Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back Garden Post-Side-Yard Pre-Deck To Do

For the long weekend, or as much as possible:

* Consolidate the various dirt-piles from the backyard into a heap on the driveway
* Load up mom's trailer with above-mentioned dirt heap, deliver to dump
* Load up mom's trailer with rubble, old deck boards, and misc yard waste, deliver to dump
* On return trip, collect trailer load of cedar mulch
* Dig up hydrangeas, mockorange, and weeds as necessary for de-junglification; rip up as much goddamn creeping jenny as possible while I'm at it
* Finish laying down cardboard
* Lay down landscape fabric
* Distribute mulch
* Find a use for the rest of the river rocks (edging east bed?)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Posting mostly to bookmark this promising-sounding attack against japanese beetles, which continue to plague the roses out front.

I am broke and should not buy plants, but that doesn't keep me from speculating/coveting.  Hopefully by the time fall plant sales roll around there will be more $$$ available for lavishing on the garden.

The hunt for a columnar conifer continues - a Degroot's Spire cedar might work.  Have been unexpectedly successful enough with my shrimpy $12 Tsuga canadensis that I might go back to the Rideau Woodland Ramble to repeat the experiment with something else.

"Tiger Eyes" cutleaf sumac keeps catching my eye.  Apparently drought tolerant.  Possible replacement for the bedraggled mockorange that I need to dig out of the front bed at some point?  Opinions seem to differ on how much it suckers, but presumeably the dry-as-bone conditions would keep it in check.

I should really plant some Walker's Low nepeta, since it's supposed to bloom profusely, smell heavenly, and tolerate drought.  Although apparently I'll have to keep it under an overturned hanging basket or something to keep the young plant from being squashed by stoned felines.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Not a whole lot of posting going on here lately.  A few things behind that: (1) I just returned to work and project time is therefore at a serious premium; (2) what little project time I've got has mostly been devoted to deck scheming for the last few weeks; and (3) it was SO INSANELY DRY for so long that the garden was looking pretty wretched.  Definitely not picture-worthy for a houseiversary post, for example.

I eventually got around to deploying some more mad Lee Valley irrigation - mostly soaker hoses this time, with some extra outlets around more finicky plants like roses and rhododendrons - and between that and the rain returning things are starting to perk up.  Nothing like what they ought to be, but oh well, there's always next year.

Now that my deck schemes - or at least this iteration of them - are mostly complete, I am starting to address the increasing jungle-itude, half an hour to an hour at a time.  This evening fer instance I ripped up an alarming pile of extra-determined lilac suckers and the bits of root they sprang from.  This time they'd just better not come back, dammit.

Most pressing on the to do list, really, is to get rid of the monstrous piles of crap that were generated by this year's construction project.  Substantial heap of dirt, less substantial heap of broken concrete, pile of old rotten deck boards, and heap of gigantor fieldstones.  At a bit of a loss as to wtf to do with it all (with the exception of the rocks, which I should be able to dispose of via kijiji in notime flat.)  Getting the rest of it schlepped away costs more serious $$$ than I have at the moment.  Best option is probably borrowing mom's trailer, but that might be a few weeks in the organizing.

Other miscellaneous chores to tackle between now and when the snow flies:

* Prune out dead canes on Prairie Joy rose
* Sweep up spiral path
* Pot up primroses, which are looking pretty sad and straggly in their little newspaper packets - half done
* Use up remaining small heap of mulch in the driveway (around pieris, probably, since the bare ground there breeds weeds like whoa)
* Sweep more sand into joints in walkway and do something about the weeds growing there
* Continue to de-jungleify the back half of the yard
* Put down cardboard and weed fabric and cover with mulch (another heap thereof, probably cedar, to be acquired) - half done
* Dig up remaining grass around the edges of the patio and replace with river stones/a few fieldstones/mulch
* When junk is hauled away, clean up the damn carport finally

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Deck schemes!

I recently got my hands on Google SketchUp, and have been madly deck designing ever since.  INTERNETS, FEAST YOUR EYES!!


This is lacking only a few details - pickets on the stair railings, for instance, because they were just too damn fussy to be bothered rendering, and trellis on the fence along the west side leading up to the arbour, because SketchUp didn't want to make those surfaces a paintable "face" for some reason.  I think - I think - I've taken everything else I've been reading about into account, down to the 1" a freestanding deck is supposed to be set back from the building.

Likewise there are only a couple of items whose code compliance I am uncertain of (I've assumed, for instance, that the pergola posts can double as railing posts and be framed into the floor system in the same way as railing posts, but I'm not actually sure if that will be adequate for the extra weight of the pergola AND the safety requirements of the railing...)

Design-wise, I'm not sure if this might not be too cluttered, but mostly it's stuff I couldn't figure out how to avoid - hadn't originally planned on the stair railings, but as it turns out I need four risers, which calls for them; don't need railings on the perimeter of the lower deck, but then the stair railings looked weird sitting there by themselves; a railing connecting the stair railing with the top level somehow would block in the strip of garden on the east side, so I threw in some built-in seating to fill out the line.  The little trellised-in jog in the back west corner is to disguise the a/c unit.  If anyone can see ways to generate a little more smooth continuity, I'd love to hear about it.