The 2019 Garden, Landscape, and Other Stuff Thread...

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by eisman, Jan 13, 2019.

  1. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Looks like fresh parsley and thyme for the cook :thumbsup: Sweet little table there LEGION 12
    LEGION 12 likes this.
  2. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Have some basil pesto in the freezer a little taste of summer . :)
    taldesta likes this.
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Love to see the snow. But I really prefer not to deal with it on a daily basis. My brother has been taking wildlife photos in the snow there. Quite nice stuff. I still want to buy tire chains for my newish truck so I have them available. Probably something I would use maybe once in a winter here. But you never know.

    I have an old Windows Vista computer that is about 10 years old and still ticking (monitor and computer). I can't connect to the internet with it any more, and use it primarily for storage or sort of like a manual server without direct access from another computer. I back it up routinely when new stuff is saved on it. That is something I am very conscious of. The lightning strike a week or so ago solidified my back up beliefs. Things can be gone in an instant.

    Bit chilly in the house this morning (no central heat) and will be worse tomorrow AM as it is supposed to drop down to about 20 degrees F over night. 31 degrees F this morning.... At least we didn't experience the tornados that they had further South with 23 fatalities (and counting) so far. The damage I saw on TV was incredible and widespread. That is more fatalities in one tornado event then tallied for all of 2018 in the US.

    I started downsizing my work photos (have thousands saved) as well to the same size. Going to start deleting the original photos taken before 2014 and just keep the reduced sized ones after about five years. At the moment, I have two saved sizes, original and reduced. Still use the same batch program to downsize photos by folder which is very convenient.
  4. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    We've been hearing interviews and following the Alabama tornado - what a tragic event, so many deaths so much destruction. We do care.

    No use of chains here at all on roadways but the insurance companies certainly discount their rates for winter tires with more pliable treads and the Province of Quebec mandates winter tires. But TN has lots of elevations. Part of the autumn routine here is switching over from summer to winter tires, stack the wood, make sure the snowblower is in prime shape (it does have chains), clear the obstacles, store summer equipment and pull batteries to keep inside - then hunker down - it's the drill.

    Flocks of common redpolls, evening and pine grosbeaks ... jays, nuthatches, woodpeckers, chickadees and a pair of mourning doves; plus red and black squirrels, moles and field mice ... are all regular visitors. I clear snow from the platforms and feeders pretty much every morning when I replenish the seed.

    Yesterday snow. Today sunshine.

    DSCF4263 SNOWFALL 650 MED.jpg

    Blackie and Crockett


    Backing up my pictures is part of regular maintenance for sure. I no longer need to back up work files though - no more - I work hard, just not for others :thumbsup::thumbsup:

    Temps here at the airport overnight -16 F (-27 C) and a little chill in the house for sure. The only way my woodburner could be described as central heat would be because the house is so small that the furthest corner can be reached by its radiant heat in short order - and this is the most comfortable winter I've spent (no roof shovelling and wood burning warmth) since I last left here in 2006. Even colder tonight - better get in more firewood :D
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Feeling warm again.... new HVAC systems (2) installed today. So glad to move the portable heaters into retirement (again). Slow warming trend here. So, I wouldn't have gotten cold at night anyway. Glad this is out of the way. Think it's supposed to get down in the low 40's tonight. I'll take that over -16 F. But we pay in the summer.

    I would feel sorry for the squirrels and be feeding them too with all the snow.
    taldesta likes this.
  6. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Well this past month was one for the records. Most snow in the Puget Sound area ever. Today is clear and may hit 50, which is the warmest its been in months. Snow doesn't seem to have messed with my bulbs, they are all coming up. Got the first Crocus blooming and the Daffodils are not far behind.

    taldesta likes this.
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Looking like spring here in Southeast Tennessee. Still getting some near freezing or freezing nights but the trend is definitely warming up. Yard (fescue) has been mowed twice now and growing. Looks nice.

    Was in North Florida over this past weekend and the azaleas are blooming there now. The water tastes awful. Won't be long before the first hummingbirds migrate northward into my area. Last year, I saw my first one on March 22nd.

    Picked up a large Patio tomato plant in a container yesterday. Still a bit early for tomatoes here. Will be planting it in one of my large containers that now contain pansies on my deck in a week or so and then cover as needed. Will get more plants in early April.

    This past winter we got ZERO snow at the house; maybe a light covering a couple times. Mountains got some snow, but not a significant amount until you hit the higher elevation Blue Ridge Mountains to the East (which the Smoky Mt NP is part of). Was expecting snow this winter, but it didn't really happen. As my Sister likes to say... plowable snows; none of those happened.

    Now I know the secret to making good iced tea.... use good water. I typically make hot tea at motels/hotels to reduce my urge to drink soda's or other beverages. There is no way that you can make good tea in FL without using bottled water.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
  8. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Plowable snow - haha :D. Wouldn't know anything about that.

    On the 12th the accumulation was in need of clearing again after heavy snow over a couple of days. The bird feeder platform (on left with branches sticking out) is set on top of planters stacked two high. The 'tramp path' from daily walking keep me from sinking in. By the maple tree I now carry a broom to push back an expanded area to give the growing flocks of grosbeaks and redpolls a little more room. The place is hopping!


    This pic from the 12th also shows my tracks down to the road ... my son dropped his dog off for the day but at that early hour I hadn't had time to dust off the snowblower. Definitely no vehicles getting in or out with the fresh snowfall. The flats really get a lot of drift snow with high winds.


    The geraniums and Christmas Cactus etc. are blooming inside for Busby.


    I made a near fatal mistake in waiting for the sun to warm up the landscape to pull out the snowblower - but it was so warm that the snow was way too heavy and the bottom layer was 6 inches of slush - even the chains got clogged - literal ice wheels. 5 Hours of hard work did not accomplish what I can normally do in two with dry, light snow. Ah well.

    Then rain, freezing rain, high winds. Lane is now greased lightning. Winter is hanging on here. This pic yesterday. You can see where I could not get rid of all the drift snow on the right side of the lane.


    Last night heavy rain, blustery winds. Today the lovely white snowbanks are covered with tree debris, those near the feeders are mounded in uneaten seed and shells as the surface melts to show the over winter accumulation. I will be able to get the van out - downhill :thumbsup: - for sure, not likely back up to the house. That's just usual in Spring.

    Happy mowing all :cool: I mean this.
  9. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Busby update: Moulting ... looking a little ruffled after bath :)


    Preening after bath - it's that long tongue doing the cleaning


    Then cleaning that barbed tongue


    ... the biggest feather from my tiny friend


    One good after-groom shake and she's as svelte as an adult hummingbird :)
  10. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    I remember posting above " I will be able to get the van out - downhill :thumbsup: - for sure, not likely back up to the house."

    ... wish I'd listened :oops:


    Now it's traction bars, ash from the woodburner for traction, waiting for the freezing overnight temps for traction ... and my willing son with his vehicle on the business end of a tow chain. Totally doable :thumbsup: When I quit thinking I can do more than I can, I'll be dead.

    ETA It's snowing again
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  11. annr


    Nov 15, 2006
    @taldesta, wow!
    Snow, the gift that keeps on giving. Good luck with that!

    We've had winters where the snow never melts between storms for months, and it can accumulate quite high--so high and wide that the city streets mostly become one way streets (very slow going), and it is impossible to see around corners or back out onto the street. Then the snow freezes solid (petrifies) at one point, and the piles along the side of the road grow and grow and grow until a good thaw and lots of sun do their thing. And then we have tricky black ice...and that's not every year thankfully! (At least your snow looks fresh and pretty, ours gets dingy and dirty after the first day, and it's not great.)

    OTOH, it's 60 deg F today with remnants of melting snow on the grass.
  12. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Thanks annr,
  13. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I don't know about you, but I would be absolutely sick of snow at this point if it was something common here. Mid March is pretty much when you're thinking spring. First day of spring is next week. Snow ceases being pretty unless you're at a ski resort or gazing at mountains in the distance.

    My Christmas cactus are budding up for their "Easter bloom".
  14. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Hey, maybe that's why our March break populates the sunny destinations to the South :D

    Van's out. There's one Christmas cactus in Busby's enclosure and it's blooming and budding also right now. I picked up 10 begonia corms and will start them shortly. Most begonias from last year, and I planted a bunch of them, didn't make it. My success in past depended on control of the watering and last summer they were not protected from a lot of rain ... so they rotted.

    My few geraniums are blooming red; small lantana is putting up a lot of new growth; all the rootings of coleus are doing very well - so the inside is like a greenhouse at every window.

    Snowshoeing in glorious sunshine today ...

    I'll be prepping earth as soon as those pots from last year are released by the snow and ice ... not to forget that one of the worst snowstorms I have encountered was on April 1, 2 and 3 in the 1970's - hope it's not time for a repeat! :eek: I am sure I was using traction bars in the lane because of a late snowfall last April too - yikes.
    annr likes this.
  15. LEGION 12

    LEGION 12 Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2009
    Soon . [​IMG]
    taldesta likes this.
  16. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Wish I had some Geraniums, but I'll get some in a few weeks. I never messed with mine last fall to save any of the roots for this year's growth. I really don't have room for much else indoors to be honest about it. I have probably 25 Amaryllis and a bunch of Christmas Cactus. I keep trying for colors I don't have and when something unusual develops (color wise), try to separate them so they just don't get mixed in with the pile. At the moment the pale yellows are the ones I seek. The colors I look for are brilliant red, pale yellow, and any odd ones...

    I tried to root some Lantana cuttings last fall, but that didn't go so well. They're expensive plants and was hoping to save some coin this year.

    What do traction bars accomplish when it comes to winter driving? I'm not a car guy. I thought they were more for 4x4's, but I don't know what they actually do.

    My Sister gave me a Strappy Plant which I believe is Australian. My Sister's bloom in January but the one she gave me at Christmas is blooming now. They are real pretty and are interesting house plants for the foliage. Never really heard of them and looked them up... seems there are quite a few different varieties. A cell phone pic of the bloom is below. It will go out on the front porch in a medium light space when things warm up.


    It was 31 deg F this morning with a heavy frost on things.... so still freezing off and on at night/early morning. Have two Patio tomato plants I got at Walmart inside and starting to bloom. (Why Walmart?... because they had what I wanted.) I buy most of my vegie plants at Ace Hardware and a certain nursery, but all they have this early are some really big tomato's in pots. Really don't want to spend $15 for a tomato plant. Itching to get them out of the house and into something permanent. Same goes for all the Amaryllis.... just want to get them outside for the warm season and make some room inside the house. But we aren't there yet.

    I chuckle... neighbors are getting their yard mowed by a lawn service at the moment. They are wearing basically winter coats. Nothing growing except weeds in her yard. Burr.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
  17. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Right on :thumbsup:

    Signs ....
    Rising sun melts the snow on its way down the pines

    DSCF4429 SUNUP SNOW PINE 650 MED.jpg

    A redwing blackbird here yesterday morning ... when it would rather be swinging on a cattail in a warm breeze


    ... and retail starts stocking the bulbs and corms - Spring cannot be far behind.

    Pretty certain I spotted a Canada Goose flying high over the river (which is wide open) as well. Yup, soon.
    Rose and Thistle Custom and annr like this.
  18. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Sweet Strappy plant there ... unknown to me ... very Spring!

    A pic might explain it best ...
    Old, dinged up, in the vehicle year round and used many times for me and others - in mud, ice, snow. Probably something other than the 4x4 traction bar referenced.

    DSCF4452 TRACTION BARS 650 MED.jpg

    Recently, when I asked for rooting compound at the nursery in order to start more coleus from cuttings, I was asked which compound I needed - soft or woody stem. I had never known of the latter. Just wondering if this would help with lantana. I also understand that woody stemmed rootings are encouraged by starting willow in the same container just as English ivy works for soft stemmed cuttings.

    As my laneway has had more snow, which helped with traction ... but also with rain overnight which brings it back into shape as a waterslide :eek: down to the river, I promised myself to err on the side of caution this time. I can likely get out, definitely will park on the flats and walk back up with cleats on as well. Yes, traction for the feet. Maybe I won't venture out at all today!

    I like the image of mowing grass in winter duds :)
  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I have seen those traction aids online. I sort of thought that was what you were talking about. I would certainly have them if I lived in a more snowy climate. As a kid, we had a coal furnace in PA in our house. Years later when we kids were pretty much grown up, Dad switched to oil. Carrying ashes out to the "patch" was a frequent activity in buckets for us kids. We used coal ashes a lot on the driveway for traction in snow and ice.

    My brother in law swears by rooting compound for starting cuttings. He gave me a small bottle a few years ago. He also gave me a leather strop and compound for knives. I really never got "into" the knife sharpness thing like he did and many here. I seek usable or functional sharp for the most part.
  20. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    It's been a pleasant week here in the PNW. Plum blossom time!


    I cut up about half a cord of wood last weekend, but that's about all the basic yard work I've managed. It was stuff that fell down this year, fence, trees, etc...Been working of resurrecting some teak lawn furniture I picked up during the winter. The previous owner didn't take good care of it so it got pressure washed, acid washed, and now I'm putting a sealer and oil on it. These pieces were from Smith and Hawken, a brand now owned by Target which puts out a line of cheap lawn furniture. This used to be a premium brand for garden stuff, seriously quality stuff. The company got bought out, loaded up with debt, and sold as way too many are. I had friends who worked for them, so when I saw the name plates on this stuff I got excited. Got a bench, table, and pair of chairs. Only wanted the bench, but had to buy them all . Paid $150 for what was once a $3000 set.

    Real teak will last a long, long, time if cared for. This wasn't. It had been left outside without any care for probably decades. At one time somebody decided to "make it dark again" (as it goes grey with bleaching) and slopped some cheap stain on it. Absolutely the wrong thing to do. The table had a small area where it started to rot. I found some scrap wood (real teak from an old boat) at a salvage yard and fit in a new piece.


    Had to cut some stuff away to get the legs off and replace the joining hardware too, but that was pretty easy. The screws are rusted in solid, and I don't want to destroy anything taking it all apart, so as long as it's tight it can stay together. Teak, around here, is $44 a board foot, if you can find it, so you can see what replacement costs would be...which is why the stuff Target sells is made from Acacia or Eucalyptus.


    Here's a before and after shot, so if you ever get a chance at something good like this, buy it: it can be saved. If you look close you can see the stain; lazy SOB didn't even coat the underside, just let it drip down.



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