Hi folks: I’m back. I have been resting up from a Series of Unfortunate Events that started in January and just kept on coming. But as of yesterday, I’m back in the saddle again. Out where a friend is a Friend! (love that old cowboy song)
David Lee stayed home the whole day and helped me knock out most of the renewal of the front landscape. We still have a couple of plants to dig up and move to more agreeable locations but that will come, all in good time. I’m so grateful I’ve finally gotten my buddy to work with me. My hero!
Today I went out to document the work done and found a Sparrow hatchling trying out the bird bath.
This little guy had a hard time getting out of the tub!
We reseeded the bare spots in the lawn. I had sprayed for weeds a month ago. I’ve been pulling weeds for 11 years and was delighted to find my work was paying off. This lawn was almost all weeds when we bought the place 12 years ago.
and greeted the new flowers on the Mountain Laurels
and the beautiful Cinco De Mayo roses that start out a smoky lavendar-rose and turn to a spicy soft coral as the sun matures the blossoms
I had to learn about rose diseases, all of which I tried to solve organically last year but which have returned with a vengeance this year. I had to spray, according to the rose expert, Dr Mark Windham from the U of TN. He was on hand at Chuck Johnson’s Garden & Nursery for their Rose Education seminars held yesterday.
A large, 1/2″ long, Rose Slug
Rose Slugs, the larva of the sawfly, are eating all the rose leaves with such speed I can’t pick them off nor can the natural predators such as the wasps keep these little critters in check. They defoliate the bushes in no time.
Rose Slugs climb up the rose trunks as tiny, almost invisible, hatchlings where they go to the underside of the leaves and eat them through
Black Spot fungus is particularly bad for us here in Middle Tennessee this year (also shown is more rose slug damage)
My Azaleas have it, too, and what were huge full bushes are now spindly, struggling plants so they got a drenching as well. This fungus even attacks those roses who live in hot sun all day, like this climbing rose on the power pole
This was a surprise as the Coral Drift(tm) roses are supposed to be resistant to these fungal diseases but all my azaleas have this as well so it was time to take up the stakes.
So, sprayed, weeded, fertilized and watered we were ready to mulch. Last year we chipped up the branches of two Black River Birches that we had cut down and the resulting mulch was adequate but not a good type for soil building. This year, using the Amazing Dave’s method of mulch buckets we managed to get 4 scoops transported and laid upon the landscape beds in 2 trips and all done in one day. We even mulched the front yard trees. Things have never gone so well!
Roses in their new beds
Shovels are one of the few tools Dave says he is allergic to. The others are anything used for plumbing and most importantly, a hammer. “Hahahahahahaha”, sezs I, “but you’re so good with them! You can’t ever give up trying!!!”
Anyway, ignoring my “encouragement” he devised a method of bringing mulch to the house in the most economical manner by laying down a tarp on the trailer and filling the bed with paint buckets. We have plenty of those from our finish booth at the company. Then all the buckets are strapped down with bungy cords and off we go to visit the mulch purveyor. This year we got 2 scoops per trip and used another tarp across the top to keep any pieces from flying away.
Once we make it home we then carry all 30 buckets to the mulch needed sites in the yard and simply dump and spread. This store bought mulch is much better at soil building than the chipped up birch wood.
Our neighbors saw us doing the mulch Dave’s way and just had to borrow the buckets for their own mulch run scheduled for today! In fact they sat on their porch and starred at us for hours, willing us to hurry up so they could grab those buckets ASAP.
Oh the pressure….
I’ll be glad to see them not having to shovel into a wheelbarrow, transport and then shovel into the garden beds. So much less work!
Dave’s very fine solution to a very exhausting problem. Our Hero!
Oh, and the Hero also helped me carry out some of the boxes left from closing and sale of my Stitchery so now I can actually walk into the sewing room. The center ceiling light bulb has been burned out in there for the last 2 months! It’s changed now and I can see.
I have a dress to make. Sewing coming up!