Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Spinning my wheels

You'd think I'd be out in the gardens this morning, wouldn't you?  Tomorrow is the interview for public television and the gardens aren't ready.  I'm ready to give up trying-- it is what it is. Between the heat of this week and having to take Mom to an optometrist appointment yesterday afternoon where we had to wait for two hours, I was lucky to get the lawn mowed last night just before dark.  We had some company over last night for computer repairs and I felt bad, but since Julie is a gardener, she knows what I'm going through trying to get this show on the road and excused my rudeness.  Joel and David hosted and worked on the computer while Carl and I worked outside.

I was trying to rake up the piles of clippings  (unbelievable how the lawn is growing, I just cut it three days ago) around 8:30PM but the mosquitoes were so intense I couldn't inhale without snarking one up my snout.
 While I was mowing, Carl was working on getting the pond pumped down a bit more, you can see the hoses for the pump in the picture.  This is the FIRST time we have ever had to pump the quarry pond down in summer!  Truly a record.  Normally by this time of year, we have an embarrassingly small puddle in the middle due to low rainfall.  The pond is not lined, which would have been a good idea, but our groundwater fluctuates so much we didn't know how to line it when the water was there when we dug the hole.  I'm sure it can be done, we talked to a pond specialist about it a few years ago, but the procedure sounded daunting and the cost was prohibitive.  We decided to live with whatever Mother Nature gives and she's been very generous this year. 

We have a small waterfall in the quarry too, but we don't always run it because we both like peace and quiet better when we're working in the area.  We did want it running for the interview, but alas, last night we found out that ain't gonna happen either, as something in the last few days has chewed through the waterlines leading to the waterfall, oh, goody and oh, well!  The lines are buried and it will be a major chore to get to 'em, so ooops, no waterfall.

Truth be told, I'm not all that fond of the pond.  (Hey, that rhymes!)  I do like it in the winter when we can ice skate in circles and it's nice when the waterlilies are blooming (one just opened yesterday again, a rebloomer, I guess) but with the water levels always changing and algae blooms and the herons coming to eat all the fish and frogs and clarity issues, well...........I'd be happy with a disappearing waterfall and just plain lawn in the bottom.  What I do love about the quarry is the rocks themselves, I can never have too many rocks.

We know the quarry needs renovations, things are sagging and we do want to change it, but that's going to be a Big Job.  We started building the thing in 2002 and it took over five years of us plugging away at it to get the rocks in place with the old wrecker, two old tractors and just plain bullwork with long crowbars and blocks of wood for fulcrums.  Now, the thought of tearing it apart again is not pleasant, but we have some interesting changes in mind.  We'll see if it happens; won't be anymore this year, that's for sure. 

Another soggy day has arrived; we had more rain again early this morning, judging by the way the creek is running, I would guess more than an inch. Yup, just confirmed it, an inch and a quarter again.  Back to the pumps on the quarry--but we just rolled up all the hoses...............

A thunderstorm was approaching rapidly when I went out with Carl just after 5AM to haul all the potted plants back into the garage one more time.  I've spent a lot of time hauling them back and forth this year.  I can't lift the heavy urns:
'Urnie and Little Urnie' stay out in the storms
The driveway 'pots' are actually upside down aluminum light shades and are nice and light when they are empty, but are much heavier when fully watered and the full-grown flowers are very brittle.   It takes two people to lift them off the stands.
One of three light shade pots mounted on cast iron shaft from scrapyard
  I bought a handy little 'pot caddy' thing years ago from a mailorder garden supply place which works great.
Hook the adjustable hooks into the pot, tilt back and roll!
Please pardon my messy garage, but this is where the flowers have spent a great deal of their summer, between storms:

Teddy Dog checking it out
Carl thought it wasn't going to get windy with this last storm today and he was right, but I just couldn't take a chance and let the flowers get ruined, we've got a few weddings coming for photos in October and some brides like to have some color in their pictures. (Whether anything will  be alive by then is a good question.)  You can't see them all, but there's 30 pots in here.  What was I thinking?
Waiting the storm out
Supertunia Vista Bubblegum--a great performer this year, even in a tiny pot perched on a  fencepost
Or sitting on a big rock
Well, it's still drizzling outside and the weather calls for rain on and off all day.  Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 90.  Oh boy.  Shelley Ryan, the lady who will be interviewing me, said she absolutely detests hot weather and mosquitoes.....oh boy, again!  This might be the fastest interview in history or maybe we will stay in the house and have the camera guy take the pictures out the window?  But then I'd have to clean the house!

I'm not sure what we are going to be talking about, really....I hope it's about rocks.......and we had to decide which one of us wants to talk (they only have one microphone).  I volunteered Carl who promptly tossed that hot potato back in my lap and said, "You talk!  I'm not going to.  I'll say something stupid."  Oh, yeah, like I won't?  And my wardrobe (with hopefully no malfunction)  is still up in the air too.  I sewed a shirt last night that I thought might be 'the one' but it turned out to be filler for the rag bag again, oh what a sight, but I needed a new dust cloth anyway.  Maybe I'll just wear my usual garden garb/uniform with the 'feather boa' sweatband, can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

This should be fun.



FlowerLady said...

I love your style. Your posts always make me smile and I totally hear where you are coming from. Your gardens are fabulous and from the sound and looks of it, a LOT of work. I think my gardens are work, then I look at yours and think oh my, I could NOT handle all that.

Bless your hearts. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this interview tomorrow. I hope it all goes smoothly and that the weather is nice also.

Have a relaxing evening and I look forward to hearing all about tomorrow in your next post.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Good luck with the interview. The garden looks great so no worry.


LC said...

Good luck with the interview... I'm sure she'll be amazed and be sure to let Bonnie and I know when you'll be on PBS! You'll do great... Larry

Beth said...

Karen, Good luck tonight! I know they will be impressed with your gardens. I love the photo you posted with the petunias on the fence post. You have a great, colorful garden and I'm thinking "road trip!" Would love to see your quarry garden, Karen. I am following your blog now, Karen. I love your style and I love your garden!
Blessings, Beth

Ginny said...

Your containers are magnificent - as are your gardens. I do think you should wear your 'feather boa' sweatband! Good luck on the interview - Just be yourself and it will be a huge success! Will you be able to post a link to it after it's broadcast?