Posts Tagged 'landscaping'

Six Weeks – Where has Time Gone???

Most projects at the rust belt came to a halt when the temperatures hit the high 80’s with a 90 plus heat index. The Husband was in the middle of re-staining the deck and newly just built trellis when all came to a stop. I stained all the frames for the couches finally – and people it was hot! When the stain/sealer is drying on the brush mother nature is trying to tell you something. Our deck at this point is 1/2 done. Don’t get me wrong I did some transplanting of plants that have been long waiting for their little roots to spread in the rain garden, but that has really been about it. It all just sucked – the weather that is and so at that point we stopped working and enjoyed life. Yes, you may say that I don’t do this hot weather thing real well which is why we don’t live in the south…oppressive, just oppressive heat can be.

Ahhhh living life…. there have been many parties and entertaining with friends and family. This is what we do when it gets hot. Perfectly made margaritas & sipping wine, swimming, awesome people and late nights. We have been planning for vacation in September – things we want to do – and planning out the use of The Back 40.

For those who don’t know The Back 40 is an area of our yard that is about 40 feet long by 59 feet wide. This became the holding area of all things in landscaping, the landscaping of the old front yard prior to basement rebuild and rain gardens. We like some of what we have done but the yard feels unbalanced – which is something I just can’t stand. As the process of redesigning conversations have come up, the husband and I have become aware that we need more space for veggies. We like to grow our own food and herbs. So in the new design of the Back 40 I need to design more area for veggie growing and herbs all the while still having a sense of a balanced yard – color and textures. It will take a miracle to pull this off and September is just around the corner when we are supposed to start this project.

Where in the hell has time gone?

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Rain, Weeds, & Maple Seeds

There has been days of this:

Due to much of this:

You have to admit it’s pretty darn awesome.

Gardens to plant:

Many pots and baskets to fill with flowers:

Major yard clean up of weeds, weeds and more weeds. Even more clean up of the seed dropping from the Maple Trees. This would be the neighbors Maple Trees that surround us and also the weeds because the rental next door just cut the lawn – for the first time this year in late May 2010 – this would be the back yard.

Now look how pretty it is. I know it still wasn’t done when I took this photo – As of yesterday the whole entire back 40 is weed free.

Which is why we went through 5 yards of black goodness – that would be pure compost.

Oh and how can I forget the Greek Spring Festival, which was the first festival of the year. I wish I had some of those honey buns now.

There have been many conversations from Ghetto said neighbors, which include endless hours of the following Ghetto-Speak.
“F*#k” – insert whatever comes to mind that makes no damn sense.
“She’s a Bitch” – use best ghetto slang you can muster up.
“She’s a Skank” – is that even a real word?

Now repeat for the next 7 hours.

That leads to the husband and myself beating a path to the nearest, quietest, restaurant and enjoying these.

I guess it would be fair to say that the husband and I have been a bit outdoorsy of late. We have literally been covered in some sort of dirt, mud, compost for the last 2 months when mother nature found it fitting. I need to have a talk with mother nature about 86 degree days and high, nasty humidity. Working in the back 40 feels like the damn Amazon Jungle complete with bugs. Ewww.

There are more photo’s here, and more to come.

The husband: I want to order 4 more yards of compost in.
Me: Okay, what are we going to do with the rest of it?
The husband: I want to re-seed the back 40 area, after I cook and kill the weeds that have taken over the grass.
Me: What about, cook it, kill it, no grass and we just landscape it? Bring in a River Birch and a couple White Pines, thin the triangles out and finally just redo it.
The husband: I like that Idea, I like that Idea a lot. Think about how we tie it all together.
Me: Okay.

What the hell was I thinking – OY! Yes, a new project for fall.

Feeling the Pressure.

I’ve been away because I have been hiking again at places like this every chance I get. I love this time of the year in Ohio.

We have been working hard to put some balance back in our life because all work and no play make the people in this house and their pets grumpy.

The husband and I have been working very hard with Stella and her behavioral issues. These issues would be people, other dogs, well you name it. So Stella has been in doggy boot camp so to speak.

When I get home from work I’ve been going to a couple special places I know that are safe for walking dogs and we do at least a good 2 mile walk. When the husband and I are off together we do 3-4 mile hikes with the dogs. This routine has taken the edge off Stella’s behavior and actually for the most part she is doing very well with the occasional slip up. The best tool we use is a dog backpack along with some other knowledge that we used with our other dogs in the past.

I don’t know about you but we have been feeling the pressure to “Getter Done” of late.

Mother Nature has not been on board with us for the last month. All it has done is rain and when it’s not raining its been cold. As I checked the week forecast – part of my morning routine – I saw a temperature of 65 – 70 degrees. Shoot, its been a good month since I’ve seen temps like this. Since I’m on vacation this week – this is a busting ass, gotta a list of shit to get done in the next 7 days – vacation – If one wants to call it that.

When the weather turned to shit we worked on these, interior storm windows.

It was a victory over the English Ivy that had taken over 25′ x 10′ of area in the back forty. We also chipped and shredded an area of the yard we have not seen in 3 years.

Before:

After:

The English Ivy ran from the Burning Bush all the way over to the other side and to the fence. We took care of that last week during one of our light rainy days.

A nice cleaned out canvas for next year. The husband and I will be redoing this whole space. It will no longer be the plant holding pen. Bye the way does anyone want any fountain grass?

We sealed the side door entry on Wednesday, photo’s to come yet.

I did these Thursday. Thank You, Mother Nature!

I forgot to mention that after 4 long years we finally found a cabinet maker who is not going to rip us off. With fingers crossed we will actually have functioning kitchen by Christmas. It has been meetings and phone calls. I have a strange feeling that it will actually take time for us to adjust to having – lets say – a counter top by the sink – a place to actually store kitchen goods. Is it possible for one to forget how a kitchen actually functions?

However, and you knew there would be a however – there are two things that must happen. Here’s a clue, our kitchen is textured, B is loaning us a shop vac and a special sander. Need I say more?

The other one is a kitchen floor that is going to look very familiar to some of you out there. All I have to say about the floor is what the hell were these people thinking.

So now its back in the 50’s as I write this and its starting to rain again, I’m glad I need a rest.

Friday running around list of places to go:
Vets- both dogs need nail trimmed
Lumber Store – find new base moulding
Fabric Store – fabric for couches
Hardware Store – quality latches for new cabinets and knobs for drawers
Take dogs to the park

I am forgetting something I know I am.

Ahhhh Vacation

So far vacation has been work and fun. The husband and I are trying to do both. All work no play make a vacationer very unhappy.

Here’s the list of work and play.

Friday – Greek festival with our friend George.

Saturday – Worked in the yard and went to see Ed Helms in one of my favorite little cities.

Sunday – Spread Sweet peat and then dinner at favorite place on the lake for steak

Monday – Rock shopping for the right color of stone. The color I want oh so bad I cannot get here which would be Mexican Blue Pebble Stone. Dinner at Taco Bell, Ice Cream at local place.

Tuesday – Cleaned up the shade garden and our friend Steve was up for a visit.

Wednesday – My Birthday. We did a little work, very little work and had dinner at another near by city on the lake. Gotta love Czech food.

Thursday – Started to clean out the garden – what a mess. Friend Steve back with his friend Jerry to talk about, dare I say cabinets. Kitchen bloody cabinets. Could this be our man? Oddly enough when Jerry asked us what we wanted we just looked at one another because we had been living so long – since 2005 – with an unusable kitchen we actually didn’t know how to answer him. Husband and I went to lunch and for my birthday I got a new camera since the other finally bit it from being in the rain. To wrap up the night a little wine with some sausage, fruit, bread cracker, and cheese. Perfect.

Friday – We started our day with the husband back in the garden and me researching on line for how shall I say – a little psychological warfare. Since you all know what has been going on around here – it had stopped – I am preparing for when it starts again, and I assure you it will.

By 11:15 we were at my in-laws moving 3 scoops of pea gravel. One would think that we would have had enough but no – we finished the garden clean up, covered the path with landscaping fabric and laid down some pea gravel. We are trading my father-in-law pea gravel for sweet peat. Today is the first day that I actually cooked at home. Steak on the grill, tomato, basil, mozzarella cheese and Sicilian bread to complete it. I forgot the red wine.

Saturday we have a function to attend to with our friends George and Don. Can someone say clam bake?!

Day Five

Let me first start by saying to all who are checking in thank you, it means the world to us. For a very long time the husband and I have always felt alone in what we do. Meaning the kitty stuff. Here, where we live, the feral kitty problem is something that is just not talked about and when it is talked about, you wont hear about it for at least another 9 years or so. I am hoping to help change this.

The Stats for Today’s missing are ZERO. For whatever reason the sicko _____ did not put a trap out last night. Interesting! Don’t get too happy I’m sure there are reasons and he will be back at it probably by day break. Sicko ____ is now going to have to make up for lost time.

During all of this crap, because that is exactly what it is, as you know we are officially on vacation. I need to embrace this and have some damn fun and get the hell away from this damn house and city as often we can.

You have probably also noticed that we are in the middle of landscaping project that we haven’t touched in a week. Well here’s the deal, we will be shopping for stone pathway either Monday or Tuesday. The stone we wanted, we cannot get here in our region, imagine that. I really wanted Mexican Blue beach pebbles, not happening! Time to go shopping for another color. Damn it. Two more yards of Sweet Peat just arrived on Friday morning that needs to be moved and spread. You know what we will be doing early tomorrow morning – spreading sweet peat.

Tonight we went to and saw a show. A Friend of ours gave us tickets, thank you T is was a great show and a nice break. We also screwed up the dates to the outing we were suppose to go to this afternoon. I can’t imagine what we would be so preoccupied with that we can’t keep our dates straight.

So on the 1st full day of vacation I started with my traditional local Farmers Market run for a poppy seed roll. It seems that since we got the farmers market this has become a tradition. They didn’t have any – booooo – but I did bring home this cute little cantaloupe from T’s booth. Thank you, I know it will be yummy. I still may however draw a picture on it because it is really that damn cute. When one is looking for poppy seed roll one should have a backup plan. Local bakery.

Today felt like the 1st day of a vacation. Traditions were met and a fun evening came to be in spite of a shitty week.

Oh yes and our camera finally bit it. We have one of loan, thank you S until we go shopping for a new one.

Watching it Rain

There was a time when I would panic if I knew a storm was coming in. Our life was planned around heavy rain events. These days I only check the basement once or twice during a storm and monitor the street for about 10 minutes.

There is still some anxiety when I hear the pounding rain but when I look in the front yard I now smile and a sense of calmness takes over.

The calmness is not lasting – I am timing our sump. I think I need to have a glass of wine. Does wine go with chili?

Plants and Shrubs

Where did I leave off prior to the puppy smack down the other night?
Oh yes… SHOPPING!!!!!!

The plant list:

2 Red Twigged Dogwoods

2 St John’s Wort’s (native)

1 Spice Bush (native)

1 Hinoki

1 Turtlehead (native)

2 Prairie Fire (native)

1 Blue Lobelia native plant

1 Wild Geranium native plant

1 Gaura Lindheimeri native plant

1 Salvia X Superba native plant – Meadow Sage

1 Swamp Milkweed native plant –

1 Joe-Pye Weed Chocolate brown –

3 Yarrow native plants

Gifts from the neighbor:

2 Cone Flower native plant

1 Forsythia

Gift from Mother Nature:

1 Hawthorn Tree – We are crazy, we know. I call this security for free.

Put it all together and it looks like this:

And we’re still not done.


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