This morning I glanced out the kitchen window and was surprised by a breathtakingly beautiful iris in our flower garden. The flower garden was planted by a previous owners and we are often surprised by what unexpectedly appears. We also are overjoyed that some flowers that we love were already here when we moved. For example, EJ always wanted climbing rose bushes. We tried to plant some at our old house but our yard was very shady so, while we did get roses, they didn’t grow as well as we hoped. We found climbing roses waiting for us when we moved into our new home and they are growing beautifully in the sunshine. At our old house, we did have a beautiful lilac bush. I love lilacs (so does EJ) and I was sad to leave it behind. Our new home doesn’t have a lilac bush–it has THREE. They are light, medium, and dark lavender. I love them! Usually I cut bouquets of lilacs and put them in vases in the house. Their fragrance is heavenly! But this year our noses were all stuffed up with our bad colds and we couldn’t smell anything so I didn’t bother cutting bouquets.
After EJ left for work this morning, I went out to the garden to put up a few more posts. Yesterday we had put up posts at the corners of each raised garden bed and then fastened chicken wire fencing to them. The previous owner had left behind raised beds that were long and narrow and four posts were not enough–the fencing sagged in the middle. So I nailed wooden posts to the middle on each side of the boxes and then nailed the fencing to the posts.
After I competed that task, I started washing clothes but I waited until after JJ left for work at 9:30 a.m. to take the wet clothes out to the clothesline. Well, actually, I had to mow the lawn before I hung up the clothes because it’s not smart to mow under and around the clothesline when there are wet clothes hanging on it. The day was perfect for mowing–beautiful sunshine and a coolish 70 degrees. I like working when the temps are cool; heat drains me. EJ had put the wheels of the new mower at a higher setting when he mowed last time because the grass was so long, but he instructed me to lower the wheels two notches before I started mowing this time, which I did.
I mowed under the clothesline first, then mowed around the chicken and duck pens to the back yard, and them the front yard. I had wanted to get all the lawn mowed, but despite the cooler temps, I could feel myself over heating, so with just a little bit to go on the far side of the hill behind the large rocks, I stopped the mower, went inside, drank tea, and sat in front of the fan for a few minutes. When I cooled down, I took the baskets of wet clothes out to hang on the clothesline and then I finished the lawn.
The lawn looked beautiful when I finished. Our neighbors mow acres of their property but even though it looks nice, mowing so much always seems to me like a waste of time, energy, and gas. We only mow up near the house and leave the rest of the property wild for habitat for wildlife.
After I finished mowing, I put the mower away and then walked down the driveway to get the mail. As I walked, I admired my anti-erosion efforts. Our hard work seems to be paying off. We were told that the first owner of our house had only a two-wheel drive car. In the winter, he had large barrels of salt placed up and down the driveway so whenever he got stuck–which was often–he would shovel salt on the driveway. I suspect that all the salt killed the plants along the driveway, which allowed rain to rush down unhindered and cut deep gullies on either side. We spent our first few months in our house shoveling topsoil and stones into the deep gullies. We spent last summer building small rock dams every few feet down the driveway to slow the rush of water. And we’ve planted grass seed, wild flowers, and lilies because plants grip the soil and prevent water from washing the soil down the hill. The following two photos–one from June 2015 and the other from this year–shows the difference. From the driveway to the right edge of the rock dams was bare ground in 2015.
As I walked back up the driveway, I noticed the berry bushes in Deer Meadow. We call it Deer Meadow because the deer often bed down there. There are many blackberry and raspberry bushes in the meadow and also along the edge of the forest near the house. I just love our property with our garden, and fruit trees, and berry bushes.
When I got back to the house with the mail, I made myself some lunch and then did a bunch of little jobs:
When we had returned home after our visits to the various garden centers on Saturday, I was surprised to find two morning glories among the other plants. I thought, well, EJ must have wanted morning glories, which is fine. Yesterday I asked him where he wanted to plant the morning glories he bought. “I didn’t buy the morning glories,” he said. “I thought YOU did.” I said, “No, you bought them.” He replied, “No I didn’t.” Somehow the morning glories made their way into our shopping cart. Oh, well. I planted them near our little deck where they can climb up the bird feeder poles. They are crimson. Maybe they will attract hummingbirds.
A few weeks ago I read that chickens do a tremendous job breaking down a compose pile. We can throw whatever into the compose pile and the chickens will eat what they want and scratch up the rest. Sounded good, so I made a small enclosure with pieces of cattle panels in the back corner of the chicken pen near the right side of the garage. The holes of chicken panels are large and the chickens went through them and scattered the scraps I threw into it all over the pen. So today I fastened chicken wire fencing to the cattle panels so the chickens can only enter/exit through the door way. I’m hoping it will cut down on the scattering. The chickens are cute because they have quickly learned that when they see me come around the right side of the garage I have possibly yummy things to eat. They all come running to the compost enclosure and wait for me.
My house had been neglected over the weekend as we worked in the garden so in the midst of my other odd jobs today, I vacuumed, swept, and mopped the floors. I brought in the dry clothes from the clothesline. I fixed supper (leftovers) and after we ate, EJ and I made a quick run to the grocery store for a couple of items–the most important was kitty litter. I was out. Then I washed dishes and folded the clothes and put them away.
I was really tired by the time I was done with all my tasks and chores and jobs. But it was a good day and a good tired. I enjoy working around home.