♪ While Blazing Through the Jungle One Day….

♪ In the rainy, muddy month of May….

♪ What to my surprise,

♪Appeared before my eyes…

♪Once all the grass & weeds were cleared away…

Pic Post of Before, After, Projects, Unknowns

Picture of overgrown back yard
Flash flood and thunderstorm warnings last night until 9:34pm – Waited till 9:30 this morning before firing up the power tools, in hopes things would dry out some.

Fired up the weed whipper and started in the southeast corner of the north-side backyard – confused yet?    Before I got really to work, took a pic of one of the plants that grows here and there on my place, that sort of look like Nasturtiums, but aren’t and I thought might be Creeping Raspberry after reading the post by fellow blogger over at My Food and Flowers.

(Thanks for offering to help identify – most likely a weed, but hate rip out if it isn’t…  🙂  )

Picture of unidentified plant
Creeping Raspberry? don’t think so, as it doesn’t stick around all year –

Then I realized that either the salsify or Welsh Onions I companion planted with the hastily built beds for strawberry plants received last year (1 – one stinking strawberry plant survived out of..like..138 of em’….) are coming along nicely – – Think it’s the onions, but after looking at pictures for both salsify and welsh onions, content to wait and see what kind of bloom appears, or wait and dig one up, so I’ll know…for sure…

Picture of Welsh Onions, maybe
Believe the tall stalks to be of the Welsh onions I planted last year, but never made an appearance until now.

And the other bed, which was planted with strawberries, welsh onions and 3 various types of lettuce last year have zilch, nada, oh -wait – there’s some volunteer lettuce…  🙂

picture of lettuce
Lettuce that was planted last year, and never seen to harvest, now is showing up this year….

The man-child-unit stopped his mowing activities and called out to me,

“Mom – do you want me to mow around this?   Is it a keeper?”

picture of white flower
Unknown Pretty I hope a bloggy pal can identify –

To which I replied,

“I have no clue what it is, but it’s pretty – mow around it and I’ll see if I can find out what it is….”

Here and there, mushrooms are popping up – some local wild ones are edible, some are not, need to call Mr. Gardener Extraordinaire to have him come identify which ones are which:

Picture of wild mushroom
I think this is the one he told me last year was good sauteed in butter – but will double check, first….
Picture of Mushroom
I think this is the one that either kills you or makes you wish you were dead after you awaken a week later to a fuzzy dream of running through the local park, naked, while bystanders stood in shocked amazement –

After the man-child-unit got one side cleared, decided to take a grand-sweeping picture of no-longer-such-a-jungle against the backdrop of my Golden Currants and Sand Cherries planted last month:

Picture of back yard, after mowing
The Golden Currants are leafing out faster than the Sand Cherries – but they all have green appearing – Yay! I didn’t kill ’em while planting ’em!

And here’s a close-up of the Golden Currants and Sand Cherry bed –

Picture of Golden Currants and Sand Cherries
Back row – Golden Currants – Front Row – Sand Cherries – yes I planted ’em close so they’ll fill in faster – my local extension office mentor said I could. 🙂

Remember 2 years ago, when I finished the north side of the house on grading/mulching, weeding just before the gully washer storm appeared?

Picture of ground elderberry and vinca plants
Ground Elderberry and Vinca birthday plants – north side graded/mulched/planted – 2013

And 20 minutes after I collapsed on the couch from exhaustion:

Picture of flooding storm - 08/03/13
August 3rd – Rain, Rain and some more Rain – the river is the drainage ditch

Well, back to the north side – – the Vinca and Ground Elderberry are coming along nicely – a nice ground cover that is still not clearly identified, but plays nice and puts up beautiful spikes of purple, that was carefully left alone has now spread from it’s little corner located about 25 feet away to move it’s way to being a beautiful ground cover across the entire north side of the house:

Picture of vinca and ground cover
I love the ground cover that has so steadily grown – without being a hog or in need of mowing -the leaves with purple blossoms is the vinca.

And, a pretty, I didn’t plant it there, white tulip raises it’s long head over another clump of purple vinca

Picture of Tulip and Vinca
Purple and white – without me half trying –

And finally, a shot of one of the Chokecherry bushes:

Picture of Chokecherry
Chokecherries coming along nicely

Oh, and remember how I left my Amaranth of last fall to naturally drop it’s seed?

Picture of Burgundy and Golden Giant Amaranth
This is what the west fence bed looked like last fall

Well, I despaired my lazy plan had worked, but noticed today there are tiny burgundy amaranth sprigs poking their heads up out of the ground – I forgot to take a pic and it’s raining/lightening again – so will try to remember to do so tomorrow.

Happy Green Growing Things Season! 🙂

I Tried To Be Good….But I did Lie to You…

There are actually 41 Poppies  – –

I got the carefully watched and left undisturbed wild poppy area weeded today.

(to the internal tune of Count Dracula, from Sesame Street, chanting,

“1, I count One Poppy! 2, I count… “

And then heard him exclaim,

“WTH!?! You said the highest I had to count to was 12!  You want 41 now?  We must count winks then….”)

After clearing out the tall native grass, I counted each existing plant and the picture doesn’t capture all of them, BUT, I have more wild poppies than I previously thought or reported to you:

Remember when that area looked like this?:

Picture of Wild Poppies
Before – Over 20 wild poppies this year – once I carefully clip all the grass away, I may just discover more!

Now, it Looks Like –

Picture of Weeded Wild Poppy Area
After- Hope I didn’t weed native grasses so much that I deprived Poppies of support and late spring snow protection!

Finally, another spot soon to be finished…

The above picture is of an area located right in between the iris/rhubarb bed:

To the west
To the west

and the soapweed/tulip/daylilly area…

Picture of tulips
To the East

After 3 years of having a slowly diminishing pile of sand/fine gravel mix,

(delivered by my generous neighbor for the long ago scrapped first plan of what to do right next to the house….)

I’ve decided to level it out over the entire area (over the shorn heads of native grass and layers of newspaper) nestled between the two finished areas, re-arrange the rocks to encase the entire area, top off with quite a few inches of dirt/compost mix and the new home for Amaranth and Wild Poppies will be complete.

Funny how this all came about so well without me planning it on purpose-

I was surprised to discover the length of the two existing areas, cleaned and neatened yards and months apart, actually line up almost perfectly, so the rock border to enclose everything won’t look like I was tipsy when I laid it out..  🙂

I do Confess to Having an Uneasy Conscience…

…over clearing out that area of native grass – not sure exactly what kind of grass it is, but it’s hardy, has deep roots that are aerating the soil, grows fairly tall, in amongst other plants, but doesn’t seem bent on strangling its’ neighbors –

If it could be happy only reaching three or four inches in full height, I would leave it alone and cherish the ground cover that requires no mowing.

The future will tell if Mother Nature is pleased with my weeding efforts or not.

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Yes, I did mislead you about how many poppies there were  – but not on purpose –

If you sue me for leading you astray in my amateur-half-arsed gardening attempts – have fun with that –

You can’t get blood from a turnip, but if all goes well, you can safely ask for your ‘jury awarded compensation’ to be paid in turnips, over the next 50 years….

🙂

Will there be Amaranth this Year? (and other experiments…)

Last fall, I clipped a few stalks of Amaranth to tie together with fresh basil for pretty fall bouquets and left the rest to naturally dry out, scatter their seed – hoping they go forth and prosper –

Picture of Burgundy and Golden Giant Amaranth

This past week, I cut down the stalks, and finely raked the bed, wondering if the experiment of ‘self-seeding’ will, in fact, work….

AmaranthBed2015

Amaranth is a drought-hardy, sun and heat loving plant.  Absolutely tasty in pancakes, waffles and blintz recipes, it is fine textured and, to my taste buds, slightly sweet.

It does require moisture to begin with, but last year, I merely scattered the seed, watered in, and tried to water every 3rd day until the seedlings appeared – some weeding & thinning only – watered it twice all summer.  So little work for such a pretty landscape – 🙂

The Amaranth bed has been  one of many of my ‘let’s be lazy and see what happens’ experiments –

Picture of jerusalem artichokes

I also left all my Jerusalem Artichokes in the ground – just to see what will happen – there are some suspicious holes – Oakley, the wonder dog, looks somewhat abashed when my stern gaze moves from the holes to her  – maybe she hasn’t been eating as much of her food because she’s been living off artichokes this winter…

Since I still haven’t figured out what exactly to do to make the south perimeter rammed earth tire wall prettier, (since my initial idea of stuccoing it won’t allow for me to plant in the top), I’ve decided to plant my squash in the tires, so trailing vines cover them for the season, and maybe put some bamboo tripods in, so Scarlett runner beans can reach for the sky  –

I briefly considered doing 3 Sister plantings in each tire, but nixed that plan as even if it did work having the corn spaced so, I would have to get on a step ladder to harvest it, seeing as how the wall itself is already 4 foot above ground level.

So, 2 sisters it will be – or perhaps a few tires with sugar baby melons or sugar pumpkins with peas – I’ve dutifully kept and carried with me, every move since the divorce, the bag full of worn out pantyhose saved from the days when I labored in hell, aka, office attire –

I started saving them for ‘gentle cradles’ to support melons when I first learned of the vertical gardening method.  Whether they will be needed for trailing down instead of up, I know not, but  maybe this year, I’ll finally find out!

Ahh, Yes – Hope does Spring Eternal for the wanna-be-gardening soul – 🙂 –  Armed with a new list of dreams/hopes and plans – I shall march into the coming year with a light heart and smiling countenance – willing to do/dare/learn the hard way  – I love experimenting each season – especially with a nonchalant, hands-off approach –

I love to watch how well Mother Nature does with as little interference from me as possible –

Except for bindweed and pig weed – I interfere heavily and often for those two foes… 🙂

pig weed

ID 10 TS

I would like to give you pictures of the landscaping projects that are in process – – or have been accomplished….

Or show you how high the Jerusalem Artichokes and Sunflowers are, or how beautiful the fantabulously drought-tolerant Golden and Burgundy Amaranths are –

Alas – despite my best intentions, I had little website work in June and now, 3 sites to get up and out for approval by end of next week – –

An existing customer called a few days ago and asked for some documentation for their funding resource – seems what I previously provided was impressive in it’s low cost, but they’d like to have another meeting and have new pages that are clearly marked as to which phase we are doing when – –

They are dragging their feet – says I – They’ve had this information since April – – You continue to pay out of pocket each month, as they ask for more stats, watermarked estimates, etc…..

This is why any business I launch is paid for by me – – -too much time/trouble convincing investors and the time spent jumping through their hoops could be put to good use actually BUILDING something –

Alas, I always gravitate towards business ideas that rely on my own brain, skill, know-how and existing tool set – – Not everyone is so lucky – there are those grand ideas that need funding for buildings, equipment, R&D, prototypes, etc….

Now that you know the history, my customer advised, part way through the conversation, as I added the required text to each phase estimate and cut/pasted the documents into one long historical document, for their printing convenience, he said,

“Well, you just have to deal with ID 10 TS’s”

And, swear to gawd! I did not get it until I wrote it down – – Sheesh!  I need a vacation – – –

🙂

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I realized I had once more slipped into Dereliction of Duty status here at WordPress when Sue left a comment to check and make sure she wasn’t missing my new posts in her email inbox and to make sure I hadn’t died – – Thank You, Sue!   You make me feel so loved and cared for!

(Want to see amazing art and gardens?  Check out Sue’s slice of cyberspace!)

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And so, dear friends, neighbors and family here at WordPress – I’m once again working my tail off – trying to keep ahead of the curve ball and failing to take pictures of anything as I race from one project to another – –

But I’m doing my meditation and heat lamp treatments religiously – –

I’m only working a max of 14 hour at a time and making sure to get a good night’s sleep – –

And I’m slowly, but surely, implementing lessons learned from the past…

Except for how durn long it takes me to get caught up when I don’t log in and read every day!

🙂

Hope this finds you well and I’ll catch up with your world here soon – feel free to leave a comment, begging me not to leave 23 likes and 8 comments on your blog all at one time, at the end of July, when I can luxuriate in reading all day long once more …..

You ask and I swear, I’ll space them out to one a day – – 🙂

Amaranth and Flowers

Last post the ugly ‘before’ pic showed up in the reader first – yes, I’m lazy and fail to use the featured image option most days – –

So, I’ll show you the ‘after’ view – depicting the fence area cleaned yesterday and the portion of the fence row I got done before running out of the awesomely priced edging bricks I picked up for the whole strawberry episode (the stones were priced so nicely, I bought all I could afford – had enough left over to get this latest project 1/2 done – )

Gold and Burgundy Amaranth
Gold and Burgundy Amaranth

And now, the ugly before pic –

amaranth

Around the tree area, I put down a flower seed mat I purchased from Yankee Candle – What?!? You didn’t know they sold flower/garden stuff?   Okay, I’ll tell you the story – My co-worker’s granddaughter approached me about buying something from their fund raising catalog from Yankee Candle to support her 4-H group – choking back a sigh, I looked up the website and vainly searched for something I actually wanted to purchase and support her cause – – lo and behold, they had flower seed mats and I bought six, gleefully pulling some money from my garden/landscaping budget to make a good showing as a philanthropist that supports local youth groups instead of buying what I could afford out of my discretionary budget, which had already been blown supporting my son’s baseball teams’ quest for summer camp and uniform money – – (Netted Little Caesar pizza kits for when I’m too tired to cook dinner out of that donation….)

I’ve tried the mats before (from other fundraising fiascoes) and haven’t ever had much luck with them – but what the heck, a donation is a donation and perhaps these will work – –

white area is the flower seed mat from Yankee Candle, before thoroughly covered with dirt and watered.
white area is the flower seed mat from Yankee Candle, before thoroughly covered with dirt and watered.

And finally, the part where I had to stop because I ran out of black edging for near the fence and stones for the front  – But Friday is  payday and my budget for ‘Gardening:Supplies’ will be replenished!  Can’t wait for TGIF!

Oops! Ran out of supplies - I was tired of lugging dirt, anyways.
Oops! Ran out of supplies – I was tired of lugging dirt, anyways.

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We started off this project with the wheelbarrow to haul the dirt in – as I knelt near the front, to keep the edging stones from getting pushed over and scraped the last bit from the barrow, a loud ‘bang’ went off – I thought one of us had been the victim of a drive-by shooting and quickly looked to ensure the boy was still standing – –

Alas, we filled the barrow too full and didn’t do proper maintenance – the front tire ruptured itself smack dab in the middle, resulting in my ears ringing for a good twenty minutes – who knew wheelbarrow tires could be so scary and noisy?