5/30/2020

Requested greenhouse information

Someone requested more info on how I'm choosing my greenhouse.  First I only have room for a 6x8' so that narrowed the field.  I am the first to admit this is a toy for my old age and an expensive one.  But on a positive note it will extend the season that I can be outside and working with plants.... a very healthy thing for me mentally and physically.

When we owned the nursery we had two 20x100' greenhouses so I am well aware of problems of high winds and heavy snow load. So I immediately dismissed kits in the $100-$200.  Then there seemed to be three price brackets remaining...  $500-$700 range, $1500-$1800 range, and then $4000+ range
....after reading volumes of reviews I also dismissed the $500 range as not standing up to our winters here and I won't live long enough to justify spending the $4000+ range.  Here is a good link to midrange greenhouses for an overview....

https://epicgreenhouses.com/greenhouses/wood-frame.php

So now I am in the process of taking a real close look at the joinery,weight and materials and am at this point drawn to a redwood one made here in this country and it runs about $1800 and seems to be a good compromise and heavy enough to hold up.  If one is too lightweight, even if it has cement tie downs, a good strong wind will shred it. So when I make a final decision you can be sure it was not in haste. This is the link to the one that is the front runner at the moment. https://epicgreenhouses.com/sunshine-greenhouses.php/

All the years I did thousands of rose cuttings I always wanted to try doing clematis cuttings so this would be a chance to try something new and interesting that doesn't depend on keen eyesight.  Also all the years on the farm when water was scarce, I was limited to drought tolerant plants.  Now I have a sprinkler system and would like to try my hand at growing annuals from seed to fill in my beds.

5/22/2020

My proper thicket!!!!

I did a post a couple days ago and right after I posted it I went in to correct an error and lost it.  I will try to repeat the highlights.  Giving up my forest was hard but I am planting a proper thicket to compensate.  Here you see the beginning with 3 Oregon grape, 2 black currants, 2 Clavey's honeysuckle bushes, 1 quince, 1 viburnum, 1 elderberry, 1 bird cherry and one dwarf crabapple.  This thicket will eventually displace a LOT of lawn. Every thing I planted  provides habitat and food for birds.  I think it deserves a name...."Bird Haven Thicket"

I also decided I have enough space for a small 6x8' greenhouse.  I would love one like this glass one which you can actually buy as a kit for about $6000+.




But I am going for something less spectacular and will order it when the farm sells.  It takes 6-8 weeks to come and I would love to have it in place by fall so I can use it in the spring.  More grass gone.  Haven't told DH about this yet.

Next week will bring a dramatic change in weather and will be in the mid to upper 80s so I must plant like crazy this week.

s

4/26/2020

My favorite flower not a rose......

People called me the "rose lady" because I had so many roses and propagated them and sold them.  But truth be known they were never my favorite flower.  If I could only have one type of plant in a garden it is without a doubt ...small flowering clematis.  There are varieties of  all shapes, colors, and for all seasons and they are going to be the divas in my new garden.

Years ago I used to eagerly await the   plant catalogs that came right after the first of the year. I could spend hours going through and marking all the gardens plants that I would love to have had but I've always had abysmal  luck with mail-order nurseries so while it was fun to look at the catalogs I seldom send an order. Now when it's dreary and cold I go online and look at   plant sites and I've been doing that just lately with searching the sites carrying small flowering clematis.





About four years ago I went to a plant sale and spent too much on clematis and felt really guilty because I knew I probably wasn't going to stay that the farm much longer and I was buying all these plants http://olderrose.blogspot.com/2016/05/two-types-of-clematis.html   but now I have moved them with me and so glad that I bought them.  I have moved 15   to the long fence that is at the back of my new garden but that didn't keep me from ordering two more a week or so ago. It will take a couple years for them to get established but I can wait. 




 Now I found a site that has Princess Diana clematis which I've been coveting for several years and I have to order it.  Unfortunately they had a minimum order which means I have to order two more besides Diana. I could say it would be a birthday present for me. But I've already ordered a birthday present for me so maybe this can be a housewarming gift for me. I could try to justify it by saying I'm not going to thrift stores and have all that extra money except I 've spent all that extra money shopping on Amazon. It is truly a dilemma. I say this as I push the button to send   yet another order off for more clematis

Just a few of the ones I have.....

 
 

4/19/2020

Today is one of those days...........

Today is one of those days when I wake up I think of all the things I could do today. I felt like I was 31 and could do them all.  But by  the time I had my coffee I realized I was 81 and I had to think about what I am able to do..... not what I wanted to do. What I really wanted to do today was get out and dig up the bed for the peonies. Then I realized I really needed to do is get a sprinkler system man out here and have him lay out where the sprinkling system is because I am afraid as I'm cutting up the sod I am going to cause a big problem by hitting a sprinkler pipe.  Since it is Sunday I will have to wait until Monday to call and probably it will be Tuesday or Wednesday before he could get here...so time to rethink today. Eventually this peony bed will be about 3 times this size but I need a place to get all I've dug in the ground until I can enlarge the bed...The ground is so hard and rocky that it is very slow digging.
 
 
So putting that project on the table.... next in the line is building a frame for a piece of stained glass for the deck and to finish sorting out the sod from this hellebore bed. Yesterday we drove to the neighboring city and I got  all my hellebores from my dear friend who had been keeping them for me over the winter.  Now they are all planted. I still have all the sod clumps  by the side of the bed to deal with.  I sit on a chair and knock  off as much of the dirt as I can and then I add some   perlite and  some farm soil and mix it up and add it back to the bed. It seems to be working. Then the green sod that is left goes into my new compost bin....
 
Yesterday we got this precious bird bath installed where I can see it from the kitchen.  It was a gift from our realtor and it is just the perfect whimsy for my garden.  Don't you just love it?  I put my little solar bubbler in it and it works great because it gets sun all day.We just have to wait for the birds to find us.
 
 
 So today I will go ahead and finish cleaning up all the sod and  if I have any energy left I'll clean out the freezer and reorganize it. Things got all jumbled during the move and I can't find anything. First thing Monday I will call a sprinkler man and go ahead with the peony bed then in a responsible way.
 
 
 
 
 
 My overall plan is to have the new bed of hellebores also loaded with daffodils. It will be my spring bed. Next to bloom will be the peony bed in June and   the bulk of summer color will be all clematis vines that I am planting. I have a very very small garden area so going up the fence with color is my best option.   I have about 15 planted and I just ordered three more and I'm going to try to dig up a couple more at the farm this week that should give me color all through the summer..... lots and lots of color

4/11/2020

First of the grass to go!!!

The weather is getting warm enough that I get to work outside in my new little garden. It's hard to decide just where I want to work first because I have lots of things in my head that I want to do but  my back just needs to hold up.  When I first bought the place one of my friends said she  imagined it wouldn't be very long before I dug up all the grass... I laughed and said oh no I won't do that but I can see it probably won't be very long before I am digging up all the grass.
 
 I am starting with a small strip along the back fence. Very heavy ugly sod and lots of rock and it's a sort of a useless piece of greenery.  It would be hard to mow and so I'm digging the sod out piece by piece and planting shade plants. My original plan was to fill in with perennial   geraniums as a ground cover but it is a very shady spot at the base of this fence so I have been adding bulbs and spring flowers that do well in the shade such alliums hellebores etc.  
 
 
 
 
I do have two bins of geranium cuttings rooting though and will use some of them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My big project in the front were to humongous junipers.  The one on the right was about the size of a queen size bed. It was growing into the house on over the sidewalk. the one on the left was just about as bad and growing into the steps and over the walk on two sides. With Juniper's I like to turn them into trees.
 
it's a bit tricky trimming them back until you find the main trunk.  I always hope to find a nice curved one which I did with this one.
 
It was harder with the second one because it was so huge and I probably took off too much on top but I can shape it as it grows. it not very interesting now but I will keep working with it.  All that grayish area around it is the ground that it covered.  Now I can fill it with spring perennials and bulbs.  It is pretty ugly now but will be beautiful I promise. I've already planted dwarf iris, daffs, alliums, hellebores and two kinds of clematis in front of the house.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
There was another huge low-growing juniper at the back of the house that was about 15 feet across.  I want it out completely.  The main bird feeder will go in this area.
  I had cut and cut and cut on this and still haven't found the main stem it's going to take me all summer to get it out of there.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yesterday we went up to the farm and I dug peonies, rhubarb and a few shrubs plus I'd gathered   up all my marble stepping stones and some of the whimsy  stuff from the garden.  DH wanted to take it all to the dump......no way.  When he starts using the dump word I just implore him to trust me....it's all a treasure even though it is rusty, crusty, and covered in lichen... right????

4/07/2020

Neighbor on a scale of 1-10




Our new home is in a 55+ complex of 60 homes.  The complex backs up to subdivisions on three sides and the other side backs up to a business park.  And our neighbor on the back is the USPS facility which repairs those little white postal vans.  The parking lot and entrance are on the other side and all we see is the back wall of overhead doors and as soon as the trees leaf out we won't even see that.

How do I rate them as a neighbor on a scale of 1 to 10???  Well I give them a 9 1/2...  The only thing better would be a bird refuge behind us.  Every so often during the day one of the door opens and a wounded postal van is maneuvered in.  Some time later the door opens and it pops out  on its way/  We see no one, we hear no one, the area is immaculate, and at night they have security lights and security cameras and an 8' fence surrounding it.  It is all neat as a pin!!!

And of course I have great plans for the deck to fore shorten the view and already have 14 clematis planted along the fence.  You might wonder why I am so welcoming to a business neighbor.... If you have followed the blog you have read my repeated rants about my ONLY close neighbor to the farm.  He was rude, crude, disgusting and a despicable human being.  This Google aerial photo of his garbage laden property says it all.  Over the 25 years I had repeated altercations with him and reported him to practically every agency in the county to no avail...  Every so often a delivery person looking for us would go to his house by mistake and their comment was always "You wouldn't believe the smell."

So my USPS neighbor is a breath of fresh air..... Yep 9 1/2 at least.




4/02/2020

Elastic Alternative - nifty

One of the things that amaze me about this move is that everything that I felt I had to have seems to have the perfect spot in the new house. A good example is my featherweight sewing machine. At the farm it was always handy on it's little vintage cart in the dining room and in the new house there is a perfect little spot at the end of the buffet right next to the slider window. It just fits and I can easily use it  whenever I need to. That is whenever I need to after I find the foot pedal,   my sewing scissors and all my sewing stuff.
 
 
When I did finally find the foot pedal for my machine I decided to make face masks for the family. But of course by now there is not a piece of elastic to be found in town and on the Internet it can't be delivered until May. 
 
So   I was searching for an alternative and decided the perfect thing would be the little elastic stretchy thing for ponytails and I pick some up at the dollar store they work great. Three of them looped together are the perfect length for a large mask and two of them looped together are perfect for a smaller mask. It's fun having the pretty colors as well.
 
I'm at an awkward stage with unpacking I which   was evident when I started looking for my foot pedal for my sewing machine. A  lot of this stuff that is   still packed needs to be on shelves and the shelves are still at the farm and even if I had them I didn't have the new brackets. Now the brackets have come and I wanted the handyman to help me put up the shelves but he isn't working because of the virus restrictions.  It's like a catch-22.




3/28/2020

All moved but not unpacked!!!

Well I'm all moved but definitely not unpacked. But I am getting there slowly but surely.    It seems like that's all I do. I shouldn't say that's all I do because some of the time I spend looking for things that haven't turned up yet. We are 99% moved.  I have a few more things to move from the garden.  But sooner or later it'll all get done and I will be glad.
I'm especially glad that we were able to get moved in before all this shutdown with the virus started. My  daughter-in-law Vivian otherwise known as "hurricane Vivian" came and helped me move. I couldn't have done it without her she was   so full of energy. I love every single thing about the new house. It is such a joy to wake up every morning and be here.
 
When my husband was reluctant to move I promised him that if we stayed here a year and he didn't like it we could move again. But honestly after going through the move I'm so glad that he does like it because I'm not ever moving again. He actually hasn't said that he loves it but he does say that he   "really likes" a lot of things--- he really likes how light it is.--- he really likes the kitchen.--- he really likes the neighborhood.--- he really likes the deck.  He "really likes" so many things I am assuming that all these "really likes" are adding up to the fact that he is happy here.
 
 But I just haven't had the time to think about taking pictures or doing the blog but now things are settling down a bit I should be able to get back into my routine, I miss doing something creative and am anxious to get to the point that I can have some projects going which shouldn't be too much longer now.
 
 I did get the door up  to the  bonus room (which I now call the "media room" since we plugged in the TV)  but  it is not framed in yet.  When it is open there was a blank panel showing and I did get an owl painted on it so I have been doing  at least a little something creative.
 
 The weather is getting nicer and I have this lovely little jewel of a garden.  Right now it's like a blank canvas and I have been moving plants from the farm.   
 
I want to take pictures of the lovely job the estate/liquidation sale lady is doing. The sale is on hold now.  The sale of the farm in postponed due to the virus so we're kind of caught in the middle of all this but it too shall pass. It's good to be back and thanks for all the good wishes that you have sent me.

2/17/2020

Bluebirds of happiness in my bathroom.

 
When I bought the new house the main bathroom was grey, grey, and more grey...  Actually the when I removed the grey shower curtain, the grey mirror and covered the grey floor with a blue rug, the countertop has a real blueish undertone and I set about adding as much
blue as I could.

Also the white cabinet over the toilet didn't match the wood-toned vanity... So I had to paint the cabinet to match the vanity or the vanity to match the cabinet.  I chose to do the latter.  And awoke one night knowing how I wanted to do it.  I charged in after DH dropped me off and had the doors off both cabinet and vanity before he could get to the end of the block.  This was NOT in my schedule at all but this girl just has to do what she has to do...

Since I wanted to add more blue, what is more blue than a bluebird? First I painted a bluebird on the wall cabinet after I put an antique glaze on the cabinet.  I took artistic license here because bluebirds do not make an open nest like this .  But it works for me here.



Then I painted the wood vanity antique white to match the wall cabinet and  more bluebirds.  By painting bluebirds on both the vanity and the cabinet they became a matched set, added more blue to the bathroom and made me very happy even though it took me three days to do it.  And I'm still looking for a window to add.






















before
and after

2/09/2020

Folding door to bonus room is done!!!!

Spent most of the week at the new house and have all the things done that I wanted to do before hand... Lots of other projects in the works but will be doable after we move.  This week I am trying to catch up at the farm, pack up more things and get a mover lined up as well as someone to do an estate sale after the move. I just can't move fast enough now.....

I did finish the door today and now just need to find a handyman to install it for me.. I did indeed get a barn, sheep, path, and a pond with loons rather than ducks...  I didn't get anything in the upper sections but I am out of time.

Totally unplanned I spent 3 days totally transforming the bathroom cabinets but haven't taken pictures yet... plus I added about 20 extra shelves to existing closets, pantries,  and cabinets...
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