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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Geting things done...well....maybe...

Things might actually start getting done around here now that I have a new resource for landscaping help , ideas and sources. I am playing in a talent show with another parent at my son's school and he is a landscape specialist. I have always needed help with repairing the old, galvanized steel sprinkler pipes in the front garden and through a bit of barter for my computer expertise they might finally get fixed. Yahoo!

This old system is a retrofitted lawn sprinkler setup with 9 heads spread equidistant across what once was a lawn. Since this is now planted in geometric beds of azaleas, junipers and rapheolepis, all the sprinklers have 12"-16" risers so the heads are above the level of the shrubs. This is certainly not an ideal situation, but it gets the job done. Unfortunately, as well as watering the beds, it also waters the paths, which quickly and continuously sprout up with grass and weeds.

As part of a solution to this problem, I am hoping my new friend can also connect me up with his sources for bulk deliveries of either good quality wood chips or decomposed granite so we can finally transition the pathways from pea gravel to either of these more acceptable paving choices. I am leaning towards the wood chips as they track less and provide a more rustic feel.

It is amazing how a little change and a little information can energize your work and get you back into the garden. Rosanne and I sat outside sipping coffee today, enjoying our afternoon alone as Joe is off at sleep-over with a friend until tomorrow morning. We never mind having our son around, but it is a pleasure to "turn off the radar" and not be thinking about where he is and what he is doing. We just sat around thinking of things to do with the garden and discussing our annual summer party, which we should start scheduling soon.

We are in cleanup mode at the moment, clearing leaves from all the paths and beds, as well as sweeping off the roofs. This is one downside to having so many trees in the garden. The leaves collect on the roof and make gutters almost an impossibility. It looks like, though, as a part of some roof repairs we are planning, we will be putting gutters all around the house. This, of course, brings up the concept of rain barrels or a cistern to store some of our scarce rain for those scorching LA summers. I will need to put more thought into that.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

10 Free Gardening Products

10 Free Gardening Products

Linda Gray, from Container Gardening, offers these 10 ways to reduce, re-use and recycle in the garden. I'm sure some of these hints may have occured to you, but I can use a reminder every so often to help me get the most out of my garden.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Wisteria anew

Stepping out into the back garden yesterday I noticed a splash of green among the otherwise bare vines of the Wisteria that graces the large, "dining room" trellis just outside the back door. The bloom has been small over the years we have lived here, but it is still wonderful to see the large, drooping, purple flower bracts when they arrive. The trellis is somewhat shaded and I am sure this has something to do with the below-average bloom.

I had meant to do a hard pruning on the wisteria, so I could do some repairs to the trellis that supports it, but, as sometimes happens, time ran away with my plans. I guess this project will have to wait until next Fall.

There is a host of wisteria information to be found over at Google.com.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

J Schatz Egg Bird Feeders

I came across these beautiful, if expensive, bird feeders in Dwell Magazine. At $125 each I don't think many of us will be buying them, but hopefully it will spur your own thinking about bird feeder designs you might be able to build using your own unique skills.

The web site claims that these feeders "deters" Grey Squirrels, but I don't think the feeder has been developed that can withstand the amazing inventiveness of these little devils. (SMILE)

J Schatz Egg Bird Feeders