Saturday, August 30, 2014

Week 2

A new week, a new template -- it's as much fun fooling around with templates for this blog as writing it! 
week 1

Week 1 - hole dug, base poured
Week 2 - foundation forms installed, foundation poured and forms removed, well connected (pump installed), main floor joists delivered
Week 3 - tbd...

week 2
In the garden - the end of August has been quite spectacular, both weather wise, house building wise and garden wise.  (OK, a little rain would help the garden a lot, but for building it's been perfect.)  The daylilies are ending - just a few of the double orange left to bloom; the Echinacea are past their prime; Rudbeckia is in all its glory.  Seriously.  My whole yard is awash in or

week 2

compost bin on left finally emptied and screened
ange and yellow from Rudbeckia and the beginning of Goldenrod.

Bonus - I sorted out my third compost bin - emptying about eight years of accumulation to find some nice compost down in there!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Burn

Gilbert from Redtail Vineyards lights the fire
A hot fire for a Hot day!
This is where we get to destroy... love using that word in this context... destroy the Buckthorn that I've been cutting down for the past few years.  Common Buckthorn - (Rhamnus cathartica) - was introduced to North America in the 1880's from Europe.  According to Ontario’s Invading Species Awareness Program, it was used originally as a hedgerow (useful) and as a decorative shrub (doubtful).  It grows quickly in full sun or shade and its stems and branches have very sharp thorns.  I know... my legs and arms can prove it!  So perfect to use as a pasture border, right?  To keep sheep and cows in, and other critters out?  Problem is it sets a prodigious number of seeds every year.  By prodigious, I mean this year there are gazillions  of inch high seedlings everywhere on the property the lawnmower doesn't get.  Its roots quickly reach down and take firm hold of the soil making it difficult to pull out.  It chokes out other plants and, to top it off, even birds don't seem to have much use for the berries.

So I cut it down, treat the stump with a weed killer and last Monday burned the suckers into a tiny pile of ash.  The top photo is Smokey and our friend Mags and her dog Skeeter enjoying it as much as I!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It's Official!!

view from the back
view from the road
If there's a hole in the ground that must mean things will really happen, right?  Well, the hole got dug last week - here's the proof.  An added bonus - the Big Machine pulled out a few years (five or six years, really) worth of buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica).  I've been cutting it back and stockpiling it.  Not really knowing what to do with it.  Just happens my stockpile was in the way of the new driveway, so out it came and we celebrated with neighbours by having a bonfire yesterday.  Pictures of that to follow!  In the mean time everyone is very happy!  More good news - there was six to 12 inches of nice topsoil over most of the area - this will come in handy when it's time to spread some good soil over whatever gets built up.
Eryngium yuccifolium
Rattlesnake Master

I've changed my cover photo from the Rattlesnake Master(Eryngium yuccifolium) growing quite happily in the Lavender bed - here's an encore presentation, with a new picture of the Corner Garden.  It's now fully mature; in fact, so mature it's ready to start pulling out Echinacea and Rudbeckia and planting elsewhere.  Good news for the new gardens to go in around the house eh?

With thanks to our neighbours Pauline and Gilbert from Red Tail Vineyard who provided the toast after ground breaking, and to our neighbours John and Tara who provided the bubbly (from Red Tail) for the bonfire morning!