multipurposegoddess: (Winter)
My parents gave me a little (2'x3'x6') greenhouse for Hannukah. We started putting it together of Xmas Eve, but the instructions were not very instructive and we only got it partly done before sunset, so we parked parts, assembled and loose, in my backyard to finish up another day. They were buffeted by gravity and wind and whatnot, so some of the metal pieces got a little bent, but not too badly. Anyway, Mom & Dad came by yesterday afternoon and we were able to straighten everything and recover all the nuts and bolts and figure out how to get the thing put together, if possibly not exactly the way the instructions intended. It's on my porch and holds two avocado trees (still very little) and an azalea even without the shelves (I need to properly position the brackets that hold the shelves, still. It's turned out to be an appropriate gift for Hannukah in that what should have been 2 hours of work to put together is miraculously lasting for at least 8 times as long). I went out to water this morning and it was pretty chilly on the porch, but downright balmy in the greenhouse. Nice. I may have to start some sprouts to make use of those shelves once I get them installed...

Also nice to know that if my house continues to be inexplicably cold (I haven't been able to determine where the problem lies but it's certainly not warming up to the temperature the thermostat is set to) I can always sit in the greenhouse for a bit to warm up.
multipurposegoddess: (Pets)
I finally put the iron tree back up. It's got two 10 lb weights at the base, now, which need to be rejiggered a bit as the second one interferes with a bolt, but that will have to wait. Bird bath filled, thistle feeder filled, super supper dome filled, suet log half-filled. It may not rain again before autumn, so it'll probably stay up fine for a while, at least.

Also placed a few stepping stones so I can run out to turn the hose on and off in bare feet without stepping on wet grass (fine in the summer, not in the winter). Because having stepping stones is easier than remembering to wear the slippers or crocs that I have expressly for the purpose of sliding on before dashing outside for a moment. Well, I do have a lot of stepping stones, so why not?

And weeded a bit. I got a flexible plastic bucket/basket like you might fill with ice and beer or soda, filled that twice with grass and whatever was growing in the flowerbeds that weren't meant to be there. Still looks weedy, but I know it's better. Everything that I actually planted out front seems to be doing well, though I can't tell if the echinacea is coming back. Some of the flowers in the wine barrel by the fence appear to have spread to the ground, which is unplanned but great.

Ran the drip irrigation system for the first time in a while - it's been raining enough I haven't needed it. One major leak that needs repairing in the line to the birdbath, a ton of spray at the faucet from the line to the swamp cooler which I don't know what I'm going to do about that. But neither problem is huge.

Walter is loving the longer lead on the aerial run in the front yard. He would like to stay out there all the time, thank you. Wednesday loves gardening. I wish she would stop digging up my sage, I've replanted it 3 or 4 times already, but her help with the weeding is welcome.

I am going through my yogurt very fast since it's become more delicious. I hope this batch wasn't a fluke!
multipurposegoddess: (Penguin Cookie Jar)
Ran up to Sacramento with Mom to order my bees. Chatted with one of the owners about the state of my curent hive body - she thinks it'll be fine and I might even attract another wild swarm before the packaged bees are available, in which case I can cancel the order or get two hives going. They expect the bee packages to be ready for pick-up the second week in April. IIRC I'll probably want a second hive body 6 weeks after that, end of May. I'll probably go for a little earlier or later than that, come to think of it.

Picked up some beeswax Hannukah candles, since I had such trouble finding candles this last year and they were there, and a Hibernation Diet book, because I am all for hibernation in general. Also, honey chocolate mints because yum.

Then we had lunch at a Vietnamese-Chinese Restaurant that the GPS found for us. Roast Duck Pho (not the real name, but that's how I think of it) = nom. And leftovers, so future nom.

Tomorrow is Tu B'Shvat, I think I will observe by planting my sprouted avocado pit and assorted other gardening. I don't think I'm up for putting another tree in he ground just yet, but in a pot I can do.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
Whew, spent all day hauling stepping stones made of concrete and pebbles, various shapes and sizes. My parents are getting their yard landscaped and having pretty rock walkways professionally put in, so they had all these old stepping stones to get rid of. We determined that they add up to about the amount of linear feet I need to be able to put in the pathways I have in mind for my backyard so I can take out the compost without putting on shoes, etc., so we loaded them all into their truck, brought 'em over, and unloaded them onto my patio. That was a lot of carrying of fairly heavy things.

Tired now.

Hopefully, this will help motivate me to do the mowing and shifting around of gravel that I need to do in the backyard to make it welcoming and enjoyable. It's more of an adventure than it really needs to be, currently. Partially because whenever I feel like mowing and edging and weeding, the front yard needs it, too, and I do prioritize the front since my neighbors have to look at it, but also because I wanted to find out what would happen if I let the wildflowers and bunch grasses and what have you do their thing without a lot of interference. To be honest, it's nice to look at all overgrown and semi-wild, but not so easy to navigate. I think I can be selective in what I cut down and what I leave at this point. The patch of grass between the shed and the orange trees, for example, is just not that interesting. It works better as mown lawn. The mystery ground cover on the side of the house, however, stays nice and low and is pleasant to walk on without any maintenance at all.

So tomorrow I will need to try to do the things I meant to do today: laundry, dishes, paper wrangling. The usual.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
I picked my tomatoes and peppers and was roasting the peppers and deseeding the tomatoes when I hear some sort of gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment start up. Being nosy, I peer out my window to see who is mowing on Sunday evening as it's an unusual time. Much to my surprise, I find my neighbor (not my immediate neighbor next door, but the guy who built my fence (and who will not be building the remainder of my fence, I did not enjoy working with him at all, though the fence is fine)) taking a weed whacker to the grass by my front steps. So I throw open the door and ask him to stop and that takes a while to convince him that, no, I really want him to stop, really. He toddles off and I go back to my tomatoes to be interrupted by a very similar noise. He's back on my porch with a freaking leaf blower. Jeesh.

Admittedly, my lawn is overdue for mowing, but I was just yesterday being grateful that I'd let it go for so long because now I can see saplings that I think are the same kind of tree as the one that broke and I'd like to, you know, not mow them down. And the only reason I didn't mow today is because it will be cooler tomorrow. Which I would have told helpful neighbor dude if he had, you know, knocked on my door and asked if I would like him to mow my frickin' lawn.
multipurposegoddess: (Default)
So, you may or may not recall two weeks ago I ended a post with the news that half my tree had broken off, but it wan't the part with bees, at least? It was really like a quarter of the tree, and my family took care of chopping up and removing the branches for me the day after the funeral.

Well, the bees are safely moved into a hive in the backyard. Mostly. A small clump,I don't know if they are my bees that would prefer to live in the tree or a new and much smaller swarm, but they are clumping up in a branch of the same tree.

Only they can't really do that anymore. 

Yesterday I noticed a crack in one of the other of the trees four trunks (it's a very confusing tree, complete with cement filling parts of it), took a closer look today to confirm that, yes, it is a crack but, no, none of my birdfeeders, etc., were hanging on branches that issued from the cracked trunk, so I fiigured I'd wait until tomorrow morning when it should be cooler and trim off some of the smaller branches and see what I could do.

About an hour after that, I heard a huge crack and watched that trunk topple over and land on the other two, breaking them as well.

So I guess the bees won't be living there anymore, wherever they came from.

I got the lower two trunks sawed off and some smaller branches lopped off. It all landed inside my property and not on anyone or on anything except birdfeeders which I have mostly retrieved. The rest will be fine waiting until I'm rested and/or it cools off a little.

This is why I can never write my memoirs, contrived plot developments like this.

Day 15 of mourning, whee.

multipurposegoddess: (Default)
What was happening with me yesterday? Oh, right:

  • 11:48 Lemon tree planted. Hill maybe half built.
  • 16:12 Herbs, tomatoes, peppers planted; lavender repotted. Still have impulsively bought corn to deal with. Tomorrow is soon enough for that. #fb
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So what we did, was, we took the wheelbarrow full of broken up cement that I think were from the old fence and laid them out in a circle, poured some drainage rock over that, poured some sand over that, and put potting soil on top of the sand. Voila, hill. Teeny tiny hill, maybe a foot high, but it's in a very flat backyard and I got all excited about terraces after watching the Nova on Macchu Picchu and wanted to build a hill.

On the hill, I planted a couple of rosemary seedlings scavenged from my mom, garlic chives, chives, oregano, tarragon, thyme, lime thyme (so fun to say!), and sage. The parsley, if you are wondering, is in the kitchen.

i'm very pleased with the job we did putting in drainage for the lemon tree - I watered it for half an hour with th soaker hose and didn't get a pool of water. I hope it lives. Another volunteer from my mother's yard, rescued from the impending master gardener design.

DH put the tomatoes (we ended up with 5 plants, all heirlooms) in individual pots, and the peppers (6 anaheims and a sweet pepper we were told was similar to an anaheim but sweet instead of hot (and, I think, red) but whose name I cannot remember) in a window box style pot (though it is not in a window, it is over next to the fence with the tomatoes). He also started a Toyon bonsai, it will be exciting if it lives.

Moved the lavender into a bigger pot, it was amazingly rootbound. Put a Lily of the Nile in the lavender's old pot. I still have two or three of those to find homes for, and a couple of camellias. Put the chocolate mint (which smells SO GOOD) in a little pot which would be perfect except it turns out to have no drainage holes at all, so I need to move that. Still need to move the orange stars into a bigger pot.

And the six corn seedlings that we just could not resist (I love fresh sweet corn with an unholy passion, but we hadn't planned to grow any or prepared a plot for it or anything) are still sutting on the table waiting to go in the ground. I have sort of a plan for dealing with them. They'll go along the fence, behind the lemon tree, and they'll get some nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Maybe I will invest in some fish meal for them, though I really don't like the smell.

Oh, put some catnip in a hanging basket. Hopefully, the cats won't find it and rip it down and devour the whole plant. I think I have foiled them logistically, but they can be quite resourceful.

It's supposed to rain today. And most of the week. I hope it is the gentle rain that droppeth from heaven like mercy and not downpours that will drown everything and erode my soil. We shall see.

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multipurposegoddess

July 2014

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