Friday, November 1, 2019

My Neighbors Have Been Very Patient 

. . . about two of my trees that have been needing to be cut down.  I searched far and wide for a company, though, that owns its own bucket, because I didn't want to have any branches end up anywhere near the house, and I didn't want to have to take down a fence section.  They also needed to own their own stump grinder, because I wanted the front to look nice afterwards.

This company fit the bill, and did a very good job, I think.  Here's a short video of their work in progress (I need to tweek this quality, yet):  

Kudos to A Better Tree Service 

Here are a few pics of the finished products:  

Natural Aspen Shavings

Decorative Bark, Mums and Pansies

I'm Keeping This Tree Another Year

Two Days Later, at Dusk

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Theme Was Red, White and Blue along the front walk this last summer, with red and white striped Petunias, along with blue Petunias, and Martha Washington Geraniums.  The white Shasta Daisies volunteered early in the Spring, and then held their spot with dark green foliage.  

 Red, white and blue petunias under the Alberta Spruce tree.

 Petunias interspersed with Martha Washington Geraniums.

The containers on each side of the front door, planted in early Spring (since Pansies thrive in cool weather) started out as splashes of color.  However, by Summer's end, they had morphed into a display of Chocolate Mint, and lavender Mums.  Once the mint was planted, it was so aggressive that the Pansies, which had faded because of the heat, couldn't compete. The Mums bloomed once, and after cutting them back, will bloom again in about a week.  Although Tuesday and Wednesday will be in the 70's and 80's, Thursday's forecast is for snow, so they will each need to be covered with a 13 gallon bag on Thursday, and also over-night.  Hopefully the weather will warm up after the snow, (about an inch) so the flowers can enjoy a prolonged Autumn.  

The pansies morphed into chocolate mint and lavender mums!

The Gallardia plant did well this summer - They love the south-exposure!  I'm going to plant some of the died-out blossoms, in hopes they'll germinate next Spring.

The front bench really needed to be refinished, and it turned out well (below).: 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Happy Autumn! 

   We have had a busy and productive summer as far as gardening and maintenance is concerned. As shared on this blog last Fall, we planted some Zoysia plugs, mainly as a test to see if they might be a viable option to replace our lawn (this summer) that has been devastated by a neighborhood-wide onslaught of crabgrass!  I'm not exaggerating when I say "onslaught."  My neighbors on every side have been plagued; some of them completely replacing their soil, and re-sodding.

   However, I was looking for something that would not only replace the crabgrass, but that would also "choke out" future crabgrass germination.  Unfortunately, my Zoysia plugs didn't survive the early winter (October 10, 2018) storm.  Usually, we have a mild Fall, with some spot-freezing, but nothing major until late November.  Of course I was hoping for something like that, because Zoysia needs warm temperatures to germinate and thrive.

   That's why I decided to try planting, (and over-seeding) with Zoysia seed, in July - I needed 90-100 degree temperatures, and I wasn't taking any chances.

This is what I started with, after removing the crabgrass thatch:

Pre-Zoysia Patch - Zone-3

These are the first Zoysia seedlings: 

Zoysia Seedlings

   Here's that section today.  I have had to pull the weeds by hand, because I didn't want any poison to come into contact with the Zoysia seedlings.  The products say they're safe for Zoysia grass, but I didn't want to take any chances, or kill any earthworms!

   The Zoysia seed has been difficult to germinate because the soil absolutely can't dry out, which is a real challenge during hot summer days of 100 degrees or more. It seems to be filling in and spreading nicely, though. The worst weed has been spur-weed, but thankfully it's easy to pull by the roots.