One-day respite

Today, no work in the flowerbeds, pending the rain that was supposed to show up, but didn't. Unless you count the fifteen minutes of sprinkling we got as rain.

Things are falling into place. Jeff has to be at the airport at 6:00 tomorrow morning. I'll get up, take him to the airport, then come back to the house and plot the day. I'm supposed to pick Heather's father up at the airport at 12:30—Kat is going to tag-team with me. Once Heather's dad is squared away and taken care of, then through various trips Kat and I will secure the needed rototiller and compost for the flowerbed.

After that…it's back to the house, where I'll dig up the irises and put them in pots for the night. That will allow us to get most of the bed raked out before the morning, leaving less for us to do on Saturday.

Getting the holly bushes out on Saturday will be a victory in and of itself.

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Exterior work: day two

Day two. My back is counting the days until this is done. It is very unaccustomed to spending mornings shoveling rocks, and spends the rest of the day complaining about it.

Unfortunately I didn't do as much today as I would have liked. I am reminded of the adage to go easy at first before ramping up into serious work; I know this adage, so why did I forget it? Instead, I went at things full-tilt, as I always do.

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The exterior work begins.

Today's efforts heralded the beginning of 'Spring 2001 Exterior Overhaul[tm].' Otherwise known as a bit of back-breaking effort on my part to greatly improve the exterior of this house. Most of this effort involves the complete reworking of the current flowerbeds, which are in horrendous shape due to some misguided choices by the previous owners.

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A hard freeze scheduled -

A hard freeze is scheduled for tonight. My tender plants have been brought safely indoors, but I'm crossing my fingers tonight in the hopes that my irises—so perilously close to blooming—will not be terribly stunted by this last freeze. I'm hoping to get a few good closeup shots of the blooms to use as a potential thematic idea for domesticat, and I'd prefer not to have to wait another year.

Assuming the weather warms appropriately, I'll be doing a lot of work in the garden tomorrow afternoon. I need to prune our existing crepe myrtles and get a couple of the new ones planted. This will be entertaining—I've never been great at manhandling shovels and dirt, especially when packed Alabama red clay is concerned. Time to learn, it seems.If my life ever had a theme, I believe it would read thus: "Things need doing. Guess I'd better get to it, hm?"

House notes

Talked with Sean last night, and started finalizing plans for the the flowerbeds. Looks like we're going to use a combination of camellias and Chinese fringe flowers for the back row of shrubbery (the "Ni!" row, as I refer to it). I'll do clumps of various small shrubs and perennials throughout the beds—lilies, daffodils, irises, tulips, etc. for the perennials and probably flame bushes, rosemary, and shrub roses for the the larger bits.

I'm going to place some paving stones into the ground to give me some room to stand on in the beds without damaging plants. I'll probably anchor those with stuff like chamomile and creeping thyme (though the chamomile may be tough to get here).

I'm probably going to start some jasmine, so that I can train it to creep up the railing. It'll smell wondrous—perhaps a porch swing could be installed to take advantage of it?

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A domesticat, a flower, a plan—zanzibar!

I've been holding off on posting something until I had something interesting to post. I had something in mind, actually—at last, the drawing of what I'm wanting to do with the flowerbeds in my front yard. This is going to require a lot of work to make this happen, but I think this is an arrangement that I'm going to be happy with.

I've greatly enjoyed having fresh herbs growing out on the porch. As I've gone through the year I've found that some things grow well in the heat of Alabama and some just can't take the high temperatures. So I'm incorporating what I've learned into version 2.0 of the front yard.A lot of prep work has to take place before this can happen. First, we've got to rip out everything that's there now. Granted, this isn't a whole lot (thanks to the Laniers, who didn't feel like spending money on the flowerbeds). But there are a few large holly bushes that have got to be taken out, and this isn't going to be pleasant.

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