How Does My Garden Grow?

Ever So Slowly.

 

The weather is not being at all cooperative this spring, if you could call it that. It can’t make up its mind if it wants to hang on to winter a bit longer or jump right on over to summer. I have been trying to get out and do a little bit each day that the weather is nice.
I finally got around to raking out the flowerbed around the deck. There were lots of leaves. The upper ones were dry but as I got lower in the pile closer to the ground it was very moist. Even some small puddles of water.

 

It also disturbed quite a few of the leaf litter dwellers. I saw black beetles scurry away, an inch long brown centipede squiggle away, and about three young wolf spiders ran up the deck wall. Earthworms were also present. I tried to cover them with some soil so they could find their way back underground before they dried out or the birds found them.
When I was starting to rake out around the deck I managed to break the claw rake. It had broken last year but David was able to fix it with super glue. The metal “nail” that held the claw to the handle rusted out this time. I just threw the claw part on this stand. I took out the wooden handle by the shed steps and replaced it with the plastic covered handle from the just broken claw rake. I put the old wooden handle next to the burn barrel. David said the other day that he was needing a new longer stick for stirring the trash as he burns it.

 

David  bought me this cute little leaf rake to replace the claw rake. It worked well getting into the smaller spaces. I was also able to rake out the soil after I had turned it with a shovel.

 

I pulled all the dead marigold plants out of the junk pile bed on one of my outside days.

I was expecting to find an iris plant there, but I think the gophers found it before the ground froze.

There was now sign of it.

 

The Junk Pile Bed and removed marigold plants.

 

The irises are coming up in the corner of the shed flower bed.

They are also coming up in the bed under the south bedroom window.

The Irises in the corner of shed flowerbed.

 

 

I have been bringing Sully out with me each day too. He is glad to be able to find more available grass to munch. He also has a spot in the lawn that he just sits and smells and drools all over. I can’t tell what is there that is of such interest. I don’t see any catnip in the spot, so there must be some other plant that catches his fancy.

 

 

Now that I have raked the flower bed I have uncovered some catnip.

 

 

The rest of the photos showing the raking of the deck flowerbed.

 

 

Sully surveys my work. He finds a clump of grass to nibble. Then he finds his way under the steps. There is no catnip under the steps yet but he did find this tree sapling to nuzzle and drool on.

 

 

When I finished raking for the day, I decided to just sit on the deck step and enjoy the sunshine on my face. As I looked up at the sky I saw a small black spot in the tree at the far end of the driveway. It was the neighbor’s kitty. I call her Little Blackie because I don’t know her actual name. She is a climber she has startled David and I both when we come outside and she is on our roof. I had to talk her over to the deck area one day so that she could jump down onto the shed roof then onto the deck to get down. One day she startled Dave when she jumped from the roof onto the swamp cooler in the back yard. If she had been in one of the trees over the roof of either trailer this day I would not have been to concerned, but this tree just hangs over the driveway and I didn’t want her to fall from that high up. I decide to walk over to the tree and talk her down. She was a very good listener. She followed my instructions and got safely to the ground. She thanked me by rubbing on my legs, let me give her a couple of pets, and then laying in front of me rolling around. I walked back over to the steps and she found a shady spot to lay in the driveway like nothing even happened. Sully watched it all laying in his comfy, grassy, lawn. He kept an eye on Little Blackie after she laid down in the driveway too.

 

 

Friday I turned a small patch of soil in the deck flowerbed and raked it out with my new rake.
I was able to do a bit of indoor gardening today. I transplanted the four best looking sweet peppers into pots. I then got some green bell peppers started in an egg crate.

The Transplanting.

 

 

That is where I stand in the yardening this week. We are supposed to get some more of that white fluffy stuff again, starting Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday afternoon. We could get around 6 inches. I don’t think it will actually accumulate since the ground is still pretty warm so hopefully it does a lot of melting. So you see the weather is taking another turn back towards winter. I really wish it would stop doing that.

 

 

 

 

 

The Calendar Says It’s Spring…

But Old Man Winter Just Keeps on Keeping on!

 

I have been wanting to get out and do some yardening, but mother nature is not being very cooperative this year. We have had several small spring snow storms and the temperatures have been up and down like a yo-yo. The snow is usually gone in a day. The temperatures go back up to the 50s or 60s in the day and the mid 20s to 30s at night. Then a couple of days later temps are down again and more snow. So needless to say I have not even been able to get my flower beds ready. I could try to do some digging on the nicer in between days but the ground is too wet from melting snow dripping. I need a good week of 60s during the day and maybe some low 40s for overnight temps maybe then the ground won’t be a soggy boggy mess.

Last year at this time.

This Year.

David said he is not even going to try to garden this year. He doesn’t want to battle the gophers or the deer. The deer left the garden pretty much alone most years, but last year they came in and ate David’s tomatoes. He was really pissed about it too. He said the only type of yard work he will be doing is mowing.
When David told me that, I decided I would try to grow a few veggies as well as my flowers. I think I will plant the veggies in the beds around the shed and the space to the east of the shed where we had a few squash plants last year. I want it all to be in the front yard so it will be easier for me to take care of.
David also told me we will probably not do any fishing until about August. He is planning on spending most of the summer doing his gold refining. This was also another reason for not gardening but mostly I think it was the deer. 🙂

 

Today I was able to get out and do some digging. I started on the east side of the shed next to the fence. I first raked out the pine litter I had been dumping there all winter. I then dug the area up. I built up three nice hills, pushed a coffee can in the top of each one, and then raked the pine litter back around the bases of each hill. This took me an hour to do. I was a hurting unit by then. I decided that was enough for one day. I don’t want to over do it just work myself up to longer and longer periods of yardening.

I was glad I was able to get out and get that much done. It seems that I will not have another chance for a few days again. The weather men are saying that we are to expect another spring mini blizzard Friday and Saturday. Snow, yes snow totals could get as deep as 10 to 15 inches. The wind could gust 35 to 50 mph. The temps will dip into the lower 20s for lows and 30s for highs by Saturday. I guess I will have to spend one or both of those days starting more seeds inside. I guess I can hope that we have a long summer and a few Indian summers thrown in to get use into December. 😀

What A Difference a Few Hours Make

 

Yesterday I ended my post about our Weekend Yard work with this photo.

By 11 am the snow had stopped and the sun was pushing through the clouds.

I knew that the snow would not last.

I was correct this is a photo of the same location 12 hours later.

The rest of the snow in the shady areas should be gone before today is done.

Retirement…

Is Not All Fun and Games

Well spring is finally springing off and on here. We will get two or three days in a row that are just gorgeous. Temperatures near and above 70 degrees. So David and I have been finding small projects in the yard that we can get done in that time before the next cold snap of 40 to 5o degrees for the high.

My project was getting the bed around the deck raked out of all the fall foliage. The work was done on two separate days. I got my yard gloves, rake and the wheelbarrow. David asked me why I didn’t use the big blue trash can to move my piles of leaves. I said it is easier for me to push a wheelbarrow than carry the trashcan. It may have taken more trips over to the garden area to dump but it was lighter and it has wheels. 🙂

 

This is all the leaf litter around the deck and stairs.

You may recall Sully was enjoying the catnip he found there.

Sully 84

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This is the front side of the bed all raked out.

We use pine shavings for Sully’s litter box.

The used litter makes great mulch. I will be digging that in before I plant.

I will be planting gladiolas and marigolds here.2016 Garden1________________________________________________________

These are my leaf piles over in the garden area. David wanted them there so he can run them over with the mower later to provide mulch that he can dig into the squash hills he will make in this area.

2016 Garden2

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A few days later I was able to rake out the side portion of the deck bed.

The before. 2016 Garden6

The after.

This also shows the hole David dug in preparation for concreting around the shed door steps.

2016 Garden7

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On one of the not so nice days I got my sweet peppers, marigolds, and green peppers started in one of those little Jiffy pot starter kits.

When I checked on it last night, I had a marigold sprouted. Yippee!!!


Beside the hole digging David was able to get BOB’s drive line put back up in its proper place. He says that the vibration that had him worried that the drive line would just drop out on our 2014 trip to Arizona is hardly noticeable. He replaced two U-joints and a carrier bearing. He also had to move one of the brackets that hold it in place about 1/8 of an inch.

He also spent one afternoon tearing the shower out of BOB. We are planning on remodeling the bathroom in BOB. We place a large storage bin in the bathtub to use as a live fish well when we go fishing over at the ponds. We had to get a new one for this year’s fishing season because the last pike David caught last season put a hole in the side. David was trying to put the new bin in but couldn’t get it in around the plastic accordion style shower door. So he decided to take it out. Well then he got to thinking while I am at it might as well take out the shower stall too since we plan to remodel it anyway. 🙂

Shower removed 1

I didn’t know David was doing this, so I have no before photos.

I thought I had some photos of the bathroom from when we first got BOB but I didn’t.

This is the left wall and the back wall of the shower stall.


Shower removed 3

This photo is of the right wall.

I removed some wallpaper and painted this wall in an earlier remodel of the water lines.


Shower removed 2

This is the new bin for the fish.

It fits nicely now that the shower door is not in the way.


This is the shower door and stall removed from BOB.

We will probably lay these out in the garden in problem weed areas for weed control.

The metal pieces will probably be sent to the recycling center.

So as you can see retirement is not all fun and games.

Yet the work that you do  can be enjoyable, fun, productive, and provide you with a sense of accomplishment.

smiley face

Uncommon Birds to Our Area That We Have Sited.

Another post idea courtesy of Helberg Farm Stories I had to dig some of these photos up on the external back up hard drive that we have to back up the computers. lol

Rocky Mountain Blue Bird

This is the first time I have been able to capture these little fellows. My husband has seen them several times. He tells me they are there but they have flown off by the time I get the camara. When they do show up it is early spring and just for a few minutes never see them the next day.


Orchard Oriole

I captured a photo of this fellow at the ponds in July of 2014. I thought he was a robin until he started “singing”.

I think they actually stay for a while in the summer at the ponds.

Orchard Oriole


Western Tanager

I got this one in June of 2013. It was really windy that day, so he probably thought the bushes in the backyard would be a good spot to rest. These bushes were low to the ground. Even then the wind was blowing him around. So that explains the blurry photos. That and I was taking them through the window of the back door. I didn’t want to open it and frighten him away.

David has also seen humming birds several times, but they are long gone before he even has a chance to tell me he saw them.