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Showing posts with label yard work. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yard work. Show all posts

Monday, March 26, 2007 2 comments

The Downside of Spring

Shovels, rakes, and implements of destructionVery few things in life are purely good or purely bad, and that includes spring. The downside to spring, of course, is yard work. It was quite warm, bordering on hot, over the weekend, so there wasn’t much excuse to stay inside.

WisteriaMrs. Fetched decided that the entire front bed needed to be tilled up so she could re-arrange it. Figuring it would be easier to till up without the stepping stones in the way, I pried them out of the ground and stacked them off to the side. There were 25 of them all told, some of which were buried under dirt or plant-sprawl. This wisteria was hiding two, maybe three of them. I just probed around with the shovel, heard the tonk, and pried out the stone.

The hard part was when I started tilling around a couple of the butterfly bushes along the driveway: I’d forgotten those beds were graveled (easy enough to do when the gravel is covered with dirt, grass, and leaves). The Mantis about shook my arms off before I was done. We covered that area with mulch cloth and eight bags of pine bark. I also appropriated three of the stepping stones so I could cross it (on the way to Studio FARfetched) barefoot.

Thrasher nestBrown Thrashers are Planet Georgia’s bird, which is appropriate. They get into your business, attack their reflections in car windows, and roost in inconvenient places. Like the little porch in front of the studio. They’ve been roosting there at night through the winter, and I’ve shoo’ed them away I don’t know how many times (and ducked many more times when trying to go in and they freak out). Although it was rather warm in the studio, I had stuff to do; the thrashers kept flying back & forth outside, waiting for me to leave.

ThrasherHere’s one of this year’s houseguests, perched in the dogwood outside Studio FARfetched, waiting for me to get back to the yard. They’re going to love it when I replace the burned-out light bulb on the porch. I figure I’ll wait for the young to get gone, then I’ll put tack strips in the rafters. They can use one of the several bird houses we’ve put up around the manor.

The upside of spring, of course, is that I’ll be riding the motorcycle to work. Daughter Dearest is getting Cousin Splat’s parking permit, so she can drive herself to school…

Saturday, March 03, 2007 4 comments

When is beach grass not beach grass?

Broom Grass out frontAnswer: when there’s no beach. Then I guess it’s broom grass. Mrs. Fetched says so anyway, and I have no reason to doubt her.

Shortly after I took this picture, I got the weed-eater and cut it all down — I figure it will come back better now that it’s gone to seed. Before that, I zapped the frondy border plants that are supposed to be cut back every year. I cleaned up some of the big garage, finding three washer hoses (all bad, according to Mrs. Fetched, so why were they in there?), several half-used bottles of motor oil, infinity dead ladybugs, and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff that will get carted to the community yard sale (I think they start next month). Daughter Dearest’s boyfriend got an NTSC monitor for his PlayStation, one of four that Mrs. Fetched had laying around from her analog editing days — to my surprise, he took the smallest one because it wouldn’t require a lot of space. I think I’ll take the other three to the yard sale too, mark them as “gamer monitors,” and see if anyone bites. Somewhere in there, I put the wick in the kerosene heater, but I think I need to dump the old kerosene and try again.

But I digress. I also began a pine eradication program harvested my mulch garden. I’ll let them dry out for a month or so then feed them to the chipper-shredder. We transplanted some bushes, then I got the Mantis out and tilled up a bed and planted some garlic that my friends gave to me. I covered the dirt with some of the brush grass, hoping that will keep the dogs from digging in it. Finally, we fixed the weatherstripping on the bottom of a door. Yeah, it’s been a busy day, but it beats chicken house work. :-) Besides, it’s part of my escape plan: we can’t get away from the chicken houses unless we sell FAR Manor, and we’ll have a better chance of selling it if the place is cleaned up. So I’m going to work on getting rid of stuff we don’t need, which will make the rest easier to keep tidied up!

March has definitely come in like a lion. The claws (heavy storms) went well south of us, but the roaring wind is still with us and probably will be through tomorrow.

Monday, January 15, 2007 2 comments

Winter yard work

Global warming aside, winters tend to be mild on Planet Georgia. At least they seem that way to one who grew up in Michigan. Mrs. Fetched got me doing what I’d planned to do anyway — cleaning up the yard. I’d taken care of the front yard a while back, but had an issue preventing me from going much further.

She wanted to move some plants around, as part of a master plan to run a driveway loop around the front of the house, so we tackled that first. A yellowbell that gets run over a lot (like it cares) already was in the way of the proposed loop route, so we moved it out back. Five cypresses that grow into monstrous Christmas trees have sprouted around the big one (pictured here), so we dug up three of them, moved one to the back, and potted the other two. We can’t think of a good place to put them, so I think they’ll go to her mom.

That left the leaves — and without a generator, the blower couldn’t reach past where I’d already cleared things out. But when there’s a will, there’s a way, and Mrs. Fetched is nothing if not willful. She brought the blower around to the back yard as I was raking out from under the steps (a corner that traps leaves) and suggested we could use an outlet on the porch. It then occurred to me that there was an outlet just inside the basement door, and that was enough to get us going.

Even with fewer trees out back, we had a lot of leaves on the ground. Once you get beyond a certain point, the blower really isn’t much help — you just have to wade in with a rake and plow them around with your legs. We eventually got them down into the moonscape where Buster T. Butthead has his run, so now he has plenty of nesting material. We loaded up a tarp and took some of them to one of the pens as well.

While working on the leaves, I noticed the yellow berries on the backyard hollies — but we raked until things got dim so I had to wait until this morning to get pictures. The light was better, so it was probably worth the wait (and thank God for another day off!). I also dragged out Clickzilla and took a few more; I’m looking forward to seeing how those turn out (film, jeez, how did we ever cope?).

We also designated one of the beds as the Official Herb Garden. I’m not going to move what’s already established — the rosemary plants are happy as can be, and the parsley took a big hit during the summer but has started recovering with cooler weather. I was given a big pot of garlic, so that’s going to get planted shortly, and I have chives in a pot that need to be planted. I’ll get some mint and oregano when the spring shipments start.

The bottlebrush aka Pampas Grass is still looking good out there. Some of the trees have already started to bud out, which is not good — we have at least two months of Anything Goes weather ahead of us, and I’m pretty sure they’re going to get clobbered by March.

Now that I’ve upgraded the blog, I’ve also tied it to my Flickr account. I’ll be futzing with the layout later, perhaps today.


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