Thurs. Nov. 21, 2019: The Weather Is Not Cooperating

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Thursday, November 21, 2019
Waning Moon, 4th quarter in Virgo
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Reed
Partly sunny and cold

The weather is not cooperating.

We took 10 30-gallon bags of leaves to the dump late last week. We’ve only filled about 3 or 4 more, mostly because it’s either been too windy to rake, or it’s been raining. That cold, damp, chilling rain that stings when it hits your skin and makes you cold to the bone.

I managed to scrub down the inside of the deck over the weekend. There is no mold. It was all dirt from being blown around in the yard, or from the plants. I dry brushed, then used Murphy’s oil soap. It downright gleams now.

Some boards in the deck do need replacement, as do the stairs, but they don’t have to do the whole thing.

The guy who was supposed to come and look at the deck and the back of the house (which was never painted eight years ago when the front of the house was done) never showed up on Monday. I’m sure it was because of the rain, but still, someone should have let us know. I rearranged my work day so I’d be here.

I’m tired of losing billable hours due to unreliable workmen.

It’s rained all week so far. This is the first day it’s drying out.

As soon as it’s dry enough, I’ll be raking again. We’re supposed to get snow at some point this weekend. I’m just going to rake any day it’s dry enough so to do. Every day a bit, and eventually, it all gets done.

Because the front is what’s most seen, that’s what gets the most attention, but, eventually, I’ll get the side, the back, and the meadow done as well.

Much of it depends on how soon the snow comes in, how much it is, and how long it covers the ground.

The beds are tucked in with leaves, so they will have a good winter. It’s always good to use leaves on the beds. They mulch down nicely, and then the soil is in good shape in the spring. Clean-up’s a bit messy, but the plants like it, and it’s worth it in the long run.

I can’t believe next week is Thanksgiving. Which means, shortly thereafter, that the Winter Holiday decorating begins. I decorate outside as well as in, so I’m sure there will be something to say.

The Thanksgiving cacti are in bloom, and look beautiful. The photos at the top and bottom of this post are those plants.

I won’t post on Thanksgiving, but I’ll be back the following week to talk about how I’m doing with my holiday greens!

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Thurs. Nov. 14, 2019: First Bite of Winter

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image courtesy of JillWellington via pixabay.com

Thursday, November 14, 2019
Third Quarter Waning Moon in Gemini
Celtic Tree Month of Reed
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Partly Sunny and cold

We had our first bite of winter on Tuesday night, with a dusting of snow, and plenty of sharp, cold weather.

Charlotte is fascinated by snowflakes, Willa runs away, and Tessa is used to them.

Last weekend, we worked hard to put the rest of the plants to bed for the winter. I did some of the pruning (not enough). I have much more pruning to do this weekend. We cut down/pulled out the annuals and put the pots away. We brought in the remaining pots that will spend the winter in the house, rather than in the garage. I oiled the teak furniture before putting it away. The large teak bench went upstairs to live at the bottom of my mom’s bed. Brought the large geraniums in — they live near the very sunny window in my bedroom all winter, and usually bloom and bloom and bloom. Cleaned the decorations and brought them in.

I will have a lot of repainting to do in the spring.

So far, 10 30-gallon bags have gone to the dump. 6 more are waiting, and we’re still working on the front. If the weather holds, there is a great deal of raking, bagging, and driving to the dump over the weekend.

I will have to get my act together to start the seeds earlier in February next year. I started too much too late, because certain seeds don’t like to be moved, and I wanted to plant them on the deck in their mature pots. I’m going to have to find the room to do that inside this year. Not sure how, especially since the cart where we usually start seedlings in the front window of my office has been converted to a perch for Willa.

I have a few months to think about it. But I don’t want to wait until the last minute.

Have you finished everything that needs to be done in your yard for winter?

Thurs. Nov. 7, 2019: Beating the Storm

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image via FreePhotos by pixabay.com

Thursday, November 7, 2019
Waxing Moon 2nd Quarter in Pisces
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Mercury Retrograde
Partly sunny and cold
Celtic Tree Month of Reed

We might get our first snowflakes tomorrow morning.

On Tuesday, we raked enough just from the center front lawn to fill 10 30-gallon bags. In other words, 3000 gallons of leaves. We’re taking it to the dump today.

The front lawn is full of leaves again.

We haven’t had the chance to do the side lawn or anything in the back.

We’re taking in the plants that need to overwinter in the garage (the potted lilac, the roses of Sharon, the forsythia, hydrangea, etc. in the big pots. We’ll take in the geraniums that usually overwinter in my bedroom, because there’s a window that gets good sunlight. And the fern.

Not sure what we’ll do with the tomatoes.

Other pots have to be dumped, cleaned, sterilized, and stacked away for next year. Decorations have to be cleaned and put away.

I haven’t done the pruning yet, either.

I have to oil the teak furniture again before I put it away for the winter.

All I can do is the best I can do, each day. Every dry day, I’ll do a little bit. Eventually, it will get done, even if it’s not on the same schedule as the neighbors.

But hiring someone to mow made a huge difference this year. So I hope he’ll come back next year.

Thurs. Sept. 19, 2019: Autumn Equinox in a Few Days

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image courtesy of pixel2013 via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 19, 2019
Third Quarter Waning Moon in Taurus
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Vine
Partly cloudy and cool

Not much to say. I’m starting to put the garden to bed for the season. Cutting back. I’ll prune the roses after the first frost. I’m pulling up the tiger lily stalks as soon as the bulbs pull down the chlorophyll. I’ll cut back shrubs and branches and cut down dying vegetation.

By next week, I’ll start raking.

We’re still not sure what’s eating the food I leave on the deck at night. Not sure if it’s the stray cat or something else. I’d like to know.

Some more tomatoes have formed. Let’s hope these actually get to make it to maturity and we can eat them.

We had a few sugar snap peas to harvest, and they were yummy. I’m going to start them earlier next year, and hope for a better harvest.

The morning glories choked the beans, so we didn’t have any.

The zucchini keep blooming, but not forming any zucchini. We have some blossoms on the eggplants, but I think it’s too late for them.

Well, one learns as much from what doesn’t work as what does, I guess.

Monday is the Equinox, and then night begins to win until mid-December.

 

March Storms, April Storms

I’m still trying to clean up after the four March storms. We already had another snowstorm on Monday, April 2, and another one is expected to come in this weekend.

I’ve cleaned most of the front yard, including raking out the beds and cutting back debris, to let the beds breathe. They’re growing merrily, in spite of the storms.

I raked the terraced area in the back, along with raking out the big border bed there. That bed is growing like gangbusters!

All in all, those two areas spat out 420 gallons of leaves!

I still have the side yard (what I call “no man’s land”) to clear, a small transitional area in the back behind the garage, and then the big area in the back I call “the meadow” which has a lot of downed tree limbs.

With another storm coming in soon, I have my work cut out for me!