armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
Today we went up to Shupp's Grove to see a couple of plant vendors. We ended up picking up a Dark Knight Buddleia (butterfly bush in dark purple), a two year old lavender, and a three year old lavender from one, and then three pots of Scabiosa and three pots of Coreopsis of the yellow variety from another and narrowly missed out on what looked like a three or four year old lavender. I am slowly digesting more of the books. I read through large chunks of the tree and shrub book today in the car on the way to and from Shupp's Grove.
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
We went to one of the plethora of nurseries on Route 100; Agway, and purchased a delightful brown/red pot that will now sit on the spot where we previously had a 50 foot oak tree. We got some plants to put in the pot, but [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com] and I could not agree on the plants, and it was hot as all hell. After a while I just started caving, and that just pissed [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com] off more. I thought they closed at 5, and it was nearly 5:30 so I was anxious not to piss off the nice lady helping us, but it turned out that they were there till six anyway. That not-withstanding, we had to pick up Hannah for a trip to Chucky-Cheese at six in Pottstown, so I was very conscious of the time, and [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com] and her mother had turned up fairly late, so we were all very hot and kind of grumpy by the time we actually started considering plants. Fortunately [Bad username or site: firinel'/ @ livejournal.com]'s mother new of a Rita's Water-ice up the road, so she took Riordon to get some delicious goodies which cooled us down nicely.

I started thinking that perhaps given all our leaf debris and twigs and grass that we should start composting. It's basically free dirt, and I figure with our grand plans on rebuilding the yard, it would be a great cost saver. I have a book from the Rodale Institute on composting that is amazing. Reading it over the last 24 hours has enlightened me to a whole new part of gardening, though I skimmed the first few chapters that talked mainly about the history. Apparently if you hot compost, you can get compost done in as few as 14 days! They say that it requires you to keep on top of your Carbon Nitrogen (C/N) ratio in your compost really carefully, but I'm a scientist, so I figure I can manage that if I pay attention. I now have to find places I can pick up the various ingredients for a successful compost heap besides leaves and grass and soil (although our soil is pretty crappy, so maybe soil too).

The men are coming probably the second week of July to pull out all our existing shrubs and perennials (though I was considering saving some of the day lilies). I was planning on doing large parts of it myself, but the reality is that it's probably cheaper for me to pay someone to do that work and for me to spend that time working.

I have been reading books on perennials, but there is just so much information, none of it seems to be sinking in. I still don't know a hollyhock from a gardenia from a rhododendron (well okay - I have a good picture of hollyhock, alias digitalis) but thats one of the few I remember so far.

We have a pretty good vision of what is going in the garden. The composting bins are a new addition though, and I will probably build them. Does anyone have experience building composting bins? Is cedar a good choice? The book recommends using pine that has been painted or treated, but spending all that time messing around with paint seems like a big waste of time if you could just use cedar. I'm not sure on the price difference though, so maybe it's worth it to paint the pine. I will probably draw up some plans and go to Home Despot and Lowe's to get a feel for the price of the components. Their website are just the worst websites ever, can't find a darn thing on there.
armtuk: Cheetah (Default)
So after the debackle with the computer, we decided to go to Lowe's to pick up some paint for Riordon's room to re-touch the sealing edge, and we also needed a weed whacker (Yes, we got paid! yay! [livejournal.com profile] marnanel if you are reading this, send me an invoice!!!

I got the weed whacker together and started it up, wow it's loud. I go back into the yard to start working with it, and it's really not working as well as I had expected, plus it's kinda awkward to work with, and there is no easy was to rotate the head for a good edging on my lawn, so I gave up on that idea. Finally I went into the back yard to do our piece of lawn at the top of the back. We have a three tier thing going on with our back yard. The bottom tier is ground level and has grass. The second tier is about 2 feet wide and about 3 feet up and has flowers of various kinds, and the top tier has trees and grass and extends into our neighbours yard behind us and is about a foot and a half about the second tier. I get up onto the top tier to weed whack the grass. It doesn't really work very well - it was more work than using the mower, which in future, I think I'll just do that. Anyway, getting up to the top tier is a bitch because there is a tree, and a big holly bush right there. When comming down, I figured I would just take a short cut down the tiers. Heh. Stupid Alex. I put my foot on the wood edge to the second tier to jump down, and my foot slipped, and I fell. It was a big relief that I didn't break anything. I'm kinda sore in my leg and my shoulder, on which I think I landed.

I think I'm gonna go hack that holly bush back a bit and walk around the tiers next time.

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