slowcala's blog

Work Day
Posted on Feb 19, 2020 12:09 PM

I wish we could edit our blog so that we could add to it.

OMG! We got all that work done before 8 am. I was super happy about it. I got the compost hole dug and emptied the big trash can of leaves and compost into it. I covered it with sand and will let it do it's thing.

I added some compost to the little patch in the trough and sowed my lettuce seeds. Done!

DH carried all the pavers over to the bank and threw them down where I could get them and put them in place. It looks really good.

We went to Aldi's and stopped at Starbucks on the way and picked up grinds. Wow! We got 8 or 9 bags. I put them on the lawn, and some in the garden beds. I raked around the big Fountain Grasses out front where the pavers had been. I did not get any grass seedlings this year.

I layered a piece of my big Azalea. It's really bright pink and I want more Azalea's to put on the bank. This mother plant is way over my head. I have more azalea's along the garage and I want to layer the white one too. Tomorrow is another day. I'm wiped out. Will rest today.

It's cloudy and looks like rain. I can only dream.

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Get Er Done
Posted on Feb 19, 2020 5:58 AM

It's either feast or famine. You have little control over the chores that can get done in winter, but clean up is definitely one that you can accomplish.

This morning will be a very busy one for me & DH. I have to move the big trash can that is holding my compost to the patio garden. Right in the middle there is a depression where I had to dig out soil to put over the leaves to keep them from blowing away. I will dig that out more and put the leaves/compost in that hole. I need that trough space where the trash can is setting right now to make a lettuce bed. It is pure sand and will need some compost, leaves, and coffee grinds to get it ready. I have until Feb. 28 to get the lettuce seed sown, but I want it sown now.

We need to also move the rest of the pavers to the bank. I can only move one at a time with my spade by dragging it. DH can only carry one at a time, but I think with both of us working together we will get the job done.

The reason I'm moving forward with these jobs is the fact that my PM doc is giving me an injection in my Titanium Steel knee this Friday. I didn't even know they could do that, but they can. That is my strongest knee right now, and I'm afraid that if something happens after the injection that it might not be the alfa knee anymore. We have to prepare for things because healthcare workers just do, and it is not their body, and sometimes I don't think they know the best things.

Anyway, it's daylight so off I go to get started. Peace & Plenty.

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Clean Up
Posted on Feb 18, 2020 10:02 AM

Today I started out not going to do too much. Right! I went out to look at the pavers on the bank that DH carried over and placed for me yesterday. We are double stacking them now in order to hold the bank better and to hold more soil for growing things in the tiers. My DH is color blind so he had the first 4 or five upside down. They were so aged on the top side and still pink on the underside, so he thought he was placing them right. I love him dearly and I just appreciate the fact that he is carrying them for me because they are super heavy and my knee cannot take that kind of labor anymore. We are taking the ones that were around the big Fountain Grasses in the front yard away, because they don't need those pavers anymore. They are huge. Next winter I will divide them when they go dormant.

I cleaned out the trough along the garage that has the azalea's. They catch the leaves from the Sycamore tree and every year I have to clean them out. I carried 2 5 gallon buckets of leaves and sticks to the bank and starting filling in some of those blank areas. I also pulled out 2 little Palm trees and planted them near the patio. More shade in the future. Hurrah!

I planted a whole row of the Kalanchoe babies around the outside pavers of my patio garden. They will be lovely next winter.

I picked up sticks and twigs from the front yard. I was tired, but not exhausted. It's going to be 84 today. Peace & Plenty.

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Mondo, Mondo ~ Straight Lining It
Posted on Feb 16, 2020 3:23 PM

I did not realize how much Mondo grass I had. Yes, I knew that I got plenty back in 2017, spring, but it multiplied. I had 2 five gallon buckets full to transplant today. It went in all along the edge of the sidewalk that takes you to our front door. I could not believe how deep the holes were that the ground moles had made. Oh, yes, it was ground moles because they have totally excavated my front yard and for that I'm thankful, but I sure wish they would not undermine the planting beds. Oh well! I know what to do to get them out of there and it's called coffee grinds.

Here is what I did today. First I raked off the wood chip mulch that was in a double layer from 2 years ago. I piled it up because I knew I would reuse it when I finished. I planted each Mondo grass plug after watering each hole. I tucked the roots down and firmed the soil around them and then I watered again after I planted 3 or 4. I had plenty and I even had enough left to do some edging along the outside of that planting bed. DH brought home 3 bags of coffee grinds and I put all of it in that garden. I spread it out along the edge of the Mondo grass and where the huge holes were next to the driveway I put it thick. It deters the ground moles. Let them go elsewhere to eat their grubs.

I watered it all again and it looks superb. Right now that is all I'm putting in. I have a list of Florida plants that I'll be buying soon to fill out that area, give it color, texture, and definition. I'm looking at Lantana Bandana cherry, and Volvulus. Costa Farms is where I did my research and they sell at Walmart and Lowes. If my Purple Coneflowers, and Zinnia's do well this year I will transplant plenty of those to that bed. It's pretty long, about 22 ft across the front of our house and it can hold a bunch of flowers. The garden hose is very nearby and I can keep things watered easily.

We got a few seconds of rain just a bit ago. Maybe tonight it will rain more.

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Expanding The Lawn
Posted on Feb 14, 2020 5:50 AM

I bet you never thought I would write that line. I am not a slave to growing grass, never have been and never will be. I had to make a decision to do something about that area in front of our house. It's a long expanse that goes all along the front sidewalk from the driveway to the front porch and front door.

That area is about 15-20 feet long and all I've been able to get to grow is Vinca. I didn't sow the vinca, but it was already growing and self seeding when we bought this place. Later I started adding plants across there, Cactus, Sago Palms, vinca, Blue Salvia, etc., and nothing flourished except for the vinca.

The next year I bought bark mulch and mulched it heavily, but it didn't make too much of a difference. I put in a big Euphorbia's plant and starting putting in pine straw and the bark mulch was still under the pine straw. It is very dry because all the moisture is zapped by the Chinese Elm and Palm tree in the front yard.

Yesterday I knew I had to do something this year because I didn't care for the way that area looked. I want curb appeal. I want something that stays green, a small shrub or tree that is fast growing that will give shade to the front of our house in summer, something that will give us a bit of privacy, something that does not have a very invasive root system, and something that blooms or gives a scent. I do not want Boxwood, or any of those expensive shrubs that you can make a hedgerow out of, but it needs to be drought tolerant and easy to keep trimmed, especially on the sidewalk side.

I think my best bet will be a row of Azalea's. They have some that bloom in summer and they stay green all year. I had some in South Carolina and they were gorgeous. If you are a whiz at landscape design and have a better choice please feel free to comment, but I must tell you that I have pretty much determined the Azalea's.

So, I set to work as soon as we got home yesterday morning from dh's doc appt. I raked all of the pine straw from that area and it was 2 large trash cans full. I carried it to the back end of the bank and scattered it all around the established plants that I just put in a week ago and the Tea Tree Olives that have been there for almost 2 years. I had just scattered seeds on that area 2 days ago and I hope they will sprout on the bank. It looks really good with that pine straw mulch. A finished look!

I started moving the plants out next. The 2 Agave plants went in the trough along the southwest side of the house. The Euphorbia 'Devils Backbone' went onto the bank. There were about 7 of those, one big mother plant that we found in the trash 2 years ago, and the rest were pieces that I cut off the mother plant and stuck in the ground. It roots quite easily. They will give year round color and interest to the bank, are drought tolerant, and add texture.

I lifted a Nandina shrub that I've had for a year and moved it over so it's not in front of the house, but it's closer to the corner and the water hose so I can keep it watered. I left the cactus because they are pretty big and they are not going to interfere with whatever I put along the sidewalk. I moved the Sago Palm to the bank as well. It is tiny, but they do get very big.

So I was pretty tuckered out after all that work and it got to 85 yesterday. I sowed more seeds by just casting them into the trough along the SW side of the house. We didn't get a single drop of rain and I have to go out and water some things this morning. I wish I had not transplanted any of those Pink Baby's Breath plants day before yesterday because the wind blew very hard and slurped up all the moisture and they were looking wilted. I've got lots more plants, but I think that is all that I will transplant this year.

Well, I've written a book. We have a chance of rain today, but I'm not counting on it. I have an appt. for my PM doc and I hope he gives me the other injection because my knee totally hurts. I may stop afterwards and look for Azalea's. Wish me luck!

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