Sunday, June 26, 2011

A weekend at home.. and a mystery solved... well sort of

I stayed around the house this weekend.  I barely scratched my "to do" list but I got a few great things accomplished.  And a mystery has been solved.

First the mystery.  The crepe myrtle trees in the front yard look like this:

Next door neighbor Doc Sanders and his grandson were out doing yard work this morning.  Doc commented that only one of his three crepe myrtles was still alive.  Both sets of three trees were original to the houses and 50+ years old.  Doc further stated that at Meadowood Ranch only the crepe myrtle next to the street had ever bloomed.  Okay so I guess after 50 years I probably can't encourage it with fertilizer which was my plan for next summer.

The mourning dove babies are getting BIG.  Mom is on the left in the back in the photo.  The chicks are getting feathers and walking around the hanging tomato planter now.

The figs on the two fig bushes are beginning to ripen.  Last year the figs got ripe just after the house was purchased and before the other house was sold.  So tonight we ate fresh figs for the first time.  The figs were very tasty.  If we get overrun with figs I will need to freeze them or make jam or .....

Last, but not least of the photos, is an update on the amaryllis seed planting effort.  I saved the seeds from two amaryllis flowers from existing bulbs planting in the yard at the new house.  To germinate the seeds I folded the seeds inside a wet paper towel which was sealed in a small ziplock bag to keep in the moisture.  After germination, the seeds were transplanted to Jiffy 7 peat pots using tweezers.  I now have a flat of tiny amaryllis plants under makeshift grow lights (further details below).

This weekend the following were also accomplished at Meadowood Ranch:
  • Removed a polycart-worth (didn't want to risk composting it and spreading it further) of prickly vine from the bird garden area.  Also trimmed up a few wayward branches and vines.  The bird garden looks much neater now.
  • Sprayed a gallon of Roundup -  primarily to remove the variety of weeds from the soon-to-be herb garden area and a portion of the bird garden area overrun with yet more prickly vine.
  • Purchased a dozen calla lily bulbs on clearance.  After soaking them in water overnight I potted them in jiffy pots filled with potting soil.  Hopefully they are still viable.  Total cost of this experiment is less than $4.
  • Shopped for replacement indoor fluorescent light seed starting/plant growing station components.  I donated my T12 (the old large diameter fluorescent bulbs) shop lights from the growing station at the last house prior to putting the old house on the market.  I've decided on getting high-output energy-efficient T5 (very small diameter fluorescent bulbs) fixtures for the replacement station.  The fixtures will need to be mail ordered (not available at the big box stores in town) and I have a 15% off coupon for Gardener's Supply Company and they have what I want.
  • Removed the remainder of the composting wood chips from the tree stump in the grassy area near the shop.  Put composted chips in large ankle-turner hole by the front door.
  • Tried but was unsuccessful at matching the grand ole' 3X5 American flag from the previous house and the existing bracket on the front of the new house.  The flag has grommets and, therefore, requires an upright flag pole so gravity will keep it in place.  The existing bracket is mounted so the flag pole is horizontal.  The purchased flag pole has been returned while other options are considered since I didn't see a new Stars & Stripe at the store that would work with the existing flag bracket either.
Next weekend we are off to a dog obedience trial so I'll need to shift gears this week and work Bern and Grace on their respective exercises.