Thursday, September 30, 2010

Moon Flower & Red Cousins

By SKEETEROne morning I looked out into my Georgia Garden and spotted something glowing on the swing Arbor.
Zooming in, I could see huge white flowers! Oh my, what do I have here?

Big beautiful Moon Flowers! I saw these on someone else's blog recently and could not help but agree with them on how the center resembles a Starfish! Sorry for not remembering who mentioned that but you know who you are.
Here is a bud ready to pop open in the evening hours.
The leaf of Moon flower is large as is the bloom.
I planted these from seed packets so I have the name. She is Evening Glory; Ipomoea. When I purchased these seeds, I thought I was getting the same flower that once adorned my garden thanks to Tina passing along some seeds.
The Moon Flower that Tina has in her Tiger Gardens is Datura. Click HERE to see that beauty. Funny thing; When I picked up the packet of seeds, I thought I was getting the same flower that Tina has. How surprised to find out I have a vine climbing Moon Flower! Looking on the seed packet, I see it says "Night Blooming Vine" at the bottom. Well, Duh, on my part for not paying closer attention.
She is a beauty as she opens up in the evening but with all moon flowers, they do not last long. Just look at how large this bloom is compared to my hand!
By mid morning, the beautiful blooms have succumb to a blob of white nothing. Sigh, so pretty but for such a short time...
Where the blooms were once, I now see these things.
I can only assume these are seed pods. I sure hope so as I have enjoyed this flower and would enjoy it to reseed for next year!
When the Moon Flower is gone for the day, the Cardinal Climber is blooming to keep me happy.
This flower has been keeping the butterflies, bees and hummingbirds so happy this summer.
Look how differently this bloom looks then the one above it. Hum, lets do some research here shall we? Ahhhhh, this is not Cardinal Climber but Cypress Vine instead! Thank you Nina for the seeds! I have been seeing the Cardinal bloom for a while now and wondered why the Cypress has not bloomed. Well, well, it may have been blooming all along. I just have not noticed it as the blooms are so similar from a distance.

After a bit of researching on the computer I found this info.

Cardinal Climber:

Family-Convolvulaceae,

Genus-Ipomoea,

Species-Sloteri.

Cypress Vine:

Family-Convolvulaceae,

Genus-Ipomoea,

Species-Quamoclit.

Also the Moon Flower is Genus-Ipomoea. Ah ha, so these flowers are cousins! Learn something new everyday! The Climber and Cypress have been blooming like crazy and dropping old blooms daily! The ground by the swing is covered with them.
I also spotted this Scarlet Runner Bean blooming. It bloomed earlier in the summer but not for long. I was surprised to see this one blooming now. My seed packet says this one is edible but I will not munch on it and I don't see any bean pods anyway.
When that Grapevine covered tree fell (Click HERE to see) in our yard this past winter, I had a vision in my mind. I took that Wild Grapevine and turned it into an Arbor for this swing. (click HERE to see) That vision was continued with seed planting all around the base of the Swing Arbor. It is not often a vision in the head actually turns out as you plan but in this case, I am ever so happy with the results! I love that MOON FLOWER & RED COUSINS, In the Garden...

Note: Thank you Tina and Nina for the seeds to encourage me to try more seeds this season. Also thank you to all commenter's chatting with me. It has been a trying year for me in the garden as well in life. I will be Missing In Action for a bit. See ya when I return to the blog!

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Moving a VERY Large River Birch Tree

What do you do when you find you've planted the right tree in the wrong spot? Well move it of course. But-shhhh-I really didn't plant the right tree in the wrong spot, I simply changed my mind about having this river birch in it's location near my driveway and decided it had to go. My neighbor jokingly said, "Tina, you really must quit changing your mind." Ha! How right she is since I often change my mind. Don't we all? Styles and desires change and things have to change. That is just the way of life.

I woke up one Saturday in March all set to saw this river birch down to the ground, but since I wanted to replace it with a crepe myrtle and would need to dig out the roots anyhow, I decided to begin digging before I began sawing. As I dug it seemed I would be able to completely dig this nearly 20 foot tree out of its spot. And I did!
Okay, I did most of it. My neighbor and Mr. Fix-it helped, and a chain and a truck were also instrumental in removing this birch from its very comfortable spot-to a new spot next door!

I did not expect the tree to survive and it might not, but as of now, six months after the move, the tree is doing fine in my neighbor's yard. It gives her a bit of shade on her deck; which faces west. The best part? I get to enjoy the tree as well and it was a successful
transplant. The key to successfully transplanting this tree was using large loppers to cut the many roots in order to dislodge the tree-I did not rip them out. River birches have an extensive root system that helps anchor them to river banks. The root system also works well in good garden soil as I found out. This river birch had been growing here about four years. I planted it as a six foot tall tree with twigs for trunks. It is now a three trunked tree with 2-3" caliper tree trunks. I am told river birches are tough and should survive the move with no problem. In fact, Dirr even says so in his book. Another helpful fact with moving this tree is that it was moved while dormant during a very wet spring. Some additional watering has helped it to re-establish itself in its new spot during this hot and dry summer.

If you ever need to move a river birch, don't be so quick to get out your chainsaw and instead try digging it out....

in the garden....


Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cleome

By SKEETER
Yippee, we had 2 and 1/2 inches of rain fall in my Georgia Garden from Sunday to Monday! I am so happy about that and also the fact we were able to get all the trees cut to the ground before the rain damped our plans. Not one limb hit the house so it was a most successful weekend. Now the Clean up begins, Sigh...

Look what popped up in my Triangle Planter full of Perwinkle. Cleome and I actually grew them from seed! Seed passed along to me from Tina and Nina. I put the seed into the ground and up came the Cleome! I am so happy as I rarely have luck with seed planting but this year has been the year for me. I have had a little luck with seed.
I say a "little luck" as some of the seed planted produced beautiful flowers for me while others did nothing. I counted my empty seed packets and have a total of 34 paper containers.


Of those 34 packets of seeds planted, I see results from only about 12 packets of seeds! That does not seem like good odds to me. I have said before, I don't have much luck with seed planting. I don't really know what I do wrong but something for sure.

I did have luck with the Cleome this year though. This one above is planted in the Semi-Formal Flower Garden. She was so tall and heavy that she fell over. But falling over did not hamper her blooms.
She continues to grow today and provide me color in the garden when most color is missing this year. I have been an absentee gardener where this garden is concerned. I must do better by her next year. I have said this twice now on the Blog so I MUST keep to my word next planting season. Here this plant was when standing tall. I don't know why I never snapped a picture of her from a long view but she once stood tall as you can see with the yellow Susan in the background. I spotted those seed pods (bean type) as soon as they started to grow and have been keeping my eye on them.
As they started to pop open, I begin to collect the seeds.
Oh my, have I collected the seeds on this beauty! I will scatter these seeds all over my gardens next spring in hopes of having them surround me. I just love these beauties! Thank you so much Tina and Nina for bringing CLEOME, In the Garden...


Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Get Well Card to My Sister

From In the Garden

My sister Dawn is in the hospital with a very serious illness. She has been hospitalized for a few weeks now. Some of you may know her as she has been a regular visitor on this blog for nearly three years and has even visited many of you all on your blogs. It appears as though Dawn is getting a bit better now and I thought some cheers from all of us would help nudge her along even more....

in the garden....

Today would normally be Dawn's day to post on this blog but due to the hospitalization she is unable to do so. I'm very sad she is unable to post and I've missed talking with her, but mostly I am worried for her. Please send your good wishes and get healthy thoughts to Dawn while she is mending herself in the hospital.


Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden

Friday, September 24, 2010

Relandscaping the Now Missing Pool

From In the Garden

See that huge sand pit in my yard? The area used to house a nice above ground pool that at one time looked like this:

From In the Garden
Not too shabby and a most inviting sight on a hot summer's day. The reason why the pool is no more is the trees. Over the past nine years that we've lived here our trees have grown phenomenally and had really closed in on the pool. Trees drop leaves and acorns-tons of acorns. The maintenance on this pool just got to be too much for me so I suggested to Mr. Fix-it, quite strongly I might add, that we sell the pool. Enter Craig's List and said pool is sold immediately!

We spent one hot day in early August taking the pool down. It was hot, sweaty, and dirty work. At least we were in the shade while taking the pool down. Because we didn't want to leave the very nice buyer out in the cold in the 100 degree heat in full sun without a pool we (Mr. Fix-it and I) offered to help him set it up. I'm not going to make this a long story but after taking the pool down and nearly having the frame set up in its new home a strong gust of wind came through and blew the pool down. It was not a pretty sight. Then a strong thunderstorm came through. Whew! From sweating in 100 degree heat to freezing and soaking wet we had quite the day with this pool. Fortunately, Sunday dawned nice and the new owner of the pool did some work on the pool overnight so that when we convened to work on setting up the pool again, all went smoothly. It helped that his neighbors came over and helped too. You really need a lot of hands when setting up a pool. The big rush with the buyer of the pool was that his wife was due to have a baby within the week and they really wanted their new pool set up. Mission accomplished but not without some pain and some good memories. Just let me tell you that taking down pools and setting them up is not for the faint of heart. It is a very difficult job! But when all was said and done Mr. Jacob got a very nice pool for a very reasonable price and we got this....

From In the Garden
13 September 2010

The final product came out rather well I think. A new path down the center of where the pool used to be located and a lot of shrubs and perennials complete the landscaping job of the pool area. Lest you think making a new garden is as easy as snapping pictures and walah it is done-I added the dates in to show you just how long it took me to complete this huge job. We initially took the pool down the 30th of July. Of course, draining the pool and preparing it for movement began a few days earlier. The landscape job is pretty much complete with the exception of a few wheelbarrows of mulch on this date, 24 September 2010-about eight weeks later!
From In the Garden
26 August 2010
First of all it took me a few weeks to find the time and energy to start back filling the large hole where the pool used to be. The delay was in part due to the intensely hot temperatures we experienced in August, but I also needed to really get myself psyched to do what needed to be done-namely to back fill the large hole left by the pool. Since our property slopes the pool was dug into a slight hill where at its highest point there was a two foot drop off from the outside garden to where the pool used to be located. Here we can see where some of the drop off has been filled in. I used fill from edging my other garden beds where I moved approximately 40 wheelbarrows full of soil and grass. This soil was unceremoniously dumped into the hole. I wished I could have edged all the beds because that would've cut down my trips to get soil, but with the drought the ground was practically like rock and no edging was going to work. Enter the local quarry for some soil for back fill.
From In the Garden
2 September 2010

I took five trips downtown (about a 13 mile trip one way) to the local quarry where I had Mr. Fix-it's truck loaded with about 1.5 tons of soil each trip. This soil, while not ideal, was handy and available and they loaded it for me. I had to unload it -with a snow shovel. Surprisingly it only took me about 1.5 hours to unload the truck after each trip. These trips were spread out over a week or so based on my schedule and the heat.

As I was back filling I decided to fill the left side of the hole first and plant as I went along-can you say inpatient? That was me! When I say left side I mean of the new path area and where the pool used to be. You can clearly see where the left side of the hole has been partially filled in the picture above. When I got an area completely filled in I planted plants in that area. I surmised they'd do better in the ground than in the pots they had been sitting in all summer. I had had about 40 pots full of plants waiting in the shade near the water spigot just to be planted. The plants were looking rough as it is difficult even with regular watering to keep a shrub or even perennial alive in a small pot in 100 degree weather. I don't know how nurseries do it! After I planted I watered. Did you know a water molecule is a 'sticky' molecule? It will make a chain with other water molecules and try to fill up all spaces where there is no water. Hence, after watering the left side of the new beds I woke up in the morning to find that the water had spread to the center of the former pool area where the path was to go. Can you see the water line in the dirt in the above picture? This is where the water finally ran out and stopped moving. It had saturated all it could then gave up. The 'soil' I used for back filling is creek bottom soil and is a very fine particle soil. I have used this soil before and find it extremely heavy. The saving grace is that there is about 4-6" of sand under it (the former base of the pool). I'm hoping this will make drainage better since this area of my yard is naturally low anyhow and seems to draw water; not that we've had any this summer.

From In the Garden
7 September 2010

Ah, here we go! We can now see my plan for the space. It took more than one month but it is coming together nicely. The grass path (six feet wide to allow for the lawn mower and easy access to the shed) is in place. All grass was removed from the area surrounding the old pool and transplanted to its new location. Just look at the pool picture (second picture on this post) to see the lovely grass that I worked so hard to fertilize, grow, and weed-only to rudely move it into a new location; all with my trusty shovel. The grass this time of the year is mostly dormant or mostly weeds. I grow fescue and I tell you this summer has been difficult for it. Nonetheless, the soil and sand are covered and the grass will settle in quickly. As an added good measure to get a good stand of grass in this area I sprinkled Rebel grass seed on top of the transplanted grass. By next spring you'll never know it had been transplanted.

From In the Garden
7 September 2010

A word about the garden on the right side. Like I said before, I planted as I went along so that once one part of the garden was done I did not need to go back to it. Part of this new garden in the pool area encompassed the 'Greenhouse Garden' that was an already established garden. I needed to change this garden because my whole vision for this area had changed with the removal of the pool. The change involved moving some 'Annabelle' shrubs and perennials. This part of the job, while time consuming, was actually not difficult since I had a good idea what would work, what I wanted and how I planned to plant.

First and foremost was the fact that since the garden area is about 75 feet from my deck I needed a big impact and onesies and twosies were not going to cut it. Nor would only perennials. My line of attack was to plant all shrubs in the old pool area and gradually step down to perennials as you come closer to the deck and up the slight hill toward the greenhouse. There are two trees in the greenhouse garden already (Crabapple and 'Burgundy Flame' Japanese maple) and these two trees did not move. In the planted right side of the garden are: 9 red astilbes (transplanted), 9 'Magnus' coneflowers, 9 'Ruby Star' coneflowers (all coneflowers purchased for $1 per pot markdown at Lowes), 9 'Golden Jubilee' agastache (also $1 markdown) , 3 'Striatum' geraniums (Jung Seed), 6 'Tango 4 You' lilies ($1 markdown), 15 great blue lobelia started from seed (thanks Catherine), 10 turtleheads (cuttings), 2 columbines (markdowns), 3 cimicifugua racemosa (divided and transplanted), 3 Japanese anemones (transplanted), 2 chrysanthemums (transplanted), St. John's Wort (gift from Naomi), 'Globosa Nana' cryptomeria (transplanted), 3 Annabelle hydrangeas (moved from next to greenhouse to under crabapple), woodland phlox, woodland asters, hardy ageratum (all transplanted), a variety of sedums (already there), 'Immaculee' peony (already there), asters (already there), 3 oakleaf hydrangeas (seedlings transplanted from elsewhere in the garden-they are now about 5 years old and 5 feet tall), iris cristata, 6 'Adagio' ornamental grasses (moved from around the pool and divided), several daylilies, little bluestem grass, 'Goldsturm' rudbeckia, 12 'Red Riding Hood' penstemons, a clump of heliopsis, and about 8 clumps of the 'Autumn Sun' rudbeckia. The area is quite large so though it sounds like a lot I list the plants mainly for my own records and not really for you all. I'll tell you why, most of the time when I read blogs I don't really pay attention to the lists of plants so I'm sure you all won't either. Just suffice it to say the perennials and shrubs are all massed in areas I think they will do best based on soil and light conditions. All plants are tiered from shortest to tallest in the garden based on the vantage point. I must say this though, there is another path behind this garden that separates a maple tree and groundcover from this particular garden so that other path has a completely different look to it from its side of the garden. The area is quite large but I seemed to have filled it up quickly. I can never imagine just how quickly until I plant.

On the lower end of the right side of the path (where you see mainly plain dirt) I planted: 4 'Limelight' hydrangeas, 3 'Tardiva' hydrangeas, 5 doublefile viburnums, and a 'Diablo' ninebark. The below picture shows a better view of all the shrubs. See the limelight? It is happy and hopefully will be happier next year now that it is in a moister area that receives more sun.

From In the Garden
8 September 2010

The doublefile viburnums are the anchor in this garden alongside the fence and under the oak tree behind the 'Limelights'. You cannot see them now because they are rather small and a bit hidden. The 'Doublefiles' were all bought at Rural King during their 75% off sale for $5 a piece. A steal for sure. Viburnums are low maintenance and I hear the doublefiles are the best. We shall see. Hopefully if they do well they will grow to 8-10 feet tall and wide. They will make a nice cushion against the wood fence and beneath the oak tree behind the hydrangeas. There are various other perennials planted in here. Some dwarf iris, tiarellas, nicotiana, hostas, ferns, and hellebore seedlings as well.

From In the Garden
14 September 2010

Here we are with all hydrangeas moved and in place as we walk along the path at ground level. Pictures just don't really give the reader the feel for the area unfortunately but walking along you can at least see it up close. Some cardboard has been placed for mulch. All cardboard was received via another Freecycler who just moved to the area. I find cardboard great for under shrubs where voles are not a major issue. The cardboard has since been covered by hardwood mulch. Prior to removing the pool this area would be inaccessible and the way to the shed would be to the far right and to the far left of the 'Limelight' hydrangeas. What a difference for me!


From In the Garden
14 September 2010

Looking up toward the house we can get a different perspective of the garden. Paths are one of the most important features in a garden and I like my paths to be functional yet a bit mysterious and enjoyable when traversed. Coming up from the storage shed this is my view.

While I listed my plants for the left side of the path I did not list them for the right side. They are as follows: sourwood, three spireas, 3 'Limelight' hydrangeas, 'Duet' variegated beautyberry, 'Soft Touch' mahonia, yellow and orange daylilies (transplanted from around the pool-you can see them in the pool picture), hostas, pachysandra, and hellebores. I have intentionally kept this side simple due to an awful lot of shade and competition from a cedar tree. The sourwood tree will be the focal point once it gets larger (which will take years probably). It is situated in the curve of this bed where it is sandwiched between the canopy of an oak and a cedar tree. I have read where sourwoods do not like root competition. Right now there is none but in a few years I suspect roots will grow to fill in this garden area; therefore I've tried to use hardy plants here. I've found 'Limelight' hydrangeas actually do fairly well under trees because these large and mature ones were growing under a black gum tree. I was able to pull them out bareroot due to the drought. The roots surprised me because they spread more than four feet from the shrub's trunk. The problem I found that I did not like was the roots were not very deep; which is not good for survival in the typical drought conditions Tennessee seems to experience each summer. We'll see how they do in their new location where there are still roots, but the area is moister.

Wow, this is a long post and one I've been working on for a while now. I am not done with this area. I did do a landscape design for this garden but it is not quite finalized. I will share that at a later date....

in the garden....


Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hot One in Georgia on this Super Harvest Moon

By SkeeterDid you all see the moon last night? A Super Harvest Moon was in the Georgia sky!We have not seen a Super Harvest Moon in about 20 years. The last day of Summer in the Northern Hemisphere and now Autumn begins. The Bad Moon was arisen folks! Click HERE for more information on the Super Harvest Moon...
I am glad to see Autumn arrive! It has been a hot summer in Georgia this year. In 1993 there were 114 days with temperatures in the 90's or above which holds the record for the hottest year.

Well, that is, it WAS the Record until today! We surpassed that record today with a high of 93-degrees being day number 115 for this year. We have not been receiving any rain either. (Oh no, I hope we are not on our way for yet another drought, Sigh) This young Buck stopped by yesterday to get a sip of water from the birdbath.
video
Hopefully this video will play for you to show you more deer at the birdbath. I must fill it along with another bath near by each day as they drink them dry. I should get the deer a water trough! Ha, I don't think so...This Hawk perched on the large oak tree out my window as I was typing. It is always a treat to see this majestic bird of prey perching within view. I was leery of him being so close to the bird feeders. The Saint noticed something strange in this picture. Can you see it? The Hawk is standing on one leg with the other leg held up to his chest! Look closely to see his talons barely showing. I was shocked this squirrel was in the birdbath as the Hawk sits above him. I was waiting to see what would happen next. The Hawk was not interested in the squirrel but kept looking below to the bird feeders. He was waiting for an unsuspecting bird to fly by for a snack. Then he would get a meal! I thought about shooing the hawk off but after all, he has to eat too. I was so happy the Hawk dropped to the ground without grasping a bird in his talons. I know it is nature but it would still break my heart to see this happen. I have seen it way too many times and it never gets any easier to witness one of my feathered friends become a meal for a hawk.
video
The Hawk was not around when this Blue Jay stopped by for a sip and bath. On this day, I saw more Blue Jays then ever in the bath. They had me singing the song Splish Splash I was taking a bath, long about a Saturday night, Rubadub..... (I hope that song does not stick in your head today, hee hee) Hopefully the video will show you the splish splash...My little Cheetah girl has been enjoying all the activity at the bird baths this summer. The Saint made her a shelf to perch and enjoy her version of TV. The heat upstairs had us move the computer and desk downstairs to the cooler sun room. As I sit and type, my little fur-ball is at my side soaking up the sunshine and the views.



video
Yesterday as I was getting this blog together in my head and downloading videos, I was entertained by the Hummingbirds outside my window. Tina mentioned to me recently how she witnessed three female hummingbirds fighting intently. I have also been witnessing intent fighting like never before. I was splashing in our small pool practicing my snorkeling and while taking a break, I was about hit in the head by two hummers fighting. They were literally using their long beaks as if swords and fighting each other! I could hear the beaks hitting each other! I thought I was going crazy seeing and hearing this action. I felt like I was watching an old movie with two guys fencing each other for the damsel in distress! I found it a bit unnerving seeing this as I was trapped in the pool below them and at one point, they took each other to the ground. They had no idea I was just beside them and watching with amazement. I feared they would poke me in the head as they buzzed off. I wished for the camera as this went on for about 15 minutes or so. They usually just run one off but this time, they were really fighting and each one was standing their ground. I hope the video works so you can see a little bit of what I consider normal territorial fighting. If the video works, notice at the end, the other hummer came back for more...

Back to our Hottest Temperature topic. We should hold this record for some years to come. The weatherman is reporting 3 more days of 90-plus temps. So we should hit 118 days for a new Record! The year 2010 will go down in the records books as a HOT ONE IN GEORGIA, ON THIS SUPER HARVEST MOON, In the Garden...

Note; The Saint has the Boom Machine on reserve for this weekend. More trees will fall to the ground. If only the cold front would arrive sooner, Grrrrrr...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Touch Me Nots in the Morning In Tiger Gardens

From In the Garden


Touch me nots are a most favored plant of mine in my garden. It is one plant I will not garden without and that is probably pretty funny because many gardeners might say it is a plant they would never grow in their garden. Touch me nots also happen to be a native wildflower so I am knocking out two birds with one stone this Wednesday-highlighting a favorite wildflower and sharing in Wildflower Wednesday, a creation of Gail at Clay and Limestone.

I have been growing touch me nots (Impatiens capensis) in my garden since 2003. Some years are much better than others but still the touch me nots grow and come back each year. They require only a semi shady moist spot in my garden-and room to spread. You see, the reason for the common name of Touch me not is because when you touch a seedpod it explodes-quite unexpectedly too. Those exploding seed capsules can spread seed far and wide and the location can increase exponentially in good years. This year has been a so so year. Not only have we had a drought but I have a very feisty dog who trampled most of my stand of the plants. A few plants that survived the trampling are growing through a four foot tall chain link fence and are doing well. They and their seeds will ensure I have some plants for next year.

Touch me nots are hummingbird magnets and make a bright and cheery show that dazzles in the morning light. I did not even notice the dew drops on these touch me nots when I snapped the photo....

in the garden....

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,

In the Garden

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

At it again!

By Skeeter Remember the 95 foot tall Oak tree the Saint and our neighbor/friend (Dee) took down in June, due to a lightening strike? (Click HERE to see). The trunk of the thing laid in our Georgia Yard until July 13 when the Saint found the time to cut it into smaller pieces. Sorry for the poor quality of the picture but I was snapping from behind a screened window upstairs.
Here you see the Saint hard at work cutting the massive tree trunk.
Here you see the cut up trunk still in place on July 27 as a spotted fawn comes into the yard to visit. Normally cut up trees in the yard would bother me but with the horrible heat we have had here in Georgia this summer, I did not mind the mess in the yard. I decided it would stay there until we got to it during the cooler days of Fall.
Here is another pile in the woods from another tree (not oak) we cut down way back in June also. With this mess scattered throughout our property, we had planned to cut down more trees this past weekend! We had the tall boom on order to rent for the weekend but around noon on Friday, the Rental store cancelled on us as the customer that currently had the machine, decided to keep it for an additional week. This customer was International Paper and a big client so we understood them canceling on us. They were to keep the machine a week beyond their normal rental contract when we would only be renting it for 2 days. Money does talk with such things...
Being flexible, we opt for "Plan B" and rented a wood splitter instead. This was an older model then we have rented in the past but it did the job and with lower motor noise then the newer model. Amazing how things use to be built in the past. Ha...
We have the wood shed full of oak wood which will smell great burning in our fireplace this winter. Not to mention, keep us warm and lower our gas and electric bills.
Dee (which gave us the free lilies back in spring) helped us split the wood. In return, he got a load of the wood. Plus, the Saint will help him cut down two trees some time this week. He and the Saint split while I loaded his trailer all by myself! Well, they did load about 20 pieces of wood while I was making us lunch!

We still have plenty of split wood after Dee took his share. We are giving some to our wonderful next door neighbor's and what they do not need, we plan to donate to a lady that Dee knows about. She uses wood to 100% heat her house in the winter months. Dee makes custom wood cabinets as a hobby and it was killing him inside to split this oak wood knowing it would be burn in our fireplaces. But since we do not have a $20,000 special piece of equipment or crane to lift the heavy trunk, (in order to process the wood) we had no choice but to use it as firewood. The stuff sure smelled great when splitting it. Sigh...

The process of lightening hitting this oak, us cutting it to the ground and cleaning up, has taken over 3 months to complete! I do believe this is a record yard task for us. We do plan to cut down more trees this coming weekend, if the boom is available. No, we are not glutton's for punishment but know these trees need to come down. They are interfering with the integrity of our asphalt driveway. Cheaper to remove the trees then to redo our long circular driveway. Don't worry, we are not loosing all of our trees. We have several hundred trees on our property so many more to enjoy our privacy and nature...

It has been super hot this year and even though the calendar says it is September, we are still having 90 degree temps. As we worked outside this weekend, it was 95 degrees on both days. Thank goodness for those sport drinks keeping us hydrated! We waited for cooler temps to split the wood but at 95 degrees, we were AT IT AGAIN, In the Garden...

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden