Sunday, June 8, 2014

Briars, bees, bushes and Cooper..

We worked some more on clearing out the briars, brambles and bittersweet behind the bird feeders.  We left a small patch of dog rose and scrub trees for cover until we get the larger plants that go in that area.  The birds are desperate for evergreen safety from the hawks, especially in the winter. 
We put the first set of hollies over there, planted them as a break between the bee area (future pool, wildflower meadow?) and the birds.  When they grow back (as they were eaten into nothing this winter) they will provide food and shelter, I love double duty plants!
The top bar hive is buzzing with activity, they had filled all the bars with new comb so I added 3 more and moved the follower board all the way to the end, this also gave them a second entrance which I think was needed as there was a constant clog at the first.  (See if you can spot the Queen, she just happens to be in this picture!)
I also added empty boxes and frames to the two Langs in hopes that they are doing their bee things.  In all honesty I don’t want to inspect them at all, it just seems to me like every time you disturb them, they falter.  The fading hive is still fading, there is a handful of bees they’ve all moved into the top box on a small piece of comb, they seem content enough to be eating and collecting nectar. 
On Sunday we transplanted 5 azaleas from the bed in the middle of the driveway to one of the areas we cleared last weekend.  I explained to them that if they allowed us to move them to this new location, they would no longer be eaten.  That they would be allowed to grow and thrive and bloom freely.  They happily agreed to come and are now happily planted I’ve high hopes for these rag tag azaleas!
There is one left in the middle of the driveway and it’s a big un’!  I suspect she’ll need a bit more convincing to move, but I’m sure I can persuade her!

Cooper continues to grow, though he seems to have no idea how big he is.  He is a continual source of joy with his playtime with Ally and his sleeping positions.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Old friends, open spaces..

Another weekend of mish-mash projects leaving us tired but satisfied.
When my Grandma passed away a long, long time ago I inherited the metal furniture that had sat in her garage for as long as I could remember.  The furniture, affectionate called "tulip chairs" belonged to my Mom and her parents before that.  My mom says she remembers sitting on it as a little girl!
I was delighted to get it but it was (and is) in need of some work, I mean they are practically antique!
 pa copy 2
This is my Mom’s Dad, Pa sitting on one of the chairs, it was white back then.  There are still traces of white paint on them.
I found a place online that sells hardware for these and order the kit.  I didn’t get the glider arms though and will have to order them as the originals are shot.  Randy says that we will sand blast it to get all the rust and old paint off, the hope is that we can find out what the original color was and paint it that color.  Once we get them all done, they will proudly be on our front porch!!

The view from the deck is changing, little by little.  We worked on removing all the stinking (literally) scrub trees from the area and pulling out dog rose and burning bush by hand.  After that and careful direction, I let (yes, let!) Randy use the mower in the area.  There are May apples and Jack in the pulpits back here and I preserved as many as I could but there was no way I could clear all of that area by hand. 
We’ve officially started the planting by putting the two azaleas that my Mom gave me, in the newly cleared area.  We can see them from the house and look forward to seeing them bloom next year!
We continued on working till we got to the fern glad in the making.  I LOVE this, I can’t say enough how much I love this area.  To me it’s how the wooded areas are supposed to look, leafy mulch on the ground and beautiful fern fronds waving in the the breeze.
Just beyond the fence is the way the woods shouldn’t look, full of invasive plants that suffocate all the natives.  I KNOW that I drive Randy nuts when I won’t use power equipment to clear places because of native plants, but if I can do anything to help restore a balance, even a little one, well I’m sure trying!
While Randy worked on finishing up the screens I started lining the path with rocks from the disassembling of the dry steam (mud) run.
I’m also using fieldstone to make small retaining walls where I’ll be planting.  Anything and I mean ANYTHING that I can do to slow water from rushing down the hill into the pond area.
This continues to be my inspiration, because it’s the one area that is looking more and more like I want it all to look…

The Lost Season

The weather this gardening season has not been conducive to gardening.  We had cold weather up through May.  Then the rains came and contin...