Saturday, August 27, 2011

All in a day's work

Got up @ 7:30 this morning to beat the heat and mowed the front lawn, then thinned out the sweet basil that was threatening to take over the planter bed.  Fixed one of the broken solar lamp posts and anchored it down temporarily until I can pour the foundation for it.  Put the final coat of paint on the tea cart and put it on the back porch.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Labor day Larry

From the miners who pull coal and iron from deep within the ground, to the worker who uses that coal to fire the furnaces that turn the iron into steel, to the beam walkers building towers that scrape the sky and auto workers who turn steel into high powered machines that scream to be driven, Larry is proud to celebrate the American worker this Labor Day.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Projects to beat the heat

Since it's been too hot to work in the yard, I made room in the shed, which has A/C, so I can work on some projects.  Currently painting a vintage tea cart with white oil paint so it can be placed on the back porch without worrying about it holding up to the elements.  Next up is a vintage bureau that will be stripped and repainted for the master bedroom.  I don't work on weekends, so I'll be pouring the foundation for one of the solar lamp posts on Saturday and the other one on Sunday.  Also need to mow the yard on Saturday and finish removing the east side yard gate and begin prep work for the new gate I'll build next month.  Looks like it's gonna be a busy weekend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Heat, heat and more heat; not sure if I can take much more of these 110+ days, it's already 100 @ 8:30 AM, with a forecast high of 115.  It's too hot to work in the yard except in the early morning hours and I have to work at my real job then, so for now I'm just supplementing the drip system with soakings from the hose and hoping for this ridge of high pressure to break, as we're having one of the hottest Augusts on record.  So far I've lost some of the seedlings I started and will have to wait for cooler weather to restart them, but rest of the gardens are hanging in there.  I just keep reminding myself that I'll still be gardening this winter when most people are looking wistfully out at their snow covered yards and dreaming of Spring.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Larry 2.0

Hot weather and carpal tunnel syndrome have kept me out of the garden and off the keyboard for the past few days, so here's an update on what's been going on.  Had a dust storm on Thursday evening and Larry suffered some minor damage.  Two of the solar lamps posts were knocked over as well, and each suffered a broken light, though fortunately, I had 2 extras to use as replacements  Rebuilt Larry with screws in his shoulders to keep his arms from falling off and replaced the stumps at the end of his arms with wire hands that allow him to grasp and hold things.

Hoping to get through the next few weeks of really hot weather without losing any plants and then as things cool off I can get going on projects that have been put on hold.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

More random projects

Started a new job today, so I didn't have much time for the yard, so here
are some more random projects I've done recently.

Here's a side table I made using a vintage BBQ, legs from a modular shelving unit and wood for the stretcher.

Here's some wall art I made from an old frame, weathered fence boards, 3 cute plaques (new) and a vintage hand cultivator.
 And lastly, here's a brick path I laid between the end of the sidewalk and my shed so that it's easier to move furniture in and out of the shed, which is air conditioned so the furniture doesn't get ruined by heat and also so it can be used as a workshop.

Monday, August 15, 2011

This and that

Today I transplanted the spaghetti squash (3 seedlings) to the nectarine tree well and potted up the cannas.  noticed some of the sunflowers I planted last Wednesday have already sprouted, which is exciting, as they're not from store bought seed.  Not sure which varieties they are, but time will tell.

Finished making the last solar lamp post from yet another antique floor lamp and now I just have to pour the last 2 cement bases and decide if the bases should be stained or tiled and this project will be complete.  Will be starting on raised planter beds for the side yard and the new side yard gate soon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lazy Sunday

Not much happening in the garden today; gave the lawn and the planting beds a good watering, as the promised rain didn't come.   Cleaned out the shed last night and found a couple of old lamp bases I had laying around so I turned them into solar table lamps.  The blue one was an oil lamp and the green one is from the 20's or 30's and may be McCoy but is unmarked.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Busy Saturday Morning

Yesterday was all business meetings and travel and nothing got done in the yard; I didn't even have time for a blog post, so today I got up early and started on the yard work.  Started watering the various beds in the front yard and pruning the apple tree to clean up it's shape and get rid of  dead branches.  Had to run to Home Depot to get a pruning saw and actually resisted buying any new plants, though I did get a brush so I can continue painting the shed.  On the way home I stopped at a yard sale and got a 6" Stangl Terra Rose vase and an Occupied Japan figurine of a pixie riding a Stag Beetle. I paid $5 for the pair; would've cost me $50-$80 in an antique store..  Finished the pruning and decided to try to root one of the cuttings for a potential Bonsai, as it would be so cool to have a Bonsai apple tree.  Will post pics if it roots.

The spaghetti squash are almost big enough to transplant into the nectarine tree well and the Cannas are almost ready to be potted.  Will be ordering chile seeds soon from NMSU for my salsa garden, as I'm looking for varieties I can't find locally.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Random recent projects

I'll be leaving for San Antonio in a few hours and nothing will get done in the yard today so I thought I'd showcase a couple of projects I've done recently.

I made a couple of solar lamp posts out of antique floor lamps painted with Rustoleum Hammered Silver spray paint and added wrought iron plant rings filled with 6" pots planted with Purple Heart that hopefully will cascade over the pot's edge. One has been placed on a concrete pedestal; still have one more lamp to do and then put the remaining 2 on pedestals.

 I also made a potting center from an old dresser painted Rustoleum Gloss Sunburst Yellow with granite tile added to the top.  The drawers are perfect for storing tools, seeds and sundry other things.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Larry @ dusk

Here's a photo of Larry standing at his post @ dusk, ever watchful.

Daily update

Mowed the lawn today and planted 4 varieties of sunflowers; a dwarf type that only gets about 12" tall, wild sunflowers that get 3'-4' tall and have multiple blooms, and two types of mammoth sunflowers, one all yellow and the other yellow with red petals, both of which should get 6'-8' tall.  Started repainting the shed; will post before and afters once done.

Found out the blossom end rot on the chiles is from inconsistent watering and probably is the result of a drip system break I had last week.  Now that watering is back on schedule, the new fruits shouldn't experience this problem.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Slow day @ Casa Mr. B

Not much happening in the garden today, as it's hot (102) and there were things that required my attention indoors (like A/C cooled air).  Some of the Canna seeds I planted a couple of weeks ago have sprouted, but I won't know what I have until they bloom next year, as I mixed the seeds when I soaked them.  Even after soaking for 2 full weeks they were hard as rock and I found out they need to have the outer shell scored so water can get in.  24 hours after scoring, they had swelled to double their size and were ready for the seed tray.

The Climbing America rose is blooming again and the okra is about a foot tall.  Big Jim chiles are finally setting fruit, but many of them are rotting on the blossom end; will have to do some research to see why that is.

Larry spent his first night on patrol in the front yard and he freaked out some youngsters walking by around midnight who thought there was a drunk out there staring at them.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Larry the Scarecrow

Today I created a scarecrow, Larry, who resides in my front yard.  Being a fashion conscious guy, Larry will change his wardrobe with the seasons.  For now, he's Luau Larry, ready to hit the links.  Oh no, looks like Larry is already on the course and in the rough!  Better go back to gardening, Larry, your golf game is horrendous.

I added photos to show how Larry is constructed for those who are curious.