Saturday, May 11, 2013

Gardening Report on The House That Cleans Itself

It has been two months--TWO MONTHS--since I reported to you on this project and signed off as an "amateur watta-be gardener". I have bravely battled  AREA # 8 and AREA #9 (the backyard) with my never-ending struggle with weeds that I am sure will continue over the summer and into the fall. Weeds are like paper clutter, don't ya think? The broken weed killer spray bottle was returned to Home Depot and exchanged for a new one that works.

I have noticed that one plant flourishes and the same plant does not, thinking I have one green thumb and on the opposite hand a non-green thumb. 
Why is the right pot flower better?
One bush thrives and a nearby one is turning brown maybe due to the watta-be gardener's over-zealous use of the weed killer.

Turning brown

I have encountered the possibility of snakes, poison oak and poison ivy in the backyard. A snake-looking parasite is growing along a branch and I clipped it several places but it isn't seeming to die.

Parasite on branch

Hubby doesn't want his wife to mow lawns and wonderfully a volunteer Wayne has come forward to mow our lawns for free when he is in the neighborhood mowing someone else's yard for pay. I am so appreciative and have found myself cutting branches so his mowing will be easier.

What I did backing up the gas guzzler


Wayne also repaired the fence gate that I had backed into and put in a gate to our neighbor's back yard so that Kenny can easily come to our house from where he lives.  Thanks ever so much Wayne! It takes a village to be an Alzheimer's caregiver!

I just asked and a thoughtful friend of a backyard neighbor, Angel, burned the trash pile and it is slowly being converted into regular grass in the back yard. Burn piles will be a thing of the past as I am putting yard banches and clippings out by the curb on Saturdays and one really needs a permit to burn in the country I am told.

Burn pile

Grass growing on old burn pile

I made a list for our outdoors of
what I can do and have started:

1. Put clippings by the street to be picked up on several Saturdays.
2. Weed by the backyard deck.

Old shower stool helps me sit to weed.

3. Put an outdoor rug on that deck. (This rug was used with our popup camper that we no longer own.)

4. Go to Fabric Warehouse to get ideas for uphostery of 4 outdoor chairs used on the deck. They will need to be sprayed black again.

5. Straighten up the potting area and get realistic about my gardening capabilities. Get rid of those extra pots--almost like keeping magazines or fabric I never will quilt with!

6. Offered extra chainlink fence material to Sally and Jake for their new dog. Their son came and picked it up.

7. Enjoy my herb garden and find recipes where I can use those fresh herbs.

8.  Make road to the back of the property look neater and keep it maintained.

9. Add items to future yard sale or donate them.  

Problems to live with or wait to solve:

Two-bin compost piles
with cow pasture of neighbors in back

How do I maintain the two-bin compost pile above  that my husband labored at before his Alzheimer's dampened his motivation?  

Small oak trees (that can become large oak trees) seem to want to come forth on fence lines. One oak tree took over an orange tree and both seem to want the same space with the oak tree winning.

I need to hire or enlist someone to do something about the walls stained by my husband's forgetting to turn off the sprinkler all night. (We have iron in our well water used on the garden.)

The metal shed is continuing the go down hill and our dog barks at something maybe living in there.

Houses riding lawn mover and
some other creature--maybe a stray cat

There are two small fountains to get up and running--one in the front yard by the chimney and one in the backyard outside the deck. I bought a fountain pump for one of them that I think needs replacing.

Will continue to work on Areas #8 and #9.  
Any suggestions or volunteers?

Struggling gardener here, 


  1. We have a product called CLR clear here which is great for getting rusty bore water stains off things. I'm sure there would be an equivalent product over there?
    I love the look of your spacious house yard!
    Keep up the good work. :-)

  2. Seems you have a along list of things to do. It's hard when hubby can't help anymore. Set priorities and don't worry about the rest. That's my advice.

  3. This made me laugh...I did the same thing to our bushes. Didn't know weed killer was so potent!