Saturday, June 30, 2007

Grinder pump ok

Saturday, June 30

Jerry came by and fixed the issue with the grinder pump. It turned out that the darn pump float was sticking. He said once and a while tissue or whatever gets stuck on it and you have to giggle it. He showed me where to take the cap off and shined a flashlight on it for me to see where the float was. He told me that if it ever happens again, try that first and chances are, that'll do it.

We flushed the toilet a couple of times and made sure it worked. It did.... problem solved. I was so relieved that it turned out to be something that simple.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Flowers - Planted more

Friday, June 29

Today I planted the Canna Lilies that my parents gave me. They'll get about 5-4 feet with red flowers. I also planted some Hostas that my sister-in-law had gave me that have been patiently waiting for a spot. I also planted a Purple Leaf Sand Cherry, which is a shrub I really like that my place of work has in their landscaping.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Topside view

Thursday, June 28

I decided to go topside today and get a view of everything. The grass is really filling in nicely. The plants look awesome and the circle looks fantastic. I'm really pleased with how things are turning out. I love getting a topside view from my roof because it puts the layout in terms I can understand as a graphic designer..... with 2D shapes and colors, rather than eye level 3D.

Grinder pump issue

Thursday, June 28

This evening, when I had gone down into the basement tonight I noticed an oder that I was hoping not to smell for years. I checked it out and sure enough, the grinder pump had some wetness around it.

Since it was late, Tim said that he'd call Jerry tomorrow and see if he could get him so stop by soon. Until then, we just won't use the lower bathroom. I just can't help but to think that if our original plumber, Sales Associates of WNY and J&K Sewer coordinated, we wouldn't have a grinder pump and deal with this crap...... (pun not intended).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Flowers - Planted Stonecrops

Tuesday, June 26

I'm kinda excited about the stonecrop and Ice Plant I planted. Succulent plants are just so funky that I love them. I planted them in the rock garden next to the Magnolia tree. I love how the green stonecrop pops out of the brick colored nuggets.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Flowers - Planted more

Monday, June 25

It seems like all I've been doing lately is planting. Today I planted the 2 Foxgloves and the yellow Asiatic Lily. According to my coworker the Foxglove is poisonous to dogs and raises their heart rate I guess. If we ever get a dog, we'll have to keep it away from it.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Flowers - Planted More

Sunday, June 24

Today I planted the Bluebeard Mist, Daylilies, Russian Sage and Scabiosa.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Flowers - Started Planting

Saturday, June 23

I started planted the flowers I purchased yesterday and it's been interesting so far. I've learned that underneath our nice layer of top soil is a lovely layer of clay and gravel. I was hoping that the layer of top soil was deeper, but it wasn't.

I planted a Emerald 'N Gold Euonymus, the Asiatic Manhattan LA Hybrid Lily and the Balloon flowers.

When I was planted the Balloon flowers, I just about laughed myself silly when I looked at my shovel and noticed it bent. Apparently the soil was harder than I thought. I don't know why I found it so amusing, but I did. That's when I got out the pickaxe :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Flowers - Purchased

Thursday, June 21

As far as designing things, I can do that pretty well, but when it comes to plants and flowers.... I have no freakn' idea what I'm doing. I'll look stuff up in my tree and flower guides, but that doesn't mean anything, until you've succeeded or failed to get the gist of it.

So I bought some flowers today at Lowes for the driveway-side bed... and I have no idea if they will do well in my yard. I don't know if the rabbits or deer will chomp them down, or what parts of my yard are considered part-shade, or if my soil will be good enough. Assembling stones in a nice pattern is one thing, but keeping flowers alive.... well.... umm.

Anyways.... since my front yard is pretty sunny, I tried to find sun loving plants. I bought some dwarf Day Lilies. I've never really been a huge fan of the normal sized ones, but I like the dwarf ones.

I liked the Asiatic Lilies Golden Tycoon LA Hybrid and Manhattan LA Hybrids.

I thought the Balloon flowers and Foxgloves were very interesting and had to get some. I loved the color of the Balloon flower and how the buds look like balloons.

I also picked up some stonecrops for the rock garden in the circle. I completely fell in love with the Stonecrop Sedum Angelina and the succulent Ice Plant, which gets vibrant fuchsia flowers. They do well in rock gardens and I just think they're totally cool looking.

My parents also gave me a chunk of one of their red flower Canna Lilies. They said it can get 4-5 feet, so I'll plant it in line with the other taller plants.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rubber Mulch - Tree Ring

Wednesday, June 20

Our poor little Red Buds were getting abused by cutting the grass and weed whacking lately. Originally I had wanted the "natural" look, with grass growing around them, but they are too young. Plus, due to the area being fertilized the grass was coming in very thick and making it grow faster than the rest of the lawn.

I wanted something that would make it a bit more maintenance free and give some room to protect them, during mowing, so I bought some PERM-A-MULCH 24" Mulch Mat Tree Rings from Lowes. I bought the red ones to match the brick gravel color. And just like the rubber mulch for the shrubs, these tree rings, made from recycled tires, let the water go right to the roots. I installed them around the Red Buds and the little Japanese Maple.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Side Bed Edging & Pine Tree Area Cleanup

Sunday, June 17

In order to hold the mulch in place, in the side-bed, we decided to use the same edge tack system that I had used in the circle. With just a few of the tracks in place, it already looks better and gives a nice separation between the mulch and gravel.

After I was done playing with the track I decided to tackle something that's been bugging me for the last couple of weeks..... the damn weeds around the pine tree. Originally the pine sitting area was going to be worked on this year, but all of our efforts switched to the front year this year, in order for permanent occupancy and curb appeal. For now, at least with the weed block in place, we won't have to look at the weeds anymore.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thinking Out Firepit Area

Saturday, June 16

Now that we have grass growing, Tim and I decided we need a new area for our campfire. We were thinking about by the Pine tree. So I sketched out an idea. I dono if that's what it will end up looking like or not, but at least I want to figure out where it's going.

The thought it to have the Pine tree surrounded by either retaining wall blocks or stones, then transition into a circular pavestone. The fire pit will be a step down, so there is a sitting wall surrounding half of it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Rubber Mulch

Monday, June 11

Even though rubber mulch is upfront more expensive, in the long run beneficial. The color lasts for 15 years and it doesn't absorb water. Regular mulch absorbs water, therefore less water goes to your plant. With rubber mulch, because it's rubber, it doesn't absorb water and goes right to your plants.

I choose a rubber mulch that is in the same color tones as our brick colored gravel nuggets, in the circle. And man... with the yellowish-green shrubs, the colors pop. And the best part is, it'll stay that way for 15 years.

It looks fantastic around the Mountain Fire Pieris. It's an evergreen shrub that blooms fragrant white flowers in spring.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Planted more Driveway-side shrubs, Chestnut tree

Sunday, June 10

I planted more shrubs, in the driveway-side planted bed, this morning. It's nice to drive in now and see plants there, instead of dirt.

This afternoon I had gone to the Art Festival and bought a butterfly garden stake. It's large size is perfect for the side bed.

In the evening, we had gone to Tim's parents home and they gave us some saplings of their Chestnut tree. One thing that is very important to me is that our yard represents both of us. That's one thing that the book, Complete Guide to Landscaping, stressed is to make a list of everyone's wants. At the top of my list was a Magnolia tree. When I asked Tim, the first thing that came to his mind was a sapling from his parents Chestnut tree.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Planted Driveway-side shrubs

Saturday, June 9

I've been trying to decided what to do with the driveway-side planting bed.... should I seed it?, mulch it?, gravel it? I finally decided to rubberize it.

A couple of years ago at a Home & Garden show I had seen rubber mulch and told a friend I would never use that stuff and believe in all natural products. Well... I've changed my mind. Rubber mulch has many benefits. Most have 15 year warranty on color, doesn't absorb water and it's a recycled product.

So I'm laid down landscapers fabric in that planting bed, so the rubber won't mix with the soil. I cut holes for the the shrubs and I'll put the rubber mulch over that.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Chopped grass by Property line

Thursday, June 7

Ok... I admit... sometimes I can't help myself, but to be a little pisspot. I've been telling Tim, for the last couple of weeks, that I'd borrow my Dad's weed whacker to whack the tall grass and weeds, in between us and our neighbor. Today I get this email from Tim saying that he's decided to get rid of the weeds with the shears. I shook my head, shrugged and figured... hey, if he wanted to do that by hand, have fun. I'm proud of him though, he had gotten pretty far by doing by hand.

Before heading home, I researched some grass trimmers and found a cordless Black & Decker Grasshog with a decent rating and reviews. I decided to pick one up one my way home. The thing I liked about it was that it's adjustable for height, comes with 2 batteries and it's only 6 pounds. Gas ones are still the more powerful ones, but I'm not a fan of the weight nor smell of them.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Cut grass, Driveway-side shrubs

Wednesday, June 6

Today Tim cut the grass for the first time. Even though some areas are not growing, others have some pretty tall grass that actually needs mowing. And being mowed it actually is starting to resemble a lawn now.

On my way home, I stopped by Home Depot and bought some upright shrubs. I really like the more bluer toned evergreens, so I got some Blue Point Junipers and Wichita Blue Junipers. The Blue Point are little prickly and make a nice contrast to the softer Wichita Blues.

I also bought some yellowish-green toned Old Gold Junipers and Bonanza Gold Barberry to contrast with the blues.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

stacked logs - 2nd try

Sunday, June 3

Note to self:
When stacking logs, make sure you don't stack them too wide without supports.... fyi... 12 feet is too wide.

I was stacking some more logs today and noticed that the logs I stacked yesterday didn't seem as straight today and seemed to lean in the center. I stupidly started to straighten them out, when I noticed the whole thing rocking. Yep.... Kris showed off her reflexes, as she drove out of the way, as the whole thing feel over. I felt like Evelyn in the Mummy, when she knocked over the library book shelves.

Our neighbor, who had seen the whole thing, commended me on my reflexes. To which I replied... "yep... I think it's time for lunch now".

After taking out my frustrations on incredibly understanding husband, he so kindly help my re-stack the logs. This time, I decided pounded in supports every 4 feet, so that if any feel again, it would just be a section, and not the whole thing.

Well... this comical day has been a episode of "live and learn".

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Stacked logs

Saturday, June 2

Today I was looking at all the logs, that are taking up space in the backyard, and decided that those need to be moved. This way, we can get in there and flatten it out.

So... I had fun re-stacking all the logs in between 2 trees. Looking at it now, it really gives a lot of space back to the yard. It didn't seem like they had taken up that much space, but I guess they had.