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Work Work Work Work! I Thought We Were Retired!

OMG, the day started without us!  How can this be?

We were up early and examined the outside temperature. Since it was under 70 degrees, we huddled by the fire. After it got above 70 degrees, we went to Home Depot and went to work!

But first, we need a quick survey of the garden in case we need something else at Home Depot.

Hollyhocks are easy to grow. They grow best in a location with full sun and well-drained soil. Given their tall size and tendency to flop, they also benefit from having protection from the wind. If planted in a location exposed to wind, they may need staking to prevent damage.  You notice they are against the wall for wind protection.

Did You Know? Hollyhocks symbolize fertility, ambition, and spirituality. The plant’s seed boxes can contain seeds that are different colors from the parent plant, which is another reason for its association with fertility. Hollyhocks are also believed to bring good fortune and protection and to ward off evil spirits.

Last years Hollyhocks are doing great!

The red maple tree is living its best leaf. We’re jealous of those red leaves – they really know how to stand out in a crowd.

Did You Know? Only some people know that red maple foliage can also turn yellow or orange in the fall. Red maples are fast-growing trees that usually reach 60 to 90 feet (18 to 27 meters) in height. The largest ones can grow over 120 feet (36.5 meters) tall. Red maples are native to the eastern deciduous forest.

Every year, the tree grows another 10-14 inches!

The other tree, a Chinese Maple, will turn red when winter arrives!  Keep on growing, big guy! Next year, it’s ornament time and your very own Christmas tree light show. Just don’t outshine the rest of us!

After summer, the leaves drop, and the entire tree turns bright red!

Inside the fence, we fertilized the planters and examined their health.  Everything is A-OK!

We did some slight trimming and oiled the whirligigs in each of the three major pots.

While checking out the front yard, we spotted some compelling evidence of tiny birdies using the picket fence as their personal bombing range. The fence looked like a war zone! Luckily, it was hidden from street view, but any passersby with a keen eye for avian mischief would definitely get a good chuckle out of it.

That means a trip to Home Depot for some serious bird-problem hardware. Mary and I jumped in the Silver Fox and went shopping.

We got three 35″ pieces of steel rod 3/16th in diameter, a length of 22-gauge steel wire, and a turnbuckle—just another casual shopping trip. Oh, and as a bonus, we also had to pick up some additional cantaloupes and some flowers – because you never know when you might need those elusive flowers!

The Silver Fox is used more for a pickup truck than a passenger vehicle.

We stumbled home just before lunch and decided it was time to get down to business. Mary whipped up a legendary turkey sandwich to fuel our endeavors, while I hauled our stuff from the car. It took two trips using Mary’s garden cart, one to the front yard and one to the back. I swear, moving all that stuff was more workout than I’ve had in months!

Thirty minutes after noon, we hit the yard like a buzzsaw!

As you can see, I stretched a thin wire (not visible from the street and hardly visible from the sidewalk) about three inches about the pickets and tightened it using the turnbuckle.   When the evil birdies try to land in the fence, they will undoubtedly pass it by, and the wire will block their runway!!

I only put it on the right side and plan to wait a week and see if it works before doing the other side.

The wire is tuned to F# over middle C.

It was hot and Mary needed to be covered so we put up our brand new 10’x10′ awning.  We bought it two years ago and never used it until today!

The shade and slight breeze made it easy to work in the yard.

After the fencing, I did my best impression of a superhero and took the left-hand side of the front yard while Mary went for the right-hand side. We tackled those pesky weeds, planted like we were auditioning for “Gardening with the Stars,” and trimmed our way to filling a 90-gallon trash barrel!

At 5:30 pm, we tapped out and retreated inside, feeling like we had been in an epic battle with nature for five solid hours. While Mary whipped up a mini-appetizer for dinner and poured us a glass of wine, I channeled my inner plant whisperer and doused the entire front yard with Miracle-Grow. It’s safe to say the yard and I are now best buds.

There was not a joint in our bodies that didn’t hurt. We headed for the swim spa and did two cycles before leaving at 7:00 p.m. We headed for the rack and turned on the big TV in the bedroom. We attempted to watch Die Easy (one of our favorites), but I think by 7:30 p.m., we were catatonic.

Good night and birdies and rabbits will be gone!

About Paul

Just an old retired guy trying to finish out my last years on this planet. I lost my best friend and wife in early 2020. I was blessed again by reconnecting with Dr. Mary Côté, a long-time friend. Mary and I got married July 28th, 2021, and are enjoying life together and plan to spend the rest of our lives being a blessing to our friends and family.
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