So, I Read This Book Today

Editing, Proofreading, Reviewing and Other Stuff



Gardening Time!

IMGP1890It was beautiful and warm out yesterday, my back is feeling MUCH better, and I have had insane cabin fever, so I went out to the lumber pile and started dragging things around. Last summer I only gardened in pots, but  IMGP1891I got all sorts of excited and came up with two boxes for veggies, herbs and flowers! I will, of course, have to put netting around as I have a whole colony of bunnies that live under the garden shed . . .

IMGP1894I am lining the bottom of the boxes with cardboard (being a reviewer for several different companies, I get lots of boxes from Amazon!) and then with the ground cloth you see in the photos. It will keep the weeds down (and I have plenty of those!) and the cardboard will eventually rot.

I have already opened up one of the compost piles IMGP1895and pulled the newest off the top and moved that to the new pile I started. The enclosure is just concrete wire – if you have new construction around you can probably bum cut pieces off the contractors to make your own. I am moving the cages over closer to the garden shed so that I have more room around the garden boxes. When I can afford it I am hoping to put a perimeter around both boxes and put in a layer of stone. I think it would look nice, and it would give me a surface to stand on when the ground is wet when I want to gather or I need to do something in the garden. Exciting!

The boxes are scrap lumber, mostly offcuts from the fence install and scrap posts. The box on the right is made of offcuts and topped with pieces of old fence board. I am going to use pieces of offcut fence board to brace everything together on both boxes so it they are more sturdy. You can see the pieces leaning against the ‘walls’ in the top photo. I may paint the box on the right, according to if the paint in the garage froze and is ruined or not…. Best of all?


IMGP1888Under the tree where you see all those beautiful rocks? There used to be a loose circle around the tree made of the stones, filled with bark – but of course bark composts down and weeds spring up, and it wound up being a huge mess…. so, I moved the rocks out in the fall and pulled out the weeds. Now I plan on putting in a Bee Mixture (my neighbor, Ruth, raises bees!) of wildflowers. Well, once I get the strength back to move those darn heavy rocks again! Ruth is coming over in a bit. I have the following heirloom seeds that we are going to plant in starter trays:

Heirloom Seeds 2015
Tomato Principle Borghese (special for oven roasting, sun drying)
Tomato Cherokee Purple
Chile Padilla Bajio  (Chile negro) (for drying and smoky flavor)
Pepper Chile Anaheim NuMex Joe E. Parker (mildly hot Anaheim for roasting)
Tomatillo Pineapple (fruit salsa and jam)
Cucumber Homemade Pickles
Pepper Poblano/Ancho (mildly hot)
Melon Papaya Dew
Sweet Pepper Yolo Wonder Sweet
Pepper Chile Jalapeño Jalafuego – (stuffing for rellanos etc)
Tomato Black Krim – (hint of smoke)
Watermelon Moon & Stars
Tomato Cherry Rainbow Blend (7 varieties in pack)
Tomato Pineapple (fresh eater)
Tomato Speckled Roman (Paste Tomato)
Tomato Green Zebra

Will direct seed lettuce, herbs, etc. once the boxes are finished! Can you tell I love peppers and tomatoes?

DIY Potting Bench built with cedar fence boards for $45, FlowerPatchFarmhouse.comIf you haven’t found Pamela’s site, Flower Patch Farmhouse, and you are at all interested in gardening or painting you should check out her site. These 5 DIY Garden Projects are fun and easy. I want to make the potting  bench! Of course, if I accomplish that or not, well . . . 😉 Of course, if I were really motivated, I would build THIS!!

DIY Studio Garden Cottage to build, link to plans to build yourself a fabulous place to create,

Anyone Have A Goat I Can Borrow?

I love to garden. No, really, I do! You could just never tell from what the yard l right now….. Sigh. This house sits on a sand pile. Literally. It has been here since the 70s and you would think that being this far up that I would have a rock problem, not a sand problem, but that is the way it goes I suppose. This is the rose bed that I spent two whole weeks last year cleaning out to ground level, fertilizing, putting down ground cloth, then bags and bags (and bags) of red bark mulch. This is now. . . Yes, all that green is dandelion and other weird crap!

But last year it was so Pretty!!! All that green stuff? Weeds. Yep. Weeds.

So, I started pulling up the corner bed where I had planted a Butterfly Bush – which died, of course. Here is where I am in pulled up the weed cloth that was no use at all, as it just let the grass grow through. Why, again, does the real grass grow in the beds and NOT in the yard? Sigh. The the black ground cover cloth that I put down over the heavy duty white ground cover cloth  is simply rotted away.   I am pulling out all the bark and weeds and dumping them into the compost pile, while the rotten black ground cover is going in the trash I guess. The white stuff isn’t coming apart, so it can be used again, but I wonder why I bother… I think I am going to need a backhoe to get the grass out! From now on, no bark!

NO Butterfly Bush – but LOTS of grass… And the ground cover? Pfft.

I have small stones between the pavers in the path… Of course, that is a mess too! The wind blows the bark around, and the weed seeds and small sticks and all of a sudden, my lovely stone path with the rocks between is toast. Yes, there are indeed small river stones between the big flat ones – you just can’t see them!




I really never did much with this bed – it was just bark and stones in a circle around the tree. Now you see where where I am pulling it up – that pile  on the cloth is a good six inches deep. I will have to dig that all off with a shovel before I can pull up the cloth all the way and do a new layout. It seems all the bark and dirt that blows around just uses it as a bed to build up a new home for the weeds! Sigh…

Look, real grass! Only it is around the tree and pretty much nowhere else but on top of the ground cover. . . Sigh

Worse, here is what the yard looks like. You notice that in the corner flower bed there is real grass? Well, all I get for the yard is dandelions….

Dandelion salad anyone?


Happy little wild violet faces!

Then, all is not totally lost! I have these beautiful little violets that are hidden amongst the dandelions.


So, I want to dig up the violets and salvage them, but I am at a loss as to how to kill off the dandelions. I did read a good article about weed killer that uses white vinegar, salt and dishwashing liquid, but it is a total vegetation killer that kills everything it touches (well, that is good) but it also makes it impossible to plant new grass for a long time (bad). It changes the soil also, which in my case I don’t think it will matter, as it is just sand anyway!

Click for the Homemade Weed Killer site.
Smelly stuff! Why couldn’t the GOOD smelling herbs have gone wild???

I did find a site that looks really interesting, Click the little dandelion head to go there.

Then, there is this thing. It is popping up all over and I think (there ya go, thinking again) that it might be lemon balm? I know I planted some in with the herbs, but it smells more like chemicals than lemon. I am going to be going over to Echters Gardens (check out their website by clicking the name) on the weekend if I can get away. I will take some of it with me and see if they can identify it!

A picture from of Lemon Balm. I think this must be what is growing in the yard. . .? Click to go to their site!

I did find a picture online that looks a lot like it (thanks for the picture).  But the leaves of mine are darker, as you can see. Maybe it is the lighting?

Ah, well. I will go out when later in the afternoon and dig around some more. Looks like this is going to be a L.O.N.G. process! And with money so tight, it is “Do It Yourself Or Don’t Do It At All! I did pick up three bags of Miracle Grow Flower and Vegetable (the one in the yellow bag) today. Two cubic feet a bag for just over eight dollars each. I have decided to concentrate one one small piece at a time (the corner bed for now) and go from there . . .

Bright shiny faces!

But all is not completely lost…. A “Find” that gives me a tiny bit of hope! This is growing out of the brush pile…. must have been there before and I never noticed it. Now I have to figure out when and how to transplant them to a safer place! Guess that calls for help from Echters too!


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