Thursday, July 14, 2011

you choose

Fluffy bunny?

Evil garden eating alien?

Happy tenent?
This year our rudbeckia was eaten down to the nubs. Maybe if rabbits were canrivorous they wouldn't eat my garden. It might make sitting in the garden a bit dicey. I would hate wake up from a outdoor nap with a rabbit gnawing on my arm. But at least my plants would be left alone.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

be happy in your work

There is no project too small that it can’t be made bigger. That mantra was imprinted on me by my late father-in-law, while I was young and impressionable, when a small kitchen project turned into a house remodeling job that only ended the day we sold the house (or at least that’s the myth). Well, back to the present. Pat wanted me to replace a path since removing it turned out to have a less than optimal outcome. And while we were at it, maybe we could create a new seating area on the east side of the deck, since we didn’t have one there. I estimated that it would take somewhere between 2 and 3 tons of number 57 river rock (3/4 inch pea gravel). Refreshing the rest of the paths would take another 2 or 3 tons so why not get 5 tons of gravel and be done with it. Let’s add 2 yards of sweet peet, because you can never have too much sweet peet. A half an hour after I placed the order, Jimmy told us that he was going to Detroit for a week. I was happy that he had work, but Oh Boy, that meant that Pat and I were going to shovel 10,000 pounds of gravel by ourselves. Now I have not lived a pure and healthy life like Pat has so all I could think of was the words of Sessue Hayakawa “Be happy in your work.” Yippee!

If you ever start a project like this do not try to figure out how many pounds per shovel full of gravel, or how much can a wheel barrow carry. It will bring tears to your eyes. You will get done when there is no more gravel in the driveway. Oh, and do not forget to pull the cars out of the garage before the gravel arrives.

The delivery was Wednesday morning and off we went, shovel, haul, dump, rake, rest. We broke the task down into what we hoped would be manageable jobs. We rebuilt the hydrangea path on day one and built the new seating area on day 2. Day 3, we widened one cross path and completed all those little jobs that never seem to get tackled. I was hoping that Jimmy would be home to help on day 4, which was Saturday. Man, was I overjoyed when Jimmy showed up late Friday night and volunteered to help finish up. Now Jimmy has not lived any cleaner and healthier life than his old man, but he is 30 years younger. He moved close to 3 tons of gravel in a little over 2 hours. The way Pat and I were wearing out, we would still be shoveling for weeks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Big Blue's moving day

Big Blue had to move. Its corner of the yard is getting more sun due to tree loss. We found a new home and a replacement plant so all we had to do was dig. How hard could it be? Big Blue is seven and has never been split. It is the biggest hosta in the yard with a root ball to match. So off we went, Pat and I and two shovels. That was the full extent of the plan, dig around the hosta, somehow pick it up and replant it, and then do it all over again. This little project turned out to be not for the faint of heart. I do not recommend moving fully grown big hosta. Boy, was Big Blue heavy. All those years of sweet peet gave Blue a huge root ball. For some reason I thought that I could just pick Blue up and move it to its new home. Then I thought that I could push Blue up a plywood ramp. What finally succeeded was the blue tarp.

You might ask why we didn't wait till fall, after the leaves drop. Well, we had 5 tons of gravel and 2 yards of sweet peet coming, so we wanted to get this "small" project out of the way.

Blue's replacement plant is our largest sum and substance. It also is 7 years old.

 Right about now, I decided that this was going to be harder then I thought.

 Next time, I'm getting a back hoe.

A happy hosta. We gave it a load of sweet peet.

 Big Blue in its new home. It also got a load of sweet peet.

Monday, July 4, 2011