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Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Boy, it's been a long time since I've written.. I guess it would be safe to say that it's been a busy year. A lot has happened since I last wrote. I introduced you to my "girls" in a previous post. I'm sad to say that one of my beloved friends, old Cuddles, died a few weeks ago, and has been sorely missed. She'd been with me for 16 years. Thank you Gail Sutche for all these years with a wonderful friend.
But it's weird how things work out. In early June, we noticed a feral cat started hanging around. She looked wretched, thin, and just generally ragged looking. I wondered why she was hanging around and then saw this scrawny kitten run under the porch. The foxes are thick around here and the mama cat disappeared and left this tiny kitten that was as wild as a deer. It got skinnier and I knew it was not going to survive on it's own so I started setting food out for it. Then I caught Mom doing the same thing..... lol - well this lilttle thing apparently was hungry and lonely enough that within a few days, she came out of the daylilies with her tail raised in greeting and let me touch her, even though she quickly shied away. Within a day or two, I was carrying her around and now she is spoiled rotten. She's been wormed, treated for fleas, fed her own special food mixture that she seems to love, and now lives in the house. She had to beg for a while but we finally relented.

Mom named her Goldie and she has given us a lot of laughs since she came to live with us this summer. She followed us everywhere while she still lived outside but we worried that a fox might get her.I think we're all happier since she moved indoors.

Now on to the gardens. Wow! Where do I begin? I know I will forget a lot.......

I had thought I'd extend the electric fence further down into the yard to protect them from the deer but Mom wanted me to plant my "fancy" daylilies close to the house so she could more easily enjoy them. She wanted me to get rid of most of her old daylilies so this has added quite a lot to getting these daylilies planted. Mom probably had 1000 daylilies, if not more so it was a huge deal to get them cleared out.

Actually, I was lucky. Mom knew someone that would come in and dig the old plants, but with the amount that we're talking about here, that was still a huge project. Then the old rock gardens had to be tore down, level the soil, rebuild rock borders, put down cardboard, haul in compost, plant the plants, and then mulch them. I wish that I'd taken "before" pictures but I didn't........But let me tell you, I think Mom and I will both be glad to see winter get here..... lol

The tractor has been a tremendous help. I don't have a tiller for the tractor but I'm pretty handy at excavating with the front end loader and have leveled a lot of ground that was too rough to safely walk because of having so many clumps of daylilies dug out. Remember, we're both using canes.

Anyway, the first bed we've worked on was the biggest, I'm sure. It is still not done, but my plans were to get the potted plants dealt with first and worry about digging the plants I'd planted last year later. Now lots of Mom's plants were named plants so if I was able to ID it, I potted it to replant later. So here are a couple of shots of the first bed.

The first picture was 8/13/13 and the second was 10/2/13. This bed is probably a little over half done now. I got all of the potted single tetraploids planted so have stopped on this one and went on to the diploid doubles.

This diploid double bed is the first of two and has 179 plants. I have about the same amount of diploid doubles that still have to be dug and moved so there will be another bed on the opposite side of the sidewalk. This shot was taken from the back step.
Last week, we started the tetraploid doubles bed and planted the potted tet doubles.... then stopped on that bed and moved on to the mini bed. Here's the unfinished tet double bed, right alongside the tet single bed.

And here's another shot showing how far it will stretch when it's done.... all the way to the rock pile.

This weekend, we finished the first of two mini beds. This is the mini singles bed and we will build a matching bed on the other side of the sidewalk for the mini doubles.

 Here's a shot that shows the back yard beds that are built so far.......

Next project????? Plant the 2013 seedlings..... raised beds are waiting.....

And there are still 250-300 potted plants waiting in the pot ghetto.

Looks are deceiving here.... pots are sorted into groups - toothies, stipples, stripes, dip singles, and some seedlings. Hey! See the white arrows? That's a scape coming on. Actually, there are several little scapes coming on.

So we've got to start five more beds to handle these potted plants. I may have to just plant some of these in the wrong bed for the winter because building these rock gardens is time consuming. Actually, that's what I expect to do, to be honest. We'll continue building beds this winter and I'll haul in more compost so that when spring is here, we can dig and move the rest of the plants to their permanent locations. That should be a fairly quick project to move the rest of the plants.

Plus we have three BIG trees down here in the yard that have to be cut up and split for firewood. I'll be making use of that brand new Stihl chainsaw I bought last month. And one project that we did early this summer was chip up a gigantic brushpile. It was a terrible amount of work for probably a little over a pickup load of chips, but hey, after spending the money to buy a chipper, you know I'm going to use it. By the time I get done chipping all the brush from these trees, I'll probably be ready to give this chipper And we've got 6 or 7 more big trees to come down that died after the aphid invasion last summer. Did I mention that I start mandatory overtime in about 6 weeks? Thank goodness! It will be great to get to slow down!

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