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Monday, July 29, 2019

A few more things...........

I'm trying to squeeze in another quick blog post before I head to the coast again. My sister is very ill, so I was there last week for a week, home for a few days, and going back again on Tuesday.

I've managed to do a few more things to our yard. I think I'm about DONE for the rest of the summer! All flowers are planted (I bought about 15 more perennials mostly).....I painted our smallish pallet wall planter (see below), and did a little trimming on one of our lattices to make it even. I actually used our circular saw! .................feels like I've been busy constantly!

We got rid of our 5th wheel... ..........just too much work for us and as I've said before, we're NOT handy! So we gave it away to a man who needed his own little "home". It needs tons of work and he professes to be very handy and says he'll fix it up. I was so glad to get it off of our gravel driveway area! 

He did some work for us, such as rototilling our entire back yard, laying down the rest of our bark mulch in the back flower beds, weed eating all over, and seeding about 1/2 of our back lawn. And.... it's coming up and looking pretty good, except for a few big patches that didn't grow. I just spent 3 hours today re-seeding all the bare patches and putting some compost on top of it all... all this done in about 95 degree weather. Needless to say....... I'm pretty worn out.......

Here are some pix:

Got a few flowers planted for the top of my bench with the wood "lattice". I need to paint that bench again!

I'm hoping the nasturtium will climb up the lattice.
My front yard bark dust area is doing very well. I'm so happy!
Back yard current pictures from today:

This dirt area is ready for some rock and gravel paths.  It's been rototilled and raked, but needs a little more raking and smoothing out.

Our glads are blooming!

Our new (again) lawn.... coming up good in the back but not the front area. I re-seeded it today.

Not much privacy as you can see, from the house next door. They can see everything in our yard from their deck!

Our sweet Maddie always wants to be in the pictures.

A new "fence sign". "Do What Makes You Happy".  Love it!
My raspberries produced about 3 pickings - so I made sauce to go with my gluten free graham crackers... and covered it all with whipped cream! 

Balloon plant that I planted - is a perennial.

One of my new planter boxes with geraniums, chrysanthemum and some pansies. I had a marigold there but something ate it right down to the stem! Same with all of my other marigolds that I had planted. They are gone, zap, nadda.

Decimated marigolds. Darned bugs.
Sun faces hung on our fence. I... um.... kind of fell down on the rocks when I was putting one up. Not hurt thank goodness, other than a slightly sprained ankle. 

Every yard needs a pink flamingo right?  (My hubby bought it).
 Until next time....... everyone have fun greeting in August (already?). 


Monday, July 1, 2019

Befores and Afters.........

My last post was on May 17th! What happened to the days? They just sped by!

My last post as you can see here was about being lazy and lethargic. I must admit, I continued that way for quite awhile. It was fairly soon after my colonoscopy which was May 8th. My upcoming surgery was set for May 20th. I just had no energy! And..........we had started so many projects in our yard, that I showed pictures of in that May 17th post. I was overwhelmed. But you gotta start somewhere, right?

Not a good time to start yard projects, when surgery is only a few days away! But I wanted them done!  I figured the only way to get them done, was to at least start on them............. (I must admit, I had to crack the whip a little bit............)

My surgery went fine (gall bladder removed).......... and for two weeks I was pretty sore.... but I did manage to get outside and at least be the "director" of hubby..... to get things started. So as the last post showed, we/hubby started preparing for the fountain setup. I had bought the fountain probably in February or March and was really itching to hear that little trickle of water!

Burying the electric cord was quite a process. I had thought we could just run the cord along a cement curb that ran along our yard over to the house, and then run it along the bottom of the house to the plug-in. But no, hubby thought running it through a pipe and burying it would be better. Of course it WAS a better way....... but much more work! And I couldn't do any digging, etc. so it was very frustrating.

To make a long story short, here are some before and after photos! In the two weeks after my surgery, I managed to overdo it many days! I didn't "undo" anything done in the surgery, but came close one time....was VERY sore the next day.. so I learned I'd better slow down. Hubby was great at getting most things done, with me being the "overseer"............... but I still spent days dragging bags of potting soil, moving plant pots, planting flowers, dragging furniture around, carrying rocks and boards. (I was NOT supposed to life more than 10 lbs.!!). 

AFTER - below - clean! now weeds, pipe all buried, and fountain set in place. We still want to put a truckload MORE of gravel in this back graveled area, with ground cover first, then the gravel.

We also did some work in our front yard. We/hubby filled up the old flower bed that is along our front walkway, with some really pretty river rock. I helped by laying down the ground cloth underneath it. We also put some bags of smaller river rock in a trench that hubby dug along the top of the wall, so that mowing would be easier.

This area along our walkway is covered. There used to be a raised bed there, but we moved all the dirt and all of the rocks to our back yard. We would like this to be a "porch" area. We are in the process (another project!) of finding someone to build a small deck along the front of our house, about halfway across, so some of this rock will be covered, but at least what we did will keep the weeds controlled.

I've already drawn up the plans for the deck (a project I did while recouperating from the surgery). 

Hard to see from these photos, but the above photo is the 4 foot high rock wall that we had repaired in 2017 (after our huge tree fell over in a high wind and cracked the wall). The smaller round rock looks really nice. I may plant a few things there, but may just want to keep it clear, for easier mowing.

Above, I wanted this flower bed enlarged where we planted the Quaking Aspen and shrubs, so I spray painted a line and hubby (bless his heart), dug it out and I went and cut out all the tall grass (or pulled it out, which I wasn't supposed to be doing)..... so now there is a larger dirt area. Right now, the bags of bark mulch are laying there, ready to be put in the beds. 

The "Iris bed" on the other corner of our yard, was also dug out (by dear hubby) so now the roses are more in the open. The Irises were overtaking them! I also cut down many of the Iris leaves to give room for the sun to get to the roses, and I'll be thinning the Irises this Fall. Another bag of mulch sits there, waiting for me to dump it in and spread it. I can NOW lift more than 10 lbs.!

Since this above photo was taken a couple of weeks ago, the roses have gone crazy and are blooming like crazy! The rose on the left was a dead root that our neighbor had thrown by his garbage can, and it sat there last summer out in the heat for 2 weeks. I asked if we could take it and plant it and see if it would grow, and he said YES, so here it is. It's blooming as I write this (below).

Bag of bark mulch, waiting for my attention!
Here are a couple of current (taken today) pictures of our front yard. The Quaking Aspen is growing like crazy! We just planted it last year and it was about 5 feet tall with a very spindly trunk! It must love this climate and soil!  

And the little Johnny Jump Ups (my mom called them - tiny pansies) love their home under the Quakey. They came up all by themselves from last summer and were buried in the tall grass. I've nurtured them to where they are now.

See that bush to the left of the Quakey trunk? It was a Snowberry bush I bought 2 years ago for 50 cents at an end of summer sale at our local Bi Mart. The temperatures were in the hundreds and everything was wilted and almost dead. It is beautiful now and almost as tall as I am!

I know my photos are kind of all over the place on this post. It's hard to organize them as have all been taken at different times in the last few weeks.

Here are some final "afters" of our nice "patio area" out in our back yard now. I've planted a few marigolds and a daphne around our fountain (which by the way, we absolutely LOVE)..... and some more pots of flowers line the fence. I didn't plant any veggies this  year, just too much going on in my life. 

My hubby found these two adirondack chairs at a local thrift store. I'm going to paint them either dark green or a pretty aqua color.

The pink flowering bush behind the fountain, we transplanted from a tub. It is some sort of "bush geranium" and it loves it there and is growing huge! It's also a perennial and comes up every year.

The fountain at night.......... looks so pretty.
These below photos were taken yesterday on my birthday!  Hubby gave me two more cedar planter boxes.... so now I need to find more flowers for them.

Me amongst the flowers! The thing hanging on the fence over my head, is a pallet planter that my hubby found at the thrift store. All of $3.00! It has an area to plant some small herbs or trailing flowers (another project for me) and I'm going to paint it a distressed looking vintage white (very soon!).

Our cat, Maddie, seems to think this is her own personal lounging bed!
I think that about covers our finished projects for now. As you can see, there are more projects for the summer and I want to plant a few more flowers, even though it's July! I remember one year, many years ago, due to a move, I didn't get my veggie garden planted until July 15th, and things grew very well and fast..... so I guess I do have time to plant a few more flowers for color.

What would you suggest for those planter boxes? I want color for the rest of the summer!

Our biggest other project, is getting a small deck built along the front of our house. I figure it will be about 6 feet x 12 feet (depending on the cost). It may end up having to be smaller. We want a raised area to sit, and also want it extended away from our little tiny "stoop" for safety reasons. Can't have people falling off (myself included)!!

I'm feeling more myself now, able to lift and bend and move things, so I'm ready to tackle more yard work and projects. It's always ongoing. Also, we haven't even begun to tackle our back lawn area. I think it's going to end up being half grass and the rest river rock, with some paths and raised beds, and maybe a couple of raised vegetable beds. That's another story............for another day.

Until next time... and I hope it won't be so long before the next post!