Thursday, September 25, 2008


What to do with a nice ceramic birdbath, an old rusty wheel rim and a too-heavy-to-move olive tree stump? Well............ You stack them all together and voila! And my dear friend, Angela, suggested that I plant succulents in the nooks and crannies of the root mass. Capital idea!

The birdbath itself wouldn't balance on the uneven root tangle so it had been on an ugly board..which was a'tilt, which made the water uneven and just looked tacky. Of course, it was that way for months. Maybe even years.

The rusty rim used to be something that hung from the Pineapple guava and actually held a rolled up hose..when I bothered to roll up the hose...No wait. It must have hung from the olive tree that was next to the guava. The olive went down in last winter's wind storm. (different olive tree, yes) The rim has been just hangin' out and looking tacky.

Olive wood is tough as nails so this stump should be able to accomodate the birdbath AND a succulent garden for many years. Oh I just can't wait to get out there with my cactus & palm potting mix and a bunch of succulents tomorrow!!!

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Amaryllis by Morning

This has been a bumper crop year for Naked Ladies. (amaryllis belladonna) Perhaps they really do prefer very droughty conditions because though I've watered much less this summer, the Amaryllis (amaryllisi?) have been popping up since early August, and are STILL surprising me. They have come up in places I'd never seen them before. They bloomed in pots (had planned on taking some with me when I moved) so so much for the "do not disturb" theory. They supposedly like well drained soil..I guess my hardpan drains well enough.

I have been trying to post a slide show of all the different clumps of blooming Amaryllis but for some reason (Vista?) that hasn't worked the 42 times I've tried this past week. I'll keep trying because they are quite lovely as well as prolific.

What a surprise in the Bletilla striata bed!
And a potted surprise!
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Who needs a gym?

This beautiful pile of chipped up trees and shrubbery greeted me when I got home from my real job Thursday evening. Since I'm not moving to Oregon afterall, I decided that there were (are) lots of pathways and bare areas that need(ed) a good 6" layer of woodchips to foil the mud clumps that otherwise stick to the feet of those who dwell here in the winter.
This is (was) the pile by Monday evening. I shoulda weighed myself Friday morning and again Monday eve. I'm pretty sure my jeans are looser! Now I am looking for one of those Shiatsu massaging thingies that can be placed in a comfy chair for "massage on demand". I don't think I can wait until Christmas.

I've also got orders in for at least two more loads of chips. Three would probably be best. It has been a few years since the pathways were last "mulched" and the Mud Fairies have once again taken over. Ok, the Dust Fairies are in control for now, but eventually the rains will return. Won't they?
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Dang deer!!

There once was a lovely young Dogwood growing down by the redwood trees. Granted, its placement was not so good..the redwoods forcing the little dogwood to bend towards the sunshine, but it did bloom there and was a bright spot in an otherwise dark part of the yard.
Wednesday night I came home from work and saw that the dogwood was leaning more than usual and was looking rather tattered.

On closer inspection it became obvious that Tripod had been using it to scrub the last of the velvet off his considerable antlers. The little tree is completely girdled and will not survive. Too bad he didn't scratch his itch on that stump of a pine tree not 3' away!

Venison is beginning to sound like a treat....even though I don't care for the taste. Jerky perhaps. Grrrrrr.

I feel sorry for the deer. They have been pushed away from their traditional grazing areas along the river by the human penchant of building starter castles with huge walls around their perimeters. ("We want to live near 'nature' but we don't want it to bother us")
The deer have moved into the subburbs and have taken up residence where the neighbors don't have WALLS around their properties. Though I'm happy to give them a safe place to live, I am worried about the population. Currently there are two does, 3 fawns, and Tripod-the-buck spending most of their time on this 2.5 acre property. The does and the fawns do travel to neighboring lots but Tripod can't jump fences anymore so he's here 24-7.
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Sunday, September 07, 2008

ahhhh. Compost!

One morning last week I forked the first third of the left compost bin into the other compost bin. (Duh. The first TWO thirds. The third third went into the flower bed!) The mornings have been cool and lovely to work in. I am lucky not to have to leave for work until 10:00a.m. so I can gets lots done.

My brother made these duo bins for me several years ago. I'd only had to whine for two years before he caved in.

This little feller was filled twice with the nice compost and yes, some of the yummy dirt from the bottom of the bin. This thing holds a bit more than 5 gallon bucket-load.

This is the litle flowerbed that benefited from the compost. Things are rather crammed into this bed because, until I decided to make a flower bed in the dog's yard, this was the only fenced area available. (deer you know.)

Since I'm not moving to Oregon afterall, the bazillion things that had been living in pots for the past 2 years, are now getting to live in the ground...hence the crowding. I like the crowding but it is a bit of a challenge to weed. And as you can see, not everything has been unpotted yet.

Potted things that the deer had been ignoring are suddenly being tasted by the fawns so sometimes pots just get moved into the fenced area with the promise of later planting.
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