The 2020 Garden, Landscape, and Other Stuff Thread...

Discussion in 'Community Center' started by annr, Jan 19, 2020.

  1. eisman

    eisman Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    While I have not been getting a lot of yard work done this spring, I have managed a bathroom remodel that only went $3k over budget, replacing some exterior and interior doors, and a refinish on this map chest I got for nothing off Craigslist. It was pretty rough, the top had some serious holes and there was paint and crud splattered both inside and out. It took a lot of sanding and minor repairs, but I think it came out okay.

    Here's a couple pics from one of the sections:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And finished:
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    That did turn out nice. Lots of work to get it back in shape. Noticed you shuffled the drawers around.

    Growing up we had arborvitae that got two stores tall or about the top of our house over time. Eventually we cut them down as they were very close to the house and causing damage (trapping moisture) and so forth. But they were great for hiding behind playing kick the can, hide & seek, or cowboys & indians.

    They also make a pretty good wind screen. Don't think people do that so much anymore. I think your 12 foot tall arborvitae will do the job you seek. The planting is very nice. Your yard looks good too.

    We got some thundershowers over the last week and just maybe we will hit the June normal rainfall for the month.... Think we still need about an inch to hit that target. Added: Normal monthly rainfall mark hit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  3. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Well, that lawn is beautiful ... and I get why you enjoy it in spite of my sentiments over my grass/weed issues :D

    I am thinking that the hummers like the cone flowers like they do the gaillardia here - much the same type of flower head - nice!

    OK ... for a little contrast, here's the path to the wild veg garden up on weed hill here - my 'homestead' experiment into the world of turf raised gardens. Sod busting to open a garden and using the sod slabs to build the containment between the jungle and the veggies. Dug in 2018 and enlarged last summer. Tomato cages on left with cold compost on right. All those pretty flowers are put up by the invasive spreading dogbane, some musk mallow - time for the trimmer to take them down before they go to seed into the garden. The dogbane blossoms are very lily-of-the-valley like and they do scent the air. Prolific seeder.

    DSCF9694 WILD VEG PATH 650 MED.jpg

    It is surprisingly easy to keep the weeds out with turf walls. Just stop the seeds ... so hand trimming the turf will do it with good timing. BTW, for the dogbane and like growth, I picked up a battery trimmer and am loving it!

    DSCF9699 WILD VEG TOMATOES SOD DOGBAE TO E 650 MED.jpg

    My civilized tomatoes around the porch - about the same growth as the turf garden ones. Yes, lots of fruit is coming along now :thumbsup:
    Tarp shed looks a lot better with new covering ...

    DSCF9545 TOMATOES PORCH DELPHINIUM TARP SHED MAPLE 650 MED.jpg

    My oasis, the bird and critter hangout ... has three bath/waterers in the shade. Rocks are for a retainer project.

    DSCF9597 MAPLE BENCH PLANTERS MORNING SUN 650 MED.jpg

    I've tied my old camp shower in the maple for a gravity feed 'drip' into the rock birdbath. What can I say? It is popular :)

    DSCF9723 BIRDBATH GRAVITY DRIP SPLASH 650 MED.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  4. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Today the bee balm is beginning to bloom, showing some red. Can's wait for that blast of red to keep the hummers in the garden. The raccoon has been hitting their feeder so it is brought in at dusk.

    DSCF9602 BEE BALM PAPRIKA YARROW WEED HILL PETUNIAS 650 MED.jpg

    Paprika yarrow is another perennial adding to the colour in the boulder garden - behind the row of petunias. I like its natural posture.

    DSCF9687 PAPRIKA YARROW PETUNIAS 650 MED.jpg

    My annual favourite, nasturtiums fill the planters with hummiingbird candy until frost.

    DSCF9677 NASTURTIUM SUNSHINE BACKLIT 650 MED.jpg
     
  5. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The Paprika Yarrow looks really nice. May have to look into that one. ;)

    I see what you mean about the uncivilized homestead garden. Weeds all around it. They make these walk behind with powered wheel mowers for just this kind of environment. But I suspect another mower isn't high on your priority list.

    My problem in my front perennial bed is drainage. The soil is tight and I don't really want to dig it up and amend it as I will dig out all the developing perennials in the process.

    Made a trip to the Smoky's on Tuesday. Still going though my pictures but the black bears were feeding on blackberries. Tried really hard to get a good picture of a bear and ripening blackberries. I only really had one opportunity but I was thankful for the one opportunity. I may post a couple pictures later.
     
  6. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Good news about the Smoky's trip and hope to see a bear and berry pic here to offset my weeds. You know I haven't seen even one wild turkey so far, not dust bathing in the turf garden, not strolling the yard - that's odd. There is one fine rabbit that nibbles the clover and one raccoon marauding overnight, almost as many squirrels as you have cats/kittens (Spencer looks to be a charmer :D). Yesterday I tossed a very bold chipmunk a peanut in the shell and he stuffed the whole thing in his cheek the took off to stash it.

    Lately I've resorted to setting my 'tin cat' inside the van to catch multiple mice overnight. Having had one expensive repair last year to clear the heater/AC of two remains (after the smell lifted :thumbsdown: - what an experience). Also on the way to town last week I caught sight of one in the back while driving and, honestly, although they don't bother me, I don't like surprises while behind the wheel! No food of any kind in the van, but they love it the way snakes love the engine of my riding mower. Haha and yikes. Mouse count up to 16 as of today - likely the old story of catching the same 4 mice (yes, have pic) 4 times. May be that I will have to start driving them a distance as I do if I catch one in the house ... at least to the other side of the river ...

    I'll let you know how long the yarrow holds its blooms. This fall I will move all the perennials further out from the house where the gable roof shelters them from rain. Plan to divide them at the same time and move them around.

    The reason I have finally gone for the battery trimmer (up to 45 min) - I've decided to settle for just clearing around the gardens and building to prevent weed seeds and growth and to let the bulk of the property do its thing, Let the white pines grow as they might, ease up on my wish to have the whole property looking tidy. My postage stamp lawn in a crescent shape around the maple, my planters - all within easy reach of the hose ... and my homage to wilderness - the turf raised bed (which, if I ignore for one season will disappear into the jungle again anyway). That's the plan for enjoying - and more canoe, less long handled shovel.

    Yarrow (paprika)

    DSCF9471 PAPRIKA YARROW CLOSE 650 MED.jpg

    DSCF9603 PAPRIKA YARROW CLOSE 650 MED.jpg
     
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  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    I very much like the battery powered string trimmers. But for long usage the gas powered is better.

    Nice close ups of the Paprika Yarrow. I am going to keep my eye out for it at the local garden center.

    A few photos from my outing in Cades Cove on 6/30/20. I still haven't gotten "the" blackberry bear picture and will keep trying. It is one of last year's cub out on its own now; so not a large bear. You might find one of these interesting. I saw the Barred Owl again and this time it turned to face me and I got a reasonable picture. The bear up the tree was sleeping for a while and I have a picture of it like that.... this shot was after it roused. It was a fair distance away (edge of field) and there were no people bothering it. The whitetail buck is self explanatory. They came out where you could see them in the evening and I was fortunate to get a picture or three.
    DSC09291ced.jpg DSC09292eed.jpg DSC09271ced.jpg DSC09382ced.jpg DSC09333ceed.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  8. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    Dang squirrels ate all my strawberries, just after we decided to "give them one more day." He who hesitates is lost, again!
     
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  9. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Spencer is all boy and will be two years old this year. He still isn't to his adult size and I suspect will become quite large when he fills out. His feet are huge which suggests the adult size he will grow into. He does not like to be bothered much and will swat me (claws extended-always draws blood) if he doesn't want rubbed on. He isn't always like that, but often enough. So, you always have to pay attention. If I pick him up, he will not resist which is good. Spencer likes to sleep in until around noon and then go outside.

    @annr I didn't know squirrels liked strawberries... birds love them.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
  10. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    I get that perfection is elusive - but in that first frame you have the blackberry bear pic, deserving of enlargement, a nice frame and a place on the wall!

    In every shot the detail is crisp and there are beautifully saturated colours - it is like they were posing for the perfect picture. One heck of a successful outing IMO :thumbsup:
     
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  11. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Squirrels love every little nugget that passes for crops. I've had to wrap chicken wire around the tomato plant that is for a friend because I lost one beauty that was actually ripening. And I thought I had issues with Daisy, the stealth tomato thief :)

    ... then again, those chipmunks ...
     
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  12. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The big lens I purchased late last year (Christmas present to myself) has really helped to allow me to get better wildlife pictures. It seems sharper than my 75-300mm zoom that I previously used a lot for this. The bonus is that I can often get a pleasing picture at distance. My sister really likes that same bear picture. I had to over expose a little to get the bear to be a more normal exposure. I love doing this stuff! I do quest for the ultimate bear picture but to be honest about it, it is mostly just fun trying and the park often allows for some interesting pictures and repeated opportunities.

    In terms of the ultimate blackberry bear picture, I was thinking along this line (below), but it is slightly out of focus. All of these pictures are cropped slightly to allow for better framing for the most part. Maybe it would be better with a higher (aka smaller) f stop?
    DSC09297e2ed.jpg
    It was a good outing. Traffic was terrible however and I missed seeing a number of bears because of that. I have to train myself to be more patient. I had said "many" but that was an exaggeration.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  13. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    My first suspect was the blue jay I had seen hovering around, but I caught the squirrel right in the strawberries (can see out kitchen window). Saw that bushy tail bobbing around with face in the berries. I suspect he or others were the ones digging in the onions and other flowering plants.
     
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  14. JB in SC

    JB in SC Basic Member Basic Member

    May 19, 2001
    My late Dad covered his strawberries with hardware mesh wire, he bent in at a 90 degree angle, it kept some of the squirrels out. He usually planted them along a rock wall he had built in the 50's about 18" tall. We had a cannery up the road a few blocks, so canned or preserved lots of vegetables and berries over the years. I miss those times....
     
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  15. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    @taldesta Picked up a variety of Yarrow called Moonshine Yarrow today. It is yellow blooming. They didn't have your variety. We'll see how it does. I don't have much "yellow" in my perennial area. I will still keep an eye out for Paprika Yarrow.

    I also picked up two new tomato plants for my "second batch". Around mid-July seems to work for this and they mature before frost here.

    @JB in SC Growing up, more my middle teen years, we had a lot of strawberries planted in what we called the "patch". We'd probably get 100 quarts of berries off them (more I think actually). Some were froze and some were sold to folks my Dad worked with.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  16. annr

    annr

    Nov 15, 2006
    Lots of things to remember fondly these days...:) One childhood memory is of fresh raspberries by the pail, bucket, coming out the ears; eaten fresh, in pie, frozen....yum. Also, home grown apples (2 varieties) and other fruit trees-- right outside my bedroom window. Corn, veggies...apple sauce...My mom did the canning or bottling like a pro. I was not talented in this capacity.

    That's a good suggestion, the wire mesh, but we are staying in for the duration. May look for some other form of protection.
     
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  17. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    Picking wild raspberries was an annual ritual for the family. We made jelly yearly. We also picked elder berries for jelly. Fond memories. We had an orchard with apples. That was the area we had fenced in for our steers. And yes, fresh apple pie was a common thing for us.
     
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  18. taldesta

    taldesta Retired :-) Time is the Gold Platinum Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Thank goodness this thread title includes "other stuff" ... here goes ...

    The bear meets my gaze in this shot - that makes it very compelling to me. I see why this is where you are heading in this. The eyes and snout are plenty crisp for my appreciation. The eye would easily forgive a little fuzz around those round ears and neck. The bear's eyes are staring directly with no aggression or fear - a meeting of the minds. If I saw that face through my camera lens, I would know he was saying to himself, "You're busted!"

    The background tone is perfect with the yellows and greens and being out of focus. Berries look lush. Aperture priority works well here I think. I especially like that leafless branch vertical in front of the face.

    Is it the blur on the berry branch front and centre that you take issue with? At first I thought this was motion blur but it is likely just nearer the camera and out of focus - just happened to be in the way? Not a lot you could do about that except a higher f stop. It was there. In focus it might have been a distraction but maybe one you would find preferable?

    You'll keep on shooting for that one picture you're after of course, but until you get it, this one will more than do! IMO
     
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  19. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    The bear was definitely checking me out. In terms of focus, I would prefer the nose, eyes and ears in sharper focus. But even if all that was perfect, I would probably still find fault. It pushes me to do it again and again. I could get rid of the weed sticking up vertically easily via photo shop.

    The last time I had a good black berry opportunity was two years ago, so things have to be just right. I don't believe there is any motion blur as I was shooting at a pretty fast shutter speed on aperture priority which is my preferred camera setting for most everything. I was using a monopod (vs tripod). It is entirely possible I took this picture on manual focus as I was switching back and forth when the camera didn't do what I hoped it would. It's all fun. I missed more opportunities than I captured with that bear. It was moving all the time and doing stuff and then go back to eating or foraging for more berries.

    The berry ripening corresponds with one of the busiest week or two there or around July 4th. It was a good day regardless and I enjoyed it a lot. On the way in, there was a sign that said "campground full"; I thought... Oh, they opened up the campground. Get there and it is totally vacant other than a few people using picnic tables at the camp sites. That is complements of covid-19.

    Back to garden.... I planted three new perennials today in my front bed. Looking forward to seeing things grow and hopefully bloom. I need to write down the names or I'll forget what's what.

    Sometimes the "other stuff" keeps the thread interesting.

    I think black berries can be kind of pretty. Here is a shot showing "black berries". Add a bear to that spot and it could be on hell of a photo.
    DSC09256eed.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  20. JB in SC

    JB in SC Basic Member Basic Member

    May 19, 2001
    We also had five pecan trees in the yard....you can guess who had the job of keeping the population down.
    When you're able to get out, try the heavier weight welded versions, they'll chew through the lightweight stuff pretty fast.

    My folks used to can or preserve most everything. My mother still had her old pressure cooker and meat grinder sitting in the cabinet when she passed away, depression era folks keep stuff like that all their lives. We had five pecan trees, a few garbage cans of pecans a year (most years). Not a bad cash crop for a little spending money. We took them to a friend that had a pecan sheller. Lots easier than hand shelling...
     
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