Sunday, December 18, 2011

Planning Stages

A chilly Sunday today, and a good time to keep my feet warm and think about upcoming work.
One of my most recent clients wants a plan of action for improvements... always a good thing, because I get to put a direction together with a timeline.

There are a lot of camellias down the side of their house. It is winter (almost) so I am all about camellias right now. In the early Spring, I'm all about daffodils. In the Fall, it's the wildflowers that I can't live without.

Funny. You can almost tell the time of year a given property was put into the hands of a landscaper or designer by the predominate blooming plants.

This house is right at the edge of a golf course. The homeowners want their property to have a little more 'pop and sizzle' when viewed from the golf course. (They are golfers... need I say that?)
A previous homeowner planted azaleas, but... yawn.

Homeowners have used existing rock and leftover flagstone to outline several beds for annuals. An okay start, but the beds lack cohesion.

At this time of year, it would be nice to see a little more evergreen, though there is a good sized patch of vinca that doesn't really show up in the photos. (Or from the golf course.)

A pathway to start, more well defined and cohesive beds for annuals, and a showier evergreen groundcover to carry the Winter months, right?

The wheels are churning... stay tuned!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No Time for Titles...

Hurry! Hurry!
If I hurry up and get back to blogging, maybe I'll have time to join the Garden Bloggers and meet up with them at the Spring Fling in... Asheville! NC!
Sooo close to home. I wonder if they will let me be part of the group? I'd better get busy, and write, write, write!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting to the Obsession

Maybe this is why I never get any new blogs out. Always wanting to add something, edit, rewrite, add pictures, etc. Anyway, this is a good example... I wrote this back in February, after our big snow. Just noticed it had been saved as a draft instead of posting... So, here 'tis. A February blog, at the first of summer:

Before I can get on to the subject of what's really possessing me these days, I have a little backlog of stuff to get out.
Redneck ingenuity. I wonder if people even consider the 'r' word to be a slander anymore. When I was growing up it was a word for an attitude. A redneck would toss trash from their car window. Sit on their car hoods and yell and whistle when girls drove by. Pen their dogs up in the yard. Dig up mud puddles with their trucks. Drink beer.
About a decade ago I learned that redneck was the new cool. The more Jeff Foxworthy lampooned the term, the more our sons, and daughters, embraced the label.
I've learned that humans are too complex to label neatly, but it was funny that the thought 'redneck ingenuity' popped up the other day. My DH came home after our big, 6" snow here in January and told me he saw a truckload of whoopin' hollerin' young men buying beer at the local convenience store and being pulled on the snow behind a truck in a ...wait for it... bass boat. A flat-bottomed bass boat. My buddies used to pull each other around on an old car hood. The bass boat sounded like fun, too. Use what you have.

It was a pretty good snow for the area, and then we had a hard freeze for a couple of days that turned all that snow into hard, slick ice. They scraped the road, (the chunks have only just melted) but travel was hazardous. Still, three days after the big snow I really needed some things out of storage shed, and that was the first time I ventured up our road. It was a very slick event, that snow and ice.
To my surprise, someone else was also trying to get in to his storage unit.
He had a buddy with him and they believed the trout would be biting that day, and they had a boat to break out of the ice. I walked up - no way I was driving down the drive - onto a small puddle of blue flame. One of the guys pointed at it so I would see it. I took in the five gallon gas can sitting there, and smelled the gas, and slowly it dawned on me that these guys were trying to melt the ice with gasoline or something. I tiptoed past the flaming puddle and made my way, very carefully, down a glazed-over hill that had me skating down the ice to keep my balance.
Mission accomplished, I very carefully walked back up the hill to where one of those two fellows was chipping at the ice with what appeared to be a brand new garden hoe. It was taking quite a bit of effort to chip through the frozen icy snow, but every time he made a breakthrough, a little more flame appeared. Those guys were literally burning tracks down through the driveway, so much did they want to go fishing. Redneck ingenuity.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Winter. Anyone who thinks there is nothing to do in the garden during the winter, doesn't garden. There is a LOT to do, from whacking back perennials to pulling out vines invading the perimeter to training young trees with a little corrective pruning. Not to mention planting the bulbs we get on sale (couldn't resist those, could we?)
Since I have no yard of my own :( but various clients with nice big yards :) here are some of the things I have done since the beginning of December:

CLEANED UP trash, sticks, more trash, broken furniture, rotten firewood, more trash, scattered nursery pots, and more trash. That was actually the longest day I have spent working this winter season, and by far the most satisfying.

DIGGING BRIARS is something I detest in the warmer weather when I'm not insulated from the thorns with multiple layers of clothing. Frankly, I don't like it all that much in the winter, either, as I spend as much time detangling myself as I do digging and pulling out those roots. But, again, this is a very rewarding job that will make a huge difference next summer.

PRUNING TREES is not always best done in the dormant season, I have learned. But I am doing it anyway. These trees need me. Time to do some hard corrective pruning, and leave the finer details of mid-Spring pruning until next year.

Just enough to get by on.