Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rake up the front

The Garden Maker came over Wednesday after work.  He was supposed to be at our house at 5.  The office called about 15 after and said he would be half an hour late.  He finally got there about 6.  He was hot, tired and ready to go home.  Not really the best start.

Then I started the conversation with my cancer.  He looked at me as I was trying to explain about the garden.  He steps back and looks at me and says, "Why are you telling me this?"  I was a bit taken back.  I said, "So you will understand why I am not doing this myself, and why this is so important to me."  He looked at me and just walked towards the garden.  Things weren't going so great.  As we walked to the back of the garden so I could tell him what I wanted.  He was not crazy about any of my ideas.  Outside shower?  Permitting and complicated.  I was just going to put a propane water heater in the pump house where there is water and a protected place for the water heater.  Also it seemed much simpler with my idea.  I had barely gotten half way through the walk and he told me I was already at budget.  Really?  The last part of the garden space is raised beds.  He told me that I didn't need that much space.  What?  Then he wanted me to get a horse trough.  I don't have access to a horse trough, rusted or whatever.  I told him I have no idea where to get a trough and he looked at me like I was not being cooperative.  I tried to explain the type of fencing I wanted to use because of the silkie chickens.  He was obviously tired and didn't want to be there.  It will be at least three weeks before I will hear back from him.  He should have the plan drawn and will present it to us.  I paid him his fee which was more then what the office had told me it would be, he took his measurements and left.  I will continue to work with him until I see the plans.  I am not sure this is the right person for me.  But he comes from a trusted and reliable source.  This firm was not recommended for their personality, but because they are the best.  They produce beautiful craftsmanship and that is what I want.  I admit I would like to enjoy and like my garden maker, and I am willing to be open to his ideas and lets see how we get along this next meeting. 

The best thing he has given me is a clearer sense of perspective.  Things cost more then I can imagine.  I have priced what I was interested in, and the cost of labor must be more then I thought.  I thought labor would behalf of the cost.  But this is all new to me, and I will learn and adjust as the process continues.  I can make other plans or talk to other people.  We will see.  I am keeping my mind open.  After all, when this is done is when I can start enjoying it.  I will put the plants in the raised beds.  So at this point, all I am hiring a person for is to create the hardscapes for me and I will do the planting.  Again, I am trying to cut costs where possible to invest more into the hardscapes.  The garden maker was direct in costs.  I appreciate it, but his information was hard to swallow. I am watching the garden shows with new eyes. I look at yards and gardens and have a greater appreciation for the ideas, work, labor and money involved.

So I continue working on the yard and gardens already here.  I rake up the front yard piling up pine straw and leaves, mostly oak, around the islands of trees and shrubs in the front yard.  The left over material is loaded up in my garden cart and I pull it around to the back yard where I throw the composting brown material on the ground.  Ok, I spread it in my gardens, but it just seems so silly to rake it up in the front to put it back on the ground in the back yard.  But it is a good mulch material.  It is free, it helps the front yard by raking it up and loosening the soil and mulch mats.  The front yard is shade.  I grow hydrangeas, ferns, azeleas and camellias in the front yard.  There is a shade grass that works pretty good, and I have various shade tolerant ground covers in the front yard, but the pine straw had really gotten thick and was blocking anything from growing.  Now that I am raking, it will allow more plants to come back and I can add in grass to the barest spots and the back gardens, with 6+ hours of sunshine, will grow better.  I do not mulch the back gardens, including the veggie garden with pine straw every year.  Pine straw affects the pH of the soil so I use pine straw every two or three years.  In between I use bark mulches.  The bark holds up longer then the pine straw so I only have to fill in in between.  I also like the idea of using the materials produced on this property in the gardens and yard.  I use my bamboo.  I include many of the plants on this property both propagated, native and naturalized in our diet.  Some plants can be consumed by people, dogs, cats and chickens as well as native habitat.  That is part of the enjoyment for me with gardening.  Not just enjoying the activity and health benefits of working in the yard, but producing goods needed, fruits and vegetables eaten, materials recycled back into environment to make it healthy and productive.  So I rake the front yard and carry it to the back.  I pile up sticks to grind into mulch, once I have time (hee hee).  Just trying to live in this place in this time as best as I can.

Oh!!!  I won a $250.00 gift card at the new Tractor Supply Store.  I had signed up when we had taken Lori and Gary there a couple of weekends ago, and then I signed up each time I went in over the next couple of days.  Yee Haw!!!!  That will buy a lot of dog, cat, chicken and fish food.

Our fish, the Bubba's are doing very well, thank you.  We have 7.  I bought a dozen 5 years ago from Wally World.  Seven left sounds pretty good.  They were 12 for a $1.  One is a koi, the other are the very common comet.  We call the koi, "Queen Bubba", the rest we call, "Bubba".  I always name my goldfish Bubba.  I have no idea where that came from, but it works just fine for me and the Bubbas.

The Bubba's live in the lotus pond. It has never bloomed for me, but it is such a beautiful plant that has never been a problem.  But I would like to see a flower.   I also have a water lily, Sioux, in that pond.  It is a changeable lily in that it opens up pale yellow and then over 3 days it turns gold, orange, red, terra cotta, pink, rust.  Really a beautiful lily.  I also have a white native water lily that we dug up at Spat's house.  He has  lake right behind his house and the water lever is coming up, but there are a lot of plants cut off from the lake.  I also got a little bit of horse tail.  I have them in the blue pot in the new little garden in the back yard.  I thought I had lost my panama pacific water lily.  It has purple petals and a brilliant deep yellow middle.  But I could not find it in the pot I had put up this winter with it.  I had used the soil from that pot into a different garden that needed that same type o soil.  It is a very boggy pot and after a week or so I see the tiny leaves of my lily.  I was so thrilled,  I potted it up and put it back in it's water garden, a brown Mexican pot.  The next day I was working with that boggy garden again and saw more leaves.  I have transplanted them to a 6 pack with lily soil in the Mexican pot.  We will see how many make it.  I am thrilled.  I had one Panama Pacific that I thought I had lost, and now I have a couple.  Some to keep, some to share.

Bug and I bought a portable barn for the lawn equipment. We got it at Tractor Supply and it was their opening weekend so they gave us an additional 10% off. We put it up on Wednesday.  It holds our 2 push mowers, the riding mower, the tiller, golf cart, mulcher and garden wagon.  It also blocks the view from the neighbors.  It looks nice.

Went to Nathaniel's Eagle Scout Court and it was wonderful. I will write more later.  That is all for now.


1 comment:

  1. The fellow sounds as if he isn't really passionate about his work. I hope that the plans are better than his personality. Take care of yourself.

    I was out picking from the raised beds today. I built them all. Not hard to do. If I were there, I would build yours for you.