Sunday, April 19, 2009

flagstone short path and a weed-whacking precaution

Last summer, the Handyman and I gathered a bunch of flagstone, and that flagstone sat through the winter, untouched... 

Until today!

I have two beds by my backdoor that have dandelions anchored all over.  I've weeded and weeded and weeded and weeded and my mom's even come to visit and weeded and weeded.  

There's been quite a lot of weeding. 

It took me much longer than I'd like to admit, but no more pulling from the top - they've all been dug up from the roots.  (I refrained from a "root of the matter" pun there.  You're welcome.)

So, dandelions gone.  Flagstone in.  Take a peek before the lillies and dahlias make their appearance.  

Evetually, that path will end at a nice-looking patio by the backdoor (the current one is uneven and full of weeds).

And, because I was having so much fun with the shovel - or because I needed a tidy beginning-to-end-on-a-Saturday-afternoon project - I made a new little bed by a corner of fence that was sorely lacking some embellishment.

I put in clematis, some dutch iris, and a scattering of cosmos seeds collected from the 2007 season.  Last year, we had better success starting the collected seeds than the purchased seeds, so I have high hopes for these.

If you're wondering about the pavers under the fence, they're there because I'm not so accurate with the weed-whacker.  I think there's just enough space to run the mower wheel on the paver-side that's next to the grass.

That way, when the clematis vine onto the fence, I won't cut them off accidentally when I'm really aiming to trim the grass.

P.S.  The Handyman was in pursuit of athletic excellence today (aka hockey), but my sore muscles sincerely hope he returns to the garden soon - the shovel's more his style.  ;)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

pergola practice

I would love to have a pergola in my backyard. I think I've said as much to the Handyman on a number of occasions.

Apparently, Handyman, Sr. has been hearing similar requests regarding the hot tub at the Handyman Ranch in California.  Somewhere along the way, there was a request for some extra hands.

We jumped at the chance to go help (and the chance to thaw our Montana-cold bones in some California sunshine).

I didn't really help with this stage, but I think it's sort of self-explanatory, right?  I'm pretty sure I was still in the thaw stage.

Yeah, didn't help too much here either , but I definitely delivered some lemonade before this stage.

I'm pretty sure I gave words of encouragement at this particular moment.

And you can't tell, but I'm actually spotting them on this little move here.

A-hah!  This looks much more like my department: Handyman-in-training.  This little guy's eyeing a hammer that's lying just outside the shot thinking, "I'm totally helping out next year."  

Good for you, little guy.  That's way more than what I'm doing.  I can't wait for the day I get to tell you I changed your diapers.

So it's almost done.

And surveying the work... (I was a pro at this... I gave the Handyman a few tips on that ladder lean so he could really get the most out of it.)

At the end, we celebrated like every new pergola owner should: roasting smores over a fire pit and drinking Aquavit before taking a dip in the hot tub. 

Practice over.  I think I'm ready now.

Friday, April 10, 2009

baby steps

When did I ever have time to write a blog?  

I have no clue how I managed it last year, but I'm committed to trying again.  As with everything that seems overwhelming, I'll start small... baby steps.

Kind of like this tiny shoot from what I hope is garlic (and not grass or some other random plant that exists, instead, where my garlic should be).

I made a small tactical error last October - I thought you put garlic in the ground in the fall and harvested it in the late spring right before growing season.  Why would I think that?  Because I really am a novice at most of this growing stuff.  The result of my tactical error is that I now have two raised beds FULL of garlic.

The Handyman assures me I can grow some lettuce in between, but I'm still going to have to solicit his help in setting up new raised beds for the rest of what I usually like to grow during the summer season.  Hmmm... maybe my tactical error was just a ploy to get more gardening space!  Well keep that to ourselves...

Anyway. I love that people found me again and left a few comments!  I'll try not to disappoint with long absences and I can wait to go catch up on what everyone has been doing!!!