Monday, June 21, 2010

Progress So Far

Tomorrow Carl, Joel and Ann go back to work, so I am on my own with the garden.  Four days left, and I have to face facts, there's going to be a multitude of things left undone.  I have a garden friend who would simply rope off the parts of her yard that she wanted off-limits to visitors, and that's sounding like a good idea, however, I will see how far I can get before Thursday.

We were really busy bees the last few days. 

Joel's birthday was Thursday, and we celebrated with a nice supper and a 'cake':

To my good friends who are fantastic bakers, my apologies for this box cake with grocery store stick-on decorations and also to Joel, who has no choice but to roll his eyes, blow out the candles and resign himself to having a mother who never could make a decent homemade cake!

As of 11PM tonight, when we finally called it quits for the day the following has been done:
Three Rock Bed complete, Ernie the Urn brought home and repainted and planted, East berm weeded and mulched, the top of the Quarry weeded, five 12' tall cedars replanted for a windbreak and the lawn put in.  I am so glad the lawn is in, and we're hoping for few nice, gentle rainfalls to help it grow.  The key word is 'hoping'.  There is a possibility of rain for the next three days and with a bit of luck perhaps there will be no gully washers to wash the grass seed out into the ditch.

Here's what the trees looked like yesterday and today:
Digging tree spade hole for first tree.  It was at this point we remembered there is a telephone line buried in the immediate area somewhere.  I started digging with my short handled shovel and after nearly a half hour, I hadn't hit the line yet despite being over 2' down, 2' wide.  Joel came home from kayaking and took over.  He dug about six inches further out and found the line almost instantly.  Sigh.  What took me over an hour, he finds in under five minutes!



This area has long been a virtual wind tunnel for us and since we had so many trees removed last fall, the west wind has been very harsh.  There used to be seven 'Emerald' cedars lined up against the former tufa wall, and a huge blue spruce just west of the house which all had to come out when the geothermal furnace was installed.  The cedars were damaged two winters ago by wind or sun or a combination of the two; they were looking quite tired, with brown patches in them.  We debated simply removing them to the brush pile last September, but took a chance they might recover and tree spaded them out to the Back Eight for holding.  

When we were getting ready to put the lawn in north of the Pachyberm, I raised a fuss and told Carl we should put the cedars back in next to the low stone wall before we planted the grass.  He wasn't in favor of it because it would take time (he was right, it took all afternoon on Saturday) but growing weary of my nagging, he gave in.  He tried to plant the 'balder' sides to the west so the better side of the tree would be facing the flower garden.  Thuja 'Emerald' (or Smaragd) is a beautiful cedar (when it's not wind-burned) but also very narrow, so probably not the best choice for windbreaks but we noticed the difference right away.  We're debating planting a more broad-growing cedar west of the 'Emeralds' too.  In fact we have seedling cedars springing up all over the yard which, in time, would form immense trees.  We might just plant the entire narrow lawn area in cedar in the future, but right now, I wanted to just put the lawn in.  More changes may loom ahead in the not so distant future, but we have to try to wrap up the gardens for the walk.


 I bought some fibrous begonias on sale at the greenhouse in town and added them to my seedling Zahara zinnias, salvia and marigolds already planted in the River Bed.  I know none of these flowers will make much growth by the garden walk, and that's always a source of sadness, for when this bed in particular is in full bloom, it is my favorite and just lights up the yard.  Too bad the 'tourees' won't see it, but hey, I tried.

Another tractor convention in the front yard, yes, we bleed IH Red and no, we're not having an auction

Sunday's progress was more impressive, due in large part, to Joel being home.  He worked on the Dixon mower deck, mowed Grandma's lawn and ours and worked up the lawn-to-be with his tractor.  On Saturday, when he got home from kayaking, he gave us a few hours of help by working up the lawn with the 574 and then dragging it to level with his 184 before leaving to go out for the night.  Dave and Kayla were also involved for a bit doing some raking and running to town for gasoline for us. 

Carl's shoulders are very sore from raking the entire area by hand after the grass was planted.  Joel helped Carl rake the front and back sections of the Pachyberm Sunday after hauling in more dirt from out back to fill in low spots. 

Above is one section of the three sections we had to plant

While Carl and Joel were involved with mowing and raking, I was planting the last of the annuals in the 'Red Bed' out front.  I have traditionally planted nothing but red 'Fresh Look' celosia in the little island bed for years, so hence the nickname.  Joel had to haul in more dirt for me to build the bed up a bit and I did the edging, too.  It was really hot yesterday afternoon, especially with no breeze and out in the full sun.  We all did our fair share of sweating.  I'm also noticing my annuals are disappearing; something is eating them.  Yippee. 

Ann had been gone all day Saturday and most of Sunday camping with her son.  As soon as she got home from camping around 5PM on Sunday night she came over and was right back in the thick of things, hauling pine needles for us and mulching the Pachyberm.  She is a marvel!  All of us were either/or mulching, raking, picking up, hauling away or going crazy last night, right up til dark at ten pm and then we had supper over the campfire and in the house by 11PM.  

I've been having troubles with my legs aching at night making sleep elusive, though I'm very tired.  I can sleep for awhile, but the pain wakes me up over and over again.  I'm hoping this is a transitory thing because in the past I have had VERY sore shoulders and arms, which used to keep me up nights, too, but eventually it passed.  They say old age ain't for sissies and I'm terrified, because yes, I am old enough at 52, but not elderly yet....what will I do when the pain becomes worse?  Oh, well, cross that bridge when I get to it.  The worst part is, I'm tired all day long, too.  
I've been walking close to seven and a half  miles every day this week just in the garden and that doesn't count the time spent on my hands and knees either, which I suppose has 'something' to do with the joint pain, ha, but I'm not sure if backing off on the extreme exercise is the solution, really.  Someone asked me why we garden so much, and the answer is, because we love it.  Or, at least, I do!  I would rather garden than do anything else in the summer, so I know, quit my whinin' and get back to work. 

Here's some of the reasons why I love gardening:


 and, Teddy, King of the Hill on one of our recent campfire/supper nights:

With that, I head off to the next adventure!  Karen

No comments: