Stakes, basil, and soil

I decided to take a trip to Paulino’s to pick up some supplies. Dana had been there once last year but I had never been there. It’s an unobtrusive building in the middle of a mostly industrial area north of Denver. I walked around the store for nearly an hour before I returned to the front of the store and grabbed a basket. There were a few staff members wandering around the store but they were mostly talking to each other and during my hour they never approached me to ask if there was anything I needed. I came to the store needing long garden stakes (5 or 6 feet). I decided to also pick up three basil plants and some potting soil. I brought my items to the checkout, paid, and left without much in the way of communication with their staff. The supplies there were nice and seemed inexpensive and plentiful but the staff there wasn’t particularly engaging.

I returned home and staked up the roses which are starting to lose their pedals. Strangely the roses in the back of the house, which I’ve been completely ignoring apart from a trimming early in the season, are flourishing. After staking the roses in the front I went inside and transferred the basil plants to a beautiful silver three pot planter Dana bought me for my birthday last year. I added some miracle-gro potting soil and after filling in the empty space with soil, added water. I need to figure out where the plants should sit. For now they’re just on the counter in the kitchen but will need to be someplace with better light. Not sure what I’m going to do about that yet. I’ll have to work that out.


Finally tackled the backyard. Got the jungle mowed down to a more reasonable height. I also pulled a bunch of weeds and did some serious prunning of the 4th of July Roses along the garage. Despite my cuts from the thorns it was totally worth it. It looks so much better. I also got the potted plant Cynthia gave me out in front of the house so it would get the sun and water it requires. I’d love to get it in the ground but I have no idea where and, at least for now, it’s doing fine in the pot.

Neighbors are great

As I was finishing up with the watering, I noticed that Michelle and Matt were out working on their yard… and then I noticed they were working on ours too. As you may recall from last year, Dana took the dirt pile that was on the northwest corner of the yard and weeded it, turned it, leveled it and gave it a border. We never did get around to planting anything in it, however, and this year as winter passed we noticed that all sorts of grass found its way into the bed. Dana tried getting rid of as much of it as she could but it was a serious uphill climb. Michelle decided that she wanted to help. She took a cutting from some of her sage and planted it in the bed and took a cutting from some plant she uses as ground cover and planted that as well. She made it look so easy. Guess when your thumbs are green your plants will grow. Wish my thumbs were less flesh-tone.

Ground cover

Dana come home midday and went plant shopping with Annie, our neighbor from across the street, at Paulino Gardens, Inc. They came home with a variety of fun looking plants and planted them in the circle around the silver maple in the front of the house. They look dwarfed by the tree but they should grow to fill the area and even drape over the edging stones. Dana also picked up paving stones and more ground cover stones at Home Depot to edge the north edge of the front yard and began laying those out.

Seed away

Dana came to visit as I finished working. It took nearly 4 hours to prep the yard. What a mess but wow does it look better now. With the yard prepped it was time to seed. I started by filling the hand spreader and, though the instructions that came with it suggested using setting 1 out of 5 on the spreader for seed, Mary Jane at ACN suggested something in the middle. I experimented and decided that 3 or 4 gave me a better spread. Also on Mary Jane’s suggestion I walked rows back and forth across the yard one direction while spreading and then turned 90 degrees and crisscrossed the yard. I could see the seeds between the existing grass and it appeared to be what Mary Jane said I would need.

It was time to add the soil. I emptied the two bags into the wheelbarrow and used the shovel to sprinkle the soil over the top of the seeds. Our front yard has a concrete walkway running from the front door to the street which divides the grass into roughly 1/3 on the south side and 2/3 on the north side. I ran out of soil about 1/2 of the way through the 2/3 side. I returned to the garage with the wheelbarrow and grabbed another 5 bags. I finished covering the remainder of the front yard with soil and grabbed a broom and dustpan to remove the remaining debris from the walkways. Before beginning to water.

With cleanup done, I attached the hose to the faucet and attached the sprikler to the hose. I turned it on and the sprinkler died on me. I called Dana who was on her way home and she agreed to pick up a replacement on her way home. When she arrives watering will begin.