18 April 2016

first 90° day?

Today and tomorrow are the expected peak heat days, and it's a hot one.  No wind from anywhere unlike yesterday's easterly flow, and our thermometer just hit 94°. Granted it's in direct sunshine right now, but it does have a solar fan built in to compensate for thermal buildup. There's just no cool place to pull from right now!

I pulled our old-school dial thermometer from its shady spot to a place on the deck - it is holding in the low 80s which makes a little more sense.  Perhaps that sunny post needs to be shifted a bit further west to where the Solo Cedar can shade it later in the day?

Done!  Perhaps a temporary shift, but I moved the gage further into the house's afternoon shadow. Now reading is below 90 and still falling. It's about six feet from the house so some morning contamination could happen, but later in the day should be less amazing. More likely the main effect will be on winds as they swirl past the house.. I must get a taller pole and find a shadier spot!

08 April 2016

more planting, and the first mowing

I had planned to plant raspberries adjacent to the blueberries that came with the house, but a few things made that plan unappealing.  For one thing some wild berries are already in that area, creeping toward the blueberries - so at some point soon the mix could confuse.  The cute new fence has run out of raw materials before it would reach the raspberries so that's also not ideal.

leaf-piles as the snow fell
The final piece came almost by accident.  Last fall I raked the leaves into a long pile, then let it sit a long time as the autumn rains pounded us severely.  Winter set in and froze those leaf-piles, and finally a few weeks ago I moved them to a more properly place.  What a surprise: the grass in those places is quite dead, or stunned enough to appear so.

And so the crest of our hill has now become an ideal place for planting!

The first step was placing the new magnolia, which had a good spot in that area - we had a natural hole in the ground that would break an ankle if it were not filled, and both of us felt that was a good magnolia spot.  With bare ground to either side the raspberries had found a home, so they will sit just south of the magnolia to stay in the sun as the tree rises higher.

This is subject to change, but for now it's better than them sitting in pots awaiting a firm decision.

In the meantime, here are our first magnolia blooms!

06 April 2016


Both health and weather have improved - a few days in the 70s, and perhaps 80° tomorrow! I have added a few  nice features in the yard: a dark-grape vine, two hanging flowerpots, an azalea and many new bulbs.  Even a Willamette hop, in memory of yards and ales past.  I also bought two raspberry plants, and then took as much of the old layabout 2x6 wood-ends as I could find & created a zigzag wooden wall behind the blueberries.  It turned out well, and oh my I ache - I was racing a rainstorm at the time, and carrying several 4x4 posts with four 2x6 stubs attached adds up in a hurry.  I'll need to craft a few more so the raspberries have a similar layout.

Looks nice though, after the heavy work!