Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tidying the Garden

NOTE: got a card reader (a weency little disk drive), and am now able to extract my photos--have added some to this entry--25 May 08
No pix for now.
So annoying--my old laptop developed (again) that electrical problem that caused such havoc a few years ago (when it was under warranty)--they replaced the power brick, the battery, the motherboard (three times!) and finally the hard drive. Now it's out of warranty, and at the august age of 4-1/2 years, it's too obsolete to be worth repairing. Ug. So I got a replacement (and it's bright green!), but now my camera won't talk to my computer because my camera's too old and my computer's too new. It isn't a driver problem; Canon says I'm just SOL.

Ultimately, the solution is a new camera (fortunately, they've come down in price quite a bit), but for now, I think I have to take my memory card into some photo place somewhere and have them extract my pix for me. So that's tiresome. Until I get around to that, we'll be doing a text-only blog around here. I'll try to be really descriptive to compensate.

Meanwhile, Aunt Pauline, Big David, and Granny Babe are coming up to visit the house while they're in Texas for my brother's wedding. I'm really pleased to be showing the house off to the Fuldas, as they've been such an enthusiastic and supportive audience for this house endeavor--I'm tickled they'll finally get the chance to see it in person. So we're trying to get everything all tidy and genteel before they get here.

Update on the Tile Doc
It worked! Instead of being gooey and disgusting for months on end, it dried nicely within about 8 hours, let me apply three separate coats, and is now bone dry and functional. You can see the brush strokes, so you're likely to walk in my bathroom and think "Hey, they did something to that tile!" But what you WON'T think is "Hey, is there a hideous shade of grey under that creamy-white epoxy?" Because you can't see the hideous shade of grey! And that's really the main thing we were going for.
This is the backsplash after 2 coats of Tile Doc. We added a 3rd, so now it's pretty solidly white.
Garden-intensive day
We picked up the three Mutabilis roses we needed to complete the hedge at the head of the driveway, as well as a bunch of mulch and some more edging. (So are you finally done with the edging? I hear you ask. Not on your oliphant. Just another installment in our long-term metal edging payment plan, thank you very much. We're on the 30-year edging installment schedule.) For some time, we've had 2 Mutabilis roses separated by a wide swath of weedbarrier. Since the weed barrier wasn't mulched, the weeds don't really seem to have felt too terribly inhibited. When I cut Xs in the barrier to plant the roses, masses of bright green weeds erupted from the holes. So learn your lesson, plant people. Weed barrier without mulch is not merely unsightly, it's also barely functional.

Masses of weeds, bursting through the slashes cut in the weed barrier

And we mulched the bed by the sun patio (a bit bare right now--just a Clerodendrum ugandense, a variegated hibiscus, a jasmine, a plumbago--and lots of empty patches). This bed's moment hasn't yet come for edging. I also put liquid seaweed on all the roses and a favored few other plants. I'm not familiar with the product--we'll see what it does.

And I put a little fungicide on 'Wild Blue Yonder,' 'Reine des Violettes' (which violently resented being transplanted), and 'Graham Thomas' (a modern, and therefore somewhat whiny). Oh, and also 'Autumn Damask'--it has this really screwy grunge on its leaves. Not black spot, not powdery mildew, but brownish, angular necrotic patches. I think the angularity may indicate a virus, but I'm hoping that I've mis-remembered my plant pathology (I got a B in that class, darnit.) It bloomed like mad this spring, so perhaps this problem isn't too serious, whatever it may be.

And finally, I potted up some plants for the patio--our tall, bamboo-green pot got some purple sweet potato vine, and the cute little angular succulent I got at Yuccado (name has slipped mind) went in a lavender pot. So we look stylish and funky, I hope.

Interesting Aside
The family across the street haven't parked in our yard in well over a week; possibly longer. I don't know how to interpret this--is this intended as an olive branch, or is it just a coincidence? Whatever it is, I'm grateful for it, so I'm declaring a cessation of hostilities (said hostilities consisting pretty much entirely of griping about them in this blog). No more unkind epithets or disgruntled speculations. Perhaps we, collectively, are turning over a new leaf.

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