This is the time of year when the grass really takes off, and since I use a reel mower I really have to stay on top of it. It just an old American Lawn Mower Co. Standard model that I picked up at a garage sale but it has stood us well. A couple years ago I replaced the handle when it broke in two pieces and I've noticed that it's cracking again. This is all because of how rough our ground is and probably the brutal way I tear around the yard. But it gives a great cut and costs nothing to operate, no gas, no noise, no fumes - almost enough to make cutting the grass enjoyable. Almost.
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Do you invest in pain reliever medicine? This past weekend we literally carried over a ton of pea gravel purchased at Wally World, from the back of the van, around the house, and dumped it onto the path in the Rose Knot Garden. Oh, but it was worth it!
We priced it out and bought in bulk, the Stone Center was the cheapest, but the cost to deliver would be more than the stone itself. And the cost of renting a truck was just as prohibitive. So the cheapest route was to make THREE trips to " The Blue Store" as the kids call it, each time purchasing ten bags of pea gravel.
The tedious part was laying the landscape fabric along the circular sections. After that it was all just back breaking manual labor. I even made a tamping stick by nailing a scrap piece of plywood to an old broom handle! Now all I need is for the roses to fill in. They should do well since this is their second year in this location. As an added bonus, after a year long hiatus, the Gertrude Jekyll rose has revived!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
This week has seen a couple major additions to our garden landscaping and both have come from our gracious neighbors. You might want to take a good look at the compost bin (pictured here) since it may be the last time you see it. We got two cuttings from our neighbors purple Clematis! I planted them between yellow roses and will be training them along the compost bin.
We also received a four foot tall boxwood that was plastered against the side of their garage. (I hear rumors that a new patio might be going in.) Since one side was rawther flat. I planted it in the fence corner. This should help keep the dog from jumping on the fence after squirells and it visually anchors the corner. The only problem was the 4" wide redbud tree root I had to remove. It was a lot of work, but Josiah was a big help. And the yard is looking better!
Monday, April 17, 2006
In between all the thunderstorms I was finally able to upload the rest of the toilet fill valve replacement photos. So where did we leave off? Oh yes, we had removed the noisy valve which freed up some room to attach the tank with some Bar keepers Friend.
It looks great now, almost like new. Hopefully it will stay this clean since we now have a water system in place.
The next step was to install the new valve. It just screwed right into place and has an adjustment feature so that it will be the correct height for any size toilet. Also the float is incorporated into the valve rather than the old bulb type floating out at the end of a long arm. A few quick twists and the new fill valve was in place. The last thing to do was cut the tubing to length and attach it to the drain pipe. We had more than enough tubing. The manufacturer recommended removing the valve cap and holding a coffee cup over the fill valve while turning on the water. This allows any air to escape and prevents a mini geyser from cleaning the ceiling.
Once everything was hooked up and the air flushed out, everything worked fine. The toilet is a lot quieter and cleaner. I bet we get another fifty years out of it!
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
I've only golfed twice and that was more than enough. But I do love to putter around the yard. This afternoon I mowed and trimmed a bit of grass and then I planted some wildflower seed mix in the front yard. Fortunately about ten minutes after I finished another Spring thunderstorm rolled through and watered the seeds for me. Uh, oh; gotta go as it's just been upgraded to a tornado warning. I'd hate to have lightning fry the laptop!
Remember our noisy toilet, the one that sounded like a jet taking off? We finally got around to replacing the fill valve. And with a little supervision, Amy fixed it herself! Guess that makes her just a little less dependent on me.
The first step was to shut off the water, that's the little valve near the floor in the picture. Amy wanted to know if we could remove the rusty flange and clean it. Maybe another day.
The second step was to remove the offending valve and float. Notice how skanky the inside of the tank is? That's why we got a water system. I can't imagine drinking that stuff in my coffee!
Monday, April 10, 2006
Saturday we went to Gardenfest 2006. This has really become an annual affair for us and something we look forward to each Spring. Of course we brought home more piles of literature and dreams of a beautiful landscape. I also picked up some herbs from Hobbit Gardens, the same purveyor of organic herbs that I purchased garlic cloves from last year. So now the Rose Knot Garden also includes Lavender Hidcote, Purple Sage, Lemon Thyme, and Tricolor Sage. Since I only bought two plugs of each, it may be a few years before they really fill in. (The snow has melted but it's the only picture I could find of the knot garden)