The fall recap

When the air gets cooler and there are leaves in the breeze I start to layer up. Along with flannel comes pumpkin flavored everything. But what many people do not know is what comes along with the Halloween decor going up, the great fall cut down begins. What you may not know is that it takes us weeks of working on the property at least an hour a day. I am talking everyday, not just the weekend.

The cut down is slow but sure. I have brought inside 1/3 of the Elephant Ear plants. We will need to bring the rest of them in this weekend, as well as possibly the Banana tree. By the way, this banana tree is no joke. Currently in the ground our banana tree is 9 foot tall. Last year we needed to cut all but the center leaf off in order to get it in the house. I think the same will need to happen this year. I am ready for our banana tree to sprout some new trees, not sure if it works like that with this type of banana tree. What I do know is that last year I purchased 4 Elephant ear bulbs and dug up 10 bulbs in the fall. Yes I brought them in the house and let them grow all winter in the bay windows. This spring I planted 10 bulbs and well I have started to be able to tell when and how there will be a new plant. Also I have only dug up 4 of the locations that I planted a bulb in each and there are 11 bulbs in one pot. I thought that there would be 20 to dig up in the fall when I counted 2 months ago, I think that it is up to 23 now. Its a good thing I have such cool neighbors where I can plant some at their houses and then go dig them up in the fall for everyone. Or at least that’s what two neighbor ladies have agree too already.

I have already started cutting down the ferns. There are a great deal of them which are very beautiful during the spring and most of the summer. But just the littlest bit of chill and they die off. So I have been amassing their dead branches at the back of the yard closer to the edge of the woods. We will then chip about half of what we cut down. The other half we end up lazily throwing into a large compost pile. The day lilies will not be blooming any more this year so they are slowly getting cut down along with the cone flower and bee balm and a few others.

Yesterday I cut down about 10 plants. Literately at least 200 more to go. They are perennials so they will come back next year. When I cut them down in the fall it helps them to concentrate growth efforts in the roots and building a stronger bigger root base, which in turn in the spring gives a larger plant. The really great thing about this is that then in the spring I can split up the plants and give some away to family and friends. Its really a triple win. I maintain healthy plants by separating them up, people I love get free plants and whenever a plant is given away and then produces flowers mother nature wins.

Since starting this post we have had a lot more colder overnights. The rest of the elephant ears needed to come inside as well as the banana tree. The true total of elephant ears and off shoots totaled a whopping 51. The Elephant ears that we put out front in full sun proved to reproduce the most. That tracks, they are a tropical plant and like the sun. Three of the four plants when dug up have 8 off shoots each.

The Banana tree could have been perfectly fine if we had just chopped it down and brought it in the house. It really is very hard after watching the tree grow so big and beautiful all summer. So it got to keep one open leaf and one baby leaf. It looks hilarious and sad, but that tree will easily produce 8-10 leaves over the winter inside. In the pot, in the living room with two leaves it reaches the 9 foot ceiling.

The two poinsettia bushes that are in a large pot also made the trip to inside the house for the winter. This bush really tends to show you that its not a fan of being moved and will loose a bunch of leaves from shock. The best thing we have found to help decrease the shock on these two, is water every day and use a grow light. They really like the grow light.

I took down some of the tomato plants in the side yard but the back yard still is producing tomatoes. I bring tomatoes in when they are green and they get to sit on the counter until they are red and then they get washed cut in half and popped into the freezer bag and into the freezer. We use them when we make chili.

Lilies, spider wort, cone flowers and bee balm all cut down. The asparagus has yet to turn brown, that is when we can cut that down and cover with leaf mulch for the winter. I will say one unexpected win this fall is that two of the asparagus plants that I planted this year as there first year produced seeds. So yes I was able to harvest 50 asparagus seeds. Very excited to share these seeds with friends and family.

Other seeds that I have been able to save this fall and start in the house already are marigold seeds, Arborvitae tree seeds, I saved 7 seed pods and I have 10 sprouts. Rose of Sharon seeds, I saved 12 seed pods from a few different colored bushes. Most of them were a light purple, a few white and pink. I do not even mind if they are all purple because about forty of these seeds have sprouted. I am so very happy!

RickabaughReviews is rooting for the bees and trees.

I have been trying every week since getting my updated phone to try to post pictures of the fall to winter progress to no avail. I am very disappointed in the new iphone as well as the updated wordpress program. doubt I will renew my subscription – It has only been a waste of money and time – shame.

Making Slippers

I would like to start with I love to crotchet and I have figured out how to crochet many different types of things( booties, hats, blankets, sweaters) just by studying other things. Which helps with the follow up comment of I am not particularly well versed in any way, in how to read patterns.

I have been trying desperately to make a pair of slippers for myself. The most recent pair I have purchased for myself are about 4 years old and they are warm. But they have some drawbacks which include they are too big which makes my walking not awesome. I slide easily as well as trip because when trying to step over the very large dog who is very good and does not try to stand up, my slippers slip off of my feet which then I nearly fall over every time. Also there is a really big hole along the seam on the right slipper that I have been living with for 3 years.

Making slippers for myself is hard, much harder than I first anticipated. First I tested out making a sole. It was adorable, so I made 4 because I stood on just one layer of crocheted soles and wanted it cushier. After I made all four, I combined two twice to make two cushy soles. After this was all done I measured it to my feet again. Hahahaha, they were about two inches too long for my feet. The ripping out began.

Then I put soles back together. I then stitched on one of the long strips to make the body of the slipper, it was bunching up weirdly that I didn’t like. So I ripped that off, then ripped it out. More uncrocheting. I have finally decided after doing and redoing and then more redoing that I am just going to crotchet them just like I would one of my baby booties.

Stay tuned for updates and photos.

RickabaughReviews approves of try try again motto.

Giving back in 2020

There are many ways in which we can all give back. Sometimes they are big and sometimes they are small. Sometimes the small gifts to others are gigantic. In the past and I know in the future there have been and will be times when I need help. No one can live on planet earth alone. I am a very busy person so I been trying to look for helpful opportunities that are a one time helping situation.

I have in the past donated money to different organizations. I know money really helps a lot but I wanted to be a little more hands on. My wonderful husband found a few places where I could do some good. One that really caught my eye was where I could put my crocheting to good use for those in need. They accept hand made hats, scarves and gloves for the needy. I only know a few basic crochet stitches. I am not great with patterns but I can make a long rectangle so scarves are a go! When someone has asked me lately what I have been making I have told them scarves for the chilly. I have told family and co-workers I don’t like to say for the needy because we all have needs, these people specifically need help to not be cold.

I made a baby blanket for someone last year and had about a half of a skein of yarn left over of each color. I used the pink to make finger-less gloves for a friend. The purple for finger-less gloves for myself. The teal I made into a scarf for the chilly.

In the attic recently when looking for some yarn for the neighbor girl to make herself a poncho I found a blanket I had started about 15 years ago and did not finish. But I did find a half a ball of the pink yarn that matched the partial blanket. So I brought it down and did a few finishing touches. Put on an edge and shell border on the ends. Another scarf for the chilly and less partial projects in the attic.

Does giving back always have to be a big gesture? no. Sometimes its as simple as I make home made bread for my husband and I twice a week. One yeast packet makes two loaves of bread. Since we are not able to eat a whole loaf in the four days before it molds why not give the second loaf to one of the families in our neighborhood. We have four houses out of the seventeen on our street that have four kids in each house. I have been rotating giving out bread to the neighbors. Sometimes I feel silly doing these small things for others but i know that in my simple act of reaching out to the neighbors with a little loaf of bread and a kind word it helps to make me feel wanted and needed and I know that they also feel that way. It helps me keep in touch with the families closest physically to our home and I really think that it helps me feel less intimidated by people around me as well. We are all here to help each other out.

Whether it be bread, scarves, yard work, or something like helping make Halloween costumes for the new family members across the street.

RickabaughReviews encourages all of us to reach out to help someone else, you might be surprised how much it helps you.

Brewing up good Halloween Decorations

The Huz and I have been watching a fair amount of DIY’s on the TV lately in order to get some great decorating ideas. We really enjoy going just a bit over board on Halloween and Christmas. We like Halloween because its the one time in an entire year you get to be somebody or something else. The other 364 days of the year its just responsible, boring old me, the workaholic.

We found three really great ideas that we are going to add to our yearly Halloween decor. This first one is the Cauldron.

For the fire underneath we got a board and stapled down some outdoor orange lights. Then covered it mostly with “Great Stuff” foam. We hit it up with some red and black spray paint. While the foam was wet we put a few sticks to make it look even more realistic.

In the light – looks a bit odd.

With the lights out, looks a lot more like a lil fire.

Next we worked on the cauldron. We put on a primer so that paint will adhere to the plastic.

We then put a coat of black matte paint over the primer, we chose the matte paint to take the shininess off of the plastic. After this we added bronzing in spots around the outside to give it the look of age. We also added green paints to the top edge to give the look of boiling over witches brew.

Next is the optical illusion of the bubbling brew. We intend to hang the caldron so we can not fill it entirely with water. We found a perfect little Styrofoam cooler that fits in the cauldron in order to fill the space and is a perfect little table for a small dish that we built to hold the water and mister which will create the look of boiling brew.

The mister we found online. Its a small LED submersible electrical device that works with water and gives the illusion of a witches brew.

Next we got some bamboo and cut it to the length. We then spray painted it black for a darker creepier look. We used twine to tie the three pieces together at the top creating a tripod in which to hang the caldron.

We purchased some decorative chain link at Home Depot. We purchased 10 feet just in case and we used about 8 feet. We also got a green light bulb and a very basic work light with a clamp in order to really illuminate the decor in the yard at night.

Of course the tomb stone is knocked over in the photo.
Not much to look at in the day time.

Since starting to work on the cauldron blog post we have added window decoration where it looks like the house is on fire. The key to that illusion is a lot of fan action on a very reflective material in the window. Also there will be a neighborhood hayride for the kids this year and the neighbor asked as the grand finale that he drives the tractor into our yard to get closer to the creepiness for the kids. Also found out this evening that our neighbors kids calls our house “Halloween Town”.

Here is the YouTube channel you should subscribe to also for more cool stuff where we have recently been getting our inspiration: Wicked Makers

RickabaughReviews approves of Halloween fun and is totally in love with Wicked Makers!

Bonus 3D print!! We made a night light for the little neighbor girls.

Fireplace makeover

I know that it is a bit early for Halloween decor to be put out, but its not to early to purchase Halloween decor, so out it goes. I have wanted for a bit to place a few candle holders for next to the fireplace. By the way, in our old house we had a gas fireplace, but I wanted them back then too, so a bit is 10 years. But they are soooo expensive! And I really could not justify the expense.

Then I showed The Huz a really great idea that we saw at Spirit Halloween and he really liked it. This weekend we were on the hunt for one, maybe two candle holders to start our fireplace collection.

Plain, simple fireplace.

We purchased 6 of 5 different designs. Three are Halloween themed so they will go away at the Beginning of November, so we may need to go back and get a few more from Tuesday Morning (a local store). We did end up getting three more candle holders right before going full Halloween decor from Big Lots.

I pulled out three hard backed books from the bookshelf, that were plain. And then I started pulling out a bunch of the candles that have been purchased for this year’s winter. I like to burn candles in the winter, adds light and warmth to the kitchen.

The next thing to do was to take the tags off of the candle holders and start placing them all about, along with a few pumpkins I got from Walmart.

I added a few other candles with out the pillars, for depth and volume.

A bunch of candles that I purchase come with a plastic wrapper on them to help protect from nicks and dents. So there was a great UN-wrapping. Took forever! I will say if you are planning to do this and burn them for a long time, take care in the scents that you mix. I was going for look not smell. There are at least five different flavors in there and not complementary at all.

Lit up it looks great!

All lit for a photo and then immediately put them all out, the dog is so furry, she will catch herself on fire.

Here is the fireplace upgrade with the three more pillars and after we got down the Halloween decor from the attic. A very nice look indeed.

I switched out some pumpkins for a display somewhere else in the dining room.

RickabaughReviews approves of Halloween decorating. Its so much fun.

Bonus!!! The 3D printed spiderweb corners for doorways made out of glow in the dark filament printed last year. 1-did not melt in the attic & 2-still glow in the dark when charged up with light.

Puzzle Time

We are sometimes frugal to a fault, so I make sure that we reward ourselves every now and then. We were getting a quick delicious dessert at Costco for going to visit a friend. We saw that they are beginning to bring out their Christmas decor and gifts as well. Yes I believe it is too early. But that will not stop us from looking at what they have.

We saw some really nice 3D puzzles of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. One has the Hogwarts castle and the other puzzle has the train and some Diagon Alley buildings. Each puzzle was only $25. We were almost to the checkout with the dessert, but I had to get them. And of course I had to get both of them.

Labor Day weekend was a perfect weekend to start a puzzle, it is starting to get darker out earlier. We are not happy about it and we refuse to go to bed earlier so we stay up late and put puzzles together. When opening the castle puzzle we were a bit shocked at how large it will end up being and no we have no idea where we will put it, and yes once it is built it stays built forever.

We already had it started and I stated awwww we should have done a time lapse video of the assembly. The Husband agreed with the next puzzle we will do a time lapse. For the castle we have in-progress photos.

All together the puzzle took both of us working on it for close to 13 hours in order to complete it. The box states that it is for children 8 years and older. I do not know any 8 year olds that would be able to put this together without help. A few pieces were difficult, some tore and had to be glued. Also some steps are not 100 percent clear, and I feel like I am putting together Ikea furniture.

This is the small deceiving box that it came in.
When we opened up the poster base we quickly realized we underestimated its size. Yes it states the finished size on the box. They now have a display built at Costco. It also took them a week to put it together.
Two stacks of puzzle pieces marked with numbers.
Instruction Booklet is very daunting.
And so it begins…
Most important tip is using a toothpick to poke out the slots – front to back, sometimes the paper tore.
And sometimes just use tiny scissors. We then needed to glue this piece.
When putting on the bottom of the castle have one person holding it sideways to accurately pop it on, and use lots of light. No need to strain your eyes.
First half done – on to the Astronomy tower.
Worst piece ever, just fell apart. I think it was piece 58 in the second half.
Now that it is complete – this is all the leftovers.
Just realized it is so big I did not even get it all in the picture.

RickabaughReviews is in LOVE with how this puzzle turned out. It is so much more detailed than expected and incredibly affordable for what you get. This will be a very long lasting quality display piece.

Added bonus – our latest 3D print fun – fall decor vase filler.

They are sooooo tiny!!!
VASE FILLER WIN!!!

Adding Trees to the Rickabaugh Orchard

We stopped by Lowe’s in order to look for the tomato cages that we saw that they had online, which stated they were in store. We never found them, but we did find their newly stocked plant/tree section. We looked at the Rose of Sharons and they we $50.00 a piece. They are still on our list to purchase, but not this trip. Then we found 6 and 7 foot fruit trees for $24.98 a piece. So yes of course we purchased two different plum trees as well as two more different breeds of peach trees.

So our fruit tree count is now up to eleven. We have three raspberry starts, three blackberry starts, two grape vines, four strawberry bushes and six blueberry starts. Also we added 20 stalks of Asparagus this year. So of course we need to look into more veggies that you plant once and they come back every year. Reducing the need to seed save. Which I don’t mind, but less fuss is so much nicer.

I am worried about one of the blueberry bushes, it lost all of its leaves very early in the summer. We do have a great deal of beetles, aphids and squash bugs. I do know that the one apple tree did much better this year due to me collecting beetles and drowning them in soapy water, but I relaxed in my gathering of them because of other pressing matters in life. And we did notice that the one apple tree on the end has been stripped of the leaves from about the middle of the tree the whole way to the ground. I am sure it is the bugs that had previously been named.

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We have noticed that we are getting some more recent help with the extermination of some of the bothersome bugs. Below you can seen our recent pear tree guard. He or she is doing amazing! He or she by the way is completely alarmingly large. Close to three inches long from the tips of its back legs to the tips of its front legs. Get them bugs! Specifically please get the mosquitoes that leave quarter sized itchy welts all over me.

So putting in four new fruit trees took about three hours. We planted and watered. Put up posts and strung the support wires, all four of the support wires for this year. And then of course there was the much needed task of trimming the unwanted branches and training the remaining branches that get tied to the wires.

The first plum tree was extra hard for us to really get into the harsh trimming that espalier style requires. There are so very many beautiful little branches we want them all to survive. So the first tree took the longest. I also think that it also needed the most trimming out of the four trees. Closest to the berry patch we started with the plum trees and then worked our way up along the other fruit trees planted earlier in the spring, this way all three peach trees are in close proximity of each other.

You can see in the back row the Bing cherry tree which will have white flowers in the spring. It may look like it is not doing well but when purchased in February it was shipped bare root. No leaves, and not many branches at all and was the smallest of the trees. In the front row you can see the brand new to Rickabaugh Orchard, Santa Rosa Plum tree. The Santa Rosa Plum tree will also have white blooms in the spring. It is very interesting to see such different views of this plum. There are a few web pages/ orchard websites that will tell you that the Santa Rosa Plum is a self-pollinator. But on the back of the tag it states that cross-pollination with another plum variety is needed to produce quality fruit. Well because I would like it to produce fruit I wasn’t going to chance it and we also purchased the only other available plum at Lowes, a nice Methley Plum.

The Methley Plum also blooms white flowers as well in the spring. The nice part is that both of these plums have each other as good cross pollinators.

Next in the new row of fruit trees is the Early Elberta Peach. This peach tree is a self-pollinator as it states on the tag as well as on all the orchard websites that I have used to research if this is a good pick for our home. I have read that a great deal of self-pollinators do okay as fruit producers. I have also read that when a compatible tree, not necessarily the exact same breed of fruit tree is planted close by the trees produce larger and more plentiful amounts of fruit. Like the curl free peach tree which was planted in the spring and has light pink blooms, the Early Elbert Peach tree has dark pink and sometimes purple blooms in the spring.

The last new tree planted is a Hale Haven peach tree. Also a self-pollinator peach tree which does better close to other peach trees, it is planted closest to the road. This tree has light pink blooms in the spring time. We put this tree last in the line, this type of peach tree requires full sun and it will be getting the best sun out of all of the trees.

Here are photos of after trimming and tying of branches to the wires. It went pretty quick after the first tree, we felt more tired, done with the project, and more confident the trees would be perfectly fine.

Our very adorable Santa Rosa Plum tree planted and trimmed and beginning its new training of branch growth.

Our new little Methley Plum tree planted in the same row and trimmed and trained to the wires.

Very excited to show off our new Early Elberta Peach planted, trimmed and starting her training as well.

Lastly but not least of all the Hale Haven Peach tree planted, trimmed and on board with the branch training game.

RickabaughReviews is very nervous about all these new trees making it through their first winter here, but also approves of trees for the bees and trees for mother earth. oh yeah and finished T-Rex photos!

Berry Patch update

While some areas of the yard get worked on others go by the way side. I have been watering the berry patch but we have not done too much weeding of the berry patch. We have trimmed down out front and planted tulips and we have worked on the veggies, fruit trees and the pond.

The pond had so much algae in it that we could not see the fish at all. We tried one type of chemical for about a month and it did nothing. So very disappointing. We got a very expensive algae eater chemical and of course it worked right away. But along with the new chemical we also took out a good 6 inches of water from the pond. We watered all the veggies and fruits and we pulled out the water hyacinths, they are all dying. Which is very odd. We put them in two big barrels with the algae pond water and I have been watering the plants with that pond water for a few days. Then we scrubbed a bunch of rocks, rebuilt the waterfall and we scrubbed the top 6 inches of the whole top edge the pond liner. It all looks and runs much more smoothly. It has been a week since the all day pond face lift, but it was worth it. We can see the whole way to the bottom, every single rock. Today I added three of the water hyacinths back into the pond. If the pond scums up within the week we will know that we purchased some diseased plants this year.

I split up the one strawberry plant into three and so we now have a short little row of four strawberry plants. We propped up all of the asparagus, because it doesn’t like to stay standing up on its own and lays on top of the strawberry plants and is much bigger than I had anticipated. So we used a few garden wickets to hold them up straight. Now they are in two beautiful rows, one on either side of the strawberry row.

We planted a fall crop of sugar snap peas, which we now have 4 little sprouts so far. We harvested the spaghetti squash. We put up another wire to the three new fruit trees that we are growing Espalier style and tied a few branches down on two of the trees. And so we have been a tad busy and have let the new berry patch get a bit overgrown with weeds.

Today the Huz and I spent an hour weeding the berry patch. Everything in the berry patch is new this year so no berries this year but next year there should be a few. The last thing I want is to waste time and money on plants that die because of neglect. We are going to have to put up some stakes and wires just like the fruit trees, for the blackberries and the raspberries. Just not nearly as extensive thank goodness. But today was rip out the weeds that are trying to choke out the new berries.

In the before photos you can see that there is a great deal of luscious greenery growing.

And in the after photo you can see that the nice little designated areas for the berries to grow and that we already have some stakes out. We just need to put up some support wire. Also in the after photo you probably can not see all over the weeded area is covered in acorns. Which I am going to want to rake up and pile into the woods for the deer/ wildlife this winter.

We did do a time lapse of about 45 minutes of our full hour of weeding. Its a bit blurry but its so crazy to watch in a few short seconds a full hours worth of hard work pay off.

This fall we are planning to continue our chipping efforts of the leaves that fall in our yard and we will be putting down a nice big layer of chipped leaves over the berry patch as well as over the rest of the new fruit tree patch and the blueberry patch too. Free insulation as well as winter nutrient feeding and weed block/deterrent are the three main reasons for chipping the leaves. The other reason is because we have some very large trees with some very large leaves. And throughout the fall we could easy boast about a foot of leaves fall over every square inch of our yard. Or as the huz likes to say “its an insane amount of leaves”

I am very excited to start having the new fruit areas all have a nice bed of fine healthy mulch. I am also very excited because i am going to be able to use the compost in my little compost bin this year as well. I have done so much direct composting right into the raised garden beds because they have fencing around them and animals don’t get into them, that I have not put nearly as much kitchen scraps into the little compost bin as I used to.

RickabaughReviews approves of weeding reluctantly and greatly approves of updates on the 3D printed T-rex!

Trying to save the Bees

Yes I am very allergic to basically the outdoors. They would include trees, grass, flowers/pollen. And living in America in 2020 amid Covid-19 I really have seen how selfish humans can be. I have been greatly disappointed. I am no longer rooting for humans, I am now on team planet earth. With my allergies in mind knowing that I am going to make them worse by adding flowers to the yard, back in mid July I had purchased 4 bags of Gladioli from Big Lots. They were 50% off. Each bag had 10 bulbs, even if only 2 grow from each bag its such a great deal!

I moved some flowers from in front of the shed to the edge of the woods. Hopefully in the spring they will bloom along with the orange day lilies and it will be very colorful at the edge of the woods.

I also took out a lot of over grown weeds from in front of the shed and added 40 Gladioli bulbs. It is late August and a bunch of them have sprouted. They probably will not bloom this year and I will cut them down in the fall and cover the area with mulched leaves to protect everything over the winter. But next year I am ready for some really big color.

The bees love colorful flowers. I have caught them all summer in the spaghetti squash flowers. Even if we were not so successful this year with our squash harvest I would still have planted squash seeds next year, just for the bees. Every morning when watering I would find bees in the big blooms. Bumble bees and honey bees. One morning I found two honey bee butts per flower on the one plant that had five flowers on it. Bee butts in flowers first thing in the morning will make any gardener smile. Our honey bees have not survived but we are hoping that others do.

Last fall I purchased 6 Mums of differing colors and planted them in the space where a very large Pine tree had been taken down. I had read that they will survive our climate if they are planted in the ground. They are most famous in our area in pots for the fall beauty and then usually die. I also read that they will bloom in the spring when planted in the ground but to keep them from blooming in the spring you are supposed to trim the new growth off of them. This will then force them to regrow more tips and then the buds will bloom around the fall season instead. We have plenty of spring flowers for the bees so I was looking for some later colorful flowers in the fall to give the local bees the best boost before winter. I can tell you first hand this worked like magic! Not only that but they all doubled in size and one grew easily 4 times the size it was last year when I planted them.

The husband and I greatly love a lot of color. One flower that has a multitude of bright bold color options are tulips. When we moved in there have been a few amount of tulips every spring. There are about 5 big red tulips out front and one very pretty tulip that blooms out back. Tulips like Gladioli can be purchased easily in their bulb state. I like to purchase bulbs because they come back every year. Yes we just purchased two bags of tulip bulbs that will bloom in the spring. Each bag had 50 tulip bulbs. Each bag cost only $13 so for twenty six dollars 100 bulbs is such a good price. Costco had so many beautiful color choices it was very hard to pick just two bags. We didn’t need to go over board so we stuck with just two. We currently have a great deal of purple early in the spring and then a few red and pink rose bushes that bloom all summer long. What really helped narrow down our choices was the information found on the packaging.

Notice in the upper left hand corner it says blooms early spring. Also we love the double petal look and liked the orange and yellow for in the spring to mix with the blue bells and the purple spotted iris’ that are planted every where.

This mix of late spring blooms has some purples in it but also look at those pretty pinks and of course the double petal look really grabbed our full attention.

Last night we talked about where we would plant the tulips and how we would plant one early and one late close by each other in all the different flower beds. This morning when planting 100 bulbs I figured the colors would not be labeled at all so it would be up to sheer dumb luck at what color showed up where in the spring. This was true for the early spring mix pack. But to my surprise the late spring blooming pack was separated into one bag of purple and one bag of pinks. So when popping the bulbs in the ground it was a great deal more fun being able to alternate and know that these at least are spread out evenly through out the flower beds.

The neighbors rave about how pretty our place is with all the flowers that bloom spring, summer and fall. I had mentioned to the neighbors across the street how we wanted to add tulips and a wishing well to one of the flower beds and they were so excited. I asked why they were so excited and they said they love the wishing well and tulips idea and that if we put them out front they get to look out their front windows and enjoy them as well. I can hardly wait to hear and see all the neighbors just in love with the explosion of tulips in the spring.

RickabaughReviews approves of Costco as well as tulips in the spring for all the little bee butts out there.

Expanding the Yard

In previous posts I have described how the flower bed along the fence line is too deep to comfortably weed. Today I worked on reducing the depth of the flowerbed and expanding the “yard” or grass space.

The plants are two and three rows deep.

I really do not not like stepping in between the plants to weed or trim them. I know that snakes like this area as well as the wolf spiders, so a rogue blade of grass gently touching my leg in the breeze sends me back into the house, weeding done. This area is never taken care of very well.

We want to plant some Rose of Sharon along this fence line, but I insisted that we reduce the depth first so that I can properly take care of the bushes that we get. It is the back half of August and this area is in mostly shade so not too hot to grow grass.

I am looking to basically push back or transplant out the whole front row of plants.

The first step was to dig out a few of the grasses that are in the front row. I transplanted these to the woods.

I dug out two sections of clumping grasses.

One section of clumping grasses was growing in front of some very tall grasses that will stay and the other section was growing in front of the large elephant ear.

I then took a garden rake, which is different then a yard rake, and I raked the mulch back towards the fence in between the plants in the back row. In doing this it exposed the “dirt” or clay below.

Considering the ground is mostly clay we will see how well the grass seed takes to the new grass growing area. We have purchased a shade mix of seed which we will be using more of out front and then we have a grass seed for mostly shady which is what I will use on this area. There is a large maple tree about 10 feet from the fence and it has gotten huge, casting a large amount of shade over the entire side yard. One reason why our garden boxes of veggies do not do as nearly as well as all the neighbors who have their garden boxes in full sun. The previous owners had put in the garden boxes and we didn’t move them.

As you can see I put down grass seed.

I then used the rain barrel water to give it a bit of water right before sunset. It was very nice that there was a light rain the next morning. Just enough to encourage growth not enough to wash it all away.

RickabaughReviews approves of making yard work less of a chore, mow it, don’t weed it.