I went home for lunch earlier this week and was treated to this spectacular display for the first time this year. It’s either been cloudy, or, by the time I get home even if it is still light out, some of the flowers are starting to close. (nearly all of the daisies and groundcover close up at night). What I LOVE about my yard is that all of those flowers are self-propagating. I haven’t planted anything on that hillside in years. All we have to do is pull some weeds in spots where the yellow flower ground cover hasn’t totally taken over yet towards the back end of the hill. Which is what 16 and I were doing last weekend meaning I could take this pictures knowing it wouldn’t look TOO unkept!
Since one of the google search hits that is still going strong here is “Jacaranda Tree” rather than bringing peeps to a post with a randomly stolen picture from the web, I thought I would post a picture of my local one in full glory. Apparently these were planted in front of every house when these homes were built 26 years ago. Almost all have since been yanked out because, as you can see below the tree, they kinda make a mess! But I am really glad that this is one of the rare ones still around. It’s next door where I can enjoy it daily – and I do love it’s shape – and also not have to clean up after it
Despite being very sore from a leg-heavy workout yesterday morning, I did get out into the yard today to start some way overdue cleanup. It’s so easy to ignore my yard now! Sprinklers are automatic, SweetPrince does the lawn maintenance and the only thing I need to do is water the backyard potted plants twice a week which takes about 3 minutes. The landscaping has matured nicely and the hillside is covered with succulents vs weeds. It’s down now to just the two small side yard beds leading to the front door and the main front hillside which needs attention now and then for some weeding and cutting back overgrowth. I could only handle the side yards today though. My legs were protesting heavily and there is no way I could support myself on slanted ground to clean things up. My roses are getting eaten up though – another down side of neglect – pests. Despite that though, one of the roses that was here when I bought the house is having it’s best year ever as far as blooms. It’s just covered and the blooms smell so nice. I think it’s the only one of the plants that has a scent really.
Ok, the Parental Advisory: Make sure when cleaning out your child’s backpack now that school is over to follow these steps:
- Take it outside (you will need the ventillation)
- Bring a trash can nearby, preferably one not too full already
- Wear gloves
- A face mask might be a good idea too
- Be prepared to just throw the entire thing out
I was not willing to consider #5 since I had just bought the backpack over the winter break and it’s only beenin circluation half a school year. We try to squeeze 3 full years out of them and I really want this one to make it at least through jr high, and hopefully through 9th grade too. So, I had to clean it completely and get it to a point where I could wipe down the inside. Now, the boy *has* a lunch box but heaven forbid after he removes food from it which he doesn’t finish, OR after he trades food or simply buys something additional that he should put those items back in the lunchbox itself. Much easier to stuff them into the bottom of the main pockets. Yummy.
At least I earned some money – found about 45 cents in there which is mine. But, ick, do I want it?
After a lazy morning, we got to the field for LL game warm ups at 10:45. I got my walk in for the day – 40mins worth by making one lap around the fields and then going around the entire neighborhood block which is pretty darn big and very very hilly so it was a goood walk. Now that I have been walking more, I am no longer feeling so sore after which is an improvement over a couple of weeks ago! The team won again 7-6 after falling behind 6-1 making for a very exciting game. Weird thing was – it was COLD at the field. Sun never really came out and the wind from the ocean is quite bracing. Still, my plan was to clean up the weeds and one dead bush in the side yard beds so I bundled up and went to work after lunch. And…then the sun came out! Blazing. Which was actually kinda nice. I finished up and then sat out back and read for awhile. Sportsboy had come home and hit the books to finish 2 of 4 subjects and was reading quietly inside. On his own. Do you know the boy who took almost a full year to read the first three Harry Potter books has now finished books 4-6? He started book 6 just a week ago. He kept on marvelling at how fast I went through them, but I told him it was just practice. I think he gets it now The challenge will be what to get him into when he is done with HP.
How about you dear reader? Any signs of spring around you?
Saturday I finally had some time to play in the yard. MusicMan had been bringing home plants from work – basil, corn and watermelon. Then I went to Grumpy’s house to drop off SportsBoy for a play date and end up with some more fuchsia cuttings – this time two different varieties since last time. I figured I’d better start getting some of those plants into a more permanent home.
Now, admittedly I have not clue what I am doing (except with the fucshias). As evidenced by the picture of the onion stalks. Those were the result of some onions that sprouted in the cupboard and I threw them in some pots on a whim sometime around Feb. I had no idea what to expect. They bloomed with these white flower bulbs and now it looks like bulbs are forming on the flower heads? So, now what do I do? Will those small bulbs become new plants? How big should they get before I put *them* into the ground? I found the info I need to know when to harvest the bulbs after they grow in the ground, but I don’t know when to put them there. Yep, this is called gardening by the seat of your pants people. When you only have about 4 full days all year to truly tend to your garden it’s all improv. Hopefully the plants pick up on that and improv their way to some growing and blooming and fruit/veggie bearing. Right? Couple of flower shots too – a morning glory that has finally grown from some seeds I planted and a vibrant yellow/orange canna. No photo of the watermelons – I put them in an open spot at the top of the hillside, but towards the back where there is lots of room to grow. Hard to photograph right now. I even managed to fertilize things. I like to keep my plants at least *believing* they will get attention so when I do get out in the yard I go all out for them. Psyche! So here’s the results of my dirt digging:
My yard in flowers (despite my overall neglect for the past 5 months) + the jacaranda next door:
Looks like this – before:
Overgrown plumbago with all sorts of grassy weeds underneath. And trash. Yeah, see, this is MusicMan’s corner of the driveway and he was working on his car last night and forgot to clean up. Lovely. Around the side there leading to the gate are some gladiolas and cannas that area also choked off by weeds and dead stalks.
Trimmed back the plumbago, cleaned out the weeds and trash, pulled out dead stalks and pushed back the leaning gladiola stalk with some bricks. I tried not to trim back too many of the wispy plumbago branches because I like the look of those. And now I am hungry and my back and shoulders are sore and it feels GOOD!
Mini daffodils in one of the pots out back where the dahlias are also growing. These are already done now. There were about 6 more of these in bright yellow and pale yellow on the hillside too. There is a bud on one of the dahlias in the pot now. Should be one of the big dinner plate ones and it better not bloom while I am gone in Vegas!! I’ll ask SP to take a picture if it does.
DS2 at bat today. Notice the belt not properly wound through the pants and sticking out! That’s my fruitcake! They went 2-2 and played really really well even in their 2 losses. It was not quite good enough to make the playoff round though. We had fun though. Lots of sun and good company. I love the parents on this team. We have all known each other about 4-5 years now. There is a core group of 5 kids who have played together all along. 4 boys and 1 girl We call her Goldilocks because she always wears her long blonde hair down. She is all arms and legs and hair and the RULES these boys. She is the youngest, but the tallest and we know by the time they are all in high school that she will just take all 4 boys to prom with her and dare any other guys to look at her. She will also scare off any of the other girls! Her mom and I figure its a win-win all around because these boys wont let anyone mess with her of course.
I looked at my blog stats today and noticed a huge spike in visits yesterday. Mostly as referrals from DailyKos. Hmmm..I wonder WHY?? Delware Dem was our first guest host during Bill’s vacation and he put in links to all the Cafe Bobs blogs. That was a surprise I love it though. I really did not think that many people would ever look in. Pressure is on! Another source was from Mother Talkers – a DailyKos related blog for topics relating to motherhood and childrearing. I joined it last week and was recently motivated to start posting when the South Dakota abortion law was passed. Since I put a link to here in my sig line, I got a few hits from there (hi ladies!)
Since its a Saturday without DS2 I worked out, had a lazy breakfast reading the paper and then went outside to clean up the sidewalk weeds. The Big Landscaping Project of 2005 created a lovely source of weeds in the sidewalk cracks. They had reached embarassing heights so I spent a few hours beautifying the neighborhood :-> I like doing that since while I work out there I end up chatting with neighbors and getting nice compliments on how great everything looks on the hillside. For the rookies here, I bought my house (1st home purchase) 2.5 years ago and its a 20 year old house that sits on a raised lot with this loooong hillside yard. Very steep. No previous owner had ever done anything with it so it was always pretty much dirt and weeds for 18 years. Because the house sits on a corner lot as well, everyone on my street has to go past it every day. Heck, I know it was an eyesore to me for the first year and half!!! Still, its nice to hear the compliments when I am out there. I love to garden, but I especially love to share what I do and have others appreciate the results. So my fingers are sore and my neck hurts a little and the sinuses are of course distrubed by the dirt, but I will lay low tonight knowing it was worth it.