April 6, 2019:

Hola!

The income taxes are finished and were taken to the Post Office yesterday to send out via certified mail, which now costs nearly $16 for two 8 1/2 11 envelopes with return receipt. Yikes! But worth it because I have proof positive once I get the little green cards back that the returns were delivered and received. And just in case, there are tracking numbers that I can also tap the U.S. Post Office for to verify that delivery was made. In these times, it's better to be safe than sorry

I have been working in little bits and pieces outdoors whenever a window in our crappy weather has presented itself. Today, however, was the first day where I was able to spend an extended period of time outside. First, I cleaned up areas on the sidewalk and driveway along the edges where pine cones and branches tiny branches blown off during the seemingly wind storms we endured over fall and winter 2018-2019. After resting for a bit, and removing the winter hat, gloves and jacket, I moved to the back yard because I'm sick of feeling sick to my stomach every time I look at it through the patio doors in the dining room and window above the kitchen sink. This winter left it a true disaster zone. I worked steadily raking small areas and filled two trash can size black trash bags full of debris blown down from my arborvitaes and neighboring trees over the winter, in addition to about half a ton of nut shells. The nut shells are my fault because I feed all the neighborhood squirrels. They are so entertaining, and very smart! I also made a small dent in starting clean-up of the flower beds, where the "mild" (ahem) weather and thawed earth has encourages perennials to start popping through, whether I'm ready for them or not!

All in all, a somewhat decent start to making a larger dent in clean-up operations. I worked outdoors about 4 hours off and on. I didn't want to overdo it, and truth be told, I'm pooped! It's humbling to not be able to work as long or as hard as I used to. I can get it done, but I have to take lots of rest breaks so it takes quite a bit longer now. Good thing I'm retired

Jan

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Endless Puttering Around the Garden

Hola everyone!  I'm still here and kicking, although not quite as 20 years ago, sigh.

It seems that yard work around here is never-ending.  It's funny, I do not seem to remember having this much to do in the yard all the time when I was at my bigger house with the much bigger yard.  Why on earth is that, and how can that possibly be???

I have several items that still need to be transplanted, including a volunteer (probably from bird poop) of a honeysuckle shrub that has sprung up on the right side of the concrete bird bath:


I also want to move over the purple shrub against the back of the fence on the left side of the bird bath (you can just barely see it, about 3 branches peeking up), as it's too close to the Japanese maple. I want to move it to the spot I'm vacating by moving the honeysuckle, which was never intended to be there.  That honeysuckle will get very large if I let it, and I don't feel like constantly pruning it to keep it a small size for the north garden bed.  It seems every time I turn around, I have some new surprise popping up in my garden beds.

The nice 6 foot tall privacy fence that went in early last November looks great; it hasn't started to "silver" yet, but it will, eventually.  The plants seem to like having the taller fence there, I think it may be creating a warmer micro-climate, especially along that north lot line.

I bought a roll of sod to finally fill in a few depressions in the backyard that have been driving me nuts for the past few years.  I keep filling them in with top soil and the squirrels promptly dig out all the dirt in record time, so the depressions are deeper than ever because the dug-out dirt builds up around the edges, sigh.  Well, I bought that sod on May 26th and it's still rolled up in a sheet.  Oops.   As of today, the poor sod is probably dead; I wet it down when I remember to do that and it hasn't rained (we've had a LOT of rain here lately).  I'm afraid to open up the sheet and unroll the sod (yes, I'm a coward that way).  Oh well.

I have more to write about, but I just got off a Skype call with a friend of mine, and once I get her on I can't get her off, 1.5 hours poof - gone!  It was supposed to be a test to see if her Skype still worked.  So, here are a few photos of plants and/or successful transplants I moved into the south garden along the edge of the driveway last year, I'll have to come back and post again, there's some to catch up on!


This is one of two shasta daisies I planted new last year in the driveway garden bed.  One did not make it over the winter but this one popped right up and as you can see, is loving the hot sunny location.


The hydrangea was transplanted from the backyard north lot line last year, in preparation for having the new fence put in.  It was a little droopy in this photo; I watered it afterwards and in less than an hour it perked right back up.  There are two pine trees on that side of the lot bordering the driveway (south lot line area) and they shed tons of needles and pine cones, keeping the soil very acidic.  The hydrangea loves it.  When it was in the backyard, I had to give it lemon juice to get that color on the blooms.  This year, it came up with the flowers already those lovely lavender and lavender-pink colors!  This is a "mini" shrub, it will get wider as it matures but not much taller.

On the left side of the hydrangea is a columbine I put in last year, which seeded plentifully and I now have columbines popping up throughout the south garden bed, which is fine with me; on the right is a faded bleeding heart.  The blooms on both are gone, although the deep purple blossoms on the columbine only just stopped, they were gorgeous this year!  The spring got warm early and then we turned hot and dry and the bleeding heart didn't like it this year, it faded early and the greenery is already dying out; usually it lasts until the end of August but not this year.

And in the background to the left of the hydrangea, you can see the only survivor of three artimesias I planted in the north bed a couple of years ago.  It is much happier in this hot and sunny spot than in the north lot line; the other two just faded away and did not reappear last year.  On the right is a hybrid double mini-day lily that is a luscious peach-pink color; the last of the blooms fell a few weeks ago.  I am hoping it will survive the winter and give me a good crop of blooms next season.

And what Milwaukee garden would be complete without the common old-fashioned day lily:


This is a shot from the east garden bed; you can see a Rose of Sharon to the left and some volunteer Queen Anne's Lace peeking up.  The day lilies are just nutso blossoming this year!

More coming - promise!  I want to show you what progress I've made in the kitchen, as well as visiting my Shezebo and its current accoutrements :)

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