Monday’s Rambles ~ 10 October 2011

Saturday we went up to Susanville, Ca to the Rails to Trails Festival ~ hand car races, chili cook-off, crafts.

Then drove to where my husband grew up, Litchfield…they have an awesome wildlife refuge up there and we thought we’d look for some date nails from the old railroad tracks too.

But this is what we found of the tracks that his dad used to ride ~

They pulled the tracks up! No more hunting for date nails…no more walking the tracks…why’d the pull the tracks?! Sell them for scrap? Big sigh.

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Yesterday we were busy with yard work ~ we yanked out what was left of two bush/trees from the side of the house along the driveway.

The previous owners put down at least 6″ of rock in there! Got the wheelbarrow out and shoveled rock to the front and side of the house…would rather have bark/mulch, but the rocks are there and free.

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Planted a Hypericum inodorum Mystical Red Star where three diseased dying elm trees where cut down…once the stumps are ground down I’ll plant more in that area.

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Had to replant some iris and mums to make room for the October Glory Maple tree coming on Thursday! Soon we’ll have the prettiest tree on the street! 🙂

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Also yesterday, I made 8 half-pint jars of Pepper Jelly using the jalapeño and serrano peppers my sister gave me from her garden.

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Made up 12 soy candles for a craft fair coming up in November…still have another 8 or 12 to make, but ran out of jars (made lots of jelly this summer).

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First Day of Spring in Northern Nevada ~ March 2009

After begging for last Friday off from work…I spent the whole day in my yard! And while my body revolted on Saturday…it felt VERY GOOD! Especially with it being sunny and 70F (then it was blowing & snowing and 40F over the weekend!)

Started at 7am in the back patio cutting the 6′ dog-eared cedar fencing down to 63″ (I had painted them the night before)…I needed to make a 4 foot section of fence to replace the tree/shrub my husband cut down on the side of the property. Took me about an hour to put it all together by myself…if you don’t look hard enough you can’t tell it’s a bit crooked. 🙂

Four Foot Section of New Fence ~ Right Side.

Four Foot Section of New Fence ~ Right Side.

After getting the fence up I headed to Lowes to pick up some things I will need for the drip system. I didn’t get all I needed to do last year, so will finish it up this spring. While there I HAD to make a detour outside to look at all the new plants that came in. I bought some small containers of herbs ~ dill, lemon thyme, spearmint, oregano and something else that escapes me at the moment. Also some cabbage and broccoli.

Called my mom to see if she was home and if she wanted to go with me to G & G Nursery (I can’t find a website for them, but here is a map with some reviews) with me to look for blueberry plants. So I swung by and picked her up…found the blueberries! Yippie! G & G Nursery has 3-year old Blue Crop and Berkeley plants…bought 2 to go with the one my mom gave me from her yard. Also bought the last of the elderberry plants (the berry one and not the ornamental ones…they have lots of those).

While looking at which blueberries to buy I spied a wee Blue Atlas Cedar in a 10 gallon tub…with no price on it. He told me that I can get it for 30% off if I wanted it…I said I wanted it, but would have to wait until I get paid. My mom bought it! 🙂 THANKIES! (Remind me to remind you that you already bought me an early, very early birthday present!) So we loaded up the car with the plants and swung by my house, unloaded the Lowes and G&G Nursery plants then hopped into the pickup to go get the tree.

I now have a Blue Atlas Cedar in the front yard!

I now have a Blue Atlas Cedar in the front yard!

See all the river cobbles around the tree? Well those came from the hole I dug for the tree…I told you last year I think a river ran through my yard. I’m pretty sure if we looked at old maps that it would show the Truckee River meandered through my yard pre-1915!

I also planted the 2 blueberries (plants in corner…with blueberry from mom’s house), 1 elderberry (right side) and 2 jasmine plants (left side) in the corner where I put up the new part of the fence. I’m hoping that if I build some hay houses for the jasmine that they will live through our winters…gotta give it a try!

Blueberries, Edlerberry, and Jasmine.

Blueberries, Elderberry, and Jasmine.

I’m debating on planting the herbs in the middle…probably in a small raised bed. Or they may go up front with the Blue Atlas Cedar. Right now they are in the old wash sink in the side room of the house. And since cabbage and broccoli are cool weather plants, I went ahead and planted them in the back raised garden beds.

Also planted ~ a packet of Lemon Queen Sunflower seeds that I found at my local Lowes in Sparks… these are for the Great Sunflower Project I told you about last week.

Lemon Queen Sunflower Seeds

Lemon Queen Sunflower Seeds

Around 4pm I wandered back into the house and realized I didn’t take anything out to make dinner…nor was I in any shape to go out and get something. Luckily I had a bag of leftover ham in the freezer…and some lentils in the pantry…chopped up an onion and a green chile, put that and the lentils and the frozen ham into my cast iron pot, poured some chicken broth over the whole thing. Then crawled into the shower.

Very sore on Saturday…but I wouldn’t ever trade a day like Friday for anything but another day just like it! 🙂 I get a lot done with my husband at work and out of my way! LOL!

Front Yard Landscaping after the death of the Junipers

Well…we finished yanking, pulling and cutting those junipers out of the front ne corner of the lot. Only 3 truck loads to the dump! LOL! Still have a few piles of juniper debris to bag up and then we can level out the corner a bit…rearrange all the river rocks, then plant and regroup the drip system.

BEFORE!

AFTER!

We plan on putting in a drive pad (whether it be concrete or just rock) in part of that area sometime in the future, so I will not be planting anything between the 2nd and the 4th posts (see third picture).

My plants of choice are:

Grappenhall Lavender, English Lavender and French Lavender, Russian Sage, Yellow Coneflower (see picture below), and maybe a White Flutterby Bush.

I thought I wanted a fruitless mulberry tree for the very front yard…but I’m now thinking about a shade tree that turns pretty colors in the Autumn, which is my favorite part of the year. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I live in Zone 7.

Ohhhh….just found this ~ a ‘October Glory’ Maple! Very pretty. Fast growing. In my hardiness zone!

A Weekend in the Juniper War Zone

I’m very, very, very tired today. And my arms and legs look like I was in the middle of a cat fight…and lost. My hands are swollen and hurt…carpal tunnel will be hurting them for a few weeks. 😦

It’s amazing how much work we’ve done, yet have soooo much more to do. So far two truck loads and 26 trash bags…at least one more truck load and many more bags to go. There are two Arborvitae to take out, one more juniper and lots of trunks.

I’ve sketched out in my mind what we will do in that area once finished…immediately in the corner next to the church will be plants like Flutterby Bush, Russian Sage, and Lavender…then there will be an area left open facing the street for a future drive pad…then a Fruitless Mulberry tree.

Yesterday while taking a break I was just staring into that mess when five of the “teenager” scrub jays went to investigate. They loved the trunks…great place to crack open their goobers. And the black cat across the street had the funniest confused look on his face…staring up and looking around where, I’m sure, he used to lay in wait, under cover, to attack birdies.

It boggles my mind why ANYONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would plant junipers! There are so many prettier shrubs to plant ~ like butterfly bushes, forsythia, barberry, hydrangea, lilacs!

Waging War Against the Junipers Continues….

We have once again declared war against the junipers in our yard! This war will be a triology…not sure when we will get to the last part.

This time it’s on the NE corner of our lot…there are at least three junipers with pretty big trunks. Me thinks they’ve been there for over 30 years.

Here is a before picture after I trimmed them down somewhat in the spring.

And here is what we’ve done with one saw, one hedge trimmer, and my pruners. They’ve been there so long they are growing in and out of the fence. It’s slow going. Going to have to take a few trips to the dump again…we’ve piles on two sections of our fence. Ultimately I’d like to have a drive pad in that corner as we have no off-street parking. I will be planting a fruitless Mulberry near there…more towards the irises. I love those trees…fast growing and a great climbing & shade tree, not that I’ll be doing much climbing in it. 🙂