Warm Days Cause Bulbs to Bloom

February 12, 2017

img_2067img_2068We’ve had a few warm days, although the cold weather won’t stay away for long.  All of a sudden, I have daffodils and lily-of-the-valley blooming.  I’ll get these marked on my new layout plan.

In addition, leaves are coming out on the roses and the leaves of the iris are looking perky.

Previews of spring!

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Labyrinth Gardens and Alzheimer’s

February 12, 2017

This link is to an interesting article on labyrinths and Alzheimer’s patients

http://stoneartblog.blogspot.com/search/label/Garden%20Labyrinth

Oak Tree in Winter

January 31, 2017

This is my largest oak tree.  I planted it as a sapling when I moved in.  It is now 40 feet tall.

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Clearing Brambles and Overgrowth

January 23, 2017

It’s time to start clearing overgrowth, deadwood, weeds, etc.  These photos were taken during the dead of winter.

img_2037A major area that requires pruning is a climbing rose given to me as a cutting by my neighbor Marilene years ago.  The small, pink climbing rose is pretty, but it quickly turned into thorny brambles that I wasn’t expecting.  It grows like a weed and roots everywhere it touches soil.  I need to cut it back and train it to grow where I want it.

In addition, Passion Flower vines have traveled underground and sprouted up throughout the garden.  I want to save some of these, but many have died in the last freeze and they must be removed.  At any case, they need to be cut back.

 

img_2038Update 1/24/2017

The photo to the left was taken from behind the chiminea.  I usually let this corner of the garden grow a little wild.  Garden lore says that if you let a small space in the garden grow wild, “the fairies” will live there and make your garden grow lavishly!

If that’s true, the fairies should be delighted.  This area is so overgrown at this point that the lines of the labyrinth can’t be seen.  There is much to clear.

However, there is some St. Augustine grass that has grown into the beds.  I need to leave that so that I can move it in the spring.  Also, leaves must be left in the beds to insulate the ground from the cold.  There is also another major climbing rose planted in this area.  Everything else can be removed.

Update 1/27/2017

I pulled down the deadwood from a multi-trunk ornamental tree in the corner. img_2050

Update 2/12/2017

I removed much of the excess at the end of January.  I took photos today.  We’ve had a few warm days here, and the roses have begun to show leaves.  I need to finish that project before the leaves become thick.

This is the same arbor as the first photo above.  I basically cleared all the dead stems.  Now I have to tame them.

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The next two photos are (1) taken from behind the chiminea, showing the same area as the second photo in this post, and (2) the area directly to the right of it, which has also been cleared.  What remains are “volunteer” trees, which will have to be dug out by the roots.

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The Leaning Chiminea

January 15, 2017

My chiminea was leaning backwards,  but the area around it was very overgrown so that the cause was not apparent.

My chiminea was leaning backwards, but the area around it was very overgrown so that the cause was not apparent.

When I looked closer, I could see that the concrete base on which it sat was ajar.

When I looked closer, I could see that the concrete base on which it sat was ajar.

When I removed the leaves that had accumulated on the base, I saw that the back portion of the base was out of place. I thought that perhaps I could just reinstall that section of the base.

When I removed the leaves that had accumulated on the base, I saw that the back portion of the base was out of place. I thought that perhaps I could just reinstall that section of the base.

When I removed the leaves that had accumulated on the base, I saw that the back portion of the base was out of place. I thought that perhaps I could just reinstall that section of the base.  Once I cleared out the overgrowth in back of the chiminea, I saw that the base wasn’t the issue. The back leg (on right in photo) had collapsed, causing the weight of the chiminea to be unevenly distributed. The uneven weight likely caused the movement in the base.

Once I cleared out the overgrowth in back of the chiminea, I saw that the base wasn't the issue. The back leg (on right in photo) had collapsed, causing the weight of the chiminea to be unevenly distributed. The uneven weight likely caused the movement in the base.

This chiminea previously held a bed for a neighbor’s dog so originally did not have a base. When the dog bed was no longer needed, the neighbor discarded it and I put it back into use as a chiminea. The only base I could find was less sturdy than I wanted, but it seemed to be sturdy enough to hold temporarily. Because of my negative opinion of that base, I collected two additional, stronger bases that were discarded by neighbors over the years. I will need to replace the damaged base with one of these.

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1/23/2017 Update

img_2036I found this product at Home Depot.  It is Rust-o-leum High Heat spray paint that stops rust and will also withstand the high heat of the chiminea.

1/24/2017 Update

It turned out that the original base was not bent after all.  The concrete pavers underneath the chiminea were set on top of sand.  Either the sand shifted due to weather or it wasn’t an adequate surface for the pavers.

I removed the sand down to clay, removed clay as needed to provide a level surface.  I am going to use that as a surface for two layers of smaller pavers.  I left them for awhile, walking on them whenever I was in the garden to make certain the soil didn’t settle unevenly.

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2/6/2017 Update:

There appears to be no settling in the soil, so I am adding soil into the space between the pavers on the bottom level.  This soil settles as I continue to walk across the area.  When it appears there is enough soil in-between the pavers, I’ll add the second layer.

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