billeyler: (face in the sunlight)
Danny just returned from a month away, after competing in two rodeos as his new hobby as a horseman.

Since I knew he was going to be gone so long, I set into motions plans before he left to do as much as I possibly could on our checklist of house projects, most of which fell into the expensive, long-deferred maintenance category.

As far as I know, Danny just thought I was sitting at home eating bon bons and watching TV.

Here's what I got done, some by me, some by contractors, and some with a little help from friends:

- Upstairs guest bathroom tub refinished. The old refinish had been damaged in the 08-09 remodel. We should have just replaced the tub then!



- Rebeam the sagging garage roof (both beams had cracked in the past few years). Went from two support trusses, to six. This was a biggie. It was originally a carport; it wasn't converted to a garage correctly by the contractor back in 2005.



- Had concrete pad poured for a storage shed, being built partly to block the view from the neighbor.





- Had the old, leaky gutters removed
- Had all the soffits and trim on the house scraped, sanded, primed and painted



- Purchased an 8' x 10' Shed kit from Lifetime Storage Sheds. Delivered by freightline after I got back from Denver. I built most of it, but friends David and Alan came over on the Sunday and helped me with the roof section. Took about 12 manhours in all, with lots of taking apart and putting back together, in spite of some pretty clear instructions.





- Re-landscaped a lot of the back yard, which entailed a lot of cleanup, shifting of railroad ties, cutting up trees, laying 35 backs of mulch, extending the drip system for a new garden area.






- Patched and painted two areas where the old gutters were



- Planted two 8 foot Purple Robe Locusts to replace the now-gone cottonwood. (the in-bloom pic is from online)




Here's what is still on the checklist:
- renovate the back deck for safety and cosmetics (this is in process - my handyman has another big project he's working on across town, but will be back to do this)
- replace the roof, skylights and vents on the house and garage (this is in process- we received a significant insurance claim settlement for hail damage this week)
- New gutters installed (in process- quote received, will be installed after the new roof is on)
- resurface the front stoop (I'm sure it'll be artistic)
- permanent fix for the water main cutout in the driveway. it's just filled with pea gravel now.
- complete the landscaping in the area where the old cottonwood was. Plant something in the area where the old pine tree was in the corner.

I was amazed how much I could get in my new C-Max in my many trips to gardening materials at several big box stores. Not as much as in my VUE, but it still has some significant haulage capacity. Lawrence helped me on Wednesday by hauling the two trees from Jericho Nursery home.

Okay, I'm officially tired!
billeyler: (Richmond house)
The first week of May here is when the color starts to pop. By June, most of this will be gone.

The smoke tree in a small garden plot. I love the effect when the sun shines through it. Only 4 years old, hoping for a much large tree in a few years.


Planted last month in the "patch of doom," sweet broom. I extended the drip system here, so we'll see if these survive. Nothing else has.


Not a good year for the purple iris, only a few blooms this year, but very magestic.


The yellows and variegateds are just now getting started.


Mexican primrose peeking through the Margo Koster rose, just starting to bud.


One of the two peony plants to remind Danny of a proper English country garden. These amaze me in the heft of the blooms.


Chocolate flowers, remnant of a former 1995 roommate's gardening. It's volunteered around the area, happily.


Looking west into the terraced area. The iceberg roses have gone nuts again, but the small roses mixed in with them are just now starting to bud.


Looking east into the terraced area.


And now for the veggies. I just planted 3 different tomatoes. I haven't planted any of the winter starts in my little incubator--all those are still in the house. Danny is happy I haven't planted 9 like I did last year.


My first attempt at rhubarb. Both of the starts have come up, but it will be quite a while before we can pick the first stalks.


The newer garden area. Brussels (under the cups to protect them from the squirrel--a live one, not the little statue), eggplant, red and green bell pepper. More to be planted in this area from the incubator in a couple of weeks. In the evening, we put a large plastic milk crate over two of the Brussel sprouts to protect them. We'll see.


Looking west toward the house from near the cottonwood tree. The 7 year old deck hopefully will be rebuilt in the next year.
billeyler: (Albuquerque at dusk)
This tells me it's really Spring in Albuquerque (besides the fact it was really strongly breezy last night).

billeyler: (tulips spring)
Touches of green are showing here and there. The back yard this morning.

Nearly

Mar. 26th, 2012 05:31 pm
billeyler: (Albuquerque at dusk)
Touches of green are showing here and there. The back yard this morning.

billeyler: (Richmond house)
Guess what's come back for its second showing this year--my amaryllis!

I had it stuck in a corner, dried out. While we were in Atlanta, it decided to surprise us with new greenery. Now placed happily under the skylight in the dining room.

billeyler: (Richmond house)
Guess what's come back for its second showing this year--my amaryllis!

I had it stuck in a corner, dried out. While we were in Atlanta, it decided to surprise us with new greenery. Now placed happily under the skylight in the dining room.

billeyler: (Albuquerque at dusk)
Last night, the weatherman on the local Channel 4 news showed a graph of dew points for the past week here.

I didn't realize that the weather service specifies that we have to have more than 3 days in a row of maximum dewpoints in the 40s to say that the summer monsoon has been triggered. The full holiday weekend was something like 43/45/42, but then it dropped back into the 30s. So 'officially' the monsoon hasn't started.

Nothing on the rain gauge while we were gone, but the airport reported 3/100ths of an inch this past Saturday. Happily, Tijeras (small town in the canyon that I-40 snakes through) got over an inch then. Yay!

I can tell SOMETHING should be happening soon. The humidity is up in the 30s right now, which makes for less effective evaporative cooling. I was sweaty on the walk home yesterday, which is rare.

Yes, this is all quite boring, but since we haven't had any significant precip here since last October, it's a desperate waiting game for us gardeners.

This morning's garden walk )
billeyler: (Albuquerque at dusk)
Last night, the weatherman on the local Channel 4 news showed a graph of dew points for the past week here.

I didn't realize that the weather service specifies that we have to have more than 3 days in a row of maximum dewpoints in the 40s to say that the summer monsoon has been triggered. The full holiday weekend was something like 43/45/42, but then it dropped back into the 30s. So 'officially' the monsoon hasn't started.

Nothing on the rain gauge while we were gone, but the airport reported 3/100ths of an inch this past Saturday. Happily, Tijeras (small town in the canyon that I-40 snakes through) got over an inch then. Yay!

I can tell SOMETHING should be happening soon. The humidity is up in the 30s right now, which makes for less effective evaporative cooling. I was sweaty on the walk home yesterday, which is rare.

Yes, this is all quite boring, but since we haven't had any significant precip here since last October, it's a desperate waiting game for us gardeners.

This morning's garden walk )
billeyler: (Albuquerque)
Last night, I called a "Father's Day" dance for Duke City Singles. The club prez had all the guys wear a rose; the red one was mine. There were leftovers at the end of the night, so I brought the peach-colored one back for Danny. Lovely.



The plantings in the area by the new fence where I installed some new drip line love it! The generic tomatoes are exploding with blossoms and gaining in girth and height every day.



I planted some portulaca, squash, basil, and okra in the new garden area under our bedroom window. The basil all sprouted but is still VERY tiny, but the other plants are taking off. They've all been in the ground several weeks. The ceramic guards appear to be doing their job quite nicely.



I planted squash and zucchini in other places around the yard, but those are all slow-goes for some reason. Probably will take off if we ever have rain. If.
billeyler: (Albuquerque)
Last night, I called a "Father's Day" dance for Duke City Singles. The club prez had all the guys wear a rose; the red one was mine. There were leftovers at the end of the night, so I brought the peach-colored one back for Danny. Lovely.



The plantings in the area by the new fence where I installed some new drip line love it! The generic tomatoes are exploding with blossoms and gaining in girth and height every day.



I planted some portulaca, squash, basil, and okra in the new garden area under our bedroom window. The basil all sprouted but is still VERY tiny, but the other plants are taking off. They've all been in the ground several weeks. The ceramic guards appear to be doing their job quite nicely.



I planted squash and zucchini in other places around the yard, but those are all slow-goes for some reason. Probably will take off if we ever have rain. If.
billeyler: (Albuquerque at dusk)
A massive forest fire in far eastern Arizona is raging. The winds have been from the south and southwest for several days. Last night was evening 2 of acrid smoke layering itself over Albuquerque, 240 miles away from the fire. It's not nice at all out there. The smell in the air is thick with that sour smell of the death of trees.

After the winds calmed down, the inversion layer set in and the smoke is just...here.

Bicycling is definitely out of the question. Swamp coolers are off. Windows are closed.

This morning, I awoke to a pink-red haze from the smoke. Don't know if pics can capture any of it. You have to combine it with the odd denseness of the air and the sad stench. Zoomed pics from the deck.



Looking over the garage roof, normally the Sandia Mountains are crystal-clear. Just between the phone/power cables you can barely make out the outline of the mountains.



That being said, looking down at part of the garden shows health and vibrancy. But time to go back in, otherwise I'd have to put on a face mask!

billeyler: (Albuquerque at dusk)
A massive forest fire in far eastern Arizona is raging. The winds have been from the south and southwest for several days. Last night was evening 2 of acrid smoke layering itself over Albuquerque, 240 miles away from the fire. It's not nice at all out there. The smell in the air is thick with that sour smell of the death of trees.

After the winds calmed down, the inversion layer set in and the smoke is just...here.

Bicycling is definitely out of the question. Swamp coolers are off. Windows are closed.

This morning, I awoke to a pink-red haze from the smoke. Don't know if pics can capture any of it. You have to combine it with the odd denseness of the air and the sad stench. Zoomed pics from the deck.



Looking over the garage roof, normally the Sandia Mountains are crystal-clear. Just between the phone/power cables you can barely make out the outline of the mountains.



That being said, looking down at part of the garden shows health and vibrancy. But time to go back in, otherwise I'd have to put on a face mask!

billeyler: (Richmond house)

The hollyhocks thrive in barren soil. I haven't watered this one in well over a month.



A roommate from 1994-1995 planted these chocolate flowers from seed back then. They've thrived every year since.



Last fall, I planted a small desert willow. This is its first orchid-like bloom. The streets around here are lush with blooming trees.



This poor rose (Showbiz) is competing for air space with a rosemary plant. I'll have to do something about that. I've planted some portulaca here and there this past week, too, as if I didn't have enough color.



billeyler: (Richmond house)

The hollyhocks thrive in barren soil. I haven't watered this one in well over a month.



A roommate from 1994-1995 planted these chocolate flowers from seed back then. They've thrived every year since.



Last fall, I planted a small desert willow. This is its first orchid-like bloom. The streets around here are lush with blooming trees.



This poor rose (Showbiz) is competing for air space with a rosemary plant. I'll have to do something about that. I've planted some portulaca here and there this past week, too, as if I didn't have enough color.



billeyler: (Default)
For the second morning in a row (that I'm aware of) we had really strong predawn winds. Not good for sleep (motion detector lights keep coming on). Somehow the spring garden perseveres.

The good and the bad )
billeyler: (Default)
For the second morning in a row (that I'm aware of) we had really strong predawn winds. Not good for sleep (motion detector lights keep coming on). Somehow the spring garden perseveres.

The good and the bad )

Full Bloom

May. 6th, 2011 10:37 am
billeyler: (tulips spring)
Iris bonanza!



One of the peony bushes and 2 types of irises



I also just planted the rest of the veggie seedlings through the garden, extended a drip line along the new fence and planted 8 tomato seedlings. Let's see if any of it makes it!

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