A longtime rural resident, I use my 60 plus years of life learning to opinionate here and elsewhere on the “interweb” on everything from politics to environmental issues. A believer in reasonable discourse rather than unhelpful attacks I try to give positive input to the blogesphere, so feel free to comment upon rural issues or anything else posted here. But don’t be surprised if you comments get zapped if you are not polite in your replys.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Getting Stoned in the Garden

Perhaps I should say I got my rocks off......... from the truck that delivered my washed stone yesterday allowing us to finish up creating our first of 3 or 4 'weed free' garden beds. I am quite pleased with how it all came together, the concrete pot holders casting went quite well once I had the molds set up to be easily set up and able to be released from the resulting holder. The bed layout also looks pretty good and will allow us to switch out the potted plants as they come into flowering time (or croak from lack of water, which with the bottom of the pots sitting on the under-laying soil should not be too much of a problem). As you can see below we have yet to set the brick surround in place which will allow us to mow right up to the bed but the plastic edging is in and should stop 'grass creep' between the bricks from getting into the bed. Looking good....... time will tell exactly how 'maintenance free' it is!

So no, I am not on drugs....... but I think I deserve a beer after getting this done (with some help) in the last week or so!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Flower Garden Makeover

As an apprentice many years ago I worked under an old fellow who when we were working at one of the several large country houses (in England) that had beautiful gardens would say “I like to see a nice garden ........ but I sure don’t like doing it!”. I must admit to agreeing with him for most of my life but now quite enjoy 'puddling around' in the garden but I still sure don’t like battling with overgrown flower beds or persistent twitch grass coming up in those beds that I have managed to keep reasonably tidy.

 The Jungle

With the above in mind we are ripping out two of our original perennial flower beds, splitting and potting the plants as we find them in the 'jungle' and will be making a whole new bed to accommodate them but this time with a few changes. Its going to be a 'pot' garden, the flowers will remain in the pots and be surrounded by a 4” or so layer of stone, sort of a cross between these two gardens....

The Plan

I have one major addition to this idea though, I am casting a number of concrete 'pot holders, bottomless concrete tubes that the pots will sit in that will sit level with the top of the stone layer. This will permit the ready exchange of those pots of plants that are done flowering, are not doing well or need weeding or TLC with others from the Green House or from our 'growing on' holding area. I could use large clay tiles (if I could find any) but even clay tiles will deteriorate over time and have to be dug out and replaced so I am going with a one time and done concrete surround.

Salvaged plants & Pot holders

Its a lot of work now with, I hope, a weed free maintenance free lazy mans garden emerging. The only real challenge right now is deciding upon the garden edging, I think we will be going with a brick border with plastic roll edging inside them to stop 'grass creep' into the bed. More to come as we get it done, don’t hold your breath expecting to see the finished project anytime soon, I may be doing much more looking than doing in memory of the old tradesman who is now looking down upon those 'nice gardens'.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Milkweed & Monarchs

Most folks are aware the the Monarch butterfly numbers are declining in part due to the reduction in the number of Milkweed plants growing here in Canada where they lay their eggs and feed upon these plants. I am therefore pleased to report that after a number of years where we only found one or two plants this year they are in very good supply, at least here on our property in the Klondike Hills. We leave some scrub areas and encourage wild growth of all kinds on our property, with over 30 acres we feel we can share with the birds, animals and insects that need such growth and anyway almost an acre of mowing is more than enough to upkeep!

I wish I could post a picture of hundreds of Monarchs clustering around the Milkweeds but thus far we have not seen even one, we can only hope some show up soon. For now I will post a picture of the plants just coming into flower and hope to update it with at least some butterflys on them soon.