This was our 2013 Jayco Flight Swift 198 RD


Sunday 13 September 2020

Garden Art

As much as I admire colorful flowers and beautifully landscaped yards, interesting garden statues and ornaments placed among them I find enhance the looks. 


In my August 1stpost I showed pictures of some garden art that I had made. Those were pressure treated 4x4 cut off posts that we had left over from previous jobs around the yard. I painted them with paint from the dollar store and used different motives for each one and then added diverse types of tops to make them all unique. They got a final coat of clear lacquer to keep the paint from peeling and fading in the elements.


Last week I created another piece of garden sculpture from driftwood and pebbles that I collected at our little beach across the street. Northeasterly winds push the waves of lake Erie onto the shore and occasionally shove wood and debris onto the beach. Even whole trees have ended up there in past years and some of them are still lodged among the boulders and stones. So when I spot a piece of driftwood that I find interesting, I pick it up for perhaps a later use. 


When I discovered this long piece of driftwood that must have been a post in its previous life, I had the idea to hollow out a long slit in the center and to fill it with stones. The idea is simple, but the execution turned out to be a bit more problematic. Benno, my loving hubby, came to the rescue with his router and a specific router bit that was just the perfect size. So the credit for carving the perfect groove goes to Benno. I then painstakingly collected pebbles of various colors and textures that were all very close of the same size and thickness to fill the gap. To hold them in place I mixed two parts Casting Epoxy and poured it over, it flows like water, into the grove and onto the pebbles.  The finished project, complete with a wooden dowel as a support, now adorns one of our flowerbeds. 


Smaller pieces of driftwood I collected ended up in a vase that sits on a little table in our guestroom. 


There is not only driftwood at the beach, but beach glass can be found too. I gather mostly green glass and it seems to be in the majority of my finds. What to do with all that glass? Well, I fastened a dried up branch onto a piece of driftwood and glued little pieces of beach glass around the branch to look like leaves. It’s not a masterpiece, but it adorns the clematis flower that is climbing up at my shed.


Lake Erie can be quite fierce at times but when the wind is calm and the sun is out it sure is pretty and Benno and I have the yearning to be cruising again on one of our previous yachts.  Such nice memories!


This is the view onto lake Erie from just a few steps and across the street from our house.


Thanks for visiting and I wish everyone great days this September.

Wednesday 2 September 2020

The dilemma of not enough or too much rain

In this post I am going to vent my frustration about the weather here in our area. It has been a very hot and dry summer. I love hot and sunny days, but when you have strenuous garden work to do then of course I would like some cooler temperatures. During the past weeks we have been working on grading the new property with topsoil. We got a second load of it and that was dispersed pretty fast with the help of the Kioti tractor. Then we raked the soil over and over to make it level as good as we could. That is a sweaty undertaking under burning and hot sunshine. 


Benno piled a heap of soil in the corner of the shed to use for a berm I was going to create at the end of the Northeast corner of the property, but we needed to level the ground there first because that is where the soil was dumped from the delivery truck. 


At the local hardware store I purchased edging stones that I had counted out from my other berm that I had made last year in the spring, so both of them would be the same in size. Then I worked on creating the shape and Benno brought over several buckets full of topsoil. It took more than we thought to fill it up, but that was ok because we had kept enough aside. Then we went out to a Nursery to purchase a large ornamental rock that we placed on top of the berm. We used our utility trailer to transport the rock and used the tractor to unload and to position the rock on top of the berm. The fun part for me was to browse a couple of local Nurseries in the intent to purchase a few flowers to plant onto the berm. I got another Purpleleaf Sand Cherry tree like the one on my other berm and dug out half of a Hosta plant from my garden that had grown very big to plant onto this berm. At the Nursery I splurged on a Pugster Amethyst, which is a purple dwarf butterfly bush and a dwarf hardy red Hibiscus as well as a multi colored Coneflower. Hopefully, by next year they all will look great after having been established. To finish off this berm I topped it with black mulch. 


This is the other berm I made a year ago

Next to the berm Benno dug out three large holes with a shovel that took him most of the day because the clay ground was so hard and dry. We had purchased three Emerald Cedars just like we have on the other side of our property and the rest of the soil we had left went into those holes as we planted these three trees.  


There was finally some rain in the forecast so I decided to start seeding all the freshly raked areas from the 50-pound of Turf Lawn Seed we had purchased. Of course not all of the bag’s contents was used but a large amount went onto the patches. Then guess what? Yes, we did get rain, but it was more like a torrential downpour that washed away or puddled all of my labor of the previous day.  It rained so hard and so much overnight that our wheelbarrow filled half with water. The newly planted flowers looked a little worse also but thankfully survived the onslaught. 


More reseeding was done with the promise of rain showers yesterday and overnight. IT DID NOT HAPPEN! Looking at the radar screen I saw rain clouds to the north and south of us but we got zero!! Now I have to figure out how long our water hose is and if I can at least water some of the patches and perhaps do the rest with the water can before all that topsoil becomes powdery dry and the seed flies off or gets gobbled up by the birds.  In the end we decided to add a full utility trailer full of brown cedar mulch to the shady area around and behind the new shed where grass is really not that useful. It looks good and smells even nicer.

Now if we get those grass seeds to germinate and grow I’ll be happy. 


Oh well and there was our sump pump, this is the sump from the seeping bed that keeps our house foundation dry. The float switch, which activates that pump, had a hiccup. It got stuck once awhile and needed some hits with a broom stick every other day to start the pump. Benno had enough of this, got a new switch from “Canadian Tire” our famous hardware store chain in Canada, pulled out the pump and changed the switch, but almost fell in to the sump head first doing this.  I heard him hollering me and by grabbing his belt I got him back onto the level of this earth. Throughout all of this excitement I forgot to take any pictures.


And this concludes my post about our recent activities and I’ll be moving on to other things.


Wishing everyone a great start to September.