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June 24, 2017

What is up Must Come Down

Monday afternoon I got home from work to find the willow tree had dropped several large branches. Although these were tops, there were several large sections that my little 12" chainsaw didn't have a prayer of cutting up.

From back porch
From back porch
From back porch
From back porch

Picture from kitchen bay window
From back porch

After having no luck getting local tree services to call me back, even after leaving a couple of messages, I resorted to begging for help from the good folks on the pellet burner / wood burner forum I frequent. Several people offered help, but most were 2 hours away. I finally accepted the offer from a guy that lives an hour away, just across the MA/NH border. Friday I had a rare evening off and cut off the smaller limbs. I filled the truck so it was ready for a dump run and still had 2 more piles that were large enough to fill the truck once each.

  Clean up from front yard
Clean up from front yard
Clean up from front yard
Clean up from front yard
Clean up from front yard

I made three dump runs this morning. The guy from the forum came early this afternoon and had the logs cut up in no time and helped straighten out the fence panels so I can once again let the cats out of the house. I made 3 more trips to the dump, and all is back to normal.

  Fishingpol straightening fence
Fishingpol straightening fence

 This picture was taken before adding the wood chunks in the next two pictures Truck full of wood 4th trip
Truck full of wood 4th trip
Truck full of wood 4th trip

However, the wood was really dry for a willow, and we found a carpenter ant nest along with woodpecker holes from the birds getting a tasty treat. So, that means it is imperative for me to get that willow taken down this summer. Now, if I could just get someone to return my calls.

Oh yeah, the insurance adjuster was here Friday morning (I remoted into work while waiting for him), climbed up to the roof and found damage to a couple of the seams so I have to call a contractor to come fix that too. The adjuster gave me a name of a general contractor that is experienced with standing seam roofs, so I will try to get a hold of that company Monday.

Posted by Bogie on June 24, 2017 at 06:46 PM in Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (3)

June 17, 2017

Beautification Project

After seeing the results of the work I had done last week, I decided that the parking area needed to be more separate from the yard behind it.Yesterday I took a vacation day and put in landscape timbers to add definition and separation. Additionally, it will help keep the bare soil from running into the hard pack of the parking area. I bless the neighbor who gave me some timbers last year as I had enough to get the 3 rows of timbers put in without having to go get more. I also had rebar left from putting in the garden at the front of the house, but naturally was two shy of what I needed.

It started raining just after putting in the last timber so I took the opportunity to go to H*me Dep*t and got 25 sections of sod and as well as rebar (who knew that no local places that sell landscape timbers actually carry in stock the means to anchor said timbers securely?). I laid the sod when I got home, in the pouring rain. Yes I was very wet and muddy when I got done :D.

Lasndscape timbers and sod-closer
Lasndscape timbers and sod-closer

Today I got a late start as the cloudy, cool day just wasn't conducive to my being ambitious. Eventually I put down the book I was reading and went to Agway to grab a few plants then went out to play in the dirt.

Long shot:

First row of plants

L-R; Leucanthumum Snow Cap aka Shasta Daisy (also in next picture), false indigo, 2 hostas (the one in front is so far homeless), and creeping phlox in the background. Unseen behind the phlox are a couple of iris that I still had from a batch that Cop Car had sent a couple of years ago. The phlox has been in an overwintering bed for at least 2 years.


First row of plants

L-R; Hosta, two Veronicas, False Indigo, Leucanthumum. Way in the back are, so far unplanted, day lilies that have also been in an overwintering bed for a couple of years.


First row of plants

I also took extra soil and cut in around the pieces of sod, so now it looks like a patchwork quilt. But the edges should hold moisture to help it fill in between the sections.


First row of plants

If it wasn't threatening rain all weekend, and into Tuesday, I would have been moving pellets into the basement and garage. But I am happy with the progress of the yard, so am not complaining.

PS - Hey Cop Car if you still have irises that need a new home, I have room now :)

Posted by Bogie on June 17, 2017 at 08:44 PM in Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (6)

June 10, 2017

New Look for the driveway

I decided to widen the driveway a little as well as make it so I can back the truck to the shed during winter without having to snow blow an extra 20 feet of berm that the town's street plow leaves at the side of the road. This meant getting rid of the lilac tree and the forsythia. Additionally, I wanted the two stumps pulled, one on either side of the driveway, from the cedars I had cut down in 2014.

I hired a local guy who does hardscaping as an evening/weekend job. He started on Monday after I left for my night job and he worked in the never ending rain. This is what I came homer to (before and after pic shown)

Driveway head on - before
Driveway head on - before

Mound of dirt from rocks-stumps gone


He did not get to work on Tuesday as it was raining even harder, but he resumed the work removing the rocks that were jumbled at the side of the driveway. By Friday it had really taken shape and everything was done except bringing in hard pack to fill in between the retaining wall and asphalt, as well as a "parking pad".

Rough rock wall
Rough rock wall
Rough rock wall

Today he finished up so that the hardpack is down and he even brought in a load of loam to lay over the areas of disturbed dirt. I no longer have to pick which side of the truck I can access if I need to back up to the garage door (like this afternoon when I brought home some plywood). And now, the truck is on the parking pad so I can move the car out of the garage in the morning without shuffling vehicles.

Parking pad
Parking pad

Oh, and added bonus, after complaining thru their website about the propane tank STILL being there, they came and picked it up on Wednesday so the view from the back porch is much better. Today I spent some time digging a trench to remove the 25 feet of gas line from where the tank had been and the house. Then, of course, I filled the trench back in and used a tamper to solidify the ground.

Propane tank gone

So now, planting stuff in the area cleared during the driveway renovation is hopefully, coming soon.

Posted by Bogie on June 10, 2017 at 08:56 PM in House Work | Permalink | Comments (2)

June 03, 2017

Take a Good Look

Posting before pictures. Going to have some work done so it won't look like this much longer. The work that is to be done will leave it looking rather shocking, but I am going for better functionality so don't say I didn't warn you.

Driveway head on - before
Driveway head on - before

Posted by Bogie on June 3, 2017 at 09:25 PM in Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (3)

New Plants and Old Trees

So last weekend these two azaleas followed me home from Agway and they smelled so good that I kept them :)

To the left is Mandarin Lights and to the right is Gibralter. I planted them on Sunday in that spot just switched. They are under the willow tree but will get plenty of filtered afternoon light so should do well.

Manderin Lights and Gibralter Azaleas

I never got to see the crabapple in full bloom this year even though it promised to be spectacular. Just before the full show we had very high winds that blew all the petals off. So last weekend, the Black Cherry put on a nice show. The first two pictures were taken on Saturday and the next two were taken on Tuesday - a rare sunny day.

Black Cherry blooms
Black Cherry blooms
Black Cherry blooms
Black Cherry blooms

A-N-D, the poison ivy is back. Fortunately it looks like my vigilant spraying last year knocked most of it back and there are just a few plants showing their faces. Some in spots where it wasn't before and some in places that were heavily infested. These pictures were taken last weekend but I found two more plants today in the front yard where it was so bad.

In the first picture the dark green plant is poison ivy - in a new spot.

Poison ivy and other look alikes-sm
Poison ivy and other look alikes-sm

Still rainy, dark and cold most days with just a few hours of sun thrown in every 4-5 days just to tease us. The main floor pellet stove is firing on a regular basis in the early morning hours. There is standing water all along the edges of the property and some of my water loving plants are looking like they are ready to throw in the towel. So, all is normal here with little challenges on every front - but that is better than having huge challenges so I'll take it.

 

EDIT AT 9:15 - Saw tow lightning bugs - besides flowers, nothing says summer is coming like seeing those bugs at night!

Posted by Bogie on June 3, 2017 at 09:02 PM in Yard Work | Permalink | Comments (2)