Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Continued details and duties of the season

Outdoor summer duties will remain...

The landscape company’s workers arrived this morning, and it’s now “Day 3” of work being accomplished on our property. Both front and back areas of the house are becoming reconstructed, organized, simplified and in the end will prove to assist in managing the overall work load for weekly laborious detail duties necessary for the upkeep of the yard.

Recentering the flower bed to the front of the house

We were the lucky new owners of intensive high maintenance flowerbeds, and a random array of ridiculously planted perennials and trees. One tree was moved near the barn to align with the two others in a row there. The front flower bed to one side near the driveway had been surrounded by red interlocking bricks and they’ve all but disappeared as the landscapers not only extended the bed to center it more to the front of the home, they are also in the process of placing an outer edging of limestone rock around its perimeter to encourage “easy maintenance” of the lawn surrounding it, and the be will be filled with new soil, plants moved and a few added. This will be the largest job of all.

Inspecting Day 2 of the rock work

Another laborer has been spending much time taking one wheelbarrow at a time with fresh new soil to the newly extended future flower bed in the back of the house, a place where we want to create that wonderful sanctuary for attracting the local birds and butterflies away from the deck where we sit, and watch them come (hopefully) in droves to observe them with great appreciation. The yellow finches are coming back and visiting, red winged blackbirds and warblers are here already in abundance, but we are spooking away those grackles, annoying crow like birds with blue heads and yellow eyes. Two nights ago we observed a bat flying around and creating quite a spectacle for us, one we enjoyed very much as the sun was setting towards the west beyond him. The morning doves are enjoying our feeder, the orioles, cardinals and blue jays still greet us during the afternoons, and even a red-tailed squirrel came to visit recently, a very brave rodent to come so near.

Other flowerbeds will be edged cleaned up and plants pruned. One bed near the air conditioner is filled with variegated hostas and will be finished with gravel to complete its easier maintenance plan.

Hosta filled flower beds need a finishing touch.

The beds surrounding the back deck have already been trimmed and it along with all the other beds will be filled with bark mulch to complete them all. TO THINK we had this same game plan all completed less than one month prior to being informed this work transfer to the east was imminent!!! Ah, I miss our wonderful, immensely helpful gardeners extraordinaire neighbors, ones who continually blessed us over and over again!

Thank you John and Betty for everything!!!!

More rock work around the far right
side of this bed to lift it
and prevent the erosion
happening with the rain,
taking the soil with it.

Today the huge landscaping truck is filled with plants and trees to add additional foliage and color into the newly reconstructed flowerbeds. It’s so exciting to see everything come together so quickly, inspired by the young men working so hard, watching them make it all long so very easy. Interesting to speak to one of them to find it is his family’s business we are soliciting, a fellow home educating family. Boy oh boy is he ever knowledgeable too, offering me names to every single plant in the yard! Now I have knowledge of what is here already, right down to the famous unsolved tree name in the front bed near the front porch. Finding we have a mulberry tree in there was most interesting. Remember the children’s song…

These are the chores we'll do this week,
Do this week,
Do this week.
These are the chores we'll do this week,
So early every morning.

This is the way we wash our clothes,
Wash our clothes,
Wash our clothes.
This is the way we wash our clothes,
So early Monday morning.

This is the way we iron our clothes,
Iron our clothes,
Iron our clothes.
This is the way we iron our clothes,
So early Tuesday morning.

This is the way we scrub the floor,
Scrub the floor,
Scrub the floor.
This is the way we scrub the floor,
So early Wednesday morning.

This is the way we mend our clothes,
Mend our clothes,
Mend our clothes.
This is the way we mend our clothes,
So early Thursday morning.

This is the way we sweep the floor,
Sweep the floor,
Sweep the floor.
This is the way we sweep the floor,
So early Friday morning.

This is the way we bake our bread,
Bake our bread,
Bake our bread.
This is the way we bake our bread,
So early Saturday morning.

This is the way we get dressed up,
Get dressed up,
Get dressed up.
This is the way we get dressed up,
So early Sunday morning.

Here we go 'round the mulberry bush,
The mulberry bush,
So early in the morning.

The Mulberry bush.

As things progress, I laugh at the photo below of the newly renovated and increase in sized bed in the backyard. It’s still a teeny tiny blip on the property, but beats the huge garden plot going nowhere. Actually folks, there will be a large square piece rototilled to the far upper left of that old garden area, one where we will replant all the berries from the large back bed, and add other vegetables for the dinner table this summer. Stay tuned…

Like a small blip in the vast area behind the house

As other duties of the season have also surfaced, we remain busy ensuring they are accomplished. For instance, the lawn cutting duties began again after the winter frost and ice/snow periods behind us, with all three acres needing a trim, not once last week but twice, such as is required for a property our size. The Husquarvarna was gassed up, revved up and ready to go due to my hubby’s attention to details and the lesson with the younger son the week before. Both teens donned the ear protection, sunglasses, and hats, working their way across the lawn row by row. It takes somewhere around three and a half hour to cut this property, with the ride on mower!

There are portions of the yard where we can’t reach with the ride on mower necessitating a purchase this year of a small regular gas mower. Pricing out these small engine items was high on the list for a few weeks, checking sale flyers, browsing store websites and searching for a fabulous sale to tempt us for the purchase. One store along the way to town last week we’d realized hadn’t been checked yet was visited in person, to check out any last minute price and quality comparison. BINGO! Not only did we find a great mower for an extra great buy, but we concluded the extra step in quality servicing was beyond tremendous and we’ll be back to this store every time now! It wasn’t a big box store where we experienced such service, rather a farm country store, a chain found in all country outlining areas here in the east. Allow me to explain here, but before any piece of equipment leaves the store, an assistant ensures the piece is not only completely assembled and not in a box for the purchaser to have to complete him/herself before using it, they also fill the gas tank, the oil tank, AND run it for a few minutes to ensure all is well. This is incredible! The last lawnmower we purchased was from Home Depot, and it came in a box without such a quality of service anywhere to be found before taking it home. Since our purchase I searched the internet to also find this piece of equipment was far less for pricing, almost one hundred dollars in difference to any other big box store.


What a deal!

Therefore, I brought home a new lawn mower, fully operational as soon as it was taken from the back of the van. Needless to say, this was a new “toy” for a brief moment, hubby having to revved it up and try it out a wee bit before I went out with my “lawn cutting shoes” (aka a pair of older, green stained runners) to mow those areas the teens weren’t able to reach. I walked a large perimeter of the property cutting edging along farm fencing, the front dish areas up the small hill to the road, along both sides of the driveway, along porches and walkways, around the barn/sports court and barn fencing, and trees. What a nice tidy difference it makes to have all hands on deck for one thing, one teen atop the ride mower, another with a gas weed whacker and me on the push mower. Not only did we feel like a team working together at the same time and accomplishing the chore duty assigned to the day, we also realized (dreading) this was the way to come again for the entire later spring and summer seasons…laugh.

We now have soil within the bed, peat moss too.

Lower maintenance makes us all very happy!