Easy weed control

A satisfying weekend, digging in the dirt (once it warmed up). On Friday, I finished my new corner sitting area: hauled away the branches, leveled the dirt and raked it into the low corner, dumped ant bait on the burgeoning ant hill… grrr.

To control weeds, I used a technique that also works great for establishing new flower beds on top of a patch of lawn: cover the area with layers of cardboard, stake them in place (or hold down with rocks), and top with a thick layer of bark. I've been bringing home boxes from work the past couple of months; nice to have a free source of materials. I used the U-shape pins sold with landscape fabric to hold them in place so they won’t slide around, then sprayed the cardboard with water. This helps them start to break down. It took the 8 bags of bark I bought this week, plus a 9th, to cover the cardboard.

The corner is now finished, and I love the way it looks. I’ll look for a small side table to go between the Adirondack chairs, something big enough to hold a lamp and glasses. I can see myself sitting out here in the evening, reading and sipping a glass of wine, relaxing after a day at work. And it will be a perfect spot for an intimate talk with a friend, a place to escape a noisy party on the patio.

The other task for Friday was digging the lemon balm out of the last 1/3 of the flowerbed, and planted hollyhocks in about half the bed. Besides the salmon pink double that Marion gave me, I also have a dark red/black single, plus rose red and white (both double). Enough to fill the whole bed, and by next year, it should be a solid hedge of hollyhocks.
On Saturday, I finished my other major chore in the yard today: scraping up the former bark pile that became a small garden, right on top of the concrete parking pad! Between the lemon balm, pasture daisies, and a few other perennials. I had quite the little volunteer garden growing there, but it was time to reclaim my parking spot!

I spread half the rich, loamy soil in the flower border, then planted the rest of the hollyhocks, fertilized them, and spread bark, then hosed the dirt off the driveway. I decided to leave one small lemon balm plant at the end of the border, but will chop the roots occasionally to keep it under control. It’s fragrant, and makes a great filler for flower arrangements.



I inherited yet another weekly project status meeting today... that makes four status meetings every week, plus three staff meetings. Oh joy. It’s a wonder any of us get any work done.

When I mentioned it to Dave, he had this to say:  "Symmetry is reached when you spend all your time providing status on work that you didn’t have time to do."


Our girl

Our “girl,” the excessively nice German Shepherd that lives next door, walked out to say hello when I got the mail, as she always does. She’s moving very slowly today, and I shed a few tears as I drove up the driveway. I love this dog, and will miss her very much when she passes. Wish I could remember how old she is (and her name; it's Japanese and never sticks with me). I'll ask Jim next time I see him.

I still remember the time I brought Fallon to the riding ring to groom and lunge her, and the dog ran up the driveway, barking. Fallon freaked out, snapped her halter, and ran around the paddock like an idiot. She wouldn't calm down, so I just sat down on the huge boulder in the ring, and waited her out. It was 30 minutes before I could calm her down and catch her. I found that halter a few weeks ago, when I emptied out my tack trunk and cleaned all the strap goods. I must have saved it for the brass nameplate.

This picture was taken on our patio in a long-ago May, when the rhododendrons were in full bloom. Fallon had just had a bath and grooming, and you can see her dappled coat.


Green Turtle

We decided to drive through Gig Harbor today, and see if any restaurant caught our eye. Because of a street fair, Anthony’s in the middle of the harbor drive was out. But right next to the Tides was a guy holding a big arrow sign for the Green Turtle restaurant, we followed the arrow to check it out, and grabbed the last parking spot. Was it a sign? Is this the best food in town? We decided to give it a try.

Seating was out on a deck overlooking the harbor and a small marina. Looks good so far. We ordered a bottle of Kendall Jackson 2009 Chardonnay, which was yummy. The air was silky and warm, the view was to die for, and sitting outdoors was exactly what we wanted on this beautiful day. Everything was great so far. This isn’t an inexpensive fish & chips restaurant; most of the entrees were mid-$20 range. But we were craving seafood, and ordered tuna (Dave) and scallops & prawns (me). And we shared.

The food was really, really good. But the whole experience was fabulous, so we will definitely be back.