Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rain today

Does having rain mean that the grass is going to grow again? We had a lovely thunderstorm this afternoon. It is now muggy out (I work til 9 tonight, who cares, it's cold in here) so I'm guessing that the lawn will not be cut in the next 24 hours but will again be above the height that any normal neighbor would be happy to see in a lawn. Hint hint.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Girl vs Kudzu

I had the day off of work yesterday. It was a typical Baltimore June day (read, HOT) and I decided I absolutely had to trim the vines on the side of the house. We have a beautiful climbing hydrangea that is very quickly being taken over by kudzu.

Now I don't have anything against Kudzu, except maybe that it is taking over the entire southeast. It has very pretty berries in the fall, a healthy green foliage and spreads like wildfire. If you haven't seen some of the crazy pictures out there, check out the Wikipedia article.

I spent the afternoon high on a ladder pulling it down. As you can see I now have a clear patch on the wall but still have to get up to the top and pull the stuff off the front. The Hydrangea is the vine to the right and if I had taken the picture correctly you could see that there's another hydrangea vine that goes around the front of the house. It's very slow growing so doesn't overwhelm, but with the kudzu killing it off, it needed help.

As you can see here, the kudzu is now overwhelming the trash can. :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

2 choices

While I'm greatly enjoying sitting on my butt watching the garden grow, it is time to get back to work again. I have 2 choices for where to start.

The first is to fix up the box garden on the new patio. It looks lousy as it is always in the shade and there are daylillies planted there. What I need is a shade garden but I'm not so very big on hostas. I could plant a couple of ferns, maybe some columbine (seems to be the in thing this year), forget-me-nots, and maybe a bleeding heart and a shooting star (those are neat) but how to fill in a 1 foot by 14 foot space with a grill in front.

The second choice is to actually clean up the front yard between the sidewalk and the road. This is not a fun project. Last year I moved some of the daylillies from the back box garden and they are doing wonderfully but for the most part there is lots and lots of ivy, some withering heather that does splendidly until June hits and lots and lots of snow on the mountain (more each year in fact). Maybe I'll just leave that one for now. Any suggestions for what to do with the heather?

Friday, June 8, 2007


In one day we went from that evil looking bud to this. It was soooo bleeding hot today (96, welcome to Baltimore) that everything just went boom. The sorrel went crazy (time for salmon in sorrel cream sauce) and the herbs that I plucked are double their size.

Another view of a nasturtium. (Ok so I'm a bit nasturtium crazy this week, now we get to eat them, fun!)

So I'm busily watching my plants grow and watering them a bit, but where do I go from here? I could go help Pam's sweetie in his garden (nah) or I could trim the neighbor's wisteria and the climbing hydranga from the house. Darling, Can you help me?

Thursday, June 7, 2007


The Herb/Veggie garden is really taking off.

The nasturtiums are starting to bloom, evil looking things aren't they?

Can you believe I chopped the Lavendar back 2 days ago. It's huge!

These are the Lemon Boys....mmmmmmmm tasty in 1 month. Buds many many buds on my 6 tomato plants. Watch all the tomatoes ripen in August while we are away. Who is volunteering for tomato eating duty?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Empress of India

Nasturtium bejeweled in the rain today. Check out the large format by clicking on the photo.

Bricklaying Days 1 & 2

It's raining today so I have time to do this. Besides, the patio is done and Sunday is a day of repose.

Saturday morning we started by laying the string lines. This complicated process was made interesting by the fact that we only had a tiny string level and too much brainpower.

Next, you can see how we've started laying the first row on Saturday night. Much to our dismay, this all came up as day two man number three came with a lovely water level (which I did not see in motion as I was playing marshmallow shooter at the time).

Here the men show an excellent example of a screed board in motion. Notice the hose on the left attached to my flowers. You must first spritz, then screed, then tamp then smooth, then pull up the boards you are screeding on, then fill the board holes then smooth then tamp again. UGH

Believe me when I say that I know this firsthand as it was I that laid the walkway. Screed, haul, brick, screed, haul, brick, drink diet coke.

Here is a lovely demonstration of brick cutting. As you can see, we didn't have the wet saw on day two. Cut, chisel, break, start over cut chisel. We abandoned after day three and just rented.

At dinnertime, we are 1/2 done, all screeded except for the walkway and ready to eat. Good thing I made dinner the night before.

We were blessed with a lovely thunderstorm right at the end of dinner which meant sundaes inside. Now what this means is the rest of the work will be done by the two of us. OOF!

Days 3 4 and 5.

So this is where we were at day's 3-5. It takes a while to finish a patio. You can see the sides where we hadn't yet rented the saw. We've started to put the sand down at this point.

The Finished Product!!!

Notice the beautiful edges that wecut with the wet saw. It was my job to measure and his job to cut. I think I got the better end of the deal as it was loud, wet and disgusting.

Anyone feel like helping build stairs?