Good Bye to Pokeberry Hill...


Monday, April 5, 2010

A Real Wood Deck, Mojo The Garden Puppy, and My Bucket Container Garden..

We were busy this weekend! Hubby was off Friday so that morning we walked our land with a clipboard and mapped out our plans for when we rent a backhoe and bucket machine. (don't ask me what's it called--that's Hubby's thing) After that Hubby and sons cleared a section of land near our little stream and planted some of the bamboo I bought last week. They split one big pot into two clumps and put one on each side of the stream. It didn't need water because as they dug the hole filled with water. I hope it will do well that wet--it appears to be so far.

Hubby and son then worked on putting real wood down on our back porch/deck. We have a lot more decking work to do and not all will be done before the wedding but at least we'll have a nice covered porch to sit on, and our home's entrance won't look too awful. I need to touch up paint on the back door there, Mojo has pawed it up. That's my fault. I taught him to ring a bell that was hanging from the door to go outside or in--well now he paws the door--and the bell isn't there anymore. I guess we should have taught him to bark. oops.

Other projects we hope to get done before the wedding are grading the land, digging the pond, putting up our pool and emptying the shed so our guests who want to turn it into a guest cottage for Mom in law, can work on it when they come.

Other than that I still have to keep up with my gardening and landscaping and the house, and do the various things you do for a home made wedding. I'm busy.

I worked all weekend on various garden and landscaping projects. I put in a new flowering crab tree that I bought with money I got when I took back a couple of plants that died over winter. Hurray for 1 year guarantees! Also hurry that I kept my receipts! I have a section for crafting receipts and for gardening receipts in my coupon file crate. I usually make perennial plants a new marker when I plant them and then staple the one they came with to the receipt and put it in my file. Then I can look for it if the plant dies before that one year is up. Things can happen, so its best to do that. I also got a couple of heathers and I put them in the ground extra deep then shoveled some gritty sand over them. This is called "dropping" them. My hope is that when I dig them up in fall all the little branches will have rooted so I can pot them up for the winter and have many more plants than I began with to use as ground covers. I'm going to see if this works with phlox as well--i need lots of ground cover here.

My bucket garden is going great. I'm still sanding, shellacking and painting buckets to use for more plants. The tomatoes are ready to go, and I will put them in buckets outside now, but I am going to watch the overnight temps so I can cart them into the shed if the temperature drops.

I'm also coming along pretty good on moving clumps of grass from where I don't want them and putting them where I do want them, as well as seeding around them and mulching with straw.

Mojo is 'helping' everyone. He was very useful on the deck project, and of course we do love that he stamps on newly planted things to make sure they are really down in there. LOL.. Yah, that's him in the flower bed-- pretending he doesn't know that I don't want him there.

Moj also enjoys lying at our feet on the new wood decking or near the fire pit when we sit at the end of the day and rest a bit. He's always 'right there' wherever one of us is.

This morning I was out early anticipating another hot day. I moved all my Golden Comfrey to a new bed behind the compost bins. I potted some of it up to sell or give away next fall or spring. I put 4 very large clumps in the ground and then mulched them with wet newspaper and old leaves. I always pull the mulch a way from the plants a little bit, the leaves and paper will keep grass and weeds from getting hold in the beds while the comfrey grows. By next year they will be part of the soil.

I saw that all my Red Latham Raspberry Plants are putting out new stems and leaves this spring. They were the most delicious raspberries I ever tasted last year, but we only had just a very few. Can't wait to eat some of those this year! I need to hoe them though and mulch them. I am not moving strawberries any more right now. It has gotten warm and most of them are flowering now. I will catch the baby runners later on with cups and move those instead. I'll just stake the runners into little pots of soil and when they have begun to root sever them from the mothers. I think I'll leave the moms in the spot they are and let them just be a ground cover.

I've got some stock on the stove today, I'm going to freeze it for low sodium cooking. I didn't add any salt to it. It can simmer while I work. I used my biggest stock pot because I was doing a little fridge/freezer clean out early this morning and found lots of things to throw in there, including 5 or 6 frozen chicken carcasses, some carrots, green onions, sweet onion and celery. Its all in there with pepper and bay leaves. Its already smelling and looking good, I'm going to keep it on the burner until about noon then cool it for skimming and freezing. I will be freezing on ice trays and one cup containers for use in recipes later.

The birds are singing and working on nests. I thought the bluebirds already had eggs, I'm not so sure now. After I came in from working in the garden they were busy out there picking up bits of pine straw from last year that I had piled up near the compost bins. I guess they are still building. I heard an owl about an hour ago, making lots of untimely hoots, I would have thought he'd be asleep at this time of morning. I've decided to call my neighbor's donkey 'Donkey Kong'. He is very noisy. I'm not sure what they are doing with him, but its obvious he's enjoying himself. They have a few horses and another donkey too I think. We are thinking that perhaps they are breeding Donkey Kong to create mules and maybe more donkeys as well?? Dunno, but he's certainly busy whooping it up over there.

While I was out sanding some more buckets I heard sirens! I then realized this is the first time since moving out here I've ever heard sirens. We heard them many times a day in Charlotte. Wow. These were coming from some roads that are way back behind our property, hope folks are OK back there. I said a bit of a prayer for whoever is involved in whatever is happening. It made me think.

Last night I saw one of those shows where a realtor is helping someone buy a home. This young woman was looking for a home in a different country. One of the must haves for her other than the usual desire for stainless appliances was a bomb shelter! Yup, 2 of the 3 homes she was considering had bomb shelters built in. She felt it was a very important feature. I had a hunch I knew where she was--and I was right. She lives in Israel. Hearing the sirens here gave me pause and I prayed also for folks who live where they must have bomb shelters and where sirens often mean that something has blown up and killed or injured people. I realized how fortunate I am to live here where at this time at least things are nothing like that.

The other day too, as I walked to my mailbox way down the hill, I thought about the fact that many people live in places where a tiny apartment with no yard can cost as much as 80 to 100 houses on land like mine. I gave thanks for what I have. I know this house is no thing of beauty. We do not have granite counter tops and stainless appliances--I don't even have real kitchen cabinets yet--except the two I recycled. But I am a fortunate woman on the earth these days. I have a home of my own, land to garden and birds to watch, and at this time at least my children all living and well as well as my husband.

I have many future plans for my home. I don't know the future but I like to dream of the possibilities. Maybe none of it will ever be? Dunno--but today-- is a day to give thanks isn't it?

This is the Day which the Lord has made, we will be glad and give thanks for it!


  1. Mary...your post today made me wonder if you had had any time to try out any of the little country churches in your area??? I have found one that is such a good fit for me. I hope you can find one with a lot of nice people like you and enjoy.

  2. I was just thinking of that again.. got off track with the whole idea. My little friend was here today and we were talking about it. Her son is going to school to be a minister. Anyhoo... Gosh.. I may wait til after the wedding--we'll see. I have a hard time even thinking sometimes right now.