Ups-A-Daisy

Updated: May 6, 2021

Time to get up, time to get moving there are lots to do. I have set into full Spring Hustle mode and am ready for the flowers to bring that sweet smell of Spring. Ups-a-daisy is what your family often tells you when they want you to get up and get busy. If they feel like being kind, that is. Otherwise, they will just roll your butt onto the floor. Either one is a distinct possibility on any given day and time. The choice is yours; I suggest getting up on the first call. It makes for a better start to the day.


It has been a very busy week and every muscle in my body can attest to that. It's a good kind of tired though. The kind of tired that you feel good about because you know you have earned each and every ache. I haven't given it much thought but now that I think about it, I realize that during the time I lived up town, I stayed active with a purpose. Things like swimming, roller skating, walking, biking and the like. It's like I had to seek out things to entertain myself with and stay energetic. Moving back to the farm, there has been no need because I am always surrounded by things that need doing. Those activities have been replaced with painting, yard up-keep, and planting. You get lost in the chores and don't realize you are exercising. The coolest part is that I have something tangible at the end besides weight loss. I can look around and say "It looks good, job well done".


Gotta Start Somewhere


"Rise-N-Shine, It's Daylight In The Frog Pond"


I started the week off with a trip to my local Home Depot and Lowe's to gather up the things I will be needing for planting and some projects that I have in process. My lilies have started to come up again in the flower bed so that was my cue to work on the bed and plant some more seeds, and do some weeding. I wait until they appear because I forget where they are. The flower bed has a long history of being over-run with weeds and vines. It was mess. It seemed impossible but the past couple of seasons I have managed to get it under control.



First by taking out all the big weeds and laying down a biodegradable burlap mat and covering it with soil. I cut a hole in the center for Gran's beloved rose bush. Basically, starting new. The rose bush had been struggling the past few years and I feel like the other weeds were 'smothering' it and keeping it from flourishing. I added some fencing around it. I still need to do some work to the concrete blocks, it's on the list, eventually I'll get to it. I primarily plant zinnias in my flower bed. I have always loved zinnias; they are beautiful and very easy to grow. I fell in love with them when I was in kindergarten. When looking at seeds under a microscope, I noticed the zinnia seeds looked just like a paint brush. We had something in common.



They also get really tall! I measured the tallest one from last season and it cleared 6' which is unusually tall for a zinnia. My cat is also very much in love with them. The zinnias provide him a nice, cool place for him to hide. I plant them around and behind the rose bush so they don't overtake it and hog all the sunlight. I have been doing my research to determine what plants and flowers are safe for pets and which need more sun and which will do well with some shade, making lists so I don't have to keep looking it up every time I need to know something. All my flowers have passed the 'pet safe' test with the exception of the lilies that my Gran has planted in years past. I've kept them going though. We have always had lilies and cats with no issues in all these years. Our cats have mostly lived out long, happy lives with the exception of a few that succumbed to accidents but nothing in relation to plants. So, I feel like we're ok where the lilies are concerned.


Always Face The Sun


"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows"


My other big love is sunflowers. I was unsuccessful last season at getting them to grow. They are supposed to be easy but I guess location is everything. The season before last I had one get over eight feet tall. It was a lovely giant. After some thought, I chose a different location this year. Planting four packs of sunflower seeds can be a daunting task if you don't have the proper tools for the job. Regular gardening tools for this can be a backbreaking job. These I planned to set in a row, so many inches apart and just a little over an inch deep. I found a better way. This is the kind of planting that an auger would be good for. Save the old back and get them in the ground quickly, easily and will very little effort.


An auger is a tool with a helical shaft used for boring holes. We have a large one that attaches to a tractor for digging post holes and the like. I have a couple (one is 9" and the other 18") that I use for various tasks. They attach to any hand-held power drill. Perfect for making a hole to drop a seed. Just pay attention to the proper depth for your seed(s) and get right to it. I had those sunflowers in the ground in no time. Now all I need is a little sun, a little water, and a lotta luck.


Free As A Bird


"Birds n bees n butterfly wings"


It's my goal to fill the landscape with all kinds of sweet-smelling flowers and shrubs to give our winged friends a happy place to do their thing. It makes everything so relaxing and beautiful seeing all the striking colors. I was very pleased to see my Forsythia bush flowering this year. It's a fiery beauty! The daffodils are also making an early appearance. I got the hummingbird feeder up and found this Tinman at Bits~n~Pieces. Isn't he adorably cute? He stands a little over 30" tall. He's very well made and easy to assemble. Just 3 screws with butterfly nuts. I probably didn't have to but I sprayed some sealant on him anyway before setting him outdoors.


Make A Space


"Where to even begin"?


I have an area that I am in the processing of developing into some kind of space. It is where we used to have a woodshed that has since been removed. Over time, it has become overrun with weeds and nasty poison ivy. Last season I was able to get a lot of the big stuff cleared out so now I can get to the smaller stuff. Much to do. I believe this is where I will work on putting in a fairy garden. I have some paver stones I am gonna paint up and some other stuff. Still a lot of work to do before I get there but I am making a dent in it slow but sure. The daffodils are still thriving so that's encouraging. When I get it raked out, I am going to start some Appalachian moss. It's an ideal place for it, lots of cool shade. It should take off well, hopefully.


After working in this area, because of the presence of poison ivy, it is VERY important to go in and wash up quickly and thoroughly, with Dawn dish soap. I have had my fill of this nasty plant! It didn't take long for me to learn this lesson either. I don't care what anyone says about all the different treatments, DON'T DO IT. Most are a waste of time and can really mess up your skin. There is a cure though, it is called Jewelweed. It is just a plant and its goal in life is to destroy poison ivy. Jewelweed is thus, my friend. Native American's have used it for centuries. I found some Jewelweed salve and soap on Amazon and now keep this stuff on hand at all times. It is pure stuff, no added chemicals etc.



After working around poison ivy, I came in and scrubbed my arms but noticed my chin was itching like crazy. Maybe I had scratched it beforehand not realizing what I had done. To be on the safe side, I scrubbed my face with the Jewelweed soap and rubbed some salve on there. Problem solved. It's been a few days and no outbreaks.


Groundhogs have seemed to be taking over the old smokehouse. Crazy little devils and they are getting cocky too. They don't even give me respect of running at the sight of me anymore. They just stare at me like I am interrupting their business. I blocked up their hole and installed a few solar animal repellent things. They look like spikes (about an inch thick) with a little solar panel on top. They have a motion sensor and when a groundhog gets close it sets off a hum and vibration. They tend to find that very unpleasant. I'll keep you posted. They also hate lavender so I planted some lavender creeping phlox in that area. I hope it takes over the whole embankment. The less I have to mow, the better. Other than that, I have some seed trays started indoors of marigolds (groundhogs hate them), snapdragons, and dwarf thyme (another flower groundhogs hate). I have some catnip for the kitty that I am soaking overnight to start in trays. That will be a big thrill for him, no doubt.



Big Things In Store


"Can't do that till I do this"


There are many big projects on my plate right now. Just trying to organize it all and take care of what I can one thing at a time. I have a can organizer that I commissioned a friend to make that I need to install. I spent a day applying stain and sealant. I have to mount the 2x4"s and paint the wall. Then I will be able to get it up. I'll share the process once that's complete. I am getting ready to re-do my staircase, but first I needed to get a section of ceiling put up in the downstairs hallway which will also need painting. I did manage to get one thing done. I bought an early birthday present for my man, a wine rack. It came unfinished, so I put it together and painted it up. It turned out nice, I am a little disappointed that it doesn't accommodate the larger bottles, which he likes. Oh well, and so it goes. He is happy with it and I am happy to get them off the floor, so win win. Yes, he likes cheap ass wine, no judgements.


That's been my week. I hope yours has been equally fulfilling and enjoyable. Take care and thanks for reading.


Have a blessed weekend.

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