Thursday, August 17, 2017

Make Way for Monarchs

Last year I started working on making my gardens
a monarch waystation
(you can read about that here).
I was little discouraged because I didn't really see many monarchs.
Actually, I didn't see any.
But I did see some swallowtails, 
so it was worth the work.
This year was entirely different.
I discovered that I have monarch caterpillars all over my milkweed.
And I also see 5-10 monarchs in the yard at any given time.
Hoping to eventually see a monarch chrysalis or 10
on the milkweed soon.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bathroom Magic

In addition to being visited by the Bathroom Fairy, 
we've also been visited by his counterpart: The Plumbing Fairy.
Here you can see the shower basin in place with the Plumbing fairy
my husband Big E working on the shower faucet hardware.
There aren't many photos to show, 
but we have checked toilet placement,
and added plumbing lines for sink, shower and toilet.
I'm happy to report that there are no leaks
as I was instrumental in helping with checking the lines.
It is important to make sure when checking water lines that you have a bucket handy
just in case you can't tell if the faucet hardware is turned to the "on" position.
Also, remember to empty said bucket after it fills with water
from the turned on shower
so the Bathroom Fairy your Dad doesn't find his bucket full of water.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

More Progress

After some setbacks in the bathroom,
we're once again back on track.
The shower basin we had ordered
turned out not to be what we needed.
So I went back to what I wanted originally- a 42"x42" square base,
and planned to move the toilet
(apparently you can't have your toilet and shower within a certain distance
which was causing design issues, but problem solved).
So the Bathroom Fairy showed up and built the partition wall for the shower stall.
The front (where the ladder is) will be a glass door,
and there will be glass on the top of the partition wall.
More has been done since these photos, 
and I will reveal that progress as I manage to catch up with posts.
Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Phyllis the Polish Crested

One of the new chickens is a Polish Crested.
She's basically crazy.
Because her feathers fall into her eyes, 
she can't see the best.
So if, say, you were crouched by the coop watching the chickens,
and this chicken came running over,
she'd suddenly freak out leaping and sqwaucking
because she didn't see you right away.
My mom named this particular chicken Phyllis Diller.
You might notice the resemblance. 
There's also the crazy factor.
Ms. Diller (the human) was known to be a little wacky.
I always loved Phyllis Diller, 
mostly because she was a guest on the greatest show that ever was:
Scooby-Doo.
The episode was titled: A Good Medium is Rare
and it's posted below if you'd like to watch.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mulching: Before and After

 I've been waiting over a year to be able to
share before and after photos of the yard.
Finally, I have a mostly finished product!
This is the view from our back door looking down to the back of the property.
And this is the same view now.
 And another view closer to the garage.
 This is of course the view from the beck of the property
looking back towards the house.
 And the same view now.
 Close up of the old lilac bush that was outside the back door.
It was rotted and not in great shape.
And now it's gone.
The large area in the photo that doesn't have plants
is the future site of the water garden I plan to put in.
There will be a waterfall in the back right corner of the house.
I'm hoping to be able to do that late summer/early fall
if I'm lucky.
Another wider view of the area.
This is a shot of the side of the house
and the lovely yews.

Another yew full frontal.
And here we are yew free.
This was a really big transformation.
We went from the yews to yew stumps 
to nasty grass and weeds 
to this.
A photo of the area on the side towards the back.
The room with all the windows is the laundry/mud room.
And here is the little garden now.
There was a garden there originally,
but it was full of weeds and mint.
Mint is the devil.
DO NOT plant mint directly into your garden!
Trust me.

Another view of the yews from the front of the house.
And the new view.
I'm thinking of planting a climbing vine on the rain spout.
A clematis would look good there,
and it would give the garden some height.
We don't have a front yard at all- the porch touches the sidewalk,
so I need to make sure the areas I have close by really pop.
Here we have some random shots of the new gardens.
We will eventually replace the old nasty wire fence
with a privacy fence.
The rest of the yard will be picket fencing.
I originally stuck my grandson's playhouse in the garden
to take up space.
I've decided to leave it there for now.
I had the idea to use containers 
and let him plant some annuals to have around his house.
The garden angel that was once my grandmother's.
Now that everything has been weeded and mulched, 
and all the plants have been planted,
it's time to make a list of what plants I'd like to add.
I have another hydrangea that was part of my wedding decor to transplant, 
and I'd like to get a lace cap hydrangea too.
Big E wants a rhododendron,
and I've saved room along the side of the house for that.
I need some more milkweed,
and I also want
rudbeckia (brown eyed Susan),  lavendar,
phlox, columbine, hollyhocks, and some coreopsis-
plus whatever else I happen across that I like. 


















Monday, May 15, 2017

Mulching for Mother's Day

 So, I've been dying to get all the flower beds mulched
since last year.
Last year, we dug out a circle around the cherry tree and
gardens along the fence in the back yard.
We only managed to mulch the area around the tree last year.
This year, we dug out more garden area along the side of the house.
Since it was Mother's Day, 
I used it to my advantage and requested slave labor all day for mulching purposes.
 This was the first load of mulch.
We didn't just have mulching to do, 
that would have been easy.
We had to edge and pick up piles of weeds and grass
as we went.
We filled 10 large trash bags of yard waste when it was all said and done.
 In the end, it took 3 loads which equaled about 6-7 cubic yards of mulch.
Everything has been done except 
around the tree.
The transformation is amazing,
and I'll be blogging before and after photos soon.
I still have some areas to fill in with plants
(there's a list)
and hopefully later this summer or early fall
I'll be able to start on the water garden.
I guess now with all the weeding and mulching done,
I have to clean the house.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

I Dig Perennials

A couple of weeks ago, my mom, Big E and I 
went to a family friend's house to snag some perennials.
Existing flower beds were going to be dug up
to make way for their awesome new barn.
And since I have tons of garden space to fill, 
I jumped at the chance to score free plants.
We might have gone a little overboard.
We had to stop because we ran out of room.
Granted, the photo shows plants for me and my mom, 
but the only room on the back seat is a small spot for my mom
on the passenger side.
I'm still planting stuff.
It's slow going when you need to weed before planting.
Hopefully I'll have some great photos of the garden beds once 
they're weeded and mulched!