:23pm

>89 2wonderY: I have found cardboard to be a great weed barrier, for at least one season. I get mine at the grocery store, the big sheets that separate the layers of bottled water cases.

Apr 18, 6:43pm

There’s a furniture store nearby that regularly tosses cardboard cartons that held mattresses.

Apr 18, 6:56pm

Apr 18, 6:58pm

I thought I had water drainage issues. I walked up my neighbor’s concrete steps today to chat with her. I noticed chunks gone and daylight showing on the flight up from the street level and again at the porch steps. Oops. Looks like some serious failure happening from underground flow.

Modificato: Apr 19, 5:03am

I’ve decided to get rid of the hot tub. It really doesn’t suit my habits and lifestyle. The bigger grands enjoyed it once last year, but I worried about it not being sanitary.

The salvage guy who came for the washer parts said he might know someone who would take it.

I will have to floor the hole in the deck it leaves; but oh! what a lot of floor space I will gain. Enough for a proper dining table, or perhaps a hanging bed.

Apr 19, 8:40am

>94 2wonderY: my thoughts, too.

Oh, wait, you could put in a pond? :)

Apr 19, 8:51am

Oh, right. That was on the list too. But I already have the start of one on the edge of the deck. Haven’t mentioned it yet, because it is slap-dash and may change.
A work mate in WV gave me an old metal mixing trough. It’s large and unwieldy, but got here in the UHaul truck load. I’m not sure; it might end up as a plant bed. Right now it has rainwater and possibly tadpoles. I threw the pachysandra in there to keep it alive till I can get it planted. Since yesterday, it has a fleet of plastic boats in it.

Apr 19, 10:27am

>94 2wonderY: I've never had a hot tub, but they really don't appeal. All that maintenance! Plus in my very cold climate they're not usable all year round. Well, I guess you can, but the energy costs would be a lot. And my husband refers to the contents as "people soup", which is a fairly gross image :)

I love the idea of a hanging bed! I can just imagine you and T having story time and naps on it. Although a dining table also has advantages :)

Apr 19, 9:38pm

>96 2wonderY: Since yesterday, it has a fleet of plastic boats in it.


Apr 20, 2:07am

I don't think you have a choice. You get a water feature.

Apr 21, 8:22am

Well, yes, of course! But what form will it take? I’ve always wanted to build a mini river. When my oldest grand was T’s age, we built one in the side yard that offered several days of fun. (Same fleet, by the way.)

Because I wanted specific roses that sell out quicker, I stopped at the garden store yesterday on my way out of town. The proprietor, Michelle, allowed me to tag what I want, but took no money. They were busy moving everything into the greenhouses and planning to be closed the rest of the week because of freezing temps. I thought it odd they were protecting perennials that way. I guess overcautious about expensive stock.
I also tagged a peach tree, but again forgot to note the variety name.
Also bought the last of the pineapple sage for me and some thymes for daughter.

Apr 21, 8:45am

>100 2wonderY: how nice of Michelle to allow you to tag your choices!

I like to patronize establishments that offer that kind of customer service. :)

Apr 27, 12:08am

My packing plan changed because I found an antique bookcase at a price I couldn’t pass up.
It’s this model:

But I paid $100. Since it’s sectional, loading was easy and I had the right sized boxes to fit neatly into the shelves. It’s going into the attic bedroom and I will discard a smaller, inferior case.
I also managed to bring all the plants I wanted and then some. Tomorrow will be a furious project to find spots for everything. I do need to borrow daughter’s tiller!

Modificato: Apr 27, 1:33am

A few of the species I brought:

Pat Austin rose:
Mine has never been this showy. Fewer blooms and they nod down. Perhaps I need to fertilize.

Spiderwort red cloud:

Two or three foxgloves that should bloom this year.

Another clump of peonies, probably double whites. My old yard had clumps of white and clumps of deep pink.

Part of a blue hydrangea. The entire plant was too big to take at present, so I lopped off a section.

Scilla and grape hyacinth, still blooming.

A bleeding heart.

Oh, and a blue cornflower.

Apr 27, 1:42am

And a tiny pine sapling and an eastern red cedar. I’m going to try growing them in pots.

Modificato: Apr 27, 11:54am

Trying to determine where the peach tree will go today. I was thinking front yard, but that might be awkward at this point. I have water, sewer and sump pump drain lines to consider; as well as planting beds not yet formed up.
Neighbor recommends higher on the slope and no morning sun. That means back yard somewhere. There I have unknown drain lines and a gas line yet to be flagged.
As I was chatting with her out front, a man was walking his dog. He asked about my sump line spilling onto the sidewalk. He says it’s a code violation. Appears he’s on some city board. Good to know. I’d already begun planning to cut through the sidewalk and channel the water into the gutter. But then we had a discussion about who owns the sidewalk. He admitted that was an unknown factor; not clear in his planning committee at all. Good person to know though. He lives at the house a block or so away that has an outstanding front yard garden.

My neighbor, who is a massage therapist, manipulated my elbow for a few seconds and put some salve on it. It is remarkably better. She says unknotting the tendon cords by rolling across them is the secret.

And I was able to unload a full box of books by tidying the living room shelves and double shelving these tattered novels. Was even able to face out several of the nicer covers.

Apr 27, 3:00pm

>102 2wonderY: wow on your bargain bookcase!

>103 2wonderY: my spiderwort is a deep purple, volunteers in several areas of the backyard. That red cloud variety is gorgeous, though.

I've never tried peonies.

Modificato: Apr 27, 3:21pm

I had a peonie in a previous garden that did not flower. After waiting several years I finally dug it up and replanted it. It was just about to blossom when we moved out. Apparently they are very picky about the depth they are planted at. I really should try again here.

Apr 27, 4:55pm

>106 fuzzi:. You can have some of that spiderwort next time you come through. It’s pretty hardy. Does your dark purple have green or chartruese leaves? I just bought one with chartruese, but would love a green leaved sample.
I too considered them more wild flowers way back.

>107 MarthaJeanne: Peonies are indeed depth sensitive. But there is generally a successful range. Mine were ancient, and planted fairly deep by a previous gardener. They would bloom a week or two after the neighbors, same varieties. What they don’t like is full shade; which has developed in my WV yard. So I’m rescuing them from the gloom.

Apr 27, 7:50pm

>108 2wonderY: it has green leaves, and I'd love to see you again.

Modificato: Apr 28, 10:47am

Just caught a hummingbird sipping from the pinks out front.

The hydrangea I bought got hit hard from the frost last week. Well, not devestated; but the upper leaves and flower buds are black. The natives know better, and haven’t yet put out many leaves. Hothouse upbringing has costs.

Apr 28, 2:46pm

The forecast said rain today and tomorrow; so I mowed the front yard this morning. Now the sun is out. Gotta start digging some holes.

I opened the north end attic window to get a cross breeze. Mutually surprised by a swarm of ants, some of them winged. Mating season? There must be a nest inside that wall somewhere. Not seeing evidence at ground level outside; but there is not much exposed foundation on that side. Boric acid/sugar bait.

Apr 30, 1:12pm

Lots of digging equipment at the end of the block today; improving storm drainage. So T and I took a walk. We went up around the loop too, since it’s such a pretty day. She can already name some trees and plants, and caresses the ones she can reach. She found an Easter egg left from someone’s hunt.

Then we got to work. Put all 4 rosebushes in and some of the smaller perennials as well. Haven’t quite decided on the spot for the peach tree, but circling in on it.

The front yard already looks much more settled. If you can ignore the slope at the front still swathed in plastic and wood.

Modificato: Apr 30, 6:18pm

There is a huge rotting tree stump part way up slope along the east fence line in the back yard. It’s kinda level with the ground on one side, but it’s a complex corner and not really mowable. So I’m planting bulbs around it to replace the grass. First I have to remove the clumps of grasses that are on the line, partly in my yard, partly in neighbor's yard. So I was struggling mightily when T announced she wanted to sit in my lap. An unusual request, so, of course I let her. Work bogged down at that point, but I did get some daffys and Scilla in.
Across the street neighbors had a whole family crew out renovating her flower beds. And her daughter’s pet pig was visiting. So we went across to offer a few new plants and scratch the pig on its snout and belly.

Later, ran to the next town to buy some potting soil and some pots. Some things just need to be in pots; and I don’t have much of a collection. Gonna do some veggies in pots this year because I think I have a critter that will frustrate any edible gardening in the ground.
Surprised a hornet on the underside of the car door latch. My wallet and change flew up and scattered everywhere, bills fluttering away. A bit of cussing and pacing and I finally found the $20 bill.
Swelling and itching already too far along to forestop, so calling it a day.
Tomorrow is supposed to be another gorgeous day.

Maggio 1, 2:13pm

The hand is okay today except for numb fingertips.

T is back, so we’re doing more her thing than mine. I dragged the remaining cardboard cartons out of the basement for more fence line blocking. But T claimed two of the best for her house of the day.

Ive been talking more with my eastern neighbor. She hasn’t gardened at all, but wants to do similar things to make mowing easier. She agrees that wintercreeper is the enemy. Good! We’’ll fight it from both sides of the fence. But the worst infestations are above us in those yards facing away. We don’t meet those neighbors very often at all.

Maggio 1, 7:28pm

Finally looked at the tags again. The peach is a Ruston Red, a sweet freestone variety. It has perhaps a dozen small fruit on it, so I may get to taste it this year.

The new roses are Cinco de Mayo ( which I’ve bought before), Sunorita and At Last. (Happy Birthday to me!) ( several weeks away)

We got a few more items in the ground and T enjoyed being the water boy.

Rose brought her tiller over and we cut a strip in the grass just above where I’ve laid out the future terracing and boxed beds where the yard slopes steeply down to the sidewalk and street. The slope is modest here, but not easy to mow, and certainly not easy to rototill. She did one side and plans to do the other side tomorrow. I will quick put in irises and day lilies because that’s what I can put hands on in quantity. The point is to fill that strip with anything that doesn’t need mowed.

Maggio 2, 11:07am

Went to the ridgetop this morning. Cleared the limbs and brush that neighbor tossed into my main perennial garden bed when he was cutting down the ice storm losses.
Didn’t take time for a full inventory, as I was collecting materials for in-town projects. I promise I will spend more time there soon.
The old shed is still standing, though not for long. Still stuff inside worth salvaging. Bags of leaves, large cardboard and lumber.
My main mission was to collect plants to put in the tilled space in the front yard. I was planning on several species, but just digging up the irises wearied me. Took only the first foot at the front of the bed. But fighting brambles too, since that side yard wasn’t mowed last year or yet this spring. Harvested a HUGE tub and a half. Beautiful specimen. Light purple.
Will go out again later to dig more plants sometime in the next few days.

Maggio 3, 7:25am

Planted six large bunches of iris along that narrow strip. I did it that way because they are so tall and already starting to bloom. To keep them erect, I put in temporary poles and gently tied them up. Once they’ve got their feet more firmly, the poles can be removed. I had a couple of bunches of day lilies, so interplanted them.
A neighbor down the street came by with her teen son and brought several hostas for me from her yard. She promises more, if I want them. I have irises left over, and offered them to several people, but no takers. So will find spots for them in the back yard today.

Found a gift pot of marigolds on my porch from the local Baptist church. Those will go in daughter’s yard.

Neighborhood email says someone is giving away raspberry starts. Will see if there are any still left.

We didn’t get the other side tilled; daughter had other obligations. Tiller is still resting in my spare bedroom.

Saturday, I took some spiderwort to the lady who sells plants at the farmers market. She let me choose a plant, and I brought a pretty white and red stripe mallow home.

Maggio 3, 7:31am

Oh, the best news from the ridgetop is that Jody’s trailer is gone, and her cabin appears to have been straightened and on a better foundation. Electric is connected and she has water. Didn’t see anyone around though.
I was fearful the trailer would be a permanent feature.

Maggio 4, 7:10am

I took my tea out and sat on the low wall along the driveway and enjoyed/reveled in the eastern sky. My street runs east-west, But only one block east, and there is a row of houses on the intersecting street. They are backed by a railroad line and the lots are wooded. So the horizon in that direction is all trees.
As the sky lightened, there were wispy clouds hurrying north as if they had somewhere to be. The songbirds chorused and the larger birds took their first cruises, slow and hovering. The dome looked to be clear, and lots of blue showed until a storm cloud crept up from behind me, rumbling and spitting.

It was a good way to start the day.

Modificato: Maggio 4, 7:40am

>119 2wonderY: one of the benefits of driving to work as early as I do is seeing the sunrise every morning. Today there were wispy clouds here, too, almost like mare's tails, almost an apricot/raspberry color. Really nice, camera just can't capture what I see.

I love hearing about you working on the slope, the neighbors, the flowers. I planted low junipers about ten years ago on my slope but the honeysuckle has taken over. Recently I worked a couple hours to weed it and didn't get even 20% cleared. Today it's going to be in the 90s, so there will be no weeding once I get home, too hot.

I moved my irises last year, not enough sun due to a live oak getting big. They're looking bigger and healthier, am waiting to see if they bloom.

Maggio 4, 9:02am

My iris is about to bloom.

Modificato: Maggio 4, 10:02am

Show us when it does. I’ll try to take some pictures later. It turned into a dark wet and gloomy day.

T is here taken over the living room.
I’m trying to finish decanting cordial.

>120 fuzzi: when I worked, I was driving there before it was at all light. I’ve so missed sunrises.

Maggio 5, 12:45pm

Spent the morning on a ladder cleaning out gutters. Earlier in the week, I climbed up there after just a minor storm and there was 4” of still water sitting there. Eventually it percolated through the leaf and seed debris, but that’s not good enough. Someone placed hangers every foot along the 36 feet of house. So clean out is tedious and the deck roof is in the way, so I had to climb up on it.
Neighbor’s holly tree is the main culprit so scooping gingerly. Gloves would only be more bulky and annoying.
Think, think, think....

Maggio 5, 2:58pm

I’m beginning to conceive a system that breaks from the standard. The distance between house fascia and deck framing is 7.5” and enough rain falls from the gutter or the gap to puddle and stream across the floor boards. (some of the floor boards cup incorrectly, making it worse. I tried to take up one floor plank and was rewarded with broken off screws that refused to release.)
Anyway, traditional gutters and fasteners assume only one fastening surface when I could have two. They also assume visual appeal is needed; and this is not at issue here. I could bridge that gap in a variety of ways and incorporate the entire width for water collection. There is probably a local shop that can bend aluminum lengths to a simple and inexpensive rectangular profile.
Still thinking...

Maggio 5, 3:29pm

>124 2wonderY:

Is there some way to create a rain barrel collection system?

Maggio 5, 4:17pm

No room. No real need for it either. I don’t plant stuff that needs watered to any degree. If I put in veggie gardens they will be upslope from the house, and gravity fed won’t work.

Modificato: Maggio 5, 8:47pm

>126 2wonderY: rain garden?

Maggio 5, 8:59pm

Perhaps a small one in the front yard.

Maggio 7, 10:09am

I’m expecting company this weekend - daughter and grands from Cinci. Haven’t seen them since December! So I’ve been cleaning house and yard and planning meals.
Was able to mow the entire yard in phases yesterday and noting more places at the top of the backyard that need perennials and shrubs rather than grass.
There is just never enough time to do everything I want to do!

Maggio 7, 3:38pm

Some quiet excitement here. I brought trash bags of collected leaves down from the ridgetop to add to my new flower beds. They’ve been sitting here for a few days, and as I dumped one of them, a black snake came out too. I didn’t want it to freak out neighbors or go out into the street, so I helped into one of the big plastic pots the roses came in, and wedged it with another pot. Took it to the top of the backyard where there is plenty of undergrowth and a patch of scrubby woods.
When I went back to finish emptying the bag, another, bigger black snake came out. Sheesh! I was already practiced, and caught this one in the same manner and sent it on it’s way. Should probably spread the contents of the bags with a rake rather than by hand, eh? Who knows what else is in there.

Maggio 7, 8:40pm

More excitement. Did I mention that a tree fell on daughter’s outbuilding? It’s the neighbor’s tree, but it appears he has no responsibility for taking care of it.
Several people in the business declined to take on the job. It’s rotten at the bottom and at least 60 feet tall maple.
SIL rented a lift and a chainsaw on a pole. Rose texted a video, and I headed right over to help. He didn’t even have anyone spotting him!! Shit! The neighbor was nowhere to be seen; daughter had the baby inside; his best friend had other plans.
He made a lot of progress before dark. He made it look easy; but admitted he was scared and tired. He’d been running a concrete saw today elsewhere. He’s such an impressive person.
I helped pull branches out of the way and stacked logs.

Maggio 7, 9:08pm

>131 2wonderY: people can be such jerks. Sorry your SIL is having to clean up, glad you could be his spotter.

Two black snakes! Beware, rodents...

Maggio 8, 11:13pm

Long beautiful day. Helped Nathan finish take down the tree; grocery shopped; threw several recipes together for supper before other daughter arrived with her crew plus one.
We took a looooong hike out at Anglin Falls; a local landmark I hadn’t been to yet. It is not an easy trail and we had a toddler and a dog not really broke to the leash. So many wildflowers! Pristine woods! It was wonderful; but we got back at dusk and put dishes in the oven and started the campfire for hot dogs and marshmallows. We were so enjoying each other’s company but finally all tuckered out.

Maggio 9, 7:09am

In between morning and afternoon activities, Rose came, intending to till the strip on the west side of the front lawn. It was too wet, too steep and too thick with thatch to succeed. So she did some shovel work to begin the task. Bless her.
I think we’re planning a trip to Lexington today to visit an old greenhouse complex/local foods and brews cafe.

Maggio 9, 4:36pm

Because the weather stayed cool and wet, we decided to just hang at my house. It was the first full-on test of the space. We squeaked by on bed space because two teens slept on the trampoline. Breakfast was better organized than last evening, but still pushed the limits of the kitchen. Deck dining is what we’ll plan for as possible.
Daughters were able to sneak off and have a glass of wine and a catch-up gab fest. Rose was worried that T would get cranky. But she had devoted cousins catering to her every whim. She was in toddler heaven.
Plans are for frequent and soon trips back here .

Maggio 9, 6:53pm

>135 2wonderY: for a teenager sleeping on a trampoline was probably more of an adventure than an imposition!

Maggio 10, 6:30am

Good morning. Work schedules changed. T delivered to my door at 6. I thought I’d be awake, but wasn’t. She is ready for the day. I need some tea!

Maggio 10, 8:54am

>137 2wonderY: what a wonderful way to start your day, T and tea!

Maggio 10, 9:42am

And it will be a long day. Her dad is working out of town, so she’ll be here 10 hours. It’s a day cousins would be very welcome; but they had to go back to school.

Modificato: Maggio 11, 7:41pm

Today the sun was out early, so we got some gardening done. The big job was planting the peach tree. This weekend, daughter moved it around the yard while I stood down by the street, and then dropped a brick to mark the spot. This is the first time I’ve dug a square hole; but Pinterest thinks it’s a good idea.
T was my waterboy again. I don’t have a hose at the front yet, so we hauled plastic gallon jugs. I sent her inside ahead of me with the empties. By the time I followed, she had taken the initiative and was successfully filling one at the bathroom sink. That might not sound impressive, but it is.

Oh, and the nasturtiums that I thought got zapped by the frost are back and blooming.

Maggio 11, 8:45pm

>140 2wonderY: what a big helper!

I love nasturtiums. They don't "do" heat here, but I used to love growing them in Connecticut...

Maggio 12, 12:08am

And they taste so good!

Maggio 12, 5:21am

Do they? Like in a salad?

Modificato: Maggio 12, 6:17am

Yes, both the flowers and leaves are edible. They taste peppery, so I tend to chop the leaves fairly small before adding them to a salad. It's one thing to nibble on it in the garden, when you expect the bite, but quite another when you don't expect it in a salad.

You can also turn the seedpods into 'capers', but that has always been too fussy for me.

Modificato: Maggio 12, 2:02pm

>121 MarthaJeanne:"

The new pictures also include the thorns on the pepper tree.

Maggio 12, 4:35pm

I got lost in your album. So much beauty!

Modificato: Maggio 12, 7:51pm

Tree trimmers have been busy up the street for two days. It looks like they severely cropped two huge silver maples and possibly removed a third entirely. I’m so glad their intention was not removal of all of them. The reduction in height of the first tree allows another street light or security light to shine in my front windows.
I do understand the need to cut and remove. These are small lots and silver maples are sly about rotting and falling.
T and I explored the “cave” under the trampoline today, and I discovered another huge tree stump under there. That makes five or six ancients removed from my own yard. The two remaining trees give plenty of heavy shade.

Maggio 13, 5:24am

>146 2wonderY: Jerry was glad to see your comment.

Maggio 18, 9:33pm

I’ve been in WV and brought back some more of the yard. Some timbers, which I will use to frame a small above ground pool for T. Drainage pipe for my downspouts project. A hose! Bought at Sears decades ago and made of rubber, not plastic. I unearthed it in the undergrowth along the north side of the house.
Also brought two kinds of irises - a slender Siberian iris and a tiny blue eyed grass. Samples of other perennials that have been fading away because of the shade.
Tried to dig a piece of cherry tree, but I need a reciprocating saw to cut a section of root. Next trip.

Modificato: Maggio 19, 7:43am

Sitting out on the deck this morning, I’m struck by all the birdsong. I worry about what they eat because the sources aren’t obvious. I see very little insect life around here.
I know insect numbers worldwide are dropping. Was actually glad to see all the insect splatters on my windshield yesterday, as a sample of what’s in the air, but not really visible.

I have a patch of white clover here; and used to be you had to watch for the little native bees if you were barefoot. Haven’t seen them here yet.
I do have the huge bumbling carpenter bees that want to drill into the wood structures. Sigh.

Modificato: Maggio 19, 8:05am

Back in the 80s if we drove the Autobahn in either Austria or Germany we had to stop at least once an hour to clean the windscreen just to be able to see. Now our stops are set by our bladders, and we don't usually bother with cleaning the windscreen.

However, I have been pleased at how LOUD our flowering trees have been this year. We were getting all sizes of bees from teeny tinys up to great big bumblebees.

We were shopping at a farmer's shop this noon. Positive: they had asparagus and strawberries for Jerry, and the wholegrain band noodles I want for tonight's supper, as well as other odds and ends. Negative: he'd suggested the shop because he wanted duck breast for tomorrow night, but there was no duck at all. Double positive: The swallows were busy working at their nests under the eaves. That was lots of fun to watch. There were lots of them!

Here it's too cold and damp and no sun to make me want to sit outside.

Maggio 19, 8:49am

>150 2wonderY: maybe the birds have already removed the insect life?

I use peanuts, peanut butter "balls", and suet in my feeders all year for the insect eating birds. I see warblers, bluebirds, and wrens at my feeders...until the warmth of approaching summer is here and the insect population increases. Then I see the birds sporadically, probably just when they need supplements, as their growing young require more food.

I love seeing the cardinals bringing their fledglings to the feeders.

We have the carpenter bees here, too, but I've partly foiled them by having vinyl siding installed, ha!

My milkweed is blooming and is covered with big buzzy bumble bees, no Monarchs yet.

Maggio 19, 8:21pm

>149 2wonderY: The other perennials I brought are:
Winter Aconite - this has spread successfully in the old yard, but it’s season is about over; so not sure it will be successful this year.
Perennial Pea - not sure yet where I will insert this. Perhaps on one of the backyard slope sections.
Leadwort Plumbago - will go into the beds in front of the house.
Aster - at the back of one of the front gardens. These don’t harmonize with my vision, but I’d hate to lose this late season pink and yellow cheerful plant.
Autumn Joy Sedum - didn’t know this was still in my gardens. It’s not a favorite, but came along with some other plants.

Modificato: Maggio 21, 12:58pm

Don’t know what the calendar says, but it’s now summer here. Muggy on the covered deck and Too hot on the feet in the sun. Rose bought more bags of play sand than she used; so I took two of them. Though they were under cover, they absorbed a lot of moisture before I found a suitable container. So now it’s out in the sun, drying. Instead, T’s got a tub of water for her aquatic toys and her feet. But these long days (from 6am to 4pm) have got her a bit cranky and uncooperative. Usually, she’s fine here and terrible at home in the evenings. Today it’s leaking over, and she doesn’t stay occupied with anything for more than a few moments and wants to wallow on top of me.

Maggio 21, 12:59pm

>154 2wonderY: 'It's too darn hot!' Wallow in your own space!

Modificato: Maggio 23, 10:31am

Daughter and I went yardsaling yesterday to start my birthday. We found mostly toys for T. A whole herd of plastic horses. She is delighted with them. I have a three story wooden barn I must bring into town for her.

In the afternoon, we all went up to Lexington to an ancient greenhouse/nursery complex that has been reinvigorated with converting the back buildings into a cafe and then garden seating under a jungle of trees and mature plantings. The very back corner is a mountainous sand corner for the kids, with appropriate toys.

I found a yarrow that promises to be the orange of butterfly weed. And seeds to sow next year for love-in-a-mist.

After supper, we split a bottle of wine and I got drunk!

Modificato: Maggio 23, 12:15pm

Report on attic temperatures.
Earlier in the spring, it began getting stuffy upstairs, and I could even smell the heat build-up just a little bit. So I was on alert for any problems.
I’ve got both end windows open and screened and the skylights also open and screened. So far, the small bit of air circulation this creates has pretty much kept temperatures comfortable. The under eave crawl spaces are as well; so my insulation project is a resounding success.
Of course, we are just moving into summer. A window fan will probably be necessary at the west window. That side has some shade most of the day; with neighbor’s tree line right there.
I also have a portable AC just in case; but I truly doubt it will be needed.
Very pleased with my results.

Maggio 23, 6:15pm

>156 2wonderY: my children had a herd of plastic horses they called "neigh neighs". I was partial to the Breyer models myself.

>157 2wonderY: is there a door on the stairway upstairs?

A small AC running during the day on the lowest setting would probably keep things comfortable upstairs.

Maggio 23, 7:28pm

Remember I got rid of the two window ACs last fall. I’d rather not resort to that strategy, if other ways work. I did buy a delonghi wheeled AC when they went on sale this spring. Daughter is trying it in their upstairs bedrooms now. They just moved their bedrooms upstairs; again a cape cod layout. Right now, my heat pump has been quiescent for weeks and I’m playing with cross-breezes and ceiling fans on the main floor too.

Maggio 24, 12:34am

Already a window fan blowing out might make a lot of difference to the whole house.

Maggio 24, 5:06am

Gutter cleaning is going to be a constant chore for a while as I slowly replace and improve the system. I was up on a ladder yesterday cleaning more holly trash out; both leaves (that seem to fall year round), and flower mess. While I was up there I continued some trimming of that and a honeysuckle bush that is also dropping much trash into my little pond.
I did find out where the bees are. The upper reaches of the holly tree are alive with the hum of busy bees. Still did not see any!

Several weeks ago, when I did a thorough gutter clean, they were overflowing with holly leaves. I have found a gutter screen that seems well designed for my circumstances. But there are a few irksome places where the hangers (remember, placed every 12 inches) protrude and need to be modified. My ladder is still one I need to be very cautious about placement. It is light and slips easily.

Thinking about placement of a couple of small ornamental trees on the edge of the first slope up from the deck. Also, might start engineering terracing boxes there.

Maggio 24, 4:30pm

Neighbor invited me to the sunny side of the holly tree this afternoon. And while most of the action was towards the top of the tree, I did manage to capture a couple by the point, hope and click method:

Maggio 25, 6:27pm

>159 2wonderY: it's too hot and humid here to use fans, even at night, unfortunately.

Maggio 25, 7:25pm

Groundhog. Came through the fence and sat on the stone wall a dozen feet from the deck and gazed at me. Then wandered back through the fence. And we thought moles would be the garden raiders.
Rose and I stopped at the farmers market to get the first tomatoes. Bill Best raises heirloom tomatoes and beans. Oh my! Delicious!
The plant lady was there too; so of course I stopped to see what she has. Couldn’t pass up a couple of Veronicas (Speedwell) - First Love, an intense pink, and a complementary purple, whose name had blue in it.

T figured out how to roll over and come down the slide on her belly; still feet first. But she was very pleased with herself.

Maggio 26, 7:26pm

It’s time to start pulling the basement back together from the winter flood. It’s been too cool down there besides it being gardening season.
But this evening, the coolness was a nice contrast to the warmer weather outside. Besides, I’m expecting guests in a couple of weeks. Need to tidy!

Filled wall spaces behind some of that damaged and trimmed paneling with panels of styrofoam insulation; tacked the sheet plastic back in place and re-nailed the paneling into place. This corner will have a permanent shelving unit installed; so this was the only opportunity to do this task. Now I can go ahead and install the shelving and put the other cupboards back in place.

Maggio 27, 5:57am

The gas company sent a guy to post notices yesterday. They’ll be replacing main service lines soon. My neighbors say that was done three years ago, but not all the way up the street, apparently. So there will be some disruption of service. I’d been wanting the company to come out and mark just where the line is, as neither side neighbor bothered to do so. The line runs through the back yards, which is bizarre.
The guy did take my payment check, as I’ve been unable to drop it off during their business hours, because of T.

Maggio 27, 12:38pm

Across the street neighbor Hasn’t met a plant she dislikes and saves ALL the babies. She is feeling overwhelmed by her collection of potted palms and succulents on her patio. Most of them go inside for the winter, so I can see she’s feeling crowded. The patio is rather too full of plants to be useful for humans.
She called me over and kept adding to the pile she wants me to have. She also threw in pots and metal stands.
It’s more than I want but I will share and then toss.
She loves cacti too, but I passed on those.

Maggio 27, 2:18pm

>167 2wonderY: I have a porch that is half full of plants. Those blasted spider plants and peace lilies just keep growing...

Maggio 28, 8:59am

Finally RAIN! A good steady downpour. May go to WV for the weekend.

Maggio 29, 3:18pm

ROOT! Wassap keedo? I spent most of the past couple months with my brother in the hospital or traveling. His recovery has been astounding, actually miraculous. A month ago he was in a coma and sometime next week he should be able to walk on his own.

Did I tell you that I have sunflowers? There's this bed of flowers at the foot of my garden but I figured it belonged to the lady who lived next door, but she told me that they're mine. I love me some sunflowers! They remind me of my grandmother and deep deep summer.

And of course you dislike cacti, because you are raised right.

Maggio 29, 3:42pm

>170 SomeGuyInVirginia: Oh, thank God!!! I was imagining the worst. Don’t do that Larry!!

I love the concept of you having a garden.

Modificato: Maggio 29, 7:23pm

I am in WV, and the yard here is in full bloom; roses and peonies and yellow penstemone. But it is chilly and wet! Going down into the 40Fs for the next couple of nights.
Of course, I had turned off all the gas heaters last time and won’t re-light them. I do still have a few sweaters and blankets here; so I’ll be fine.
Now, what can I sort and pack? The new basement is nearly ready for taking some of what is left here.
And what can I dispose?

Giu 2, 7:40am

I am pleased and encouraged by how this house continues to absorb the books. The two cartons I brought got shelved with no difficulties. I need to work harder at weeding and disposing on both ends. There is still a significant collection in WV.

I don’t have T until Friday, so I can tackle the basement again. Still rainy, but I brought a couple of small cherry trees and more perennials that need to get in the ground. I found an old clump of coreopsis that I thought had died off. And a lovely deep red dianthus.

Giu 2, 8:15am

>173 2wonderY: I love my coreopsis! That's one tough perennial.

Giu 2, 3:40pm

I'm guessing that T isn't one of the children whose vocabulary suffered from lockdowns. But just in case, I saw advice today on how to fix that.
The first suggestion is that you talk to the child. Have long conversations.

Second, read to the child. Lots of good vocabulary in books.

Do things with the child so s/he will have something to talk about, and will pick up the vocabulary needed for that activity.
I'm just wondering how else you would bring up a child.

Many years ago I was at a party at a friend's house. One of the other guests was a Moslem woman with a year old daughter. The little girl was running around and saying 'a la la, a la'. My friend and I said, 'Well you are already a good little Moslem, aren't you.' The mother was confused and said, 'She's just making sounds, she isn't saying Allah.' We replied that encouraging sounds that could mean something is a great way of leading children into language.

Modificato: Giu 2, 6:29pm

Her language skills are exceptional. She absorbs words and knowledge like nobody’s business. Especially concerning the natural world.

I sent this text to her mom last week:
T is muttering “Difficult, difficult,” while zooming through the hungry caterpillar puzzles.

What she lacks is knowing how to relate to other kids her approximate age.

Giu 3, 12:57am

Well, I'm quite sure you talk to her, read to her, and do various activities.

Giu 5, 6:04pm

>172 2wonderY:. Correction : not yellow penstamon; yellow loosestrife.

It actually is looking very prosperous in the growing shade in the WV gardens.

Giu 5, 8:59pm

Calling a tentative success with temperature moderation in the attic. There has been a noticeable warming up there in the daytime and a nighttime cooling, just with window cross currents and skylights open. I finally located my box fan and set it up partially in front of the shaded window, drawing air out. It has run 24 hours now and it was sunny and 86F today.
The attic stayed very comfortable and I noted a couple of air currents. One is cool air from the first floor being drawn up the stairwell. The other is an evening breeze coming in from the opposite window.
Behind the knee walls, where you might expect it to get stuffy, temperatures stayed very similar to the rest of the attic.

I’m expecting company. Grandson tomorrow, for an extended visit; and lady friends next weekend. I can still fit an AC if needed, but I think we’ll be fine.

Modificato: Giu 6, 8:02am

I’m glad I mowed yesteryear as it’s definitely going to storm today and perhaps the rest of the week.

Small strange happenings accumulate in this house involving mechanicals.
Several weeks ago an old music box played half a song on its own, in the middle of the night. I happened to be awake at the time.
This morning, before 6, I wasn’t. I woke to a thump and a strange “waw-waw” sound. I thought someone was coming in the house. I tracked the continuing sound to the guest bedroom and extricated a battery robot from the curtains behind the bed and shut him down. He had activated himself and fell or jumped from the shelf above the window. I did ask where he thought he was going, but I got no reply.

Modificato: Giu 6, 8:24pm

Eleven, nearly twelve year old grandson is here for an extended visit. He and T are both looking forward to tomorrow.

Today, he went out to the ridgetop with me and we started processing all the fallen wood from February’s ice storm. We saw a black snake in the grass and it wasn’t budging from the spot. It writhed quite nicely. I disturbed a Yellowjacket nest and got one sting. Daughter recommended a plantain poultice and it is the only thing that halted the swelling and itching. I ran some leaves through the blender and spread the resulting smoothie over the growing spot.

We brought some of the still blooming Easter lilies and peonies back for display, along with two kinds of roses.

Giu 6, 9:52pm

Any plant in my lawn that requires more than a cheerful greeting has died from neglect. I really think I'm going to rip out everything around the house and plant sticker bushes.

I had my first serious homeowner shock when a pipe burst in the ceiling in the basement, and water poured out of the crack for about 10 minutes before I shut it off. The rug was soaked, the white tile ceiling is going to have to be replaced because they don't make that kind of tile anymore, and the wood paneling was soaked in a couple of spots. All in all though I was extremely fortunate. It's still unnerving to have something like that happen and I suppose my den is going to be torn up for a while with repairs. I really love that room and bought the house because of it so maybe it'll be even better after it's fixed.

Modificato: Giu 8, 2:16pm

>182 SomeGuyInVirginia: See! Attitude is 95%. And you’ve been initiated into the Wet Basement Society. Congratulations! Wine and cookies!

Giu 8, 8:46am

Playhouse is coming down! We unfastened the four bolts holding the balcony and tipped it to crash into pieces. Removed the climbing wall and put it on the slope where the slides have already been placed. T has more fun on these since she doesn’t have to climb the rickety ladder. (The first rung of which had already broken.). Callum started removing the roof from the inside 2nd floor. We’re curious what T will think of it today.
Callum wants to build something bigger and nicer, but isn’t yet familiar with the tools and materials. We shall see.

Giu 8, 2:20pm

>183 2wonderY: And thank the water gods you were home when it happened! They smile upon you, with just the hint of a smirk.

Grandson discovered a water puddle in the basement where none was called for; not being anywhere near plumbing.
Tracked it down to a gallon plastic water jug stored under the stairs. It had sprung a pinhole leak.
Another case closed.

Giu 8, 6:32pm

I had the same thing happen with a plastic jug of water. I'd store it under my bed and it had been there for many months maybe up to a year when it broke open and flooded the carpet. Two and a half gallons, very controlled, and frankly it had dried by the time I even noticed it. Now I always store jugs of water in a much larger plastic tub.

The best water I've ever tasted in my life is from a Virginia source called Amelia Springs. It's sold in a couple of iterations, but if you ever see Amelia Springs water where the logo is in stark black and white then buy a gallon and try it and let me know what you think.

Modificato: Giu 9, 11:37am

Had the opportunity to go out and inspect the gutters today during a good rain. The rear gutter was again completely clogged with holly flowers and leaves. The flowers pack so tight that the inside of the pile was dry when I cleaned that corner last week. Adjacent deck gutter was still draining properly because I started installing gutter shield. This issue is solvable.

AND, possibly more significant, the sump pump hasn’t switched on because there is no water draining into the foundation.

Giu 9, 2:26pm

>187 2wonderY: good news about the sump pump!

Giu 9, 3:04pm


I have to step back one from gloating about the attic temperatures. With company here, and the room occupied during days that got up to 90F, the attic did get stuffy. My siblings and I slept in the third floor attic with no insulation, no heat or cooling, and no cross breezes; just a box fan in the window. So my perception of comfort range may be slightly different than others.
But daughter wasn’t using the unit I bought this spring, so we recovered it and plugged it in last evening. The hose out to the window showed it was collecting the hot air efficiently. The room was almost chill this morning.

It takes an acceptable amount of floor space for the comfort it can offer to guests. And it certainly won’t need to run all the time like last year.

Giu 10, 8:35am

There is an incredible amount of truck traffic in front of my house this morning with the company improving storm water drainage parked right there and sending stuff down the manhole; trash pickup, school bus, gas line contractor. Somebody needs to be out there with a flag.
It’s the gas line guys I’m most interested in; and I caught ones attention. Mein gott! They are moving the main line and will be digging up every yard to re-route service lines. Very glad I asked, as I may be able to take advantage of the excavation for my drainage projects.

Modificato: Giu 11, 2:03pm

T isn’t here today and it’s alternating rain and broiling sun. So grandson and I have gone separate ways for amusements after lunch. Since the ladder and workbench were out at the playhouse ( which is 1/3 to 1/2 down) I decided to jump the fence. The back chainlink fence has wintercreeper growing up the other side as well as saplings that need stopped. I got permission last fall, but never did anything. I raked and clipped and pulled roots until the rain came back and drenched me and I was squelching in mud. I’ve got maybe a fifth of the length done. It goes surprisingly fast.

Giu 11, 5:12pm

I'm probably just going to leave the tiles in the basement stained for now. I need to start socking away money to put toward the library and the spare room. I'm not even going to start on that until this housing boom has died down. I want to replace some two prong electrical outlets with three pronged grounded outlets, and I can't get an electrician to come out here.

Giu 11, 5:37pm

Yeah, if it doesn’t bother you much, it can wait. It’s possible to just switch out the receptacles yourself if all you need them for is light duty stuff. I did that with the old receptacle behind the stove because the stove needed plugged in for lights and electronic ignition.

I’m prostrate on the couch; having gone out to the fence again. Grandson is bored and we’ve gotta do something for his last evening here.

Giu 12, 8:34am

I meandered up the street this morning to get a better understanding of the excavation works going on. It appears the gas line can be tunneled beneath driveways and even fences and garden beds. That should somewhat appease my neighbor across the street, who does have prized flowerbeds in the way of the new line.

I can’t tell yet what today’s weather plans to be. The sky yesterday changed character frequently too. June is major thunderstorm month in these parts.
I was nearly done on the back fence line yesterday; but my reciprocating saw battery was not charged up. There are two specimens that require that kind of removal.

Giu 12, 10:23pm

Done with clearing the fence. That job has weighed on me since last fall. There is now a 2 foot gap between the mat of wintercreeper and the fence. I wonder if I should try planting the gap with something else. My neighbor, who owns the property, seems not at all concerned about this back part of his lot. It is wooded with pine trees and left to its own devices.
I can now plant my side of the fence with a fair certainty that my shrubs won’t be smothered and overwhelmed by the sneaky vine. That’s not to say the work is done. Wintercreeper doesn’t like to be mowed, but there are still lots of strings of it to be torn out of my lawn.

Grandson was picked up today and they are on the way south to visit his other grands. It’s frankly a relief to have the house to myself again. I do like the visiting; but some ages are more fun than others. He is in a phase of fascination with graphic crime shows and I endured detailed plot synopses. Oy!

Giu 14, 11:48am

The gas line guys just dig and find the odd water line or who knows what else. This morning they mangled a water supply line and the city guys came promptly and turned water service off and made repairs. When they opened a hydrant to flush the line, I took T across the street to play in the stream. The utility crew were amused and we came up with the idea of building a recirculating water feature at the park for running toy boats. I really really hope they follow through with the idea.
When we returned home, T went on and on about dragons setting my roof on fire and we can put it out with the garden hose.

Giu 14, 12:45pm

>196 2wonderY: Good that T has a plan! Thinking ahead to dealing with dragons is important :)

Giu 14, 3:56pm

I agree.

Giu 14, 4:09pm

Do you (and T) know Tomi de Paola's The knight and the dragon? Not a recent book - my boys had a signed copy, but still available.

Giu 14, 8:16pm

No! I’ll see whether the library has it.

Giu 15, 6:26pm

Oh, dragons! You may as well move. Or stay and fight. Either. But seriously, dragons? What is this, the aughts?!

It's hot here in God's country, but the humidity is low. I'm on my deck reading silver age mysteries. Bliss. I'm going to put a hammock in the back yard, after which nobody should really expect to hear from me for a very long time. Me and hammocks and cheesy mysteries go waaayy back.

Giu 16, 8:32am

I love you guys! Who else would take us seriously?

A dear friend stopped by on her way through KY and spent a night. We got caught up on all the news and I sent her home with more plants.

Daughter had oral surgery yesterday and though T was sent to Mamaw’s, Rose thought she could handle the post-surgery all by herself. (husband is working out of town). But she had terrible nausea and couldn’t keep pain meds down. She despises retching at all times, but was also so scared to undo or harm the surgery. I was so glad to be available to spend the evening with her and help. Pain and misery is much harder to bear alone.

Giu 16, 9:12am

>202 2wonderY: Oy, someone should have prescribed an antiemetic considering the delicate nature of oral surgery! Hopefully, your daughter is feeling better.

PS, can T come over and protect my house from the neighborhood dragons?

Giu 16, 10:07am

>201 SomeGuyInVirginia: But if you can work together with the dragon you don't have to fight it. It's not right to assume that every dragon is a baddy.

Giu 16, 1:13pm

>203 lesmel: Yes, and a pain patch rather than oral meds. I had pills for nausea, and we finally got one to stay down.

Not sure T is cleared for questing yet. Possibly only day trips.

Modificato: Giu 16, 2:23pm

<204 Have you read A Landscape with Dragons? O’Brien agrees with you.

Giu 17, 10:54am

I remembered that today is third Thursday, which is nominally the day of the month the city comes around and picks up yard debris. So, early, I started trimming the elm branches from my neighbor’s tree that are scraping up against my siding and roof. She came out and volunteered to climb and cut the largest branch. So that’s done. We also took out another volunteer tree down by the corner of her driveway. She expressed gratitude for a neighbor with the right tools and know-how.🙃
Since I was up on that corner of the house, I finished freeing myself from all old cable connections, and rolled up the two lengths that crossed the street.
As we stood chatting, Rhonda came over from across the street and we talked plants, pets, wildlife, gas line woes, and misc. other topics. Another lady from further up the street, pulled her car to the curb as well, and joined us for a few minutes. It was really nice! I may have to start scheduling morning coffees out front this summer.

Looks like a neighbor out back has beef inspired by my wintercreeper clearing, and has begun his own fence clearing. It’s not my direct back neighbor, but the corners of our lots touch in one spot. His lot is pie slice shaped. I’ll have to stop by and offer my recip saw for the short section he passed by with thick woody stems twining up the chainlink.

But now, there is a hole in my privacy screen, so I do need to decide on a shrub in that corner.

Giu 17, 11:42am

What are you trying to do? Upgrade the whole neighbourhood?

Modificato: Giu 17, 12:46pm

Funny you should say that. Alida, in the midst of our pruning, said it was her intention to make her property look overgrown and shabby, to keep the tax rate down.

And I’m all for overgrown. But clear the decks; I want it to be my overgrown.

And we agree on the street light - that it should not be allowed to shine into our bedroom windows or our backyards. We may get around to a presentation and proposal to city council about changing the type of fixture.

Giu 18, 6:30pm

I got bad information at >190 2wonderY:. The gas line contractor has plans now and showed them to me. There will be no changes to the service lines on my side of the street. 😕 I was plotting my drainage in their trench. Oh well.

My neighbor asked over the fence today what our playhouse plans are. I said we're considering an A frame. She frowned and said she doesn’t like A frames and neither do children and chickens. I just raised my eyebrows.

Giu 18, 6:44pm

I loved A frames as a child. Less enthusiastic since.

Giu 20, 7:59am

>209 2wonderY: And I’m all for overgrown. But clear the decks; I want it to be my overgrown

Agreed. We have honeysuckle everywhere, hard to eradicate.

Giu 20, 8:12am

>210 2wonderY: No, with chickens you want a neo-gothic structure. Chickens are so moody and contemplative they feel right at home with leaded glass windows and flying buttresses.

Giu 20, 8:28am

>213 SomeGuyInVirginia: hahaha!

I made a chicken coop out of a wooden welping box, the bantams seemed happy with it, and it kept them safe at night from predators!

Giu 20, 9:03am

Yes, but chickens are irrelevant. I think neighbor was commenting on some dark memory from childhood.

Giu 20, 9:30am

Giu 22, 7:01am

T had company yesterday! Neighbor to the east is minding her 5yo grand this week. Lakin was delighted to come and play. I had water squirters for them and glad to not be a target.

It stormed torrentially afternoon and evening, and I have not noted the sump pump having to work hard at all.

Giu 22, 12:38pm

Plants bought last week:

Phlox, Fashionably Early Princess
Plumbago. I brought some from a diminished bed in WV and had the impression it was fading. When I looked, after bringing the new pot home, they had perked right up. That’s okay; always room for this deep blue pretty.
Egyptian Star Flower, Sunstar Red. I don’t usually buy annuals, but this got potted near the front steps.
Butterfly Bush, Miss Ruby. Not sure where this is going yet, but surely the back yard. Will get too big for the front.
I know there was one more...

Giu 22, 12:58pm

Seriously?! Have you no shame?! You get more done in the morning than I do in 4 days. Are you sure you're not a cyborg? I mean even if you say you're not a cyborg, that's the kind of thing a cyborg would say. I'm going to go with you being a cyborg, rather than me being lazy. That's the way it is, deal with it.

Giu 22, 12:58pm


Giu 23, 10:57am

You know there is no one else to dredge out the dungeons and build the stairway to heaven. It’s gotta be me. And I’m on a schedule!

Giu 23, 11:05am

I remembered the last plant I bought - water lettuce.

Neighbor lady gave me a tiny pilea and a burro’s tail.

I climbed 12 feet up to the first crotch of the bigger maple tree, thinking there was a grapevine starting to root, and other things not identifiable from below. Instead, I found a maple sapling, some wintercreeper (of course) and a young eastern red cedar.

Giu 24, 8:19am

Imagine my surprise when I climbed the tree and found a coal scuttle, one perfect pearl, and my second husband, Henry, who said he couldn't figure out a way to get down.

Yepper. Anytime someone else says they've built you a stairway to heaven you can bet they're going to ask you for money.

Giu 26, 8:33am

Did you leave Henry up there? You do a terrible job of telling the rest of the story. Please review some Paul Harvey.

I’ve decided I need to remove the saplings and explore how to slow the rot happening there. Admittedly, it is probably happening too slowly to be my ultimate problem; but it is a magnificent tree. The west side of it sweeps up like Cthulhu.

I’ll be in WV for a few days, so I don’t want to put the rest of the plants in the ground yet. Forecast is sunny and hot.

I emptied my front door closet and started hammering at the exterior walls. Recall I was planning to insulate them. I found plaster and then drywall and then a weird packed down loose insulation. Hmmm.

Modificato: Giu 26, 8:30pm

That's because the rest of the story is the hard part!

Tomorrow I have to go and work on my basement. By that I mean I have to put a rug pad down, move furniture so that a little bit more of the rug pad can go down, move furniture again and put down a little bit more of the rug pad, and do that until it's done. Then I'll repeat the process on Monday when they deliver the rug from the drying warehouse. I would just like to say right now that my couch is very comfortable but it is also very freaking heavy. I've decided to live with the stained tiles in the ceiling, and I hope that the rug colors haven't run too much. But whatever. I just want my stuff back, so I can put my new TV up when it gets delivered, and then watch zombie movies.

I took the pearl because it's a pearl. I left Henry because I figured he would come down when he got hungry or fall down when he was dead, but either way he would be in my life again and in my way again, at least for a a little while and I wasn't relishing. Not that I'm bitter, but if you aren't a multimillionaire don't put that in your profile. That's all I'm saying. I left the coal scuttle up in the tree because I figured the original owners would come looking for it. Or a couple in Victorian cosplay. Although I have signage posted everywhere, 'No Victorian garb or civil war reenactors'. When the dew is 'pon the heather I actually have to pipe Van Halen into the garden to chase away the Janeites. Works on deer, too.

Giu 27, 3:29am

That last bit is good to know.

I moved the ladder around to the other side and found a Bush honeysuckle volunteering even further up in another crotch.

I’ve decided I don’t like bush honeysuckle at all and will be cutting down the specimen in my WV gardens tomorrow. It seeds everywhere.

Poor Henry. I know he’s a damned liar, but he is ornamental.

Lug 1, 7:34am

I’m back. It stayed hot and sunny yesterday. Although I travelled through several local blinding squalls on the road, it was hot and dry when I got here. The butterfly bush was in distress, so I gave it two waterings. Today is overcast and already sent a little rain. The butterfly bush leaves are fully recovered, though the floral spikes are ash.

Lug 1, 10:23am

T’s unsolicited comment on my haircut: “I’m gonna make your hair grow.”

I brought so much new stuff for play that T hasn’t even made a dent in it, but she is trying with all her might. I picked up a crap dollhouse off the curb that someone was throwing away. We washed it and put it back together and it’s “awesome!” I brought boxes of dollhouse furniture, “stuff,” and doll inhabitants. She ignores the humans and moved her pack of dogs in. Luxury! Also found a bunny and a guinea pig that were welcomed enthusiastically.

Lug 1, 8:58pm

>229 2wonderY: I love kids...

Lug 2, 9:02am

We had torrential rains again yesterday; and the rear gutter overflowed again. But the basement sump stayed quiet, so at least a good portion of the water was successfully going where I want it to. I did buy enough gutter guards to cover that whole length and the deck roof section too.

Lug 4, 11:24am

Time to do some clean-up on the deck. SIL says he will bring a big cabinet shelf unit over tomorrow. It’s been on their deck forever and been a junk collector; but has been used as a buffet spread for parties of old.
I plan to use it to store gardening things and pots and vases, as well as for parties.

The hot tub is still in the way, so I have to strategize. There is lots of stuff that needs moved and a pile of salvaged lumber to tuck away.
I also plan to start working on the gutter cleaning and gutter guard installation.
Busy, busy!

Lug 4, 3:28pm

The most annoying part of the gutter work is having to move the ladder. It’s a lightweight aluminum telescoping model, but still has some heft. I’m tired!
All the rear gutters have been power sprayed clean of debris and one section is covered with the leaf shields. With a bit of yanking, a kink in the gutter was corrected, and the screwed on shield acts as a brace to keep it correct. The last inch of gutter is covered with screening. I had to improvise.

The next section will require me climbing onto the deck roof. Sigh. Might as well get to it.

Lug 4, 5:20pm

Ran out of hardware halfway across. Had one beer and it knocked me over. Enough for the day.

Lug 4, 6:09pm

Happy 4th, Ruth! Good idea to not get up on the roof after a drink. That's right up in the 'hold my beer and watch this' category.

Lug 4, 6:57pm

Thanks. Looks like we’re both gonna find out what kind of celebration our new towns put on. Have fun!

Lug 4, 7:44pm

>233 2wonderY: this is when you need a second person. It wouldn't prevent all the trips up and down the ladder, but some help in moving it would be nice.

Lug 5, 12:40pm

Finished the back of the house gutter shield. Now it’s obvious that the volume of water off that roof will bounce right off the shield and onto the deck. So the next step (and must be done soon!) Is to devise a counter-shield from the deck framing right back into the gutter area. It’s complicated by the varying elevations, and will have to be managed piecemeal. There is nothing on the market that addresses this particular design flaw, so I’m winging it.

Lug 5, 1:55pm

And, Nathan and Rose finally delivered the cabinet from their deck to mine. Nathan is awesome, navigating the trailer up the drive and into the carport in reverse.

It’s huge. And filthy.

Lug 5, 5:38pm

This is not where it will finally settle, but I couldn’t resist. This is exactly how I plan on using it. Like?

Lug 5, 5:41pm


Lug 5, 6:03pm

Like! Very chic!

Lug 5, 6:52pm

>240 2wonderY: very nice!

Lug 5, 7:33pm

>238 2wonderY: it came a brief but intense storm while I was working on the deck. And I climbed the ladder to observe up close. The gutter guard was doing fine. It’s the house roof that is responsible for most of the splatter. Those raindrops hit the fairly steep roof and bounce at an angle that jumps through the gaps and wets the inner quarter to third part of the deck. And if enough falls, they run down the boards to wet the whole floor.
I was planning a barrier to address that feature as well; though I hadn’t had such a nice front row seat to the action.

Lug 5, 9:42pm

Are you a superhero? Well you only use your powers for good, or for things that are really, really fun?

Lug 5, 10:47pm

I depend on a team of excellent scriptwriters.

Lug 6, 9:59am

>244 2wonderY: I showed that photo of your gutter to my dad, and he made some suggestions about extending the roof and using flashing.

I'm sure you'll figure out an excellent solution. :)

Lug 6, 12:45pm

>247 fuzzi: The house roof appears to have the proper overhang at the back. Might not be so at the front, where water seeps down the back side of the gutter.

Japanese beetles.
They are eating my roses. It’s not too bad yet. Will keep an eye on them.
I recall this happened in Parkersburg the first year I planted roses. That was awful. And I set out traps which just seemed to attract more. But that invasion never happened again. Never, ever had another problem with them.

Lug 6, 1:52pm

>248 2wonderY: my mother paid me a penny each to pick them off the flowers and shrubs. I made pretty good money, especially when I got the "coupled" ones.

Lug 7, 7:33am

We may go pick beetles today. Soapy water?

I need to move both coral bells to a shadier spot. They advertise as not caring, but mine are obviously unhappy where they are.
I have other gardening to do, but it’s still hot here. The real reason is I hate putting shoes on.

I went erranding last evening and found a fix for the annoying hose attachment under the deck.
I also picked up a few new toys for T. She has already found two of them; one was on a shelf above eye level. She’s good!

Family Dollar sells ice cube trays that have silicone bottoms, so the small cylinders of ice just pop out. There are trays on the kitchen table for her mom. T asked for ice cubes for breakfast. Now she’s making up play with the trays.

Lug 7, 7:35am

T says we're going to wash the beetles.

Lug 7, 10:08am

>250 2wonderY: my mother put kerosene in the glass jars, just about an inch or so deep. I'd drop the bugs in, they'd die instantly. I survived the experience.

I imagine soapy water would work, or how about using vinegar? I have switched over to using vinegar for most of my household cleaning: it does a thorough job, has no chemicals, and smells pretty good too. I have some in a spray bottle which comes in handy for unwanted six-legged intruders.

What's the hose fix? I'm curious.

Regarding T: I remember my mother had a serving tray with a metal rail that looked like fencing. It became a zoo/cage for my animals during play. I used our large braided rugs for my Matchbox cars: the black section was road, and the blue sections were rivers.

Lug 7, 10:49am

One of my hoses was missing a washer, so I went to the hardware store. (Had to buy a 10 pack, so I’ll be passing them out to neighbors.). But I consulted with the employee, and he sold me a 4 foot hose. It was much easier to get a good tight fit inside the deck hole; so no more leakage. It’s just the right length to tuck back in if I want to close it up. I know I’ve got a quick-connector somewhere, but it’s not strictly needed.

Did I say upthread that I found my rubber hoses buried in the shrubbery in WV? They were so caked in muck that I had to scrub them inch by inch with a scouting pad after soaking them in the pond. It removed half their weight and regained flexibility. So I have 50 foot lengths front and back and a 25 foot spare.

Oddly, the Japanese beetles are all gone. The evidence of their feasting is there, but none to harvest. Several ladybugs. You don’t think...

I am seeing a few more native bees on the white clover in the lawn. It’s a good excuse to delay mowing, eh?

I am pulling random weeds, mostly pokeweed. But T insisted on saving several not IDed; so they are potted and are now her babies. In one spot no bigger than my palm in a new garden, I just pulled three saplings - tulip poplar, redbud and elm. All natives.

Lug 7, 11:11am

>246 2wonderY: Nice one!

Lug 7, 1:08pm

>253 2wonderY: good idea. We have a short 3-4' hose on the outside faucet by the side steps, and it's perfect for simple chores like rinsing out the feral cats' water dish, etc.

What a nice find! Hoses aren't cheap, especially good ones. My dad bought one for his RV last week and spent $20 on a cheap one.

Maybe the birds ate the beetles? Not ladybugs, they eat aphids.

What a lucky girl T is to have a grandma like you, potting up her baby weeds. :)

Lug 7, 1:24pm

Note to self:
Falken Design acrylic 24”x60”x1/8” $62.75
Home Depot
Two panels will span the center 12 feet when cut to 20” height.

Lug 7, 1:27pm

Funny you should mention... found her improvising as well:

Lug 7, 2:39pm

BTW, forgot to report yesterday’s hospital operations. We have had ten patients waiting for parts reattachments. We did six ears and eight limbs. T was surgeon’s assistant and nursing staff. Everyone went home today. The rabbit’s siblings all sat in the waiting room, and man! it was crowded! The snack machines were all empty of carrots too by the end of the day.

Lug 7, 2:46pm

>257 2wonderY: LOVE IT!

I had some really nice big animal models as a child, still have some of them stored away.

I wonder what they were?

Aha! They were Britain's animals, and my elephant model is the one second from the right in this picture:

Lug 7, 3:05pm

>258 2wonderY: what an imagination!!!!

Lug 8, 11:58am

>258 2wonderY: sorry about the carrots. I saw them in the vending machines taking the place of perfectly lovely Sun Chips so I took them out of the machine and then threw them out back.

Thank heaven tea was able to confine the pygmy rhinos before they wreak havoc! They're worse than ants when they get a foothold.

Lug 8, 9:53pm

>261 SomeGuyInVirginia: I’ve never had them in the house before. Any advice?

I had the day off and decided to be lazy. I think I’m going to Cincinnati tomorrow and capture another grand.

Lug 10, 7:00pm

We’ve had a fine busy day here in Cinci. First stop was the Apple store, as my phone had suddenly frazzled in a whole lot of ways. They handled it at the Genius Bar. Oh! That’s why the phones cost so much!

Second stop was Ikea to buy the last Kallax for the basement wall. Yeah, that ancient project. We always have a hard time walking through without looking at EVERYThING, but we tried. Added just a few impulse items.

We then headed over to EnterTRAINment Junction, where there just happened to be a dollhouse show and sale. Honest; it was a pure coincidence. Daughter Anne loves this sort of thing. I built her a cabin at one point, just small enough to carry with her to the babysitters house. We had so much fun, and the teenaged grands enjoyed it too.
We made several strategic purchases, and I can honestly say that I’m still downsizing.

Lug 10, 9:48pm

I'm going to really miss IKEA, they don't even deliver to Lynchburg. One of these days in the fall I may rent a truck and run to the IKEA outside of DC to buy a bunch of billy bookcases. If I can swing the money I'd like to have a carpenter come in and build bookcases, but right now I can't even get anyone to return my phone calls construction is so busy in the area.

Lug 10, 9:49pm

Oh I get it now! Downsizing!

Lug 11, 9:35pm

I’m the catalyst for daughter Anne getting her big projects to completion. Nobody else in her household ever volunteers to help. So I volunteered them today. We did major furniture moving and then clean up. They have an enclosed front porch, which is where everything gets dropped. It’s awful. She’s been using half of that space as a potting shed and greenhouse, but it was so out of control. Dirt and pots everywhere and no work surfaces.
The other half of the porch was taken up by a gigantic breakfront china cabinet. She shops St. Vincent de Paul and finds the best deals. But it’s been sitting there just inside the front door waiting to be put somewhere. I helped her decide where. The back of the kitchen. Which meant first tearing that space apart and moving the cottage style green painted cabinet out to the porch as a potting bench. It has an enameled steel counter, a bit like a Hoosier cabinet, but cuter.
Before we could do that, we had to sweep all the mess up and used the front yard as staging for all the pots and plants.
We then moved the china cabinet into the kitchen.
The grands and I pulled the porch back together while Anne took a rest break. (She has fibromyalgia). It was all clean and arranged by the time she was able to come back; and she loved it and her kids got showered with good feelings of helping with a special project.

Took the 13 year old home with me today for a week’s visit.

Lug 12, 7:04am

I brought Fisher-Price toys back with me. T was immediately enchanted with the airplane, and loaded some animals to “take to the sky with the captain.” That’s a direct quote.
But she likes the school bus even more. It holds more animals. They are off on adventures.

Lug 12, 10:54am

>267 2wonderY: I love reading about T. What a delight.

How good of you to assist Anne with her projects. Sometimes all one needs is someone saying "how can I help?" to get something started.

Lug 12, 11:00am

It’s really not good of me. I can’t stand the chaos, so I crack the whip whenever I’m there. The grands don’t seem to mind.
But it’s been 18 or so months since I’ve been able to visit.

Lug 12, 11:09am

>269 2wonderY: it's KIND of you to help instead of just nagging?

My father said something about seeing a dust kitten (actually a clump of dog hair) that was under the coffee table. I said "I can get you the vacuum cleaner" and he laughed, and I joined in. He didn't take me up on the offer (he's 93 and unsteady on his feet) but I wasn't offended either. He got my point.

It's kind of fun to be able to have an ADULT relationship with a parent, as you seem to have with your daughter. One sees the person as a person, not just a family member, per se.

Am I making sense? :)

Lug 12, 12:16pm

My parents rarely visited my brother or me after we moved out. Once, I was living on Capitol Hill in DC. It was a scheduled visit and I spent the three days before cleaning every square inch of every cabinet, window frame, rearranging the pantry and the closets, polishing furniture, etc. I scrubbed the bathroom and the kitchen to within an inch of their lives. The day of the visit I'm waiting outside to welcome them to the house, the van rolls up, and Dad says for me to get in because Mom has to go to the bathroom. I told him to come inside and Mom could use the bathroom. Dad says that your Mom wants to use the bathroom at the Smithsonian, where we were going to see an exhibit. I say that junkies and homeless people use that bathroom. Dad tells me to get in the vehicle. I got in the vehicle. It was a beautiful late spring day. Capitol Hill looks best in the spring because of all the flowering trees. It really does look like a Disney set the first of May.

Lug 12, 12:46pm

>271 SomeGuyInVirginia: One of those recollections seared into memory. My dad specialized in those too. My mom was the opposite. Every child and grandchild believed they were her favorite; because they were.

Lug 12, 12:55pm

Eh, that was my Mom's decision not Dad's, she really didn't even want to come in. Too bad, because the place was minty fresh.

Lug 14, 7:46pm

Came up with a classy splash guard for the center 12 feet of the interior length. There is a beam that spans there at 18” above the top edge of the gutter. So I cut plexiglass 20” in height and installed it with a simple friction fit vinyl accessory strip screwed to that beam. The lower edges of the plexiglass rest inside the lip of the gutter guard and pegs hold it in place there. It’s almost invisible, and the sun still shines through.

Still working out the rest of it in my head and I brought some siding scraps to play with.

I did not enjoy going up on the roof, and my body tension left me sore and exhausted. Ellie and I did go out to the ridgetop this evening to survey the berry crop. Most are only half ripe, in the red stage. But there were some beautiful ripe ones too. We’re going out tomorrow morning hoping to pick a gallon.

Lug 14, 10:01pm

In peach news, the youngest tree on the ridgetop didn’t make it through the winter. The oldest tree is full of fruit, but they are fungal rotting closest to the ground. The other tree has no fruit on it.

One of the three apple trees I planted finally has one apple on it. What a wasted investment.

The crap plum tree was cut down, but is throwing up babies everywhere from the root system.

Lug 15, 1:15pm

>274 2wonderY: I don't mind heights, but not when my perch is precarious. But I like your fix!

>275 2wonderY: my dh grew a couple kumquat trees from seed, put lots of effort and years into them. Only one survived and it essentially died last winter. There are a few weak shoots coming up. Oh, and we never got any fruit...

Modificato: Lug 15, 4:52pm

>275 2wonderY: That's crummy news, I love peaches probably more than any other food on the planet. I have a fig tree that's just sprouted purple thingies and I suppose it's nearing... a birthing stage? Fruition? I am looking forward to some fresh figs.

So, Ruth. Suburban grandmothers don't write as beautifully as you do. What's your story?

Lug 16, 7:56pm

You made me blush. Though I am a suburban grandma, I am many other labels too. Most of all, I have been a reader. I hope I’ve picked up some good practices.

We collected the first 2 quarts of blackberries. I spent most of my effort forging a path through the brush, pointing Ellie to rich patches. The fruit is just beginning to come on. Most is bright red yet.

Lug 16, 8:18pm

A lady on my next door app just posted that she's asking that people with fig trees they don't know what to do with will let her come and pick the fruit. I've just posted to her request saying that she's welcome to come out this year and harvest my tree as long as she shows me what she's doing so that I'll know for next year. I'm really looking forward to hearing from her because I'd like to know how to harvest the fruit and herbs in my yard. I know there's a patch of mint, and there's sage which smells heavenly. I really had no time to focus on the gardening at all. It's a pity because I think that I would enjoy some aspects of a gardening, although others like mowing just drive me insane. I do think that I'd like to tend to things that bear fruit that I can use in the kitchen. Things require routine cosmetic maintenance I just fob off.

Lug 17, 7:24pm

I associate figs with the Old Testament. I don’t know why… so arid desert like terrain. That said, they were pushed in KY rather hard in the last couple of years, so we planted a couple. Mine on the ridgetop didn’t make it through the first winter. Daughter’s did, nestled up against a white wall. But neither of us knows anything about them either. Do share what you learn please.

We celebrated T’s birthday today, a few days early. Other daughter (T calls her Uncle Anne) came down with her kids. We had a great time with balloons, bubbles and giggles.

Lug 18, 6:51am

Theia was at my house yesterday morning while her parents prepared for the party. I offered her some fresh blackberries and cream. Her response is worth sharing.

With wonder and astonishment:
“Blackberries!! Is it summer?!”

Lug 19, 9:29am

I'd never have associated figs with Virginia, either. Now that I think about it, I would have thought they were only to be found in arid regions, also.

Yes! It is now glorious summer!

Lug 19, 8:46pm

I have a fig tree that grows figs every year, but I never get even one to eat...some critter eats them all before they ripen. I think it's raccoons.

Modificato: Lug 20, 4:54am

A lot of people have them here in Vienna. I tried, but it dried up.

Lug 21, 1:46pm

I picked nearly a gallon of blackberries this morning and quit because a wave of exhaustion hit me all of a sudden. I had to sit and rest twice before hiking back to the cabin. Uphill, of course. It surely was because I spent an hour or more beforehand cutting down the trees that have grown up in the side yard. Locusts do grow amazingly fast. Some were already 20 to 25 feet tall.

Because I was in the brambles later in the day than I normally am, I bumped into competitors. The tiny native bees challenged my right to be there. It was just annoying because they are not fierce at all. They would buzz my face and drop into the buckets to see my harvest. I tried to explain that there is plenty to go around. I was not stealing their share.

I’m resting on the couch for the rest of the day .

Lug 21, 2:47pm

>285 2wonderY: I like your afternoon plans.

Lug 22, 8:23pm

>285 2wonderY: I like your afternoon plans too. They sound perfectly civilized to me.

Lug 23, 11:44am

Huh! It’s not even noon yet. That second meal must have been a second breakfast. I got on a tear this morning and tore the living room apart, dusted, shined, swept and vacuumed. With T helping bigly.

That’s not like me. Do you suppose that Covid vaccination really did change me into a zombie?

Lug 23, 11:46am

>288 2wonderY: are you nesting? 😂

I went on cleaning binges while pregnant, only occasionally since.

Lug 23, 12:58pm

>289 fuzzi: if I understand how that works, it’s unlikely.

Lug 24, 9:09pm

>290 2wonderY: 🤣🤣🤣

Lug 25, 2:05pm

Yes, yes the covid vaccine turned you into a zombie. Isn't it terrible to be one of the living undead and have an incessant hunger for human flesh? Actually, I'm not completely sure that the vaccine hasn't had any effect on me, but it hasn't had any effect on me that I've noticed. I also pushed a couple of old folks on walkers out of my way to be first in line to get the vaccine, so there's that. But that's me, I'm a people person.

Lug 25, 2:34pm

It didn’t really feel like zombiefication; but I’m no expert. I was reminded more of The Stepford Wives.

I did another ridgetop morning. This time I walked down the lower road first, with the long handled clippers. Multiple trees have fallen across it, and I wanted to make it easier to walk. I may leave the trees in place so that no one can use it to drive down and steal timber. Left the clipper hanging on a tree down there and worked my way up the hill picking berries. That was a good plan. When the fatigue hit, I was much closer to the cabin this time. Barely made it to the couch with water and carbs.

I picked three quarts today, but only canned two. Gotta give my T some more summertime with whipped cream.

This may be the last week I have her. Daughter was offered a job in the same town her husband is now employed. They will be moving 2 hours away.

Ieri, 9:12am

Those native bees are more likely syrphid flies. I looked closer and they have two wings, not four.

I brought a tub of kitchen toys back into town that I had forgotten were out there. T is washing them up out on the deck this morning and having a fine time of it.

Ieri, 11:56am

City wide power outage this morning. Surprising how fast the inside temperature rises without circulation. Today we will experiment with opening windows for cross ventilation.

Ieri, 12:05pm

And finish the ice cream.

Ieri, 2:15pm

Good grief! Absolutely finish the ice cream, it's the only decent thing to do.

Why did the power go out?

Ieri, 3:05pm

An outside transmission line. The city owns the local electrical system and even has its own solar array. But it doesn’t produce all that’s needed, so they buy it.

Ieri, 11:20pm

I’m definitely going to try fig trees again. My neighbor’s tree is full and she offered me one. It was delicious!

Oggi, 5:39am

If you liked that one and know it grows well where you are, it might be a good idea to ask your neighbor what the variety is and where it was bought. She may not know, and it may not still be available, but it would be a good starting place.

Oggi, 2:08pm

Well, I walked my property line. I had no idea, but there's some sort of poke out back, some really old and scary looking firewood, olive trees, and plants that even I recognized as some sort of herb but couldn't identify. Interesting.

Oggi, 2:23pm

If it’s this

It is not olives, but an invasive pest tree.
Someone IDed it for me here, but I’ve lost the post.

Modificato: Oggi, 2:32pm

Olive leaves look like this

Most years we get tiny fruit, but I don't see any this evening.

Modificato: Oggi, 2:59pm

Oh man, this whole plant thing is really complicated! I'll have to check, but I seem to think that the leaves were pointed rather than rounded. I only knew it was an olive something because my next door neighbor said that it was an olive something and asked, very kindly, if I might not cut it back so it doesn't choke her burgeoning Cyprus thingie.

I think I'm going to use the garden as a gym and get back into some sort of shape after being sedentary for 15 months by sorting everything out. I mean, after the neighbor kid weeds everything out. I'm not a fanatic!

Oggi, 3:30pm

Okay, it’s possible that you have Mediterranean olives. Just make sure they aren’t Autumn olive or Russian olive, comrade!