Sunday, May 22, 2016

What's With The Green Thumb?

I planted more this Saturday...

My plans for the day changed when I realized I was two weeks early for a course I had looked forward to attending.  So on the way home through Prescott I stopped at Lowe's to buy more parts with which to expand the drip irrigation system.  Then I drove to Watters for another chat with Ms. Ella, my favorite horticulturist.  

She helped me find another plant I'd found very striking during my previous consultation.  Now I have two Coppertina Ninebark Physocarpus opulifolius "Mindia" shrubs in front of the house.  They have a nice mix of copper, bronze, and verdigris color in the spring.  They'll run burgundy red in the summer and fall.    

I dug up the decrepit rose garden, snapping a shovel while prying on the ghost of a former occupant.  I turned the soil, mulched, rearranged the drippers, and seeded the space with Deer Resistant Wildflower Mix from Beauty Beyond Belief Seed

In the course of my spring yard work I've detected two former flower beds.  I gave them some attention as well.  The stone fringed circle west of the deck got mulch and a Wildflowers To Attract Butterflies & Birds.  I'll need to add a drip line.

A small bed east of the car port, which offered a couple surviving bulbs this year, got a Low-Growing Wildflower Mix.

These pictures are nothing much to look at now, but I hope they'll form the "Before" picture after we see what comes of today's work.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Got Some Planting Done

Many hands - or even just two more - make light work...

From the before picture. An unhappy pine and some sort of gnarled shrub predominated.  Behind them plastic webbing reduced the glare from cars at the four way stop.

Through staging the plants.  The ugly shrub is gone.

To mission accomplished! I regret the pine had to go, but I have a couple dozen of them elsewhere throughout the yard. The bright yellow and green leafed Gold Spot Euonymus will grow as tall as ten feet. The purple leafed "Pipa's Red" Red Chinese Fringe Flower will attain a height of about five feet. Still musing on what to plant in the foreground.

We also planted "Madame Galen" Trumpet Vines every eight feet along the fence that faces the street. I like having a fence, I just don't like looking at the fence.

I expanded the drip irrigation system to accommodate the new shrubs.  The previous owner had planted rose bushes in roughly the same spot but didn't prep the holes at all and then installed 1/2 gallon per hour drippers (which the renter who lived there before I bought the place didn't run in any case) so it's no wonder they failed to thrive.  The sandy soils in my neighborhood call for amendment and 2-4 gph drippers.  The vines will get two gph.  The new shrubs will be treated to four.

We ate well too, at The Raven Cafe,
The Waffle IronRosa's Pizzeriaand Prescott Brewing Company,  

Erik even got to sleep in Sunday.

It was a nice weekend.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I Have A Reading Problem

I can't resist buying more books than I'll have time to read, that is...

Erik and I had supper at The Raven Cafe in Prescott.  Erik had the pulled pork sandwich.  I had the Riverhouse salad.  Then we went to Peregrine Book Company just to have a look see.  Erik got a new graphic novel out of the deal.  I left with four new books I didn't know I needed before entering the store.  That's how it works.

So, I'll be reading, eventually, some day...

The Case for God, by Karen Armstrong

The Brother Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Works of Mencius, by James Legge

The Book of Job, by Stephen Mitchell

So many books, so little time.

UPDATE: When I got home I found a nice copy of The Brothers Karamazov on the shelf already. Not being a book I'll have time to read twice, it was returned the next day...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

No, Those Aren't Triffids In My Back Seat

I stopped at Watters on my way home today...

A very helpful young lady at Watters Garden Center in Prescott by the name of Ella helped me pick the first of several planting projects for this spring.  Living at 6,200 feet in Groom Creek I need plants suited to Zone 6 or 7 that are also willing to live in the shadows of my Ponderosa pines.  Being a member of the Groom Creek Water Users Association I need plants that once established will not need much water in order to thrive.

My property is surrounded by a chain link fence.  I like having the fence I suppose, but I don't like looking at the fence.  Solution!  Trumpet Vine, Campus tagliabuana "Madame Galen."  I'm told it will grow like a weed once it takes root and cover the fence between my house and the road with green leaves and orange-red blooms.

To the east of the property is a four way stop.  Solution!  I'll plant "Gold Spot Euonymus" Euonymus japonicas 'Aureovaiegatus' (five to ten feet tall and three to six feet wide) along the inside of the fence to form a hedge that will afford me some privacy and keep the headlights from shining into my bedroom window at night.  In the middle ground I'm going to plant Pipa's Red Chinese Fringe Flower, Loropetalum chinense "Pipa's Red" (five feet tall).  I've yet to select the planting for the foreground but Ella has given me some nice ideas.

The gentle slope to the west of the house will have to wait for now.

Son Erik is coming home this weekend so we should get everything in its proper place by Sunday afternoon...

Yes, I know, a Volvo S70 isn't much of a gardening vehicle.  I'm working on that too...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

NASA 811

Our very own F-104N...

Folks who don't work with me here at Embry-Riddle - Prescott may not know we have our very own F-104N on static display. Specially rebuilt to serve as NASA chase planes, only three were so typed. One them was lost in the midair collision that also destroyed an XB-70 Valkyrie 8 June 1966. The other is on display at the Lockheed-Martin "Skunkworks" in Palmdale, California. Neil Armstrong flew ours.