Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Playing Catch Up

I cannot believe how fast this summer is speeding by.  And I also cannot believe the last time I posted was May.  My thanks go out to my blogging friends who have contacted me, wondering if we were ok.  We are still here! 

So, what have we been doing?  What haven't we been doing is the better question.
Sweating, we've been doing a LOT of sweating.  Very high humidity lately.  Yuck.

Back in May when it was raining a lot, we decided to take one afternoon off and go visit a friend of ours who owns a greenhouse and nursery about eight miles from us.  I bought a bunch of new plants and then we strolled his beautiful gardens until we came to a pile of rocks.  Over the years our friend has used granite boulders in his landscaping to line the edges of raised beds.  But as all gardens and gardener's change and time has gone on, he has become, in his words, "So done with rocks."

(I hope that doesn't happen to us in the future........hmmmmmm.) 

Anyway, he was telling us that he wished he could get rid of one particular pile of exceptionally large ones as soon as possible so his remodeling project could move forward.  The rocks weren't huge by any means, but many were in the 500-600 pound and up category, so they weren't exactly pebbles, either.

Well, I'm sure you see where this is going.  Or rather, where the rocks ended up going.  I called Joel and asked him if we were nuts to even think about this since we have way more work and rocks here at home than good sense, but he was wholeheartedly behind the idea and said he may be able to help here and there, so Carl and I started hauling the next day.  We hooked the Manley Wrecker (what would we do without that thing?) behind Carl's car and the car trailer behind my car and the fun began. 

 We didn't have a tractor to use at our friend's house, and the car was too light, so every time we'd start to hand crank a large rock up in the air, the back end of Carl's 1989 Oldsmobile was also coming off the ground.  To remedy that situation, we hoisted as many of the smaller rocks as we could into the trunk of the car to counterbalance the load.  (No, you wouldn't want to be a car we own, poor things.)  As soon as we'd get the rock airborne we'd back up to the car trailer, unhook the chains and repeat the process.  Of course, once the rock was off the wrecker, the car was hanging down almost to the ground......oh, it was a sight to see, in fact a few customers who were shopping at the greenhouse stopped for awhile to watch our antics.

Joel joined us for a few hours here and there after work during the three days it took to get all the rocks home, and we were so grateful for his help.  We could only load a ton of rocks at a time since that's all we could haul.   We took the back roads and slowly but surely were able to get the job done without incident.  Some loads only had two or three rocks on due to their size.

A few piles of the new granite, in the background are old telephone poles.....don't ask.
More granite-y goodness, waiting for an idea.

The granite wasn't in the plans for anything around here at the moment, so we unceremoniously plopped them off in the Back Eight and that's where they will sit until another harebrained idea comes to mind.

Ok, so that little project took three days.  Finally the rain stopped being incessant and I plunged headfirst into planting my annuals.  It took me about a week to get everything in the ground even though I did cut back from 3000 annuals to around 2000 this year.  I think next year I'll be able to cut back even more since the Formal Garden is becoming almost too shady for my usual sun-loving selections.  The rabbits in residence 'helped' by cutting off close to fifty of my Dusty Miller plants edging the Formal Garden....apparently they weren't fans of my plant choices.  Sigh.

Annuals in the River Bed trying to get going.
Once I had the annuals planted, it was time to move on to weeding and mulching.  Our mission has been to to try to cut back on the work around here.  Every bed we've removed so far has been a blessing, especially the perennial bed in the Formal Garden.  I surely do NOT miss that big mess. 
Rocks to the rescue, the wall took the place of a huge weedy perennial border.

Sometimes, Less is More. 
The biggest problem with downsizing a garden though, is the work it takes to undo it all and make it look good when you're done.

My next post will be all about what happens when we decided to downsize the front yard two weeks ago.

I will let it all hang out, the good, the bad and the Decidedly UGLY!   There will be LOTS of Ugly. 

Stay tuned for Downsizing Dilemmas for Dummies.


Alison said...

So good to see you back posting. I figured you were busy. Gardens are hard work.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

So good to see you. I've been wondering how you are doing and figured you were busy with your gardens as it is that time of year for you.

You planted only 2000 annuals. YIKES! I don't see how you do it. I get worn out trying to take care of our 1/4 acre.

I've got plenty of UGLY here too.

Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

Beth said...

Karen, I can't wait to see what you and Carl have been up to! I know you are busy from sunrise to sunset with your huge gardens, helping your mother, and walking with Leslie! What energy and imagination you have! :)

Rosemary said...

Karen So glad your blogging again ........ sometimes smaller is better in everything..... So makes me smile to imagine planting 2000 plants let alone hauling all those rocks........hope the rain stops your way soon........

Zoey said...

Nice to see a new post, Karen. Cannot wait to see what you did in the front yard!

africanaussie said...

Glad to see you back. All your projects seem so huge somehow....

Missy said...

Great to here from you again. Downsizing for Dummies is just what we need right now. I know how much work it takes to keep a large garden looking good. I'm looking forward to seeing what you do.

El Gaucho said...

Yay, so glad to hear that you're OK and back on on the blogging horse. As always, your garden does look lovely. I'm very sorry to hear that you and Carl have obviously lost your minds, since this is the only possible explanation for your recent acquisition of MORE rocks.

Dandelion and Daisy said...

I don't Know how you have time to blog, plant 2000 annuals and haul rock! And your garden looks beautiful as usual!