Saturday, November 08, 2014

Rosemary anyone...

Remember these?

I had bought them at the end of January/beginning of February and this was how much they had grown by the beginning of March.  This was the night of my first harvest.

Here they are rather happily ensconced in the solarium in the pots that Leslie got for me (she paid $0.25 at a garage sale).  The one on the left was at the far end of the raised bed where there is less sunlight.  Thus, I learned that rosemary bushes like sunlight.  Also, about 1/3 of it was growing separately, so I potted that bit and gave it to Leslie.

Now, I had worried that the rosemary bushes would not survive the winter inside.  Boy, was I ever mistaken!  I pruned them rather severely before digging them up to put in the pots.  They have already grown quite a bit even though it has not been all that long since their move indoors.  So, if anyone needs fresh rosemary over the winter, come to Fort Wayne.  Of course, I also have copious amounts of dried rosemary and a rather healthy supply of rosemary butter.

Today, I vomited and fainted several times doing so, but I got most of the fall yard work completed.  I'm exhausted, languishing in the GREEN chair.  Amos, having followed me all over the place and jumped up a few feet into the air repeatedly to get me to hold him instead of working, is also exhausted, languishing with me in the GREEN chair.

With a second strong wind storm, the magnolia tree lost almost all its leaves.  They are now bagged up waiting in the garage.

These were the burning bushes a short while ago, with leaves and still overgrown.

Here they are now, mostly bare and properly pruned again.  I should not have to do them next fall.  And, hopefully, two falls from now someone else will be happy to plug in the hedge clippers and start whacking away.  I was glad that I did not (as I have in the past) cut through the electric cord.  I have not, as yet, figured out how to rake up the leaves beneath them, especially the ones on my beloved rock river.

I also whacked away at (and raked beneath) the forsythia.  For several years, I had been trying to keep it shaped.  However, it is a type of bush that I call a splitter.  By this I mean that wherever you cut, if not at the base of the branch, the branch will split into new growth.  Basically, you have to take a bonsai approach to pruning it.  And you have to do 4-5, very time consuming prunings per growing season.

Being so frequently exhausted, I finally decided to follow my mother's advice and allowed the forsythia to send up those ginormous branches this year and not try to stay on top of them.  That meant that I did not prune on this all summer long.  However, now that it is naked and I had already unwound the 100-foot electric cord, I used the hedge clippers to whack away at the four-foot extensions above the main section of growth that have embarrassed me all summer (making me feel like the neglectful homeowner).  That way, next spring, they will split and the giving-in-to-vertical-growth should be more balanced (less embarrassing).  My mother's idea is that, eventually, if I keep allowing the top to grow unfettered and only pruning up from the bottom, the growth will all be above the fence and out of a walking path and, thus, will no longer need any pruning.  All I will have to do is clean up the small sprouts that appear around the base each spring ... work of mere moments.

[Please ignore the pealing paint on the garage.  Somehow ... some way ... the three bad sides of the garage will be scraped and painted next year.]

I have never really tended the hydrangea.  Frankly, I don't know what to do with it.  Since its growth and blooms were a tad disappointing this year, I decided to treat the hydrangea as I do the rose bushes and whacked it down for the winter.  I'm crossing my fingers that this will result in greater growth and blossoms next spring/summer/fall.

As you can see, the weeping cherry is still not naked.  So, whilst I did rake up the majority of the leaves that had fallen, I did not rake carefully this entire side of the yard.  I believe in waiting to rake until the tree is bare, rather than repeated raking as it sheds leaves, says Myrtle the lazy procrastinator.

Fort Wayne has this weird vacuum thing that picks up leaves off the park strip twice a fall.  I missed the first pass through our neighborhood, but hardly any leaves had fallen before the last week or so.  I literally studied this map for two days before I finally figured out that I am in the central zone (I thought for sure I was in the south zone).

[Frankly, I think the map needs more reference streets on it.]

Anyway, the map tells me that I have until next Sunday evening to get the leaves in my front yard into the park strip.  Right now, there are not that many leaves.  But the trees are not yet bare.  I am hoping that there will be more wind storms between now and there that blow the leaves into someone else's yard.  This is not all that selfish a hope, because the past two falls I have had my yard raked clean only to have my neighbor's leaves blown into it.  I am vehemently opposed to double raking a yard.  Thus, I might be out there raking at midnight, wearing my headlamp and frightening the neighbors.

Once I finish filling up the bags from the back yard, I can call the city for a special pick-up for them.  These are the benefits of living in a smaller city.  Back in Fairfax County, we had no help with leaves.  And, were there a program, we would have been charged a ginormous fee for it.  The leaf collection here is simply a part of city maintenance ... or something like that.

The bag that is filled with the pruning bits is considered yard waste.  That I can put out with the trash next Thursday night, as long as its not raining ... and I remember.  I like that I can do that.  You do have to use the special yard waste bags that are 5 for $1.50, but I stuff them and smash stuff down in them and basically cram at least two bags worth of waste into each one.

I also pruned the rose bushes, but I did not take any photos. I think I am discouraged that the one I tried to save did not respond to all my songs of encouragement, whispers of sweet nothings, and judicious applications of fertilizer.  However, the one I moved into the sunshine at the far side of the garage quadrupled in size.  Roses most definitely love sunshine.

Tomorrow, Firewood Man is supposed to be coming to finish the railing.  However, I have not heard from him.  I am trying not to be discouraged.  To cheer myself up, I put the four (primed) post caps on so that the railing-less posts next to the stairs look more like they belong to the porch.  If he comes, I am sure you will hear my affectations of giddiness wherever you may live.

Tim starts a new job on Monday, so the whole world has been asking the hero for help whilst he still has time. I get that I must share the wealth, but I am worried about the railing ever being finished.

I did check the forecast.  Monday is going to be even warmer.  Prime weather.  As in primer weather.  I am tempted.  IF the stair railing gets done, it will be too wet (green) to prime and paint.  However, the rest of the porch has been up now for five weeks.  If you read up on pressure treated wood, you will see that the time frame for waiting is 30 days.  Like I said ... temptation abounds.

As for now ... and for the morrow ... I plan on remaining in the GREEN chair, languishing with my beloved puppy dog.  Recovering.  Resting.  Trying to avoid thoughts of having the back porch railing painted before next spring.

However ... will I even be capable of painting next spring???

I will finish by noting that, today, Becky told me today that there might possibly be a Kulp family visit come winter.  That means I can finally share my airing porch with someone!!!  I know that, even if the weather is 16 below again, my friend will spend some time out on the airing porch with me.  I know this because my friend bundled up her newborn and went walking about the DC monuments at night with me.  Rebecca Anne Bettina Matilda Boyles Kulp bundled up her three-month-old daughter, most generously allowed me to be the one to wear the snuggly, and walked around the national mall with me because she knew that my most favorite time to visit the memorials was at night.



Aren't they even better at night???

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