Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gardening Today with Husband

Well the rain has finally stopped and today it is sunny so have been gardening with my husband. This morning we had our coffee on the patio and discussed the garden jobs that we would like to accomplish for the day.

The first thing on our list was to use the grass trimmer around the paver edging and the patios. Husband bought me a ryobi 18V lithium  battery operated trimmer which I like BUT the battery does not give me enough power so I have the option to also plug it into the electric outlet and this is what I do for the tough jobs.  So I worked on trimming and edging around the gardens and husband trimmed the over growth branches on the trees and also trimmed the flowering shrubs after they bloomed.

Many dead branches were removed.  The Earthwise chainsaw on the pole came in handy when husband had to go on the roof to cut back the mimosa branches that were growing too close to the house..

I enjoyed working in the yard today with my husband because we got a lot of work accomplished.  At dusk after we put away all of the yard and garden tools we sat on the patio and drank a cold beer.  Looking out at the yard, know that it is starting to look manicured.

Here are a few photographs of my yard and gardens:

Tomorrow is another day and I intend to tackle the backside of my checklist.  Trim and edge the path in the meadow.  For that job I will have to dress for snakes, ticks, spiders and other garden pests.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Self Propelled All-Wheel Drive Lawn Mower Cuts Lawn FAST

My husband has been working a lot, long hours and on his day off so I thought I would help him out by cutting the lawn with his NEW Husquvarna self propelled all-wheel drive lawn mower.

I called him at work to see if this was okay with him because his particular about his things. When I asked him he laughed and said ”are you sure you want to use my self propelled lawn mower?” I replied “yes” and my husband laughed. Then he told me to hold the bar down lift up the front tires and pull the cord.

So I got dressed and put on my sneakers because I figured cutting the lawn would be a workout. Little did I know that I would be holding on and running behind the lawn mower.

The product summary stated that this self propelled lawn mower was outstanding, dependable with smooth operation, which sounds good.  What I did not read and my husband omitted from telling me that there was a speed control, Yes I learned the hard way that cutting the lawn was comfortable only when you adjust the speed.

Let me tell you, it was set at 4 mph and I was running around the lawn and holding onto the lawn mower. I was certain if I left go that the mower would go off on it's own and crash into a tree or the side of the house. Cutting the lawn was certainly a workout and I am glad I wore my running sneakers.  The lawn was cut in a matter of minutes, this lawn mower is FAST.

If you are interested in learning more about the lawn mower then know that it is the Husqvarna Self-Propelled All-Wheel Drive 3-in-1 and husband bought it at Lowes.com and then picked it up at the store.  Husband said his lawn mower has a Honda engine.  So I think that this is a quality mower, that will last many years and has the capabilities to provide you with a great workout and cut your grass FAST.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Armadillos Dug Up Rose Garden

I learned about armadillo when a mother decided to bring her babies into my yard and dig up my lawn and rose gardens. They were foraging in grubs and other soil insects in my yard and gardens. Know that after she and the kids had a field day with my rose bushes my mind was made up and armadillos were not welcomed into my yard.

Here is a card I found at zazzle that will show you what an armadillo looks like.  I would share with you a photo but I did not get a good capture. 

I knew squat about how to get rid of them so I contacted animal control and they directed me to the conversations office. There they had me take a class on trapping armadillos and said they would assist me on relocating the armadillos after they were trapped.

What I learned is that they have bad eyesight and that I would need to herd them into the trap with boards. Know that I was fearful of doing this because it was a mother and naturally she would want to protect her babies. The last thing I wanted to do was provoke her because a bite would mean not only rabies shots but also treatment for leprosy which consists of antibiotic treatment for up to 3 years.

To remedy my problem with the armadillos husband said he would put up a fence so I could wave goodbye to the armadillos.  If you have this lawn and garden pest in your yard, trapping is one way to get rid of them, but a fence is easy way to keep them out. Know that my brother did trap armadillos is his yard, he said that three of his buddies helped him.

If you want to get rid of the armadillo by trapping then buy a live animal trap to catch and release.  I found some reasonably priced traps  at Walmart.com Lowes.com or Homedupot.com or you can contact your cities animal control and they may have an animal trap that you can borrow.  

Here is a video that will show you how to set up a trap for an armadillo, using the boards.  Know that my brother and his buddies did herd the pest into the trapping area. He told me that the armadillo tends to go where it wants.  

Other pest control posts by Sgolis

- See more at: http://yardandgardensecrets.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#sthash.Z45t4ZEI.dpuf

Thursday, June 18, 2015

When It Rains I Create Garden Sets at Polyvore

Last week I was productive in the garden and was able to get the yard and gardens manicured after a month of rain.  Everyday I went out to work in my gardens for minimum of six our daily.  I was getting so many projects accomplished.  Then  two days ago the clouds turned dark and it started to rain again.  

Our forecast for this week is rain every single day.  Know that the ground is saturated and the run off is pulling my mulch away from the plants stems.  Plus there are large mud puddles forming in area that I thought was well drained.

Needless to say I will not be gardening this week so I have taken the opportunity to create garden and outdoor living space designs for a few of my clients.  

I find the design tool at polyvore to be quite useful.  Basically I start with a blank canvas and then clip images that I need. I add these images by overlapping them and I create a collage that is eye appealing.

These garden and outdoor space sets help me with my resume and also I use them to show clients.  So it is safe to say that I am always working on new ideas for outdoor living spaces,  and gardens even when it rains.

View a few of my yard and garden designs that I created at polyvore.

Here is a design that I did for a clients covered deck. I really like the way this space turned out because it has good ambiance; warm and inviting.

Blue Theme Outdoor Decor and

Blue Theme Outdoor Decor and Furniture by sgolis featuring outdoor patio chairs

This set features a garden space and path for outdoor gathering. This garden set would be great for a large yard. I like the way the seating area is away from the garden path and flowerbed.

Pink Theme Garden Party

Pink Theme Garden Party by sgolis featuring Tiffany Lamp; Co.

Many people do not have a yard where they can enjoy an outdoor space. So I recommend that they utilize this space that they have. In this set I showed one of my clients how to create a warm and inviting space with container gardens for their front porch.

Red Patriotic Front Porch Decor

Red Patriotic Front Porch Decor by sgolis featuring red area rugs

This set I created to show a client what I wear when I garden.  Know that I really like these zazzle flower print cotton t-shirts because I can add my information for my business on the back. Also the shirt is soft and very comfortable.  Know that the photo of the garden in the background is of my personal daylily garden by my stepping stone path.

Tiger Lily Garden

Tiger Lily Garden by sgolis featuring terracotta planters

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Word of Mouth Garden Job

 I have been working on my gardens for the last 7 days.  Know that my yard and garden represents my skills and if I am to get jobs in the neighborhood then my yard and gardens better be near perfect.     

My yard and gardens are not formal because every plant that I grow is to benefit wildlife.  The only way to describe my yard and garden is to say that it is a sensory garden with fragrant flowers, wind chimes and water features.  Plus there is an original (came with the house) American Indian sculpture and cement sculptures that I have made scattered throughout the garden.
Upper-level garden; patio and sandstone walkway

My gardens take up a half acre of land and they are a sight to behold especially when in full bloom. There are three levels of gardens plus paths and garden nooks then a meadow that has a path that goes around it where you can view the pretty flowers, stop to watch the birds at the feeders, sit on the garden bench and read from your Kindle or sleep on the hammock. The meadow is an area that I created for neighborhood children to learn more about flowers and nature.  
Lower level garden by grass garden

This week the bee balm, Asiatic and daylilies are in bloom as well as the roses, black-eyed Susan's red clover, catmint, and coneflowers.  So if you walk down the alley you can look down into my yard and see my pretty gardens. 
Stella de Oro lilies and Black Eyed Susan's in bloom

To make a long story short, people from the neighborhood were walking down my alley to get to the nature trails and a man stopped to look at my yard and gardens.  He came into my yard and took the path that winds around my pond,
Garden path to brick patio and grass garden

I went out to talk to him and we had a nice chat, he told me his daughter just bought a home in Branson, MO and she needed help with planning her landscape and asked if I did this sort of thing.

I gave him my business card and that is how word of mouth got me my next digital garden job.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Gardening at Dawn

Now that the rainy season has finally come to an end the days have gotten hot and muggy which makes gardening uncomfortable so I have been getting up at dawn to work in my yard and gardens.
Lily garden by garden path that was designed by Sgolis
Cleaning up garden paths and doing hand pull of weeds in flower gardens
I find I can get a lot of things accomplished as long as I do not violate the noise ordnance I am in good shape.  So today I started working on my checklist. First thing was to remove the maple tree seedlings.  This is my biggest project; pulling out the maple tree seedlings when there must be thousands growing in my lawn and gardens.
Maple tree seed.  these fall from the trees in the spring and the seed grows FAST

This year I set 30 seedlings aside because I thought I would transplant them into pots and grow them in a sunny location. Then when they get to be approximately 16 to 18 inches I would like to donate them to families in my community that are in need.  

Many residents lost their homes due to a tornado that touched down in our city.  Families have moved into their new homes but all of the trees are gone.  I bet they would be thrilled to get a maple tree for their yard.

So I am up at dawn gardening but also transplanting the maple seedlings into pots.

Know that I am hydrating the seedlings in a shallow pan of tepid water before transplanting them into 1/2 gallon  milk containers that have been recycled to be planters. 

The maple trees will be grown in organic soil and will be fertilized with my homemade compost.  Then watered until it drains out of the bottom.  I intend to grow the maple trees in a sunny location and will continue to watch them for hydration.

So gardening at dawn was good, I worked on removing the seedlings, and also set up the soaker hose and timer that I bought at Walmart.com.  Now I do not have to worry about watering my gardens in the morning.

Here is a sticker that I designed from a photograph of my neighbors maple tree in full autumn color.  Maple trees are gorgeous and seeing them in the fall season makes the seedling cleanup doable.  


Learn more about planting maple trees by reading my post here