Welcome to Growbox Hill

Welcome to Growbox Hill
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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Busy week, happy holiday!

It's been a busy week!

I got the lasagne beds planted in since my last post. Rich sweetness melon, burpless cukes, and violetta pole beans are in bed one. I used three tomato towers to run them up. Started out with pinning with tent stakes, then sunk in 6 boot bamboo poles real deep around the cages to help keep them secure. I also utilized the outside of the rings instead of the topheavy tomato in the center. So I hope this works better.
Bed two has a hill of yellow straightneck and a hill of those heirloom Italian round zukes- the latter I'm planning on using for seed saving to the best that I can before the squash beetles move in.
In bed three is a whole bed of toothache plant- I hadn't planned on using bed three this summer, but it was ready to go, and the bed I was planning on using wasn't ready yet.
And in the backs, fronts, and corners of the three beds in it's set are borage, fennel, lemon balm, lemon bee balm, calendula, and a couple kinds of zinnias.
I also heavily mulched in all the paths and the mowing surround deeply in cardboard topped with straw flakes. Yes, I usually do lasagne with straw in the bed. But this year is going to be a build up year in the beds, and as the straw levels and stuff gets pulled, I will be backfilling in with compost and such.
We are having some lovely iris blooming in the yard too. Moons white iris was spectacular, and it has faded out just as her blue iris has come into bloom. A few of my "specials" have bloomed well behind the solarium too. Thank goodness I've had the mind to keep a tag of everything in one binder so I can Id these guys and prep up space to move them out elsewhere in the yard that is sunnier for them. I think some of them might end up in the first section of the front yard bed. It looks frightfully bare between the daffodil spring flush, hibiscus start to grow in, and mums fall flush. 

Got a HUGE amount of shopping done. Ground chuck was 1.99 a pound in the family packs, I picked up 12 pounds. That will bust down into several meals over the next few months. Butter was finally down to 2/5 again, so I picked up 10 pounds. That will last us into the fall. Stocked up on shelf stable condiments- it's sandwich and salad season, so it's good to buy cheap now.
Hit Menards for some random stuff, the resale shop for some new work clothes- found a pair of adventure pants for two bucks! Bought a pair of shoes on clearance for 10 bucks. I seriously needed a second set since my shoes get so wet with watering all the time, and I need to switch off pairs to allow for good drying time. Need to bring dry socks to work too. Thinking about buying a pair of cheap kids crocks to wear in the morning while I'm watering.
Hit Meijer, then Village Market, then Hardings, then Rite Aid. Yeah, this sounds like a lot of chasing around. But really I only used a gallon or two of gas, took some time to myself in comfortable indoors to shop.. and saved almost 200 dollars. And now the house is restocked on some much depleted things for a long time.

Otherwise a lot of going to work. Damn, I'm kind of hurting, like prescription meds hurting. Wouldn't be so much if I wasn't also busting a gut on my days off. But on the bright side, I'm acclamating to the extra physical work, and I'm getting fitter.
And I'm reaping in some great gardening benefits. I was asked to clear out some barrels of last years tulips and daffodils. One guy wanted the tulips. No one wanted the daffodils. So for free, I was able to take home a couple bags of daffodils. And over the last week I rack dried them and now they are finishing curing off. These will be going into heavily seeding in flowers at my mums house later this year.  And I was able to take a few pots and pot flats home of the bigger stuff we've been planting in for display. For free. They were going to be throwing them away, just like the daffodil bulbs I cleaned out of the barrels.
And I get total first pick of anything coming off the truck. All of our trucks show up when I'm at work, and either I'm helping doing the unloading, or working the clipboard for heavy unloading.

And ooohhhh,.... while out and about the other day, was able to pick up a couple waterbed pedestals for free! We now have a whole new dresser under our bed. Super awesome. Kind of wishing for a whole new mattress now that the boxspring is gone.

In super sad news... last Labor Day weekend I wrote... When summer broke, so did he, and when it broke again, so did he. Argent.
I think we are going to be living through that again this summer. This time Pookums. He's been taking an elderly downturn for a while now.. but more recently, with the weather breaking... so is he.
So now is the time we get to start preparing his grave. Choosing flowers to plant over and such. It's also high time to plant in Argents bed of lillys.

And ending on some food upswing. Hubby is making mac and cheese with ham and mixed veggies for dinner tonight.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Too dang busy to write..

And I have been too busy to write for a while now....

First it was the old job completely screwing up all of my time and my sanity. I quit that job, and within two weeks, I was offered a full time job at a local nursery! Which is wonderful, I love working with the plants and stuff... but it leaves me on mighty slim time to get everything else done that needs to be done.

I've been fortunate that a garden fairy has been cleaning out the beds for me, mysteriously leaving guardian chickens behind everywhere.
But we have had some nasty late season weather that has been putting hiccups into the works. 

So now there's new herbs in the herb garden, along with a lovely swath of inpatients. The stair garden is now chock full of ornamental kale, spring kale, blue vates kale, rainbow chard, broccoli, and spectacular ornamental head kales and cabbages, ringed around with marigolds.
The kennel garden is now planted in with brussels sprouts, cauliflower, spinach, tatsoi, bok choi, chinese cabbage, garlic, radishes, carrots, and beets. And containers have been set up with yard long beans and turkey craw drying beans.

Spring cleanup has been a PITA, we shed a lot of tree bits over the winter. That's mostly cleaned up into piles now, but they haven't been moved to the pit yet- too wet down there.

Pooks, my oldest cat, is getting very old- I fear we will be losing him sometime this summer.

Within two weeks of quitting that wretched job, I was also tapped to run in this fall elections for a trustee position- of parks- in my local township. So what little spare time I might have, I need to learn all that jazz. But thankfully, the full time summer job at the nursery will die back by November, so that at least will work out a bit easier. Hopefully.

I still need to get out and bust up some garden beds- I haven't even started getting stuff together to do plant sales coming up.. part of that is due to some serious winter losses with seed starting, and a lot of re-alloting plants off to other people.

All in all... just busy as hell.