egwenna: (Default)

container effort
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
Most of my front is done in pinks, blues, whites and purples (the previous homeowner was big on purple, I've been thinning it out with other colors), but the front containers have been orange and yellow since I got my dalias. So, this is this years effort. Verbena, million bells (Calibrachoa), the dalia, agastache (hummingbird mint) and Lysimachia... which is better known, I think, as creeping jenny. I wanted something that might drape but be less appetizing to the deer than the sweet potato vine. Hopefully this is it. The tag says it's a perennial, but so is the agastache. This year I'm going to try and protect them and maybe they'll last.
egwenna: (garden)

Ficus carica
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
The garden is waking up.

The tulips and early things have come and gone, but the pansies are in full bloom and the peonies are loaded with buds. I've filled in the white garden with a few impatiens while I wait for the rose, daises, anemone and self-seeding snapdragons to bloom later in the summer.

Where I had dill and cilantro in full sun, they bolted and self-seeded, so I have lots of little sprouts. The dill will probably go to salmon and potatoes, the cilantro ... I'm thinking fajitas.

It has never worked for me, but I started a bunch of things from seed this year. I gave up on the peppers and bought a pair of plants. Ditto the tomatoes. The zuchs, pumpkin and cucumber seemed to be doing well, but didn't transition to outdoor life easily and now look sad. I may stick in new seeds and start over. The basil seems to be doing okay, though Princess dug them up and only three of the plants came up. But that was easy enough to reseed. She also chopped apart half a dozen seed packs and dumped out the contents... so I lost the parsnips and everything else I was going to experiment with. Ah well. I never got around to ripping out the pine tree to make space for a little fenced garden, so I really don't have a place for them anyway. But it would have been nice to play. The plan now is to do it this fall so I can set up the beds and be ready with a cold frame next spring.

Always more to do, but it's fun work. :-)
egwenna: (thumbs up)
After a confusing false start and a visit from the guy who closed my pool to figure out what the heck I was doing wrong (I was closing pipes instead of opening them...), I have my pool open. Yay!

They lost the clip to the sweeper, it fell off the hose and is now laying a the bottom of the deep end. I knew something was 'off' but couldn't figure out what I was missing. So I'll have to find a way to fish that out and visit their store to get another one. I rather expect them to just replace it, but we'll see.

The only issue left to resolve is that my outdoor outlets aren't working and no one can figure out why. The pool guy spotted a little fuse switch in the pool box and that fixed one of them, but the one up on the deck that we use most remains off. Which is very frustrating.

At least the pool is working and in another day or two it'll be all sparkly and pretty.

And then I can spend two or three days ripping out thisles and weeds from the bed behind the pool. Some of the shrubbry is so overrun and so riddled with dead branches that I want to rip out most of the back bed and just start over. But I'm going to have to start small and I'll be happy just getting the worst of the weeds out and maybe putting in some sunflowers. :-)
egwenna: (nanowrimo-just write)
The trashcan that smelled as if something had crawled in and died is washed. The dahlia and canna are dug up and stored. The fig has been brought in for winter storage, too. The house is vaccumed, my dragons are hatching and my words are written.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,801 / 50,000
(21.6%)


Good night.


Adopt one today! ~*~ Adopt one today! ~*~ Adopt one today! ~*~ Adopt one today!
egwenna: (Default)

Flower shopping with Mommy -1
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
Elly and I had a good day. Brian took Isaac for a train ride (on the commuter train a couple of stops) and Elly and I went shopping. Mostly we bought flowers. I was hoping to find more poppies since mine didn't come back, so I stopped at a smaller nursery that had them before, first. No luck, they'd already sold out. But we found a few things we liked and then it was off to the big place for a few more things. Elly picked out a 'hen and chicks' for herself. Now quite sure what attracted her to those, but she put a lot of effort into carrying the pot to the cart, even fell once. I figure it'll do well in a larger pot by the pool area.

I got one small bed redone. Several of the new things went in ... a few of which might ultimately get moved because I'm not sure they're going to get enough sun. But we'll give 'em a year or two and see how they bloom. Then I divided up some of my smaller lilies, taking a whole clump out. This summer I want to clear the bed on the next tier up from the one I did today and make it a (mostly) white garden. The only non-white will be the rhodies and an azaela.

I'd have gotten more done but after naps Brian took Isaac to the playground and left Elly with me. I'm not sure why he couldn't take both (what does he think I do???) but keeping her in sight and shoveling through very rocky ground makes for VERY slow going. And my already sore shoulder and now achey back are likely to be singing the blues tomorrow. Which is likely to make yoga really challenging....
egwenna: (Default)
I've been working on my high school reunion the last few days and went crazy on the people search. I finally dropped $20 on a search site because we've hit a wall and weren't getting anywhere. It was only a 24 hr pass, so I was up til midnight running searches on every person left on the list. As a result, I've found six, but I have information of some sort for everyone. Pity 80% of it will turn out to be crap. :-p

The key though -- find the parents. They don't move as often.

But being up that late, sitting, didn't do me any favors. So now I'm groggy and achey and Princess is officially mobile. Monday I put her down after playing in the shower and while I was putzing I realized the sound of her playing had changed. I stopped to listen and realized she was no longer in her room. I went to check and, sure enough, she's sitting in the hall just outside of Isaac's room. She laughed when she saw me, quite pleased with herself. Here it is only two days later and she's already better at crawling. Amazing how fast they start to improve once they get the idea of how it works.

Now, to figure out how to gate off the stairs before she topples down them.... and no more just putting her down to run and get things.

And, is it just me, or are weeds totally out of control this year? I've spent hours pulling them, at this point I've caved, bought Roundup and I'm spraying them, and yet, they're EVERYWHERE. And the poison ivy is completely out of control. It's really beginning to tick me off. I try to keep it in check by working things out with a trowel to get the roots, but right now, organic isn't working for me and tomorrow I'm buying more Roundup. I hate weeds. Hate them! And the mountain of mulch I've been moving is still a mountain. Two more days til my first party and the yard is not presentable. I am vexed. :-/
egwenna: (garden)
We had tree work done and I ask the guys to dump the chips in the driveway because I'd use them for mulch. Well, I got a whole truck load and it's an ENORMOUS pile. HUGE. And a bit smelly because it rained, the water rushed down the driveway and the pile soaked it all up. Fun. Moving this pile, one little cart full at a time has been a painful process. My back hurts, my abs hurt (from shoveling and wrestling the cart up and down the hill I suppose), my face is sun-burnt, my butt hurts and while I've put a dent in the back side of the pile, I've got a really long way to go.

Next time, I think I'm going to have them cart the chips away.

And then there's the new journal... and the whole Plus Ads thing now going on. I think this annoys me more than the pretty pictures are worth. :-/
egwenna: (Default)

Trollius chinensis Golden Queen
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
Made it to White Flower Farms yesterday ... late. I couldn't find the baby's hat (still can't find the baby's hat!) and with having to stop and get gas (I've still got sticker shock) and missing a turn, I was half an hour late to a one hour lecture. That vexed me. But the part I heard, I enjoyed and the walk was interesting.

Of no surprise to anyone, I came home with a box of plants. :-) I have to start rearranging and filling in all the areas that croaked. One of my favorite new aquisisions is the baptisia. I think I'm going to put it where the dead juniper is on the wall with some ornamental strawberry. I should get before/after pictures, but it's going to be a work in progress for a while. If the baptisia does well, I might rip out a few other things and fill in with that. It's pretty, it flowers, it's native, what's not to love?

The only frustration for the day was that it was hot, I had to use the stroller to keep the baby in the shade and pushing a 30 lb stroller + a 15 lb baby around when the whole farm seems to be on a hill gets tiring. Plus, princess wasn't happy about being in the stroller so she fussed, which makes it very hard to relax and take pictures.

Of course, the hill also provided the funniest moment. At garden centers they always have carts or wagons or something for you to load up plants (I used the stroller basket). A woman wasn't paying attention and the next thing I know there's a runaway wagon racing past me with a person who had no hope of catching it trying to run after it. I didn't see the wipe out at the bottom, but I know there are stairs there.....
egwenna: (Meez)
The last three days I've gotten a lot done in the yard, finally have flowers and ... ow... No matter how much time you spend at the gym nothing really prepares the body for the amount of abuse gardening can dish out. But the drought damaged alberta is moved (damn root ball was twice the size I expected it to be), weeds are pulled, big pots by the door are loaded with annuals, and now I just need to take a pass at pruning.

Then I can start thinking about what to do with all the evergreens that look half dead. Some need yanked, others might be salvageable, and then I have to figure out how to fill the empty places. Good, because I've never been thrilled with stuff, bad because a lot looks like crap all at once and it's going to be a ton of work.

But it really is so nice to be out in the dirt. :-)
egwenna: (Default)

I'm outta here!
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
The little man and I planted seeds. They've sprouted.

The pumpkins are impressive little guys and there is much excitement over their 'arrival'. Sadly, the tomatoes look wimpy and the flowers look even sadder. Hopefully, now that the cartons are open and they're getting light, they'll improve. We'll see how many survive....
egwenna: (garden)
I got a small corner of the garden reworked. It's the tip up by the end of the driveway and it's not more than 3 x 4', but at least it's a spot I see every time I drive in and out. I dug up the lilies and divided them ([livejournal.com profile] a2macgeek there is a box enroute to [livejournal.com profile] djinnthespazz and plenty to share), I think they're all "Happy Returns", cheerful little yellow fellows who are reblooming. I added some Stella d'Oro and Rosey Returns, so there will be a wider variety of color, dug in some daffodils and popped in some pansies, a mum and an aster. I don't expect the mum or aster to come back -they never do, even when they're supposed to- but at least it looks nice for now.

So much more I want to do - like all the other day lilies that need divided... but it's not happening today. We'll see what happens tomorrow or maybe Tuesday. I'd like to get more bulbs in, but that's less likely to happen. I don't have them now and what I want I can't find locally and by the time I get them I probably won't be able to get them into the ground. Ah well. Next year.
egwenna: (garden)

IMGP4377
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
When you grow things and they die, you have a 'black thumb'.
When you grow things and they do nicely, you have a 'green thumb'.

So.... what is it called when you grow things and they bloom in seasons to which they do not belong?

I'd taken the shot right before we left for Nova Scotia and when I was cleaning up yesterday I passed the plant again. Two dead blooms reminded me that it had bloomed and that I'd taken note of the event. Apparently it's happy where it is.
egwenna: (garden)
I was out weeding today and kept coming across clumps of poison ivy again. Pretty, dainty, tiny plants that look so innocent if you don't know them for the evil things they are.

And... ya know.... there is a malicious, nasty little part of me that wants to keep them. Transplant them, even, to the places in my yard where the neighbor's kids barrel through my flower beds as they expand their yard into my driveway, flattening everything in their path (while their parents stand there and pretend its okay until they see me). But then my clueless tot would inevitably fall victim as well and its really not an option.

But one day.... I might be that evil scary old lady next door.

Poison Ivy

Aug. 2nd, 2006 09:06 pm
egwenna: (garden)
In the end, I did have a mild reaction... at least, I think I did. A few itchy spots broke out on my right hand in about 48 hours, but they were gone a day later. A few little bumps have cropped up over the last few days on my left hand/wrist and they have persisted. Seems to be a bit of a time delay, but they do itch and I don't know what else they would be. Given that I was in short sleeves, shorts, sandals and bare handed, I have no complaints, but it did prompt me to finally do a little research.

And I'm really glad I didn't get cocky and assume I'd be okay. Apparently people have done that and suffered horribly. Allergies are fickle - you can grow in and out of them and immunity to this stuff is equally come and go.

The two sites I've decided to save:

www.poison-ivy.org, mostly for the comprehensive photo gallery. This I've sent to friends who've commented that they aren't sure what it looks like (one just moved from a concrete jungle to a more suburban setting with trees. I'm willing to bet there's poison ivy in and round her trees and with two little kids and a dog, she needs to learn who the enemy is). The site also has a useful FAQ.

http://poisonivy.aesir.com, more for the Fast Facts page than anything else. But it has a broad 'treatments' page and options seem like a good idea since everything I read said all treatments do not work equally well for all people. It also has a Warnings! page which I thought was good. Who the hell thinks you should put bleach on your skin?? Apparently I missed that suggestion when I was skimming through everything else, but I never would have considered it.

crud

Jul. 25th, 2006 11:00 am
egwenna: (Default)
My MIL warned me that Isaac couldn't be out in the pool area because there was poison ivy in several places under the mable tree (which the pool edge goes right to). No biggie, I need to pull weeds because some areas are getting out of hand anyway.

This morning, I grab bags for trash and march out. There was one tiny leaf of poison ivy under the maple, the rest was all something else. It had three leaves, but that's where the resemblance ended. I keep going because there's a ton of other stuff. Mostly I'm aiming for the weed-fest visible from the deck.

I work myself back to the marshy area of the lawn that we really have to do something about and ....damn.... there's a vigorous healthy bunch of poison ivy growing with this other thorny vine that I'm forever battling. I guess they buddied up? 'You protect me, I'll protect you?' Grrr... so, I need gloves, a shovel, and just to be safe I decide it's time to break out a little herbicide.

Guess who shows up right behind me? "Whatcha doin', Mommy?" He tries to get past me. A hip-check to the head stops him and I manage to back him up and send him on a mission to find the shoes he's discarded. Now, the clock is ticking. He's seen me back here. He's seen my reaction. This will be the first place he aims for the moment my back is turned. He can open the sliding glass door and I'll never have enough time to get the tools I want before he can get back here.

Damn.

Here's to hoping my usual lack of sensitivity to poison ivy holds.
egwenna: (Default)
The last of my rose cuttings died. *sigh* There was one doing really well, and I had high hopes and then the bugs tore it apart and it never recovered.

Next year.

On the other hand, as if it needed to prove it was actually a weed in disguise, the cuttings from my butterfly bush are blooming. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it, or where I'm going to plant this thing but it's about ready to be put in the ground. Might yank something else out to make space. I like being by the pool and watching all the swallow tails that come to visit.

And somehow, I need to have the energy to pull up and divide an awful lot of day-lillies. This year and last they were pitiful. I'm guessing they need divided and then next year I'll fertilize too. Anyone want some yellow day-lillies? I have tall ones that just finished, and shorter early season ones (not stellas). By the time I divide I'm going to have oodles of them and that's just more than I need. I have some purple ones too... sort of mid-height that bloomed with the tall yellows. I have lots of pots and compost I can stick them in until I see you next. Come ACUS I can always knock the dirt off and just bring the bulbs/tubers.

Walking around the yard today I saw all the things I still want to get too... and it's just too darn hot in the afternoon for me to have a prayer of getting any of it done. I keep saying I'll go out first thing in the morning and it just hasn't happened. I water, pull a few weeds and then it's time to get ready for something else. It doesn't feel productive (beyond making sure nothing croaks).
egwenna: (Default)
We've had two days of non-stop gloom and rain. At some point yesterday @#$@#$% deer ravaged my white rose. The one I was trying to propagate (that hasn't gone as well as hoped) and that I've been looking forward to. It was covered in blooms just about to open. Half the plant is completely destroyed and branches have been broken off so that the central woody stalk has huge gaping wounds.

We need a longer, more liberal hunting season. It's not like there's not other food. Or that it's dry. We just have about 100 more per square mile than is sane.
egwenna: (Default)

peony1
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
Peony was especially a "remedie for those that are troubled in the night with the disease called Ephialtes or night Mare, which is as though a heavy burthen were laid upon them, and they oppressed therewith, as if they were overcome by their enemies, or overprest with some great weight...." (The Herbal or General Historie of Plants, 1633 edition)

I have been remedied. I swear, Sunday, when I was watering the puttering around, the peonies were hard little balls. Today, driving out for swim lessons, I had to stop the car because most of them were exploding.

This is only their first spring, so they're still establishing themselves. Should be even lovlier next year.

In other news, the instructor for Isaac's new swim class wasn't so sure about having him there. The other kids are 3 - 5 and he looks so little next to them. And it's so hard to ask him to stay at the wall and wait. At his age, they just don't quite get it. Like when he had to stand in line and wait to jump in. He had no idea what that was all about. Today, coincidentally, was also 'test day' when they evaluate all the kids to determine what class they will be in next session.

The little man is a champ. He needs to work on kicking and he was a little uncertain in the new environment, but when it was his turn to push off the wall and swim to her, I told her to stand back and he took off. She was surprised. She retested him and other than the kicking, he passed everything and he'll be one of only two students who move up. Go little man.

And the city was good. For next time I need to remember to slow down and give him a chance to take things in and not get caught up in the hustle. After all, where really am I in a rush to get to? There were a trio of girls playing violins that we stopped to listen to. The steel I-beams are just the right width for him to stick himself in and sit down and we did stay there a moment, but he would have been happier with a moment more. I just get worried about the time and the fact that he hasn't had a nap. Live and learn and hopefully remember so I don't have to relearn it *again*.
egwenna: (Default)

"Honey Perfume"
Originally uploaded by egwenna.
Today went okay. The sun finally came out yesterday evening and stayed around for the day, though they tell us the clouds are going to move back in and we'll get yet more rain over the weekend. :-p

Having sun helps, because my stress levels are stuck at critical mass. The hard drive is toast. We figure the update wrote to a bad sector, probably created by a dying power supply, and then we fracked it further with the restore and recover efforts. I wish it had hung in there one more hour so I could have finished getting stuff off. Brian wishes we'd spent the money and replaced it the moment it started acting flaky. Funny the different perspectives.

The new machine is ordered. Our first 'standard' machine, ever. All of Brian's machines we've built, or they were custom ordered from high end companies because the work he does is a little intense. It's one of those that just blew up. The geriatric machine I'm on right now I built .... 8 years ago? At one point in time, I had a clue. But I've a new Dell on the way, new monitor he insists I need and a semi-free printer he figured he'd get because the price was right. The new machine has two hard drives (my geriatric machine does too) for back up purposes.

In the meantime, our recover efforts continue. My calendar/address book is gone. My saved email, favorites and all that are also gone. My pictures.... we'll know in 5 days when the utility finishes. Thankfully, most of my favorites, the really good worthy shots are uploaded to either flickr or ofoto. So I'm not completely sick, but I know there are a lot of good shots that aren't.

But it was a nice day (I'm trying to focus on that). Isaac and I went to pick up my blue butterfly bush and we both paused in the roses (the path led through that section) and Isaac insisted, "Mommy, stop. Smell roses." and so we did. Stressed as I've been the last 24 hrs, I could have sat down and just breathed for an hour. The rose that he wanted was a lovely apricot, I decided I knew just where I'd put it and we took that home too.

I hauled a good size barberry bush out of the ground and relocated it a few feet to make room, but I thought the apricot and the maroon of the new barberry leaves made a lovely contrast. My arms are a little tore up from the barbs, but I managed to get the beast wrapped in newspaper and tape so it was moveable. In the fall I'll have to trim those pretty heavily, and hopefully the rose will grow a few inches and be more prominent.
egwenna: (Default)
I am currently in the market for a new computer. MS did an update I didn't ask for and didn't okay and ever since than the machine doesn't work right. We tried going back and restoring from another point and that hasn't fixed the issues. Most of the time it says it can't do the restore. AOL won't load, which doesn't much matter except that it took all my saved (game) mail with it, much worse is that the USB card appears to have finally bitten the dust. The hubby got me a 120 gig hard drive for Mother's Day (knowing my machine was on the fritz) but without the USB port it doesn't work with my computer. *sigh*

I knew the machine had issues, but I was really hoping it would hold out just a little bit longer. :-p  

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