Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Goals

Here is my summer goals list. I wrote down my goals in early May. They were suppose to be pretty realistic in terms of accomplishing them before the end of summer. Now as June is coming to a close, I have my doubts about closure.

1. Create a new garden.

2. Clean-up old gardens.

3. Paint ceiling in the kitchen.

4. Finish photo album from October wedding trip.
4a. Begin Christmas Album.

5. Clean basement. Organize pictures and papers.

6. Figure out how to use E-bay to sell helmets.

7. Finish scanning Doug's family slides. Begin work on a DVD slide show.

Well we've put in two gardens. Cleaned the front yard garden a couple of times and have begun to work on the back garden. I need to get a schedule and be disciplined about it.

I did organize the pictures, awards, and such from the 08-09 year. I still need to file papers.

I am slowly working on the wedding photo album. Today I finished two sheets (four pages). Some days I don't move too quickly. I just push forward instead of waiting for the artistic spirit to move me. Today I made myself sort through and lay out all the album items. Just doing that was my goal but I persevered and finished two sheets. Tomorrow should be easier since I'll leave all my supplies out.

I haven't touched the slides, although I keep looking at the boxes. They are calling my name but I need a book to read while the slides scan. Last summer I had a great book. This summer I've been checking out some large print books from the library and I read them while I walk on the treadmill. Large print is great for this. I haven't fallen off the treadmill yet. I have stumbled once or twice.

That's all I've finished on the list.

Not on the list:
I've reorganized my math curriculum and resources (Aug. - May) and mapped it on this web program our school uses. I've tweaked my school schedule for the coming school year and I've written lesson plans for Aug and Sept. I spent all day at a reading workshop.

I am taking a sewing class and have learned to use my new birthday present sewing machine. I am helping Mimi make a doll dress.

New projects:
Make a poster collage of Dugger. When T-man completed 8th grade, the kids were to make a collage of their life so far. I made the collage with T's very helpful input. I thought it would be great for Dugger to have one since he has graduated from high school. We can also display it at his summer graduation/going to college party. I'll need to get that done soon.

I'm also going to make a blouse and skirt for Mimi.

Paint my bedroom, hopefully (if I survive painting the kitchen ceiling).

That's it! We'll see what I accomplish this summer.

Finished Product- to date

The weekend following Memorial day and into early June we continued to add plants to our garden. We have three more boxwoods. They are tiny now, but I'm sure they will grow fast. We planted many of my favorite plants.

We placed three hydrangeas, Endless Summer (love that name). Hydrangeas aren't necessarily one of my favorites but we have had much success with others in our yard. The height and color will be perfect for the garden. Also, I remember being told that the flower was a favorite of my Grandma Gonzalez.

We added four cone flower plants. I do love these. I first noticed these flowers when we went to the National Zoo in D.C. I'm so glad they labeled many of their plants. I think Native Americans used parts of the plant for medicinal purposes. I'd have to check my D.C. notes to verify that, so don't quote me.

We put in a bunch of faux grasses. They grow like an ornamental grass but are a better fit for the shade and dry area. They will produce little purple flowers.

We added more hostas to complete the border and planted two Lily of the Valley (another favorite) plants at the entrance to the far stepping stone path (where it makes a "v" near the fence line).

Finally we added some stone crop (two varieties) a reddish/burgandy variety and a green varigated variety. This was not a favorite but we have had good success with others, so Doug convinced me that this would be a good plant to have. They are located around the lilac bush/tree.

There is room for lots more but we will see if we add anything else this season. I'd like to plant tulip and jonquil bulbs this fall for the spring. At least all our plants seems to be doing well. Of all the plants we've bought this season we've only lost one on the side of the house.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Almost Home Alone

Dugger and I are the only two at home. The other three are at hair appointments. With a few minutes of time on my hands, I thought I'd finish off our gardening blog. Over the Memorial Day Weekend we rented a tiller for Saturday morning. The only plants we had in the garden were a boxwood bush and about seven hostas. I dug up the hostas plants, since we wanted to keep them and spread them along the border of the garden. The boxwood was in a location that wouldn't get tilled so I didn't need to remove it.

The ground is rock hard because of the type of soil we have and the fact that the dog runs through the garden beating down a rock hard path. The tiller turned out to be a monster. I believe the tiller was a front-end tiller (didn't know there were different kinds of tillers). The pictures from the previous blog show the soil before we began tiller and after I dug out the hostas. Doug and I had to take turns tilling the soil because the tiller was so hard to control and manipulate. Doug and I finally got into a rhythm and learned how to get the most tilled soil out of the tiller. I have to admit that I scraped the side of the house two times.

Once we finished with the garden we moved the tiller to the vegetable garden area and tilled that soil. Now that soil is much softer and very good soil for planting. The problem here was that with such a powerful tiller we would get it stuck in the soil some and have to pull it out from the soft rows. Here is the pre-tiller vegetable garden shot.

After all this work we returned the tiller. Later in the day I laid out landscaping material and placed the hostas in their new location. Doug and I wanted large stepping stones as a way to keep Amber, the dog, out of the plants but still allow her access to the garden (that she would get into anyway).

We went to several home improvement stores and to a couple of nursery's looking for large and natural stepping stones. We had no luck. One of my friend's brother is a landscaper (his company did our front yard) so I called him in the hopes that he would have some stones in stock. We also headed out to his building, hoping that he or his co-owner would be there. Well the road to their place was blocked off because of road construction. As we turned around we we drove right by another nursery in town. One side of the street has the nursery with the typical garden plants and across the street they have their large trees, blocks, rocks, and stones. We spied what looked like potential stepping stones and pulled in to the nursery. We climbed on the stack of stones, dug through them, and picked the perfect ones. Three hundred pounds later we has some beautiful stones. One of them Doug had to have because it looks like the state of GA. See for yourself.

This wrapped up our Saturday. On Sunday we headed back to the nursery and bought more stones and a Japanese Maple. Using Frank Lloyd Wright's philosophy of path design, we placed out stones along the well worn path that Amber had created. Keeping her established route intact. Hopefully this will ensure that she will stay on the path. Our garden was coming along.
Sunday's work.

On Monday feeling much less sore we bought some plants to begin filling our garden. We also bought tomatoes, bell peppers, sunflowers, and cucumber seeds for the vegetable garden. T-man has tried to grow sunflowers in the past and not had any success. We think that the rabbits kept eating them. With Amber we think that the rabbits will not venture into the yard.

The crew is back so I'll wrap up the garden story later.