Thursday, June 21, 2012

recycling times 2

[post by Pat]

This ultimate recycling project was inspired by an old hose.

The point of having a rain barrel is not only to collect the rain, but to actually use it. Well, we got tired of bending over and filling up watering cans and then lugging them up and down and around the yard. Then last year was so rainy we didn’t really use them. But the heat and lack of rain this year has made us want to take full advantage of every drop. And at the same time, our 20-year old hose was starting to pop in places from the pressure of city water. In the past, Jim would just cut off the offending section and replace the connector. At this rate our once 100-foot hose was rapidly getting shorter! This year, Jim reluctantly agreed that it was time to get a new hose, but he still didn’t want to get rid of the old one. Well, you know that necessity is the mother of invention. He cut the hose in half, and attached each half to the spigot on the rain barrels. Nice recycling, eh? It gets better. He went rummaging in the garage and found some old metal fence posts and a couple of wall brackets that once held a ladder and fashioned not one but two nifty hose hangers by zip tying a bracket to each fence post. He sunk each one in the ground by a barrel and looped the hose over the bracket. All we needed to buy was one hose end connector and two simple sprinkler heads.

The good news is that we now can water all the pots along that side of the house and all the pots on the patio directly from the rain barrels – no more filling watering cans. The bad news is that now Jim wants to put more hosta in pots!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

why we garden

It’s been way too hot for way too long. I found myself getting trapped by the siren call of air conditioning. After spending the morning in my furnace of a classroom, I wanted nothing to do with sitting outside in the heat. That’s a wet heat to youse guys south of the Great Lakes. Today I broke the cycle. I went into the back yard and reclaimed my too long ignored favorite chair.

I wasn’t in the yard for five minutes before I saw why I garden.  

Monday, June 18, 2012

big blue's new home

We moved big blue a ways back to a shader home, under a nishiki willow. He seems to like it. Since you can't have just one hosta sitting by itself, we also moved some of his friends.

Monday, June 11, 2012

flower beds

It has been a while since I’ve sat down and blogged about the garden. Boy, have Pat and I have been busy in the yard. In the search for truth, justice and the gardening way, Pat resurrected the idea of more flower beds in the front yard. I was all for eliminating more turf grass, so off we went. Six yards of sweet peet, a bunch of newspapers, an old garden hose and a couple of days of sunny weather was all we needed. Pat laid out the design, I placed the newspapers, and Pat followed on with the watering can so the paper wouldn’t fly away and then the sweet peet. We got down to the last yard of sweet peet and realized that we needed just a little bit more sweet peet. So we ordered another three yards. The newspaper and six inches of compressed sweet peet will prevent any thing unwanted from growing through the beds. By next spring we can dig through whats left of the newspaper. We planted annuals and shallow rooted plants for this year.
 What a great use for the old Wall Street Journals.

Rain, sprinkling and mowing will cause the extra newspaper to disappear.