Saturday, December 28, 2013

well, it's a start

So. last night, we went out....first time in a long time. We went to zoo lights (totally fun), and then out to dinner......We didn't get home until about 10 or so, WAY past our bedtime. Imagine our surprise when we got a phone call this morning from a guy saying he would be here in 15 minutes to fix our deck. Good thing we were up......

They've been working on it all day, taking the boards off, cutting them down and putting them back on with a larger gap. It actually looks better than I thought it would. This is great, because now, this spring,  we can pressure wash it and stain it the way it should be. It will also drain when it rains, and not turn into a giant mud puddle. YEAH!!!!
One problem down.

Now we just need to see some progress on the floors, and I'll be happy.....

On another note, we planted 3 new things today, a black hellebore, a large pink peony, and a fuschia for the hummingbirds. We also put up two different bird feeding stations. Progress!! Now I just need to find that feeder that we stashed somewhere when we moved.

Next up......goals for next year

I'll leave you with some cool zoo lights.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

snow day!

It snowed here this week.....just enough to make a mess
It was all gone in the same day, and luckily, we didn't really have to go anywhere. Makes the doggies, crazy, though.....

There's not much going on here....all quiet for the holidays and the like. Soon, we'll be going to the flower show! Yeah!!! I've already started to try to win tickets this year, we'll see.

Y'all know I'm not much for the holidays here, so instead of visions of sugarplums, I'll have visions of new plants.......I can hardly wait till the weather cooperates.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The cold spell is finally over....

But the yard looks like someone took a blowtorch to it.

I was out there chopping on the frozen things yesterday, and there is some can see the little red buds of the peonies, a few daffodils and crocus are poking their heads up,  and there's some perennials that actually survived. We'll just have to see what comes back in the spring.

This week, I succumbed to the hellebores at the garden center, and brought home a pretty cool single black one.....they had some really interesting ones there, yellow with pink accents, one called raspberry splash.....I might have to have a couple more before winter is over. My new acquisitions are hanging out in the (warmer) garage for now. They'll go out officially sometime in February...
I'm also looking forward to cruising the bare root stuff at Costco this year. Last year, we couldn't do it, because we didn't have a yard, and didn't know when we would. There's some great deals on bare root stuff, and by the time summer's over, they're just as big as the things in pots. I'll be looking for some grapes, and a couple more fruit trees and shrubs to add to our empty back yard.

I also got a really cool thing this week to add to our dragonfly theme.......
drunken dragonflies!
They fit right in, and they're really cool! Thanks Pam!
This week, it's supposed to be warmer, with a few dry days. We're on vacation AGAIN, and hopefully can make more progress on the list than we did last time. (which was pretty much none).
There are a couple of holidays in there, but that doesn't really matter.....
I'll leave you with my view from the porch this week. I LOVE living here!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

I think I like the rain better.

This week, it's been bitter cold here. Now, we can handle some cold, but 17 degrees day or night is too much for anyone. I was SO looking forward to how beautiful my garden was going to be in the spring, and right now, it looks devastated. Everything is frozen, the ground is frozen, the plants are frozen, even the hummingbird feeders are frozen. (yes, we defrost them every day, poor things). The only thing that's not frozen are the hummingbirds themselves. They're zooming around, fighting for the feeders and eating like crazy.

It's supposed to defrost by the end of the week, but not before a potential bit of snow/freezing rain/ice that will shut this place DOWN. (good knitting weather, I guess).

The clearance bin at the nursery yielded a nice, 5 gallon peony this week for half price. I was afraid to buy anything else, since the pots were mostly frozen solid. I'll go back in the spring and see what still has some green on it when it thaws. Right now, the peony is hanging out in the garage, where it's not frozen, and hopefully it'll still be alive to plant in the spring. It's probably going to be the only plant out there after this......
See how everything just looks like it's burned???? it's just frozen.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

snow?? seriously???

Although it's 50 degrees and raining here today, we're supposed to have a very drastic change in the weather tomorrow. A cold front is coming in, and with the rain hanging around, we are MAYBE supposed to have some snow. Hate it, hate snow. It looks good, but the driving possibilities suck around here, since no one knows what to do. (personally, I know what to do - stay home).

Actually, if we do get snow, that will be good for the garden, because the sub freezing temps are expected to stay all week, and the snow will act as an insulator. Poor babies, I hope they make it.

This week, the clearance bin at the nursery coughed up a hardy fuschia for $5. I'll be going back at the end of the week for more (unless it snows). They also had some nice itoh peonies, more fuschias, and some other goodies that would love to spend the winter in my garage for half price. They'll all be just fine in the spring, no worse for the wear.

In house news, the report is back from the flooring inspector. Guess what?????  They installed the flooring wrong! Coulda saved them some money by just saying "I told you so". The next step will be for our contractor to get his own estimates, he doesn't like ours, and take them to the installer's insurance company. This is going to be long, drawn out, and ugly by the time it's done.....

Sunday, November 24, 2013

if you feed them, they will come.....

I love hummingbirds, love 'em. I was quite disappointed when we moved from the old house with all it's nice birdy food and hiding places where we saw and heard them nearly every day, to the new house with nothing but dirt. I spent the summer planting things that I thought they would like in an effort to attract them over here. We saw a few during the summer, and got buzzed a few times, but nothing like we have now.

You see, there's not much food out there for them, and it's really cold, so they're absolutely addicted to the feeders on the porch. In fact, there's a daily hummingbird turf war going on and you have to be careful in the back yard because they zoom around chasing each other off the feeder. They're so hungry that they've drank the feeders dry twice now.

There's one in particular that sits on a big pine tree in the neighbors yard, you can see him if you know where to look. He protects his turf with an iron wing. He's there right now. It drives miss kitty NUTS to see the little birds fly by and she spends a great deal of time sitting in the window "talking" to them.

They'll be here all winter, and so will the feeders....

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A year ago......

It's hard to believe we move in just a year ago.....These pics were taken while we were still in the process of moving. As you can see, cinnamon brown had already made herself at home.
Everything looks so new and fresh. We've done our best to maintain it, and I think we've done pretty well. There's some wear and tear in a few places, but nothing that can't be fixed or lived with.
We really love our new house and we're looking forward to working on the landscaping even more next season.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

pump house - check

This week, it was all about working on the pump house.....We found some leftover siding at the local Restore....just enough to finish the garden side. It doesn't exactly match the other stuff, but, who cares?  Once it's all painted the same color, no one will really be able to tell. The next step with the pump house is to build a door, and then paint. We'll  work on putting a pump in it in the spring, before the garden is planted. That was the whole point, after water the garden with the rain water runoff.

The next project will be gates and fences in the back. The fence builder is going to be on vacation for a couple of weeks here soon, so we're hoping to finish the gate over by the old house and the fence next to the dog kennel. HOPEFULLY that will deter the deer from the back yard.. We'll see. They're pretty determined devils and eating machines.

We're also planning on making a list of things we want to accomplish next season. Some of those things include more landscaping in the back, maybe another dry stream bed, a firepit and stone patio of sorts, cleaning and staining the deck, building a chicken coop, and, I'm sure, a whole bunch of other stuff. We're down to the fun projects now that can be accomplished in a weekend or two, and a whole lot of maintenance.

On the floor scene.......Friday,. we had a flooring inspector here to check it out. Our contractor made an appearance too (surprise!). You could just see his stomach sinking as the inspector did his work. We're pretty sure we may be getting a new floor, which is not as great as it sounds. They'll have to tear up all the old flooring, scrape it down and prep it, and install a new one, re-install all the baseboards and probably repaint the walls....all while we LIVE here. What a mess!!!!!!!!

We should know something this week..Although I'm looking forward to it getting done, I'm not sure I'm looking forward to getting it done. It has the possibility of being very, very bad.

The good news is, he also "promised" to fix the deck, so next spring we can hopefully clean and stain it. We'll see.....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

painting away

Last sunday the fog broke enough to get out and finish my paint the shop project. It's all done, except a bit of trim and a second coat on the back door. Monsoon season has started now, so those last bits will probably have to wait until spring when it warms up and dries out.

In the bulb front, they're starting to get marked down now, so I took advantage of a couple of sales and bought 50 more crocus to finish my front yard project - there's 450 or so out there now - and some bulb iris, just for fun. A marked down huchera also followed me home from the depot. Most places are pretty much done with outside plants now, so it's all about waiting out the winter and starting again in February or so with the flower show. In the mean time, we'll be working on finishing the fencing in the back, building gates to keep the deer out, and generally winterizing things so that they'll make an appearance again next year.

We'll also be making our list of projects to finish and work on for the next winter and spring....I'm eying that fire pit that Lowes is going to have on their black Friday sale. It would be great to put away for next summer. (we have a plan)

This week, it's supposed to rain all week, so probably not too much outside stuff will make it on the adjenda.......

Sunday, October 27, 2013

nestled all snug in their beds

Yesterday I spent most of the day planting......All these guys and some more, of course.
Each of the green strips represents at least 5 specialty bulbs not found anywhere locally....

There were also 2 witch hazels, 2 clumping bamboos, a native currant (great hummingbird plant), a wegilia, and about 400 bulbs from Costco. Right now, there's about 500 bulbs in the back....daffs, alliums, crocus, and hyacinths......and the same in the front, which also includes muscari, and some species tulips.....not too many big tulips...they're just deer candy. Maybe next year when the back is totally fenced and they can't get in.

Now I'm setting my sights on bulb clearance racks (although I don't really need too many more), and saving my pennies for the spring when Costco and the like will start getting in bare root perennials and trees.

Today, I hope to mostly finish painting the shop and put that project to bed too.....

Next up......a LONG list of things to finish, and a long winter of not finishing them.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Last weekend was beautiful, so I decided to take what was probably the last opportunity to paint on the shop......

after.....a whole day on the ladder!
I really wanted to work on it more this week, and just finish, but the weather had other ideas. It was too cold, and most important, too wet and foggy to do any work. Today looks promising, though, it's still not too warm, but it's also not that 110 percent humidity fog that we've had all week.
I'm hoping to get most of the front done, and then finish up with the doors. The back side, the one you can see that is "natural", is probably going to stay that way, except for the door and trim. We'll get out he sun and moon collection that I have packed away and put that up to give it some interest.
The far side needs to be cleaned up first, but we'll paint that too, and then build our new chicken coop there.  One thing at a time.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

artichokes, anyone?

Check this out.....grew it all by myself!!! From artichoke plants that I bought at the grocery store for $2.99. Pretty cool, huh?
They're actually purple ones, yes they're edible, and I certainly hope they'll come back next year. (they should). P.S. the deer don't eat them.....too prickly!

This week, the clearance bin yielded a few home depot.....a black mondo grass for $3.50, which I divided into 3 and planted.....a half price hosta, and two daylilies for $1.50 each.
From the master gardener plant sale, we brought home a native currant - pink blooms in January, and a fall crocus (colchium).

I also used a bit of my local nursery gift certificate to get 2 witch hazels and some more allium bulgarum bulbs - the hummingbirds will love both of them.

Speaking of hummingbirds, we put up the feeders yesterday after watching two of them fight over the neighbor's fuschia for nearly an hour. I think he's out there right now, protecting his territory. Next spring, I have to plant some of those hardy fuschias....those little guys love them!

We also put out some Halloween decorations on the porch. I love my little owl guy!
This week, the weather is supposed to be great, so we're hoping to paint the shop. I have the paint (at least a good start on it), and if I need more, it's on sale. This'll probably be our last chance until next spring, so........

Sunday, October 6, 2013


It FINALLY stopped raining!!!!
After having nearly 9" of rain here in the last two weeks of September (honestly, we were ready to build a boat!), it FINALLY quit, and yesterday was a wonderful day to get outside.

We cleaned up the garden a bit.....

and roofed the pump house with some clearance roofing we bought at home depot.
The next project here will be putting in the window and some siding. We're down to these kind of projects, little bits here and there, finishing the pump house, painting the shop (well, that's a big project), finishing the fencing, and, of course landscaping, planting, and landscaping some more.
Today, the plan is to try to prime the bare boards that they put on the shop when they did the roof, so that they don't get crummy during the winter.

It's nice to know the rain didn't ruin everything.....

and the passion vine has finally grown tall enough for the deer to leave it alone. I was fearing for its survival there for a while.....
off to mow and paint while the sun shines.....supposed to rain again tomorrow.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

rain, rain....GO AWAY

Geez, it's only September, and we've already had WAY more rain than what is fair!

Last week, there was only one day that it was even possible to go outside, and I spent it picking up leftover roofing bits and about a million rusty nails from the shop project.

The clearance bin at lowes is gone, so no scores there, but we did go out this morning to a little nursery that is closing down tomorrow for the season. We scored a great crabapple "prairie fire", one we've been looking for, some nice gallon perennials for $1, and a cute little grass for the front yard.

It's too wet to plant them, or do anything else, for that matter, so that will have to be next weekend when it's supposed to be nicer.

I'm still looking for wood chips to keep all my nice dirt from running away, and I just need a good clear day to go clean out the garden.

Hopefully soon......

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A garden score and a new roof

This week, "the boys" came and finished re-roofing our shop. Nothing too exciting, needed to be done, and now it is. They scraped off the old metal roofing and 2 layers of 50 year old 3-tab, fixed the leaky spots and left us with a nice, new black roof that matches the house.

The next project will be to paint the darned thing the same color as the new house. Not now, though, 'cause it's raining buckets. We'll probably have a few nice days left this fall to at least get started. No rush, it's going to be a lot of work.

We also made a trip to a nursery that's shutting down for the winter, so they had all of their stuff on sale half price. There were some pretty good deals to be had, and we came home with a car load of stuff.

I'm hoping this pic wins me free garden show tickets this spring....."gardening Subaru" ya know.

The roof was the last major project we had to do here (aside from painting) - we'll be making our new "honey do" list to work on over the winter and next spring. Some of the items include....putting a gate in on the food garden side to keep the deer out, finishing the last little bit of fencing on the dog kennel side to keep the deer out, closing off the gap in the back corner to keep the deer out.....Sensing a theme here?????

We also want to build a new chicken coop so that we can get some babies next summer. I loved having chickens and really want to do it again, but we have to make them a super secure house to keep out the predators (raccoons this time, not deer).

This week, I'll probably start searching for a couple of loads of wood chips to mulch the flower beds - keep weeds down and the dirt in place.....they're hard to get, though and most places have a waiting list.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

slowing down and hunkering down

The weather here is starting to become a bit unpredictable....although we had a pretty nice week this week, last week we had the biggest thunder storm I've ever seen in all my years living here. It started at 4 pm, and the thunder and lightning went until well around midnight, much to the doggie's dismay.
At some point, we got about an inch of rain in 10 minutes. That did nothing for my newly applied dirt, and half of it is now over in the other lot.

The good news is, I didn't have to water this week, even though the temps have been around 80 degrees. It's supposed to start raining again today (another potential thunder storm), so we'll be scrambling this morning to mow our little lawn and put away the summer furniture before that happens.

"The boys" (contractors) are also working on the shop roof. They tore it all off yesterday and they'll be back on Friday to roof it. This is our last big project for a while. Now we just need to paint it (already have the paint, just waiting on the roof), and do some work on the deck, and we'll be hunkered down for winter.

The clearance rack at lowes was pretty dismal this week, but I did score a black centurea from the local nursery for $2. You can't kill those things and it'll be fine next spring. I also got a couple more bags of bulbs from Costco....not planting yet....too warm. It's going to look pretty cool in spring, when over 300 daffs, 100 crocus, and a whole bunch of other bulbs start making their appearance.

Next week, finish the roof (not me, the contractors), maybe some painting...depends on the weather...

Sunday, September 1, 2013

making a difference.....

memorial day......

labor day

and a casualty of war......
poor plum....she never saw it coming

Sunday, August 25, 2013

winding down.....

but not completely done yet!
This morning, the paper was all about labor day and back to school. How did we get here SO fast???
Things are starting to wind down a bit...we just have one big project left, roofing and painting the shop, and the nurseries are starting to empty out for the fall. Time to make plans for what to do during the rainy season and order wish books for next spring......

The clearance bin at lowes this week had a couple of good things...two nice agastache for the back garden, and a huchera that needed some love. They'll all be fine by next spring.....that's the fun of the clearance bin.

We also got a nice little dwarf plum tree from lowes that we'll be planting today, and the fall bulbs are starting to arrive in stores. I already have 100 daffodils and crocus in the garage, waiting for a bit of a cool off to be planted........

Blooming in the garden this week,
a beautiful black daylily
a wonderful smelling Asiatic lilly that I bought on clearance
and a super hot pink coneflower (also from the clearance bin).
I've never done all that well with coneflowers, so I'm hoping that they come back next year.
Today, I'm out to take pictures of the flower beds, so that next spring, I'll know what's coming up.
This week, there's a clearance sale at a local nursery.....going to check it out!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Damn deer!!!!

They're eating everything. Even stuff that's supposed to give them a tummy ache, like rhubarb leaves (poison), potato tops (poison), daylilies, Echinacea, geum, BANANA plants. How do deer know that banana plants would even taste good??? They're not native!
I had to chase these guys out of the back yard just this week.....

Yes, that's 3 babies, triplets, three MORE eating machines....and we have a nice smorgasbord, just sayin'. We've fenced pretty much the whole area, just one little place where we need a gate....I can hardly WAIT until we get that done.

Today, I'll be moving my poor hollyhock from the front to the back. It seems to be extremely attractive (and tasty). I'm not sure it can take much more mowing.

This week, the clearance bin had some great things.....a tree peony "high noon" for $8, and a sedum called "chocolate drop" for $1. Who can resist a sedum called chocolate drop?????
Costco also started putting out their bulbs, so I'll be picking up a bag or two every time I go. They have 50 daffodils for $11 and 100 crocus for the same price. Too early to plant them, but not too early to buy.

Miss kitty (ziggy) is settling in nicely.....she 's getting along well with the doggies.
And working into her role of internet assistant.....
As long as she doesn't get ahold of the credit card and buy cat toys.......

Sunday, August 11, 2013


I'm loving these sunflowers I planted in the garden......

and a variety called "solar flare"

I'll definitely do both of them next year, and I think I'll have plenty of seeds to share.

This week was all about watering, watering, watering. It did rain a bit on Friday night, but not enough to make a difference, and the sprinkler is out again.

I managed to score a few bargain plants. The discount rack at lowes yielded a campanula and a painted fern. Fred Meyer had a sale on perennials, so a coreopsis and a perennial lobelia followed me home, and the local nursery had some markdown too. I scored 4 lilly bulbs, a yellow lupine, and a huchera that had to go in the back, so it wouldn't end up being deer food.

This week it'll be all about the watering AGAIN. It's supposed to be dry the entire week. Nothing else special going on, just the usual weeding and planting the occasional bargain.
The shop roof is SUPPOSED to get started in a week or so, and then I'll get to work painting it to match the house. That ought to take quite a while.

Off to move the sprinkler!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

it's filling in......

I know, there's still a lot of dirt there, and I'm cringing at the potential water bill this month, but, it's starting to fill in a bit in the front.....

I was buzzed twice last week by a very hungry hummingbird, and it's pretty cool how the dragonflies hover over the labyrinth in the afternoon. This reflects the best of the lowes clearance bin, and a few others.....I just keep thinking how great it's going to look next year, if it all survives the winter and doesn't freeze or drown.
I'm starting to look at bulbs, daffodils and the like to put in both the front and the back. When we moved from the other house, I dug up some of the more special ones, but left the daffs and hyacinths for the new owners. They're going to have a nice surprise in the spring. I've been shopping for some specialty ones, and I'll get some regular ones from Costco and the like. That'll be the next phase of planting..for now, it's watering and weeding every day.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

the best of the clearance rack

Well, the planting season is winding down. It's been pretty hot (for here), so most of the nurseries are in maintenance mode. They'll be more sales and bulbs) in the fall, but for now, there's not a lot of new stuff to choose from.

This week brought the best of the clearance bin from a couple of places. Most of these plants just need some love (and water), and to get in the ground and let their roots run free. Right now, the perennials look pretty nappy, but next year, when they have a chance to come out new, it's going to be great.

We're working on the pump house (no pics), and mostly just watering, watering, watering.......

Today, we're going to look and see if we can spend our gift certificate to the local nursery.....(If they have anything worth spending it on).

The next major project will be the roof on the shop, and then painting it. Should happen soon, as soon as the contractors get back from vacation.......

Sunday, July 21, 2013

cruise control

this week, it was all about the weeding. With the dirt done, we're into maintenance mode now..
weeding, watering, and adding plants when they come up. I made my weekly trip to the lowes clearance bin, and brought home two red hot pokers, a variety of daisy, and a white salvia for the moon garden.

We also scored a $100 gift certificate to a local nursery from our realestate agents, so, that will go to good use.

In house news....the old house is all done, spent the week wrapping up little loose ends with final bills. The new owner seems to be happy and was out there weeding like a maniac yesterday. Good for her.

Things are settling down now, and most of the big projects are done on the new house for now. As soon as they re-roof our shop, I'll be painting it, and we've been cleaning up some of the accumulated building junk that managed to appear during the construction of the new house. I'd like to have chickens again in the spring, so we're trying to clean out the chicken coop area in order to rebuild the fence. All in good time......

I'll leave you with a cute kitty pic. She loves her strawberry box, but is outgrowing it. I've saved her a salad box to graduate to. We'll see if she loves that too.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

It's coming along!

Today is finish the dirt day.....this is all I have left, just a bit of cleanup. That was 45 yards of dirt. My aching back!!

Yesterday we worked our way through the plants in waiting. Mostly in the back, but things are perking up and starting to look like something.....

Now it's just a matter of MORE plants and water, water, water, oh, and weed, weed, weed. Our big projects are pretty much done, just one more, roofing and painting the shop. (to be done soon).

We're also going to work on the pump house for the cistern and the patio next to it. All in good time.
I've also been told I've never put a pic of the finished labyrinth on the blog.
well, here it is...
now if we could only keep these guys from eating everything.....
In other news, miss kitty is settling in nicely, and the best news of all...
The old house is SOLD!!!! DONE!! the new gal is moving in as we speak and the check is already in the bank. Glad to have that off our plates!!