Tag: garden (Page 2 of 6)

Weekly Overview 10.31.17

Outside My Window…  the Bradford pear tree is beginning to show some red leaves way up near the top.

I am thinking… about how I am really not ready for winter and cold weather.  I had to turn the heat on again this morning, the second morning this week.  I’m not impressed.

I am thankful for… Copper on my lap, keeping me warm!

I am hoping… to find some motivation and tackle the long list of inside things to be done today.  Outside chores will be saved for later in the week when it warms back up again.

 I am reading…

  • Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleeza Rice
  • A Day Late And A Dollar Short by Terry McMillan
  • Fast Food Genocide by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
  • Cashelmara by Susan Howatch

I am busy creating… plans for outside gardens.  I worked with a fellow Master Gardener classmate yesterday – she has a landscape design program that she’s learning to use and offered to help me plan my gardens as a way to learn her program better.  I’m her guinea pig!

I am hearing… the morning news on the television.  The upstairs shower (David).  Bill on a conference call.

 Around the house… vacuuming needs to be done.  There is cat here everywhere!  I also need to put out the fall decor – after all, it is the last day of October.  If I get the fall decor out, I’ll be able to enjoy it for about a month before it’s time to put out Christmas flowers.

Around the garden…  plants need to be cleaned up to bring inside for the winter and other plants need to be settled into winter homes outside.  I’d like to try to save many of the mints and herbs that I started this summer.  I need to continue working on the north end of the back fence flower bed.  There’s some daffodil and other spring bulbs to plant in the front bed.  I need to finish emptying the one compost bin – it’s got some really nice compost in the bottom!  We had a frost last Friday night, but most of my plants came through unscathed, including this coneflower:

In other news…  I’m in that in-between stage mentally — finishing up the growing season, readying the outside for winter, and shifting to thinking about indoor projects.  The bonus room has to be cleaned up.  The wall is up, the door is up, and we’re to the mudding stage of the drywall, which is where it’s likely going to stay until after Christmas.  But the room needs to be gotten ready for company coming later this month and the delivery of the loveseat / sleeper bed.  I’m thinking about doing a wall mural of some sort on each side of that new wall and not doing the same drywall finish as is throughout the rest of the house.  And I’m considering colors – I’d like more color in the house, so thinking about painting one small room just to get my feet wet.  Again, though, that’s likely not going to happen until after Christmas.

I also got my haircut shorter last week and can now wear my combs again.  It’s taking me a bit to get used to it shorter, what to do with it, etc., but I do like it and really need to remember that the shorter length is nicer for sleeping.  Here’s a selfie I took yesterday:

One of my favorite things…  Skechers shoes.  I bought a new pair yesterday, slip-on house shoe type.  I think they call them “walking shoes” or some such.  They are so very comfortable.

Our Weekly Overview… 

Karen:  This week’s focus is a mixed bag of indoor and outdoor – continuing readying for winter, a bit of housework, and getting office work. I met with a friend yesterday morning, working on gardening plans, then ran errands in the afternoon.  So hopefully the rest of the week I am home, concentrating on prepping for our trip to Alabama later in the month and then house guests for the last third of November.

Bill:  Bill is working from home all week, at least that’s the plan today.  Lately his schedule seems to change hourly, so I’m never quite sure if he’ll be working from home or commuting.  This weekend he will be putting a trailer hitch on the Dart so we can haul a small trailer – part of the plan in bringing a few items home from storage when we go to Alabama.

David:  David quit his job a week ago, but he’s going to go in today and visit, check out everyone’s Halloween costumes.  He’s supposed to be working at getting himself enrolled in college for January start.  The plan is to get that all done before his friends arrive on the 18th of November for their stay.

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing …  

Last week I went on a Master Gardener tour of Chandor Gardens in Weatherford, Texas.  It was a beautiful day and some lovely gardens with a very Eastern theme.  This door struck my fancy.

Weekly Overview 09.18.17

Outside My Window…  my Texas Star hibiscus is still blooming, the ornamental sweet potato vine is overrunning the flower bed, and one lone zinnia has staked a claim, producing several pink blossoms.  I spent some time trimming away some of the sweet potato vine while I did my morning watering – if I don’t do that every few days, those plants would begin trying to cover the house!

I am thinking… about how my mom had fun this morning with my reaction to her picture she posted on Facebook, a picture of her and her new companion with the comment that the picture was a wedding picture.  Turns out it was taken at her companion’s (Charlie) grandson’s wedding, which she had told me about a couple of weeks ago.  Momentarily, though, my heart rate increased markedly, thinking she was referring to her wedding.  Not that that would be a bad thing, but I figured she’d at least give me a head’s up before doing so.

I am thankful for… fun day trips that Bill and I like to take.  This past Saturday, it was a trip to Wichita Falls and the Jenny to Jet Exhibit.  We even took a selfie in front of the Curtiss Jenny.


I am hoping… we are able to get those danged tree roots out of the water feature.  We’ve been adding some muriatic acid and letting it sit in the pipe behind the water feature and it does seem to be breaking the roots up more than just plain water pressure.  We may conquer yet!

 I am reading…

  • Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom by Condoleeza Rice
  • And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

I am busy creating… a material list for Lowe’s, which will include building supplies for closing in the bonus room, landscaping blocks for flower beds, cement blocks for rain barrels, and lattice for the compost bin alcove.  Too bad Lowe’s doesn’t sell rain barrels!  I did talk to a local rain harvesting business and while they don’t currently stock the smaller, household size barrels we are looking for, they are planning to within the next month or so.  I left them my contact info and they are going to send me info about what they may be stocking.  And they deliver – a very important feature.

I am hearing… the washing machine (sheets), the TV (taped Morning Joe show), and Bill talking to his Project Manager on the phone/computer.  I’m never quite sure what these calls are, phone or Internet.  All I know is they are sometimes quite distracting.  I’m sort of looking forward to turning the bonus room into a retreat from the office noise.  And also planning that enclosing the office must be done sooner, rather than later.

Around the house…  not much of note, other than the floors are a disaster.  Sweeping, vacuuming, mopping are all long overdue.  But with all the outside yard work going on, we just keep tracking in more dirt and grass.  Maybe I should just wait until winter and then sweep, vacuum, and mop?  Probably not.

Around the garden…  I trimmed away some of the zinnias that were dying back, but that was only a few of the profusion of zinnias growing in the raised bed.  I had planned to make that a greens garden for winter again this year, but I’ve already started mustard greens, kale, and collard greens in containers, and they are growing nicely there, so now I’m thinking of putting my herbs and mints in that bed and see if they will overwinter well.  I spent a lot of money on those plants and I don’t have room for them all inside.  I can cover the raised bed with sheets if it gets down below freezing and also mulch well with leaves, so maybe that will be enough that the plants would survive and come back strong in the spring.

In other news…  it’s the second half of September and we’re still swimming!  We did take a week’s break because the pool temp dropped down around 83 degrees, but it’s now back up to 85 and those two degrees do make a big difference.  The solar pool cover really has been a good investment, both in helping keep the pool warm and helping keep the pool clean.

One of my favorite things…  my mom!  She’s an inspiration.  I hope I have half her gumption and energy and love of life when I’m her age – and that’s only 17 years away!  I’m glad she’s here showing me how to embrace the latter half of life with joy and happiness.  Here’s the picture I mentioned above, mom and her beau, Charlie.


Our Weekly Overview… 

Karen:  This week’s focus is continuing outdoor projects, a bit of housework, and getting back to catching up Quicken.  I had a good start and then we went to Paris, Texas, over Labor Day weekend for a square dance event and I came home from that exhausted, only to have a lot of lawn mowing and trimming to tackle.  I was sore and tired, and didn’t have the mental focus for much of anything that week.  My only appointment this week is on Friday morning, visiting another Master Gardener’s garden, a revisit from the Spring Garden Tour in May.

Bill:  Bill is working from home all week – daytime for pay and evening on house & yard & pool projects.

David:  David has Monday & Tuesday off, works Wednesday thru Sunday.  And he’s back to his old schedule of going in two hours earlier on Saturday & Sunday.

Here’s a picture thought I am sharing …  

We’re spending so much time at Lowe’s, we forgot to eat!

Garden To Do List Follow-Up

I have been working diligently on my gardening list, knocking items off and also adding some one.  Here’s the updated list.  Items crossed off in black were done when I originally posted this list on May 10.  Items crossed off in red have been accomplished since then.  Items in green have been added since then.  Items in purple I have decided not to do or to do much later.

  • put up brackets for hanging baskets
  • plant morning glory seeds in one hanging basket
  • fill second hanging baskets with plants
  • hang hanging baskets
  • repot gardenia
  • repot pink hibiscus
  • purchase Texas hibiscus
  • plant Texas hibiscus front flower bed
  • move tiered steps outside to southeast corner of back fence
  • remove compost from left bin
  • put trellis up on two tomato containers
  • purchase trellis for squash container
  • plant squash in container
  • find sweet mini pepper plants to buy
  • dig up & amend north side of back fence line
  • dig up and move daffodil bulbs
  • plan iris bed area
  • repot blueberry bushes
  • plant some zinnias and marigolds in containers
  • move or buy holly bush for front flowerbed
  • purchase more border bricks from Walmart
  • plant peppers in bags that blueberries are currently in
  • start miscellaneous flower seeds in small pots
  • remove diseased tomato
  • apply fungicide to coreopsis in front bed
  • continue removing brush from front beds
  • put mesh covering back on raised bed
  • smooth/grade dirt in utility yard
  • plant ajuga in utility yard
  • set up pavers in utility yard
  • apply linseed oil to the fence
  • plant more lettuce in the shade – will need container
  • hang baskets from dining room window
  • deal with mold/fungus in Swiss chard bed
  • plant more green beans

The last two items were added this morning.  While harvesting Swiss chard, I noticed white stuff covering the soil in some areas.  At first I thought it might be just the cottonwood seeds that are in the air everywhere, but then I noticed a coating on some of the chard itself.  It’s probably from too much moisture and not enough air/sunshine.  The chard side is pretty thick with plants, while the other half of the bed is more open, few plants of beans and lettuce, and the white stuff is not showing there.

possible moldpossible mold


Swiss chard leaf with possible fungus


I would have the mesh on the raised bed by now, but Bill decided last weekend to build a covering that was easy to move off the bed when I needed to harvest.  That entailed another trip to Lowe’s on Sunday for supplies – you would not believe how many trips to Lowe’s we have made in the past three weeks, nor how many different Lowe’s stores we have visited!  Unfortunately, the evening weather has not cooperated and the wooden structure has not been built yet.  I assume it is a wooden structure, because we bought “furrin’ strips” at Lowe’s.   He’s tried to explain to me what he’s building and I couldn’t tell you if my life depending upon it!  We shall just have to wait and see!




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