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About a month ago I noticed that I had a dead pine tree in the back yard, one of the two trees holding up younger niece's hammock, in fact. As said tree is at the fenceline, at a corner of my garden shed, and at the corner of the neighbors' house (not my brother's family but the other neighbors), it needs to come down.

More, with satellite view of the lot )

The cats, of course, find this all very distressing. People walking by the windows, strange noises including the occasional loud thump--all this on Friday, when I'm supposed to be available to provide a cat-lap and other services as required. It's Not Right.
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...the Atlanta Botanical Garden, not my little backyard. The ABG has these programs periodically as a membership perk, but as most of them are scheduled on weekday mornings, I generally give them a pass. Today's topic was enough to drag me out, though: "Pitcher plants and dwarf sumac: a love story". Doesn't sound thrilling to you? Perhaps you didn't spend large chunks of your formative years wandering around a south Georgia pitcher plant bog with your parents. <g>

The talk, the breakfast, and all that )


Jul. 10th, 2005 09:57 pm
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I finally began an attack on the weeds in the garden this weekend. I pay a lot more attention to my back yard than to the front (I go through the back yard to my brother's house, and that's the area where I allow the cats out for a few minutes at a time, etc.). The front, therefore, tends to look pretty bad before I notice. Most of the front is mulched areas under the trees, with some plantings mostly along the front walk and then a strip of lawn at the street to the corner (where I removed the grass and put mulch around the forsythia bush) and up the side street.

The area on either side of the front walk looked particularly bad, and the corner near the forsythia was right behind it. Saturday I pulled weeds for 45 minutes or so at the front walk then spread a bale of fresh pine straw. Today I went out again trying to beat the storms that hurricane Dennis would bring, and ended up spending 4 hours pulling weeds. The storms held off long enough for me to get just about every muscle sore. The front walk and the corner both look a lot better, though, and I also did a little transplanting of some of the impatiens that re-seeded on the corner, trying to recreate a cluster under the hickory, then a swath swings around the tree and across part of the mulched area. Lots more to do on that, but at least I got a start. Dennis is now watering my transplants for me...
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Well, sort of idled away. Friday at least was busy, it's just Saturday and Sunday that seem to have been mostly spent working jigsaw puzzles.

I did get part of the "shopping for Daddy" list done--the list, and why )

and some gardening )


Jun. 19th, 2005 10:20 pm
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Been a while since I spent some real time in the garden. Last weekend would have been ideal for tackling the weeds, as it had rained the entire week before. However, I was in a post-travel veg-out mode and did nothing. This week was dry, so no weeding--it'll be much easier and more effective if I wait 'til things are moist.

I did plant blue star creeper between some of the stepping stones leading to my brother's house. what did get done in the garden this weekend )
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The last couple of weekends were pretty productive in the gardening arena, though as usual I bounced from task to task leaving many partially done. One big task was digging out 6 or 7 greenbriar bulbs from under the big azaleas on my back fence line. However, there are still about 3 or 4 shoots that I've marked to try and dig, before going to the Roundup strategy recommended by [ profile] trolleypup.

Of building walkways, liriope, whacking shrubs, liriope, transplanting ginger, and liriope )
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I got overwhelmed by Things, mostly work-related (which deserves its own post--another thing I'm behind on), and quit posting here. Also quit reading most email, and newsgroups, and Livejournal friends as well. Well, Things were over, mostly, last week, but this week got filled with combinations of "post-stress brain fade-out" (wanna just re-read favorite romance books and similar activities requiring little mental effort) and spring fever. Sometime soon I'm going to have to make real progress on my taxes...

So, Spring. It's here, by both the calendar and the Atlanta weather. Forsythia is already leafing out after blooming, the daffodils are about gone, and the dogwoods will pop out in white and pink soon. I've been puttering in the garden with some of the spring cleanup--taking the old flower heads off the hydrangeas, removing the deadwood from same, cutting back the old stems from the lemon balm and the pineapple sage, transplanting some phlox to a better location, and weed weed weed everywhere. I worked for hours on Friday trying to remove more of the greenbriar under the big azaleas in the back yard--I'd like to get all I'm going to do before the azalea blooms and attracts the bees. I think I got 5 shoots dug out. There's 2 big clusters of 8-10 shoots each left, plus isolated shoots coming up right next to the azalea trunk--those will just have to be snipped and poisoned. Once I get past the greenbriar, there are several big blackberry canes that need to be pulled up as well.

Today I turned over the bed where I've let the nieces and nephew plant stuff, and we planted 3 tomato plants (two cherry tomatoes, and a roma). And we started zucchini, cantaloupe, and sunflowers in peat pots, and then turned over the flower bed at their house and scattered zinnia seeds there. I still need to plant the hosta and the herbs I bought at HomeDepot yesterday, and create a long curving area in the front where I want to try strewing impatiens seeds to see if I can get a swath of color across the yard. Next weekend, maybe.

Note that none of the kids eat tomatoes or zucchini. Cantaloupe, yes, but with our sporadic gardening I'm not promising that we'll get any melons. But it's spring, and we had fun digging and planting, so who cares?
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Yesterday was sunny and about 60 degrees, so after my Jazzercise class I pulled on an old sweatshirt and headed outside to enjoy the weather. After aborted attempts to start sanding off the rust and old paint on the bird-feeder pole (that hasn't had a feeder on it in a couple of years), I moved behind the pole to the last "wild" corner of the yard.

Since I bought this house, I've been gradually reclaiming parts of the yard from an excess of English ivy. The back yard began with a border of the stuff growing out about 4 or 5 feet into the yard from the ivy-covered back fence-and-wall. By now (10 years of sporadic efforts later) the ivy has been reduce to some covering the fence down to the wall that's below the fence, a few patches of re-growth, and the one wild corner where the ivy still covers the ground, several overgrown azaleas, a couple of hydrangeas, and whatever else might be hiding back there.

A few weeks ago I took the pruning saw to the front of the azaleas, and cut them back so the branches no longer touched the feeder pole (which would have provided easy access for feeder-raiding squirrels, once I've got a feeder again). Yes, I know it's not the time to prune a spring-blooming shrub, but I gotta do these things when the urge hits, and just sacrifice the flowers for this year. That pruning let me move in underneath yesterday, beginning with pulling ivy, then breaking off dead branches from the azaleas, pulling up 7-foot-long dead blackberry canes (this corner is a favorite bird perch, and many seeds get planted in the undergrowth), and doing a little more pruning of living branches.

To give an idea of "overgrown azaleas": I can stand up underneath these, in the interior that hasn't been getting enough light to grow leaves. Now that I've sliced several feet off the front of the bushes, I hope the young suckers and sprouts will fill in the middle, and I'll have an area of azaleas with the same height as the old, but about half the width.

After about 2 hours I quit, having pulled the ivy from somewhat less than half the corner and having piled up lots of dead branches. I stopped when I found a cluster of greenbriar shoots, which will need careful digging both to avoid the vicious thorns and to try find the tubers which will only sprout anew if left in place. Greenbriar has an uncanny ability to grow its rhizomes under and through other root systems, and this cluster is completely entwined with a couple of the azaleas. I'll tackle it another day.


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