Sunday, June 19, 2011

Strawberry Fields

Last year I ordered some strawberry plants a little late in the season.  I should have followed the planting directions but it seemed like a waste of space to plant them so far apart.
So sweet!
Now they are so close that the berries can't really develop.  That just doesn't seem to matter to my granddaughters who still love picking the little berries.

As soon as the plants stop putting out fruit I will move some to the vegetable garden area, and separate the rest as I should have initially.

Trying to beat the birds to the berries
Tiny but oh, so sweet!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rain Chains

"What do you think of this?" my friend, T. asked on the phone one day.  She gave me a URL to a Gutter Supply place.  She was looking at a nifty copper bowl to catch the rain water from her downspout and direct it away from the foundation.

I looked around the site and discovered "Rain Chains".  With the sunroom downspout right outside the window it seemed the perfect place for a 'Rain Chain".  I just had to order one.

It was autumn so the chain wasn't installed until this spring.


There is a soft bell-like sound but the rain on the aluminum roof of my sunroom is so loud  you don't hear it unless the rain has stopped and there is still a little run-off.

Coming Home to a "Garden of Weeds"

Helping Grandma
By the first of May, even a cold year like this has been, the weeds have taken hold of the garden and path.  I do as much as possible before giving in to chemicals.  This year I had some help from the granddaughters, but so far it is proving too much for even us all working together.

Rose garden from the porch
 The rose garden is a priority.  I still have to remove the old mulch and add new after I spray for mold.  The mold doesn't kill the roses but they sure look ugly before the end of the season.  A few of the roses came from a new neighbor who didn't want them in his yard.  I am not sure they are anything, but I have to give them a season just to see.
Rose garden and porch as seen from the rest of the garden.
The granddaughters' vegetable gardens
Through years of teaching elementary students I learned many have NO idea where fresh produce originates.  This is the granddaughters' area and they have been growing various vegetables for several years.  Last year we grew pumpkins.  This year they decided ONE pumpkin plant would be enough.  Beans and cucumbers are growing behind the trellises.  Corn, radishes, squash, sunflowers, carrots, and a lot of lettuce are planted.
We really need more weeding.  I guess I can't leave it to the children.





Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Downside to "Snowbird-dom"

I have a swimming pool.  It came with the house and when we did the initial walk-through, I was unimpressed.  I was 62...what did I need with a pool?  Well, 8  years and 2 granddaughters (and a lot of $$$) later I cannot imagine NOT having that pool.

Two years ago the pool company that opens my pool convinced me to invest in a new pool liner.  Didn't sound too expensive but add in the installation charges and water bill and it was darned expensive.

I have the "experts" open and close the pool each year.  Then they warn me to keep the cover pumped out.  From Florida?  So I bought an automatic siphon pump.  Water leaked into the cover from the pool water underneath and soon it was almost all gone and opening the pool that spring included refilling it with nearly $700 worth of city water...again.

Then in early April my next door neighbor in Michigan notified me that the pool sides were collapsing into the pool.  I panicked!!!!  I was still in Florida.  Numerous calls to the pool company didn't do much until we got home in May.  By then, someone, bless their hearts, had cut the ropes letting the cover fall into the pool and rescuing the sides.

An inspection by one of the pool company employees found a horizontal split on one side of the 2-year old liner just above the bottom.  He said it was a seam and the liner would be covered in part by the guarantee.  It wasn't.  The company insists the split was ABOVE the seam.  Ok...I am still trying to get their letter and the liner piece returned to me.

Meanwhile, the pool store installed a new, better liner at a discount, but it still cost a bunch of $$$ and I haven't seen the water bill yet.

But it is all worth it:

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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