Showing posts with label garden clean-up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garden clean-up. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Bringing Light Into The House And Adherence of State Fire Prevention Regulations

For weeks and months I have been thinking about how I was going to get three Cedar Trees "upskirted" which I have learned means cutting lower branches from a tree .  Here in California we have specific Fire Hazard Zone Regulations regarding maintenance of Defensible Space around our homes to assist in protection from Fires, specifically Wild Fires .

In addition to the County/State Fire regulations, two of the trees needed to be trimmed because the Internet Service Provider and Electrical cables were covered with tree branches. Also, the tree near the garage had branches over hanging to close to the house roof .  The third tree is the one outside of my dining room window that had grown so very much that it was also widening and preventing light from coming into the house.

Since I have issues with the mood disorder  (Seasonal Affective Disorder)  the darkness inside my home is a very challenging situation .  Unfortunately, the floor plan of my house lacks maximum use of window placement which means the interior is very dark . There are no windows on the front of the house which faces west .  There is no time of the day that I can work in the kitchen without turning a light on because it is so dark .

Two other facts that impact the lack of light in the house is that the eaves/roof overhangs are larger than usual .  Second, the large trees around my house have grown a lot during the 24 years that I have lived here which creates more shade .

This was the garage roof that also shows the roof covered with pine needles and cedar twigs as well as some deadwood that came down during a recent heavy wind.  And, now it is wide open and you can even see my Rooster weather vane.

In this photo you can see the cables at the top of the photo .  And, the branches were so low that they were laying on the Oleander plants that I recently trimmed and cleaned up.  The Oleander plants were also causing obstruction of view for cars coming up to the curve in the roadway in the front of my house.

And, now the front corner of my property is cleaned up and open.  My raised vegetable bed is on the far lower right .  It looks like it may receive more afternoon sunlight in the future and perhaps I can grow tomatoes again next year and get better results.

By the way,  the haze that you can see in the photo is smoke filled air from the Wild Fires that are burning north of here in the Wine Country in Sonoma and Napa Valley and Santa Rosa, California .  It is such a disastrous situation .  It leaves me in such disbelief just as so many of recent events in the daily news !

And, this is the third tree that will now allow light to come into my dinning room . The beautiful Burning Bush  is turning into its lovely fall color of blazing red .  Hopefully, next spring the Quince Plant on the left will get enough sun and it will give a full bloom for the first time with it's pretty orange-red flowers.

I hope your week is going well and you are enjoying the beautiful fall weather and associated activities.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

More About Wild Perennial Sweet Pea

I posted about my challenge against Wild Sweet Pea several days ago.  Progress continues.
This is some of what I blogged about my current project of cleaning up my garden slope that is covered in Ivy.  English Ivy can be very invasive and the time had come to corral it .  More importantly , since the area was covered with cedar tree seedlings and an invasive plant called Wild Perennial Sweet Pea I decided to remove the surface of the ivy and the other offending plants and then allow fresh ivy to once again cover the slope. See that little purple spot in the photo above ?  That is the purple (no fragrance) wild sweet pea flower that have been spreading their long tentacles all over the ivy.
(google image)
The wild flower is Lathyrus latifolius - Perennial Pea, Sweet Pea, Everlasting Pea . It vines to 6 feet long with winged stems and  uses petiole-terminating tendrils to climb. There are one to several pink to magenta butterfly-like blossoms on smooth, unwinged pedicels . 
This is what the slope looks like now .  I'm getting there .  The only thing that I still have to remove is what is left in the ditch .  I have left some Ice Plant in one area and also some Vinca Minor as well as a few other plants .
This is looking down from the pathway .  The English Ivy is starting to come back nicely !
When I say the Wild Sweet Pea is invasive, let me show you how fast it can grow .  The next three photos of different areas show the growth since I cut them just a few days ago .  I plan to take more aggressive measures wherever I see signs of the invasive Wild Sweet Pea .

It will be so nice to have this project completed.

Other progress is happening with the Patio Furniture .  I have completed painting the large table and four chairs .  And, I am so pleased with the nice attractive outcome .
It has been a relatively easy project and when the paint has cured for a day or so I will take another photo when it is all set up !   HooRay!  Since I have the paint , I think I will continue and paint the small table and the two rocker chairs.

I hope you had a good weekend and the week to come will be enjoyable.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Summer Flowers Are Slowly Waving Bye-Bye

The Spring and Summer colors of the garden are starting to fade. 

But , much to my delight , the Hollyhocks are continuing to bloom .  In spite of the fact that I have been doing battle with insects that I think are Japanese Beetles. 
And, the White New Dawn Rose is going strong with continual beautiful blooms.

With the extensive work in the garden this year I have changed a few things around .  When cutting back the Ivy  (which I have almost finished)  and hopefully removing the nasty wild invasive sweetpea I decided to change the location of the Gazing Ball.

Perhaps you can see that there are about five Lily of the Nile plants near the gazing ball.  Well, they have never bloomed in the past.  However, there was one nice flower this year.  I may be moving them into more sun.  I' m not sure.
This cement pedestal is one I have had for a long time and I just painted it lavender but it looks blue in the photo . In the past I used an upside-down tomato cages to support it among the Ivy .  Now the ball is in the long flower bed along the pathway.   
Let me say a little more about the purpose of cutting back the Ivy .  When I moved here many years ago , the whole area was covered with Invasive Wild Sweet Pea.  I managed to eliminate it and started some Ivy which I have been very happy with.  For years there were no problems with a return of the unwanted Sweet Pea until about two years ago .  The time had come to act on it or I may find myself "in the land of no return".

It seems to grow enthusiastically  naturalizing in open fields and in abandoned gardens where it quickly gets out of control. The plant propagates easily from seed .  It is usually a purplish pink, but occasionally deep purple or pure white. Admire it from a distance, for it is both toxic and invasive.

The ever faithful Sedum has been putting on a beautiful show - changing color from white to the soft pink.  They sure seem to be a sturdy plant and I like that.

This year I have really enjoyed my garden and I have done a lot of work and it is beginning to show . There have been so many different flowers and colors to nurture and enjoy.

I enjoy being outdoors so very much.  The time I have spent in my garden has helped me so much to return to a more balanced person following some very difficult years. Of course, there are other facets to this renewed and refreshing feeling.

For all who are being affected by the many unusual circumstances and difficulties that are happening in our current world,  I wish you strength, comfort, resilience and love.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Very Busy With A To Z

But let's start with a quick healthy lunch.   So often when I get busy I hate to stop and take time to eat, especially if I am working outdoors.  However, today I made myself go inside and put a quick salad together.   Grabbed from the refrigerator.

Green Onions
Red Kidney Beans
Artichoke Hearts
Pickled Beets
Real Bacon

And topped it off with High Priced, High Calorie Girard's White Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (0n sale).

Sinful 120 calories  (mostly fat) for one 2 Tbsp serving.     To be more accurate - - - healthy before adding the dressing!

And then, a little bowl of Red Cherries for something sweet.

Most of my recent hard work has been outside.   No surprise there!  Still have a little more power washing of some of the sidewalks.  Lots of clean up of weeds,  downed tree limbs and leaves  and tree trimming of what I can reach and with ladder.  I will be calling a Tree Trimmer man tomorrow to trim the Cedar Tree branches over my garage.  And, I still must get someone to clean the roof and spray for mold, moss and algae on the roof shingles.  Plan to use highly rated Wet&Forget.

Two wonderful things happened this week that I must share with you.  First, when I went to the Post Office to pick up my mail,  much to my surprise,  I received A Class Action Case check for $150.00! On many occasions I am tempted to NOT open each and every piece of mail.  But, I won't give that thought any time in the future.

Second,  and most miraculous is that a young man who is the son of the man across the street who occasionally takes my yard waste to the dump for me has returned SOBER and CLEAN following a year and a half relapse with serious drug addiction.  I first met him a few years ago when he first became CLEAN.  He is such a likable young man and I was so surprised and crushed when he relapsed.  He reunited with an old girlfriend who is still using and moved away.   He had been working with his father and is now back again working with his father. On occasion he and his father have done work for me.  They attend the church across the street and there is a tremendous support system.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw him and talked with them on Tuesday.  There were lots of big hugs and rejoicing. God is good !!!

Until next time.


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

OK Now - Where Was I When The "Computer Gremlins" Last Came To Visit

One thing that I know for sure is that I have been very busy and getting a lot of different things accomplished along with many (way to many) frustrating hours in my "Computer Repair Room".   How is that for creating a new room in my house?  Not really.  After many periods of despair and feeling defeated,  I finally have my computer devices and the Internet "singing the same song in harmony from the same hymnal".  And, I am getting closer to using my new Windows 10 computer all the time.  It really is a nice machine.  I still have to transfer a lot of data.  Call me crazy, but I get very restless when my computer isn't working correctly, especially if I get myself locked out.  Lately, passwords have been driving me cuckoo.  In the past I seemed to be able to remember most of them but now I have had to change some and I am getting them all mixed up !!!  -  even when I write them down.  Is my age starting to play havoc with me ?  It better not be.

Progress at the Cemetery Burial Plot has been good.  Last week the surrounding curbing was completed and the workman even can to my home (which is only a five minute drive from the cemetery) and picked up a lot of the rock from my garden to use for a little decorative touch on the top surface of the curbing.  For what it is worth  -  it gives it a little personal touch.  The next issue is to decide on the head stone.  We have been talking about using one of the large rocks from my garden as the headstone.  I thought it would be less expensive but that is not the case.  Most of the large/boulder rock that I have is granite and not a very good rock for engraving.  However, the workman pointed out a rock in my patio rock wall that is called Columbia Marble that may work well.  We'll just have to wait and see how all this goes.
Look at the huge size of the boulders setting around my garden.  They are from the excavation of the property before the house could be built.   I really like them.

How crazy is this?  A few weeks ago on an impulse I bought 2 little 4in. by 4in. plants, one a tomato and one a zucchini.  I didn't get them planted right away and they would dry out, I would water them and that went on for a few days before I got them popped in the dirt.
 And look,  I sure was surprised to see this beautiful zucchini and below is a beautiful tomato.
I like these surprises.  Hopefully, there will be more to come.

Another large outdoor project is underway.   I have English Ivy covering the one side of the pathway that stretches along where the water flows when we have heavy rains. It's a ditch that I lovingly call The Creek.

Can you see my bridge at the distant end of My Creek?

English Ivy can be very invasive and the time had come to corral it. More importantly, since the area was covered with cedar tree seedlings and an invasive plant called Wild Perennial Sweet Pea I decided to remove the surface of the ivy and the other offending plants and then allow fresh ivy to once again cover the slope. See that little purple spot. That is the purple (no fragrance) wild sweet pea flowes that have been spreading their long tentacles all over the ivy.
As you can see, I only have a small portion left to clear.  This is time consuming work especially since my methods of accomplishing many things is quite different than a very abled body.  One without a back injury!  I usually sit on the ground on a nice large foam cushion and cut away all the surface roots with a hand pruner.  I usually can only work for about two hours at a time.   I am like a little turtle just creeping along and then marveling at how much I get accomplished!   And, of course, since I really like being outdoors  -  it works for me.

This is the Iris and Chrysanthemum flowerbed with bluish/purple Petunia border months ago.
 And now, it won't be long and the Yellow and Maroon Chrysanthemums will be in full color.

My power washing of the moss covered cement is almost completed.  I delayed finishing because my neighbors were visiting their second home next door  and the power washer makes a lot of noise. They were here for over a week.  So, I can soon finish that project.

More project updates next time.

I hope you are enjoying your week.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Heat Wave Is On It's Way And A Garden Visitor

The next few days are reported to be the hottest this year. By hot, I mean over 100 degrees. Everything in the garden continues to grow nicely. It is taking some additional watering but that is OK. I have been doing some nasty dirty yard work and filling lots of yard waste barrels. My property is bordered on the outside of my fence with Red Oleander Shrubs that are blooming and growing vigorously. I planted the Oleander shortly after I moved here 20 plus years ago and they have needed some clean-up at their base. You know, weeds and some trimming. This photo was taken by Google Mapping a few years ago. The Oleander has given nice privacy and a deer deterrent.
The Hydrangea plant is starting to bloom.
They are nestled in front of the Star Jasmine that covers the fence. On the left the Gladiolas are getting ready to bloom. And, some Rosemary herbs are nearby.

That little Hydrangea Plant has come a long way since last year.
So seldom do I mention anything about Mother Nature's "Bambi", THE DEER coming into my garden looking for their dinner plate.

Well, I just noticed that I referenced deer deterrent in my first paragraph of this post that I started yesterday.   How funny is that?  Because, last evening I walked outside to be surprised by a fellow who looked similar to the next photo having dinner at the flower bed (buffet table) outside my living room window. I was so surprised and wondered how he got in. Then I remembered that the wire fence opening down by the seasonal creek was still open after the heavy rains. Sure enough, that is where he went to exit my garden by bending down to get through the opening.  And, then he had the nerve to stand on the other side and stare at me while I talked to him.  I guess my garden was just too much to resist!
Recently, I had noticed what I thought I was seeing in my garden as tell-tale signs of deer nibbling on many of my plants, especially the roses, along the one side of my garden. Sooooooooooo! Now I know why ! ! !

There really are a lot of deer that wander around my neighborhood every day, especially in the early evening. And, I still tend to get a little excited when I see them. I think they are so beautiful with their graceful gliding movements and their curiosity.

The Oleander are in full force!
And, the Pink Alstroemeria are starting to bloom. They are so delicate and the markings are exquisite.

That's all for today. Have a Good Weekend.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Still Playing In The Garden

Let me rephrase that.   I'm working as hard as my body will physically allow me to !  And, thankfully, it really is starting to show. The weeds have been what seems endless this year with all the rain this past winter. And, they keep growing. Some of them are three feet tall and still growing. The weather has been lovely for working outdoors. As usual, there always is a certain amount of outdoor maintenance around the house that needs attention. There are a few things that I can no longer do. And, that is quite frustrating for me.

This section of my garden has filled in nicely. And, I love it. The fig tree is starting to leaf out.
I have herbs planted throughout the garden and the Sage is blooming with a nice purple flowers.
Wow ! The roses are putting forth a wonderful showing for the first bloom. However, the aphids and black spot are presenting a challenge more so this year than in the past.

This beauty is Oklahoma Hybrid Tea Rose and the blossoms are huge this year.

Oh, a favorite of mine is the next rose because it is always healthy and it is a beautiful continuous bloomer. It is called Popcorn Drift Rose. It provides a nice backdrop for my Angel in the White Garden.
This is Elle, another delightful hybrid with a gentle soothing color of soft pink.
Old roses are such a favorite. This rose was in the garden when I moved here 23 years ago. It is rather surprising to me since there was very little planted here. It faithfully produces huge apricot colored flowers. I do not have any idea what the name is. But, that is fine with me. We don't need to know a name to admire beauty.
Everything is coming along nicely. However, my ground cover which I started years ago with a few seeds has suffered with the continuous drought that we had for years. Because of my back injury and disability I knew I would not be able to push a lawn mower, so I decided on a ground cover.
It is called Prunella Vulgaris and is a vigorous self seeder. Some people call it a weed !! I am sure you know the definition of "a weed" !
I have big plans to recreate the ground cover with adding some top soil and broadcasting seed that I was able to order online.
This photo will give you an idea of how the ground cover looked a few years ago.
Look - how vigorous it can grow !  Even through the chair seat ! Now, that looks healthy. Don't ya think?
Let me leave you with a fun photo from google images. Oh, how I miss my furbaby, Lily. There is such a big hole in my heart!
Wishing All of You a Wonderful Weekend and a Happy Mother's Day if that is part of your life. Not all of us are the Cleaver's, the archetypal suburban parents of the baby bloomer 1950's. Sometimes life feels like a "big trade off". But, most of us have many things to be very thankful for. It just may be different than "your neighbors". Perhaps, it is a good day to do something special for someone who is a little short on feeling special. I would call that a win - win.


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