July 25, 2015
Mulching With Stone
After receiving irises from Cop Car, I decided it was time to finish up the flower bed under the bay window in the front of the house. So on Sunday, I set to it. To remind you of what that portion has looked like to this point:
I left the lilies there, removed the planters with roses, cleaned out any weeds that had dared crop up since I had last worked the area, and covered the back portion with landscape fabric. The section between the foundation and the lilies is a good two feet wide, so I shouldn't have anything crowding the foundation.
I filled in the areas next to the landscape timbers with a sand/dirt mixture. I had moved some of the cleaner excavated sand/dirt to a pile at the side of the house, so used that to fill in. Once the dirt level was where I wished it to be, I started planting.
Along with irises, I have gathered several perennials and shrubs during my wonderings thru CL, from a former neighbor (stored in the extra raised bed until I was ready to use), H*me Dep*t and other places. Most I got for free, or for $2-5 as distressed plants (amazing what a bit of water will do to revive them). When I was done, hostas and delphinium were at either end of the lilies and a penstemon was next to the stairs. I placed most of Cop Cars irises and some creeping phlox sprigs in front of the lilies.
Once the plants were in, I started hauling pea gravel from the two yards I had delivered a couple of weeks ago.
The lower portion, to the left and next to garage isn't done yet. I was hoping to do that during the week after work, but spent all my time waiting for contractors to show up to give bids for remodeling the bathroom. Maybe I can get it done this weekend, but have more contractors and rain to deal with, so we'll see what happens.
July 19, 2015
Friday after I got home from work I took a nap and awoke with all kinds of energy. It was supposed to rain that night (it did), so I mowed. Just trimming up the trees and shrubs took about 15 minutes off my time - I'm down to an hour for the whole yard!
Then I hauled dirt to refill the planter in the front yard until it got dark (oh, and sprayed some of the poison ivy with killer too). I was still full of energy, so decided to take down the only remaining sheet rock in the basement room.
The insulation is new from tearing out the garage the winter of 2013/14, so in good shape. The framing seems to be good too, although I need to paint the bottom with water retardant as a preventive measure. I'm hoping that I can get the room sheet rocked when I have the bathroom remodeled, but of course finances will dictate that.
Regardless, I need to get that one wall recovered before the cold really hits, so will have the contractor order enough sheetrock so it will be available for me to do that myself if needed.
I need bursts of energy like that more often - yesterday I was a slug LOL.
Last Saturday I went for a ride in the afternoon and took a couple of pics. First stop was at a quiete little lake in Jaffrey
Eventually I wound my way to Weare and took a water stop at the Gazebo in Weare.
It wasn't a long ride - only a couple hours and 100 miles or so, but it was refreshing.
Flowers from Kansas
Cop Car promised to send me irises from her gardens in Kansas. - and she delivered quickly. Friday a box of plants was waiting for me when I got home.
The group in the front, right are dwarf, root-beer colored irises. The rest are a mixed bag (we will all be surprised - which is great!).
They aren't flowers yet, but they will be in a year or two. Thanks Mom!
July 12, 2015
$75 of Fun
Got a work out yesterday; starting at 9 AM I mowed, then I spent quite a while playing with my latest acquisition from CL - a chainsaw. I got it from a woman who had only used it to take down about 20 saplings. Then she acquired a boyfriend that had 2 chainsaws, so it wasn't needed any more. The saw is in great shape (almost new looking) and easy to start. She only asked half of what it would have cost new, so I jumped on the deal.
I cut down one of the lilacs, trimmed up several more, then cut down a huge forsythia. None of these had been touched for years. The lilacs have all old, gnarly wood and the forsythia was trying to take over the world, and the oak tree it was against.
When I was done I had 4 loads of branches to take to the dump
This is the first load of branches. The back of the Jeep is packed so tightly that with a lot of tugging, I got it all out in one "piece". Note the leaves sticking out of the hatch. Although the hatch closed, it wasn't tight and the dash complained that it was open. I took it easy on the way to the dump so any potholes I hit wouldn't jar it enough to get the hatch to pop.
Who knew you could have so much fun?
Smells of the Season
Going riding today - first a HOG meeting in Concord, then wherever. Supposed to be the hottest day of the year, with a lot of mugginess, so work on the yard or house is not on my agenda. But, I do have some rose pictures to share from the last two weeks.
Queen Elizabeth (just starting to bloom - this is the only flower so far - lots of buds though)
All have a wonderful scent; Easter Basket is more fruity, Europeana is very perfumy and QE is classic rose scent. QE is also, at this point, developing powdery mildew, where the other two's foliage is just fine. Good to know before I get them panted in the ground. Want to keep it a little away from other roses, and have other plants block off some of the view of the leaves. Not a problem, I haven't come up with a plan on where they are supposed to go anyway :)
July 04, 2015
Newport, NY Trip
The HOG chapter I belong to schedules several group rides a month. There is always a ride after the monthly meeting, and several other rides - both closed and open (closed = only Chapter members allowed). I haven't been on any of the rides as I'm not really into group rides - or at least not large group rides, and most of the time I'm not really interested in the destination. Add to that all the work I have been doing on the house and landscaping these two summers, and planned rides that take up most of a day just isn't something I feel I can do.
However, I noticed there was a ride to Hoosick, NY on June 28. This interested me as I was thinking of doing an overnight trip to the VT/NY area, and one of the Queens (QOTR) that I had ridden with last year lives in NY. Jessica lives near Utica, NY and has beautiful gardens that she has shared pictures of on FB, so touring them would make that a good destination. Add to that that there was another HOG ride for charity scheduled for that day, so chances were that the Hoosick ride wouldn't have a huge group participating, and I started thinking about it.
I contacted Jessica and she said to come on out - in fact they would put me up. So I joined the HOG ride last Saturday. It was a smallish group; 10 people total with one other gal riding her Shadow, and the rest were guys. We had a meandering ride (not direct by any means) with one rest stop.
When we got to MOK, I ate a great lunch with the group then headed on my way. Oh, did I mention I was heading straight into rain? In fact, the forecast was for rain from Saturday afternoon all the way thru Sunday - on my entire route. Hey, but I'm nothing if not practiced at taking my trips in the rain, I was just glad it was fairly warm (most rainy trips I take are in the 40's).
I made it to Jessica's about 5 PM and she ran out of her house with camera in hand.
She then commenced to preparing the finishing touches on dinner that she had prepared - a gluten free, vegetarian dinner (I'm wheat free and she is vegetarian), that hit the spot - while her husband showed me to my room so I could get all set up.
Jessica and Steve are great people; we conversed late into the night hitting all kinds of subjects. I toured the gardens between bouts of heavy rain and just loved the fountain they had set up.
We went out to breakfast the next morning at the local diner
I left their place about 10:30 - trying to beat the heavy rain that was headed in. I took a more direct route than the HOG group took and was on highway for about 60 miles in NY. It rained most of my way home, although I did hit a few dry spots. Of course the temps had plummeted and I was riding in the 50's and high 40's. Still, my gear kept me dry and the rain was much better than the times I hit dry sections. In the dry sections there was massive wind. I stopped to rest in Bennington, VT at the school. The wind was so strong it was actually moving the handle bars of the bike. A few times the bike lurched and I thought for a moment it might go over despite it being blown toward the kickstand.
I was happy when I got out of Bennington. It had started raining again but the wind abated some so it was better. I was disappointed though that Hog Back Mountain was to foggy, in addition to the rain, to see any of the view. That is the 3rd time I have been thru that route in the last couple of years, and that is the 3rd time the weather has been foggy and rainy enough that you couldn't even see the end of the parking lot. One day I will go thru and have a reason to stop!
I got home about 3 so had plenty of time to see to the animals and get groceries for the week. Wish I had had more time with Jessica and her husband. If I had gone by myself I would have left much earlier (the HOG group met me at 9:30) and taken a more direct route (going by Hog Back, which may have been clear at that point - LOL), but I still had fun with the group, so it all balances out.
No Mow Zone Redux
Two weekends ago, I added on to the no-mow zone. I worked my way up the hill since the idea was to extend the existing flower garden all the way to the fence. The crab apple and Hydrangea trees, which reside in that garden, needed to be pruned hard, which I did once I got to the branches that were in my way..
Project from start to finish
A week ago Friday I got some plants installed
Still plenty of planting to do, but feel like I'm making progress. And yes, just this project has cut down on the time it takes to mow by 10-15 minutes. I know that seems to be a lot, but I don't have to deal with the tree roots or boggy ground, or getting along the rocks that delineated the edge of the original flower garden.
Oh, and I relocated some of the moss that I pulled up. It may or may not survive (it is in a drier place), but that is a place that not much else grows anyway so I really don't care one way or another. It is a spot just above the no-mow zone, so I wasn't carting it clear across the property to where I have been dumping the rest of the excess dirt/grass.
June 21, 2015
Here is the first picture taken of me riding my 2011 Street Glide at this location. As far as I know, it is the only picture thus far taken at Weir's Beach in Laconia, NH 6/18/15. Too bad it was a bit cloudy so the color doesn't show well - I lightened it up some and you can see a bit on the tank, front fender, and the lower.
Happy Father's Day 2015
Happy Father's Day to my dad, Cop Car's HH. Hope you have great weather and take time to do things you want to do, not things that have to be done!