Saturday, June 11, 2011


After not posting anything since November, I really wanted to catch up. I'm really proud of myself not only for actually doing this, but for posting something that happened just YESTERDAY!

Some weeks ago we ordered a new shed for the back yard. The company that's building it offered to remove the old one for just $250, so we took them up on it! I felt a little bad about getting rid of the old girl. She's been with us a long time and was really kinda cute, but then I took a good hard look inside…
the shed was Dinky, really Dinky, and Dirty…

And Damp! It really was time to let go.
A Bobcat was trucked into the yard.
He even put out a traffic cone to make sure no cars would come too close.
The Hungry BobCat ready to pounce! GOING…
REALLY GONE. (Our compost bins show in the back.)
Laying forms to pour concrete…
Using the Bobcat to start smoothing out the dirt pile.
Filling the power buggy with Reddi Mix. (I'm very glad they didn't try to drive that big truck into the yard.)
This shows a finished corner of the slab. It also shows the pile of concrete that was dumped in the yard. (They did clean that up.) The traffic cone protected our clematis plant by making it visible while the bobcat was prowling around the yard.
At the end of the day the slab was covered with Plastic…
The plastic was removed today. Now that we have a nice slab in the back yard would anyone care to square dance? The new shed comes next week. :D

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Transforming the Church Building

After planning and researching most of the summer a dream of mine came true. The south side of our church building looked really nice in the early spring when the bulbs were blooming, but the rest of the year didn't look like much. I realized that it really needed some bushes. This was phase one of our landscaping project. We purchased 5 dwarf Alberta spruce and 3 dwarf hibiscus on sale. The iris in the picture were already in place so we left them there.
The Facilities Management group (the FM group) of the church purchased the rest of the plants and delivered them to our back yard for safe keeping until planting day: rose bushes, spirea, two kinds of boxwoods and a Japanese maple.
And here is Jim working on phase two. We actually had 14 people helping us that day, but I didn't get permission from anyone else to post pictures.
While Jim and the other men were digging holes they found about 40 feet of heavy steel edging that had been put in place before the concrete edging was built. Removing it was quite a job.
In between the windows we planted "Alberta Blue Dwarf Alberta Spruce" by Monrovia. They are slow growing, and have a tight, formal, conical habit, 5 to 7 feet tall, and 1 1/2 to 2 feet wide. Once established they need only occasional water. They are evergreen, so we planted "Little Princess" spirea, which are deciduous, on either side. The spirea will have pink flowers from May to October, and will eventually be 2-3 tall and 3-4 feet wide.
Centered under each window is a "Luna White" dwarf hibiscus. They will grow two to three feet high and two feet wide. In mid summer they will have white 8" flowers. They are bushy, and well branched without pinching, and once established they are drought tolerant. Because they die back in the winter we planted an evergreen boxwood on each side.
And here is most of the completed window section, mulch and all. For the whole project we amended the soil with 8 bags of composted manure, and put root stimulator on each plant. Preen, which stops weeds from germinating, was put down prior to mulching everything. We dare any weeds to grow!
And here's how it looks from the street.
The Japanese maple is now in the space between the windows and the big planter. Years ago there was a sidewalk there and a door to the building.
Before anything was done with the planter, the FM group sent someone out to give the stonework a good power washing. It really sparkled
The completed planter. Centered in front of the stone work is a dwarf blue Alberta spruce with boxwoods (a tall variety) and "Little Princess" spirea on each side. Next to that are 4 "Macy's Pride" rose bushes with 3 little boxwoods in front.
Some of the roses were blooming when we planted them. It's going to be really pretty next year.
After it was all said and done it didn't feel finished to me. We ended up adding a "Cherokee Princess" dogwood tree. It's a small tree, but has larger flowers and bigger leaves than other dogwoods. Also the flowers are in clusters and are yellowish in color. It should be gorgeous.
Here's the planter from the rose bush side, after adding the dogwood tree.
We're having a drought right now but drought conditions or not, we're determined to have these plants do well. Jim attached this connector hose from the water spigot to a series of soaker hoses that are buried under the mulch.
From the big planter there is another connector hose leading down to the ground where it meets up with another soaker. We've never been able to grow anything in that shady part of the planter because it was too dry. Now with the soaker hoses I'm itching to try impatiens there next year. ^-^
Here's a close-up of the connector hose. Jim couldn't hide it completely, but I think he did a good job of getting it out of the way.

The Other Side of the Building

In the spring we planted flowers along other parts of the building. Our good friends Betsy DeBorde and Kathy Morgan did much of the planting. Coming around to the west side of the Primary wing we planted impatiens, coleus and gerbera daisies. Coleus did really well in some places, but not in others.
Here is a gerbera daisy nestled among impatiens on the north side of the Primary wing. We found that gerberas seem to prefer cool weather, and needed lots of fertilizer in order to bloom. We don't plan to include them next year.
Impatiens were spectacular and didn't require extra work. This picture just doesn't do them justice. We'll definitely use impatiens next year. The iris should bloom next spring.
Over by the Bishop's office were several kinds of marigolds, coleus, cone flowers, iris and a few impatiens. We were surprised that the impatiens did well in that spot because they were in full sun. The marigolds were also spectacular, but required deadheading (picking off the old blooms in order to keep them producing fresh flowers) all summer long. We won't include as many marigolds next year because of all the work, but really liked this particular variety. The petals were bigger, the plants larger, and they were healthier longer than the others.
Here's a close-up. I hope we can find this variety next year. They were worth the deadheading. We finally pulled up the last of them on November 13. They lasted really well.
Fortunately that variety also came in orange. The flowers were dark orange when they opened and became lighter causing the plants to show several shades at the same time. We hope we can find these next year also.
It's fun to get ideas from other places. This last picture was taken at the Columbus, Ohio LDS temple. I was intrigued by their mixture of plants. They had begonias and impatiens planted together with a smattering of geraniums and an occasional marigold.
Nice possibilities for next spring…

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A New Baby and a Blessing

On May 30th we were in Illinois. It was a Sunday morning. The night before we attended Jim's 50th high school reunion (but that's another story.) We were getting ready for church when my cell phone rang. It was Peter, telling us that their baby had been born! He said, "You knew we went to the hospital, right?" They sent us an e-mail to tell us they were going, but we weren't near a computer that morning, so we were surprise and delighted with their news. Bridget Ellen arrived Sunday morning at 10:15, 7 lbs 9.6 oz, 19 1/2" and Mom and Baby were doing well. What great news to start the day.

And here's Bridget. We think she looks a lot like Elizabeth.

Smile Pretty Baby
Elizabeth holds her new baby sister.
Happy Mama and Baby
In July, Jim flew to Utah for Bridget's blessing. Barbie drove down for the day from her home in Roy. Barbie's daughter Hazel was sick, so she and her daddy stayed home. Here are Aunt Barbie, Karen and Bridget, Peter, Grandpa Jim and Elizabeth. Bridget was the fourth baby to wear the family blessing dress. (Barbie made it for Helena's daughter Kate, with the plan for it to be passed around the family.)

Peter, Jim, Barbie
Jim and Peter both happened to wear the ties they had for Barbie's wedding. :-)

Jim had a really nice time while he was out there, including installing a door for Elizabeth's bed room. (Too bad we don't have any pictures of that.) It's great when families can get together.