Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Model T Days on Father's Day, of course

The line up of some of the cars, in the shower, before the rally started.
Our sponsor, Rob Oldfield. This rally actually commemorates an event from earlier times.
We lined up and left the parking lot in 45 second intervals. We received the rally instructions and set off on a very nicely set up rally. Not too many questions and an new, interesting route. Thanks so much for all the work you do Moe and Carol.
It was good to see this oldie out again. Under new ownership, of course ... we miss you Bob, and your side kick navigator, too.
The woodwork on Arnold's truck is meticulous. Good to see it out. Christine, if you see this.... Hope you are feeling better soon,
As the cars arrived at the Prospect Lake Hall Moe went about putting the numbers on the rallying cars. There were 14 numbered cars and 3 of the organizers' cars that did not have numbers. A very good turn out this year. We even had a visitor from the lower mainland this year.

On Fathers' day we get on our Model T Ford speedster and drive up to Prospect Lake Hall to meet the other enthusiasts for breakfast before the rally. This year, before we left on the run, we had a little shower. Fortunately I had my rain gear along and changed in the hall before we left. There was a good turn out this year. I enjoyed the rally. There did not seem to be too many questions and the route was new and interesting. The trophy was taken home by Warren, this year. If you have had that wonderful item on your mantle once, you may try to finish any place but first. Its quite a garish atrocity and all part of the lore of the day.

After the run, this year, we went to Ken's cafe for lunch. Ken's cafe is just across the street from Rob Oldfield's garage filling station. Rob is our sponsor. There was a Times Colonist photographer out taking photos, but I did not see any of them in the paper.

In the garden over the last few days, I have finished weeding, pruning and renovating the front garden. Today I was out for 5 hours. I clipped the little hedge, removed the daisies, clipped down the time, clipped down the lemon balm, pruned the spirea, weeded the front strip, and the two rectangle beds. I lightly pruned the cedar hedge. I should keep up the pruning of the hedges, as this little hedge in the front as suffered badly from neglect and looks quite ratty in spots from the severe pruning to bring it back into shape. I will keep the daisies to the strip in front of the rectangles, for their annual show. They might bloom again this year. At the moment the pink yarrow is now the main show, in that area. I took the lemon balm down before it goes to seed. It, too, will be up again soon. I must dig out one more plant that is nice, but rampant, and just gets away on me so quickly. Next I shall spread compost around all the beds and consider getting a few perennials to fill in the empty spots. I must lift my peonies and give them better soil. They are just not thriving in the clay soil. The hollyhocks are in bud and are looking pretty good. I also cut back the bishop's weed along Parmar's side of our house and pruned back the firethorn and the california lilac. It all looks pretty good. Now it needs watering... and photos. :-) .

I set up the watering gun in the back and watered that area and the woodland while I was working out at the front. The weather has been quite cool, so working out there in the afternoon is not impossible. Most of the hard work is done for this year. I think I will leave the woodland renovation and under the deck for next year and just do maintenance for the next few months.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Eucalyptus tree - Part 3

The stump is quite evenly flat and about 18 inches in diameter. This is a contrasty shot. The plants survived ok. The irises are a bit flattened but they will survive. They now have more sun, so perhaps they will bloom. Behind this stump are the Saskatoon berry trees that are not producing. I think I will take them out and put in more hedging cedars, in the Fall, when it starts to rain.
I rather liked this view of the truck with Graham in the background.
The chipper, at the back of the truck.
This truck has some plants to be taken to another location to be planted. I believe Lloyd said it was hedging trees to replace an old worn out hedge. They do planting as well as removal, of course.
They have some pretty specialized equipment.
The website on the back of the truck.
The last of the tree was taken down in fireplace size pieces of the trunk.
You can see how the stumps of the branches are useful as spots to stand upon. The ropes and harness help to hold him to the tree so he is able to use his saws to cut the tree.

Yesterday I managed to get the lawn moved and watered around the back gardens. I washed off the patio area, also.

Today, Saturday, I spent about 4 hours in the garden. I trimmed the trees at the back a bit more. In the front I took the globe spruce tree back quite a bit. I dug out violets from under the iberis. As I used my pruner on the spruce, I added another blister to my first blister from where the pruner rests on my second finger. Even through gloves these blisters form. I will have to tape over the spot, next time I use the pruner, I guess. The front garden is almost finished in front of the hedge. Its looking quite nice with the pink mallow flowers and the white feverfew in bloom with the blue and white tall campanulas. I need to remove more violets, put down bark mulch and perhaps get a few more tall campanulas for the area next to the black bamboo. I will have to be vigilant about the violets, as they are a real bitch to get out of the clay soil once they have established roots. I watered the pruned shrubs, the grass and the front, a bit. Later we had a bit of rain.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Eucalyptus - part 2

This is a zoomed shot showing one of the knots they tied to ensure the control of the cut branch or tree part. The knots they were tying were specific to each application needed to accomplish the trimming of the tree to the ground without damage to the small space or to themselves. They did a superb job with no damage to speak of, to the plants in the area and none to the roof.
The tree is coming down! I was shooting most of these photos from our bedroom window that looks out over the garage roof. Unfortunately, I did not get a good shot of a branch falling. At this point most the the branches are off the tree and ready to be fed into the chipper. The trunk of the tree will need the attention of the chain saw, in fireplace size increments.
They would throw a rope around the limb that they were going to bring down next, and secure it so that they could control where it fell. They were really good at lassoing the branch they wanted to work with next. Lloyd would pull on the rope to create a bit of tension on the branch while Graham cut it off. You could see that they worked well together and knew exactly what they were doing. Jason, sidelined for the moment, was dragging away limbs to the patio area where they had backed up the truck and chipper.
They progressed up the tree, taking off the lower branches first. At this point the top of the tree is still towering over the houses.
The crew removed most of the lower branches, leaving Graham stubs of branches to use as footsteps up the tree. As they progressed, they attached guide ropes to the limbs that they wanted to bring down in the next sequence. Graham was using his pruning saw at first, as their were just too many possible snags for the chain saw. As he cut the limbs, he would drop them, avoiding most of the plants beneath. I have a special hydrangea that we protected from damage with an up turned garbage can over it.
This is Lloyd sweeping the debris off the roof. This tree drops some roundish parts that make the footing on the roof very precarious. They vacuumed up the debris on the roof to ensure a stable workspace. Lloyd came over to lend a hand because Jason had hurt his ankle on some earlier job and he had to take it easy. If Jason had had to jump off the roof to avoid the wasps, he would have re-injured his ankle. Fortunately, he did not jump, too far. The roof of the garage is about 5 - 7 feet from the ground at the far end, and not a really big leap.
You can see that the workspace is quite extensive. At this point, Jason had been chased off the roof by the wasps that, it seems, had a nests by one of the vents in the garage roof. The bug spray only made them mad.
After filling out the email form on Davey Tree's website, I had a call within a couple days from Lloyd that he would be around to give me an estimate the next day. This is great.. no time to change my mind! I agreed to the price and he called back with a time to get the job done. The crew arrived and set to work right after lunch.(two days ago) Their clothes were clean and they were smiling and happy. This is Graham, up the tree to begin the operation.

The photos are from two days ago when we had the big eucalyptus tree taken down by Davey Tree. They did a great job! I paid $420 to have this done, but it is worth it for me. It took 3 men 3 hours to do this, as well as having their special truck and all the equipment. These people know what they are doing!

The Eucalyptus - part 1

This is the eucalyptus tree looking out of the patio door and zoomed a bit closer. This tree provided great screening from the house just behind our property, where we have a very unusual person for a neighbor (to say the least). We really needed this screening! But given the possibility of a crash of the heavy tree to the garage, we decided to have the tree removed.
This tree is leaning over the path in the woodland. Every year it seemed to sink lower and lower towards the path. This year I have had to duck under it to get past it on the path. It is a huge tree and the wood is really heavy as it contains a lot of moisture. We were afraid it would fall on the garage in the next good windstorm. So, we called Davey Tree to come and take it down for us.
A closer look at the tree. The bark peels and the leaves have different colors as they age and drop off. It makes quite a mess but is evergreen; or everblue, actually. I like the bark and color of the leaves. Since it is a tree from Australia, it blooms in what is our winter. The Anna's Hummingbirds that stay in our area over winter would be feeding on the blossoms in winter.
This is the eucalyptus tree towering over the garage the day before the 'cut'.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Garden Paths #3

This photo shows an over view of the stone path from where it starts at the curve in the long grass path and winds its way into the inner garden and around the sundial circle.
Just before the branch in the stone path I have 3 stepping stones down into the thyme circle. These stepping stones are bordered on one side by the inner garden plants . hebe, alliums, etc, on one side and by the golden organo and small geranium on the other side. The thyme should cover the stepping stone completely in a year or so. I removed the stones from the circle as I prefer to have it totally covered in thyme. The bags of soil amendments sit on the bench -- an oversight by the photographer.. ah well.
The stone path branches at this point to go up along the water feature and the west coast planter on one branch while the other branch goes onwards toward the smoke bush.
This is the continuation of the stone path on past the smoke bush, bordered by more sedums on one side and the silver sedum and the lavender, and armerias on the other side. This is the area where I am going to add the 3 new roundish rocks that I liberated from by the yellow oregano. This is the center of the front garden. It also has a lovey blue hebe in it as well as pin cushion flowers, aliums and a couple other plants.
This is the part of the path that is the entrance to the sundial circle. It is edged by iris and california lilac on one side and the silver sedum with the smoke bush on the other side of the path. The odd foxglove self seeds as well as a few others. Right at the end by the hedge you see the little hebe that is doing so well this year.
This is the sun dial circle with its little stone border. I left a spot on the stone circle that had only the little orange flowers growing in it. I did not dig them out and put weed barrier under the stones. This little area can be my test area for how well the weed barrier does.
This short stone path leads off of the grass frame strip next to the entrance. I had to put this little path in because the meter maid could not find the meter when I had plants growing over it. So, I was penalized for hiding the ugly thing. I had to pay a fine on my water bill. First time I ever heard of a water meter maid levying a fine. Oh my the power of the bureau Brats.
Along 2 sides and part of a third size of my front garden I have 5 foot wide strips of grass that are the frame of the front garden. This is the top frame. It is the same width but it curves because of the entrance and the shape of the hedge.
This is the framing strip on Parmar's side. It is, in fact their 5 foot strip of grass between their driveway and the property line. Thank you Mrs. P. for the border.
This strip goes about 10 feet up our drive way side and is interrupted by the magnolia tree and other plants. Going the other way, the strip goes along the front of the garden next to the street and meets Parmar's strip of grass, to frame these two sides. This front strip is where the crocus field is in the spring. Now next to where the crocus field is, the daisies are growing profusely.

The photos from this post were all taken on the 16th of June. You can see the garden hose that I have stretched out and turned on to give the plum tree at the front of the garden a slow, constant drip of water.

There will be more photos of the plants, containers and garden art that I have stuffed into this small garden.

Yesterday we had a bit of rain and a bit more this morning. It was not very much altogether, though. Today the Davey Tree people came and removed the huge eucalyptus in the back. So there will be photos of that, too. I am missing my huge tree already. The screening it did was terrific. It was terribly messy though. ... to be continued. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Garden Paths #2

This is the view from the patio area of the round cement stepping stones that lead through the perennial bed. This view is looking into the rhodo that borders the small Japanese area. There is a Sanguinia Canadensis, a soldenella at this side of the path. On the other side of this rhodo, the new moss garden begins.
This is the view from the patio area, of the old cement sidewalk that runs along the other side of the garage. Between the garage and the sidewalk I have a bed with a small geranium, a clematis and a grape on the corner, some oriental poppies, cyclamen, and a few other perennials. On the other side of the old sidewalk there is the fig tree, a strawberry tree (its an arbutus), some minature roses and other perennials. The round cement stone path leads through the new perennial bed past the rhodos, primulas, etc; from the steps that go up to the back to the old sdewalk. You can see the germander and the firethorn at the end of this photo, where the sidewalk turns to go around the back of the garage or past the holly tree into the grass area where the apple tree is growing.
This is the view of the old cement sidewalk behind the garage from the other side. You see the trunk of the eucalyptus leaning over towards the garage. Germander and iris in the foreground. Next to the garage there is a bed with Galium (sweet woodruff) with a velvety leafed lace cap hydranga. At the corner of the garage there is a yellow flowering winter Jasmine and a white sweetly scented jasmine vine. As you continue towards the vegetable garden from this sidewalk you walk between a tall fire thorn and a holly tree. There is a yew and 3 hedging cedars along behind the germander and the irises. The iris do not get enough sun to bloom well. They might do better when the big tree is gone. Our screening from the house behind us will be gone, though also. Hopefully the hedging cedars will grow quickly. I should feed and water them more. Today, I have been clipping the firethorn and holly tree back quite radically to make room to walk between them without getting any prickles from either tree.
As you turn the corner around behind the garage the chip path turns into the old cement sidewalk that was along this garage. The garage was on the property when we bought it. It was an added attraction for Pat and his car storage, of course. We closed in that back door and the window of the garage and combined the two bays as one open area with a big door on the front and a walk in door. The old black compost bin sits on the spot where steps went down to the old entry. You see the rhododendron on the corner of the garage, the big fern just the other side of the compost bin, and the old cement sidewalk where I have allowed the moss to grow. The leaning tree trunk is the huge eucalyptus that is going to have to be removed someday. Next to the rhodo, I have taken out a pin oak that was too big and leaning to the garage for light. Since then, I have let 3 trunks grow from the stump of this oak and have been training them away from the garage. They have lovely Fall color as do the trees across the path from them. Also across the path from the rhodo area there is a large Japanese cedar with brown/green colored needles. I have 3 Saskatoon berry trees along the fence line across from the compost bin. These do not get enough water or attention and I am considering replacing them with more hedging cedars when the eucalyptus is taken out.
This is the wood chip path leading into the woodland from the driveway, on the west side of the garage. The bleeding heart is at the corner of the garage. The plants in this little srip under the eaves of the garage are in bloom in the spring and have just finished blooming as this photo is from June 16th. On the other side of the path there is a cedar hedge between the neighbors and our property. Their kitchen window looks across our patio area in front of the garage and so this hedge is tall enough to screen our patio and deck area from view. The hedge goes along the driveway up to where our house ends, making that whole side of the house more private.
The people do day care in that house. Just recently they have set up a basketball hoop along their driveway which is next to ours except for the 5 foot strip where I have my hedge. I guess this noisy from the bouncing balls is going to be a permanent thing, as these kids are not the kind that outgrow this ball hoop, as they did on the other side of us. Ah well!

The path photos from today's post were taken on June 16th. All the woodland area needs cleaning up. I have started a bit of cleaning up this morning with the clipping back of the holly tree and the firethorn. I initially went out to prune back the wisteria that is in the corner of the vegetable/herb garden. I am trying to train this wisteria into a single stem kind of a tree, since it really does not have room to ramble. The neighbors seem to resent it decorating their fences. :-)). I also took some of the lower branches off the English oak and deadheaded most of the spent blooms off the lilac. I topped up the pond.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Garden Paths

The cement blocks at the edge of the pond are a step up from the little path that enters this area. These blocks need a bit of topping up of their base setting of clay. This side of the pond was built up from the clay soil I dug out of the pond when building it. My property slopes downward toward the house from the back and so this side of the pond is higher than the area under the deck that is about 6 - 8 feet away. This is another good view of the back garden.
This is the path in the water garden/Japanese garden area. Photo from May. To the right of path are the small shrubs that divide the round stone cement path from this area and to the left is the plum tree and the pond. Continuing across the pond you see the waterfall backed my a few small shrubs along the property line. Right now the lovely water iris is in bloom on that side of the pond. More photos at the end of June, hopefully. I have probably loaded some of these photos before, but I am trying to do a comprehensive look at the garden paths. I might like to do comparison photos as the paths mature. This seems to happen quickly when you are busy in the garden and otherwise. The moss garden, for instance, is gradually growing more moss and starting to look very nice. I have to be vigilant about keeping down weeds and violets. Hopefully, I will get all the areas weeded and renovated by Autumn. It will be nice to just have watering and maintenance to do.
This shows the stone path along the edge of the back grass and the apple tree. Its a good overview of this area of the back garden. This stone path goes from the old cement sidewalk along the garage over to the vegetable garden and into the water garden/Japanese garden areas. This path is also getting irish moss and corsican mint growing in between the stones. As the path goes into the water garden area, it has taller blue eyed grass growing in it. These little plants self seed everywhere too, and I try to keep them to the water garden area by pulling them out when they are small. Its a losing battle though.
This is the view of the cement stone path from the opposite end. The garden hose runs to the pond to be handy for topping up the pond or watering the vegetable patch and all the back areas.
This is a view of the new cement stone path through the lower back garden. The area between the stones is filling in with Corsican mint which is a ground hugging, evergreen, with a lovely minty fragrance and little purple blooms. I hope to find the time to add photos of this path as it matures. This photo is from the end of May. The hollyhocks that you see at the top of the photo have bloomed and are peloric. As these plants self seed and are bi-annual this path will look totally different, next year. As it is this year, its interesting as the curve around the tall plants hides some of the view into the back grass and vegetable patch area. The pond and Japanese area is screened by the small shrubs that divide these two garden rooms.
This, as I am sure you are aware, is the vegetable garden paths, completed in May. This is before I transplanted the tomatoes and vegetable seeds. The vegetable garden is not productive, except for the strawberries and rhubarb, so far, this year. I will need to add more nutrients, maybe. The vetetable patch is cleaned up fairly well now, but needs attention to details, such as keeping the wisteria trimmed to its single trunk form, watering, clipping back the herbs , and weeding. Off and on, I consider expanding the little rockery, or turning this area into a cutting garden, as my vegetables are practically non-existant, anyway.

I am going to be doing a few postings of the garden paths that I have been working on this year, as well as the old paths that I hope to get finished renovating also. Once I have finished renovating the front garden, I will have the side driveway strip to finish cleaning up, and then the big job of getting the woodland done. I have a huge eucalyptus tree that is going to have to be taken down, as it is in danger of falling on the garage. This tree has been an excellent screen from the property behind ours, whose windows look directly into ours from about 100 feet away across my back garden. The tree will need to be taken down by some professional landscapers. I might want them to trim hedges at that time also. My English oak will need to be looked at also, as some of its branches have now extended over Mrs. P.'s clothes line in her back yard.

I have my big green bin full. They come to get it tomorrow. I also get my invoice and new pick up schedule for the next year. This is a much appreciated service for me. Its approximately 22 dollars a month. They collect everything and leave me a bag of compost. I have been using up this compost as well as some topsoil, sand and pea gravel that I get delivered by Cannor Nursery... free delivery with my membership. If I were to buy bulk gravel, etc I would pay the delivery costs which would amount to approximately what I am paying for the materials I use now. Its a toss up as to which way to go. I am doing my renovations over time, and I do not really have an area to store a yard of gravel while I work on moving it. So, this higher cost of materials is worth it to me for the convenience of having the stuff in smaller bags that I can move when I need them.

Yesterday we were on another old car run... just model Ts this time. There was a good turn out and I got a few good photos. We had a small shower before starting the rally, but I had my rain gear on by that time, so, it was not too bad. We ended the rally with lunch at Ken's Cafe across the road from Oldfield's garage. Rob Oldfield is our sponsor for this annual Father's day event.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Antique Tour - Sunshine Coast - #11

After our muster stop on the Antique tour; we proceeded to Egmont, then to Malibu Landing and boarded the Malibu Princess for our lunch cruise up Jervis Inlet. The lunch was great. The sky is cloudy and everything is grey. We pass a 1400 foot water fall where the boat is very close. I cannot get out of my booth where we sat for lunch without out being rude to a very dear little lady. I get more distance shots of the falls on the way back.

After the lunch cruise we return to Sechelt. Dinner is at Gilligan's Pub where we have a good visit with some friends. We miss the pub (almost) brawl out on the patio. Where some "skank" and her boyfriend the "washed out surfer dude" were trying to steal money from the waitress when one of our group caught them at it. The story became more and more hilarious as the night progressed.

We head home the next morning quite early as we have 3 ferries to catch, and a drive down the island, before we get home. We run with Bruce, and James and Barbara. They go over the Malahat and we take the Mill Bay ferry again. James has trouble with his brakes! There was nothing left of them by the time they got home! Oh man, and they went over the Malahat. The rest of the group go on a short tour and get to the Sechelt Golf and Country club for brunch. Had we done that, we would have probably stayed another overnight up island. I was happy to be getting home. It was a good tour, despite a few unclimbed hills.

We had a bit of rain last night. I was out in the garden for 5 - 5.5 hours today, but taking it pretty easy with more rests. I added one bag of pea gravel to the stone path. I finished trimming the thyme circle back to its previous size with a 7 foot diameter. I moved a few plants around so that I have some consistancy in the groupings of plants. I found 3 very nice roundish rocks under the yellow oregano and took them out to add to the smoke bush bed where there will be sedum. I moved the rock for the hebe closer to the thyme circle and back filled with topsoil, using up the rest of that bag of soil. I cleaned the grass out from under the little pink blooming bush and from in the irises. This grass looks a lot like the iris leaves, so I think I will be constantly pulling it out.. or remove those irises. But the grouping of plants I have there now, looks good the way it is. I will get rid of the daisies, at the bottom by the hedge and add a hosta, I think. This will be next to the black bamboo, so I should try for a gold and green hosta of medium size. The pond is staying topped up, which is good to see. I hope I find the time to get some photos done, soon.