Sunday, January 24, 2016

Baby, it's Deep Outside!

The blizzard of '16 is finally gone.  I understand it has a name, and altho we have definitely been introduced, I don't know what it is.  It matters not.  S/he dumped a lot of white stuff in my neck of the woods. 
Friday morning - one hour of snow.
Sunday morning - all the snow.
Look closely and you can see the pot.
The weather guessers are saying 12-14 inches fell, but with the drifting it's greatly more and greatly less depending on what the wind did and when.  Fortunately, it's pretty dry and fluffy, but getting a foot or so off the driveway will be a challenge.  We suddenly realize that we are the "elderly people" on our block - you know, the ones that the newsfolk have been warning people to check on.  Would someone please check on our driveway?  I have an appointment on Thursday!

New Cryptomeria.  It's 33 inches tall, but only 11 inches above the snow now.

The new veggie garden - that fence is 24 inches tall.

The view down the street.  So far, two vehicles have been down the street,
altho neither was a plow.
Who can resist snow-covered nandina?

The 'Carolina Yellow Jessamine' is fully budded and ready to open....
well, I hope it will open now.

It is pretty tho!  and, we have plenty of food and wine.  Let the hibernating continue.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The First Snow ....



... of the season is always magical - whether it's paralyzingly deep, or just a dusting like we are getting today.  Either way, it pulls me repeatedly to the windows to just watch. 
Surprise!

This one sneaked in this morning while I was working at the desk.  I didn't see it begin, but just looked up and voila! there was snow in the air and snow on the ground. 
I love the red nandinas with the green hollies both dusted in snow.
Only the grass was covered early and not much on the mulched bed.

It's still coming down in big puffy flakes and only covering the grassy areas, so the road will stay clear and easy to drive.  What could be more perfect?

Same spot three hours later.
Hope your Sunday has been peaceful, too. 







Friday, January 1, 2016

Oh, the Possibilities ....

January 1st - literally a clean slate. So many options.  So many possibilities.
Enjoying the warm December weather and blooming its head off.
 [Camellia japonica 'Professor Sargeant]


2015 was a year of change and transition.  Retiring was so much more daunting than i had expected.  It turns out that nearly 25 years in the same job tends to cause one to identify oneself by that job.  And, suddenly it was gone.  Did that mean that i was gone, too?

The summer passed in a blur of pretending that it was a long vacation. 

It was not until fall when i started taking classes and established a new routine, that i began to feel "normal" again.  "Normal" is so comfortable.

Today, tho, i feel settled ... a new routine, a new normal.  And, a clean slate upon which to write a new year.

Thank you for being "out there"; for your support thru this year of change.  I wish each of you a very Happy New Year, filled with new possibilities, new adventures and new dreams.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Fall Project

This remarkable fall has been wonderful!  Yesterday it was 77 degrees [normal is 55-ish] and just the latest in more than a week of warmer than average days.  Today and tomorrow should be the same and then it will drop all the way down into the mid-60's for a few more lovely days.  We may be back to "normal" by Christmas weekend.

I have not wasted this wonderful weather miracle.  Everything [no, really, everything] has been deadheaded.   You know it's done, when you wander from bed to bed looking for something to cut back!  Bed are now mulched that have not been mulched in years; all the root suckers removed from the shrubs; the cutting garden top-dressed, and a fall project completed.

A "Kitchen Garden" has been on my radar for several years.  I collected pictures and plans; i thought and thought about what might work; i drew several sets of plans.  And, finally, a class assignment in one of my horticulture classes pushed me over the edge and i finally did the work. 



This was my "old" veggie garden - a raised bed (36 sq. ft.) set in the middle of the flattest, sunniest part of the yard.  The shed is to the left and the edge of the carport to the right. [All the other photos are taken from the other end.] It was the only viable place to grow veggies.

Staked out and grass killed - we lived with the stakes for a couple of weeks - adjusting them until we were comfortable walking around it, and then i killed the grass.  


There will be two layers of fencing - first a wire mesh (above) to keep the critters out.  It is buried three inches into the ground.


This may be my favorite part.  There will be a six-inch planted border all the way around the garden.  In the "front" it will be annual flowers - some are already seeded in.  In the back it will be okra, and down the sides it will be lettuces and other greens.  It will give me an additional 26 sq. ft. of growing space. 



The master builder in the family made two new raised boxes for me - a total of 72 sq. ft. - and i put down a bale of pine straw for walkways.


The nearly done garden - with the pots it's slightly more than 100 sq. ft.  White picket fencing all around and in each corner will be a big blue pot - you can already see one with herbs on the right and one with blueberries on the left.  I think peas on a tuteur in the right far corner and more herbs in the left far corner.

All that's really left to do is to finish mixing the soil and start planting!  I can hardly wait.