Sunday, March 13, 2016

What I Did Last Week

According to the calendar, spring is near.  Weather-wise last week, spring was very evident ... temperatures far above average, with light breezes, some cloudy days and some sunny days.  You will not be surprised when I tell you that I spent a good part of the week doing things outdoors.

1.  At this time of year, my main focus is on my responsibilities as the manager of the rose collection at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.  (Our rose volunteer day is March 19, six days from today.)  In February and early March, I use whatever nice days we have to go to the cemetery to visit all of the roses to assess their condition and to note make notes about what work they need.  As of now, all of the roses have been evaluated, and their location is verified on the cemetery map.  All that's left to do is to type up my notes and turn them into instructions for each volunteer team next Saturday.

Dorothy was helping me work on the map.


2.  Last weekend, I attended the American Rose Society Colonial District Pre-Spring Meeting.  I love having the opportunity to get away to be with my rose peeps, to listen and learn at the presentations, and to catch up with friends.  During one of the breaks, I was approached by the District Director and asked if he could appoint me to be the Old Garden Rose Chair for the District.  I agreed ... the appointment was made ... and now we'll see exactly what this position entails.  I'm pretty excited about it.

3.  On the way home from the rose meeting, I stopped by one of my favorite stores, Old Covesville Store on Route 29 south of Charlottesville.  There are always amazing and wonderful things in there for sale.  On this trip, I spotted a large Steiff tiger that is similar to a smaller one that I had when I was a child.  No hesitation ... I scooped that tiger up and happily brought him home with me.

Here he was in the store.


and on the seat of my car.


4.  I have known for a while that the windows of my greenhouse needed some work.  The glazing compound in most of them is dry and cracked, and largely missing on some of the windows.  (This can be the downside of using salvaged windows for a project.)  This winter, as some of the window panes began to fall out, I knew that the job of reglazing the windows needed to be pushed to the top of my list.  Turns out, when these windows were made in the 1960s, the manufacturer only used glazing compound to hold in the glass ... without glazing points to mechanically pin the panes into place.  

The only way to finish a project is to get started, and I did just that on Wednesday.  It takes me about an hour to do one window ... to scrape out the old glazing compound, reset the glass, and put down the new glazing compound.  This is a project that I will work on a little at a time.  Hopefully, by the end of summer, I will have most of the 46 windows done.  (My REAL dream is to finally have the greenhouse glazed, sided and trimmed, and painted by fall.)



Not perfect, but good enough.  I will scrape and prime the windows once the glazing compound cures.


I saw this reflection as I was working.


5.  My other outside project is the reclamation of the Rambler Fence.  It's the same situation as the rest of my gardens, where weeds sprouted in unnatural concentrations and took over in what seemed like the blink of an eye.  With the Ramblers, there was the added complication of their rampant growth ... and they became hay stacks on the fence while my attention was elsewhere for the past couple of years.

Little by little, I have been cutting back the Ramblers and training what remains onto their wires on the fence.  They are small and kind of pitiful right now.  I have also dug out a couple of duplicate Ramblers, and one that had Rose Rosette Disease last year, and replaced them with ones from my stock pile of pots.

When I originally designed this garden in 2007, I planted Tea roses between and in front of the Ramblers.  Some Tea roses can be a bit winter tender ... the winters of 2013 and 2014 were brutal and losses to these roses were catastrophic.  Instead of lamenting their loss, I see this as an opportunity and space to plant eight new roses in the empty spots.

Ramblers cut back, dead Tea roses dug up, and the beginnings of landscape fabric laid in this part of the garden.


Yesterday, I finished the landscape fabric and laid mulch around the roses themselves.  I have to get more mulch in order to finish ... which should happen over the course of the next week.


6.  With nice weather comes convertible season!  I was out in my Mustang twice last week, practicing with its new stick shift.  I'm getting much better at it ... and I almost don't panic if I have to stop and then pull out on an incline.

I have been using the uphill part of our long driveway to practice.


All in all, it was a VERY good week.  How about you ... what have you been up to?

25 comments:

  1. Woman you tire me out...lol Are you going to paint the fence?? We have been painting this past week... still in the midst of our remodel that will be a year long come May... But we are to the point that we are painting the upstairs... thats a good thing huh?! Progress! Then finally alot of things will move upstairs and we will begin the remodel downstairs...which includes my craftroom!!! Yippee!! Cannot wait to see all your roses blooming! :)No roses for me... sadly the deer make short work of them.. :) Hugs! deb

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    1. Not painting the fence. We had it installed in 2007, and we really like the way that it has weathered and blends into the landscape. Your remodel has been really comprehensive and you've made great progress. Your craft room will be your reward for a very long job well done!

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  2. You are a whirlwind! So busy but so happy it seems. I love this spring weather we've had and I spent time with the Grands this week. Loved it.
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. It's always like this in the spring. There's a lot to do with a garden this large, and it feels SOOOO good to be outside in the sunshine playing in dirt.

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  3. You had a busy week! Love your Steiff tiger. He is a BIG one! I am so anxious for convertible weather myself. Once you get used to driving a stick shift you will LOVE it--I promise. xo Diana

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    1. I used to drive a stick shift every day, but that stopped when we sold that truck in 1992. I can still do it, I'm just really rusty. Less rusty after two days of practice this week. My goal is to pull out into traffic from a particularly steep cloverleaf intersection onto Route 1. I'm not quite up to that just yet.

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  4. Love the way you are working on your windows project....if you do one or two a week, you'll be done in less than a year! I always find that if I try and do too much, my work gets sloppy. Slow and steady gets the job done. Love the dashboard of your mustang, by the way. Such a classic look.

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    1. There's so much bending this way and that way and practically standing on my head while I'm working on the windows! Doing two of them in one afternoon seems to be my limit.

      I smile whenever I go to the garage and see that Mustang. It and I have been together since 2002, and I love it. The transmission transplant was at the request of my husband, who didn't like to drive it much before then. I will do almost anything to make him happy ... including relearning how to manage an old-school 4-speed transmission.

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  5. I've been concentrating on taking down rampant growth and digging the ivy out from the roots. Trying now to build a better compost pile container. In my spare time, I'm reading a lot to pick my replacement roses. Such a dilemma! Btw, don't forget to put boiled linseed oil on the raw wood before glazing. I'm sure you already know that. I love that green hose and hope one day soon to build similar.

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    1. Ivy is such a menace! We removed truckloads of it from our place after we first moved here.

      Linseed oil for sure! I just didn't mention that. If I can offer any advice on your greenhouse construction, passing along the stuff that I have learned along the way with mine, just let me know.

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  6. Awesome and totally productive....love you my friend♥

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    1. All that pent up energy from being cooped up almost all winter is the fuel behind the productiveness. It's as if I go exploding out the door on nice spring days, eager to make up for lost time.

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  7. I know I've told you before that I would like to have your energy, but... I WOULD LIKE TO HAVE YOUR ENERGY!

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    1. I get stuff done in bursts of activity, followed by a lot of sitting and reading and being a bum ... I don't usually tell you about the bum parts of my time.

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  8. Good morning dear Connie ~ So great to read your newsy post. I love the picture of Dorothy 'helping' you. :-) Congrats on your appointment to being the Old Garden Rose Chair for the District. I'm sure you'll do very well.

    I have 4 little windows on the 'caravan' that need to be reglazed, as glazing is falling out. Plus they need to be painted too.

    I don't know how to drive a stick shift, and at this age, I don't care to learn either. :-) Your car is a lovely classic.

    I have bought and used some so-called weed cloth, that doesn't work worth beans! Weeds come right up through it anyway. Very discouraging.

    I look forward to seeing your ramblers and other beauties in bloom.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

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    1. I doubt I would be relearning to drive a stick shift if my husband hadn't asked so nicely to swap the Mustang's automatic for its new 4-speed.

      The landscape fabric I use is just a barrier to keep most weeds from coming through, and weed seeds from sprouting, but it has to be covered with mulch to exclude the sunlight. Otherwise, the weeds get nice, gentle, diffuse light and they grow like crazy under there. (Been there, done that.) Some pointy things, like wild onions, can sprout through the fabric, and weed seeds can sprout in the mulch. The idea is to try to get the upper hand and make it easier to control the weeds that I still get. It's not perfect, but it's the best thing that I've tried so far. Keeping at it, by pulling little weeds when I see them, is best.

      I can't wait to see the roses in bloom, too. The warm weather has helped most of my roses begin to sprout tiny little leaves. With leaves in place, flowers aren't too far behind!

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    2. OMG, I just read this about the barrier fabric after discovering EXACTLY the same thing!!! Wow. I need to get mulch pronto. I did discover an amazing moss under it, however, that I'm working to ID. :)

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  9. Congratulations on your appointment! Sounds exciting :) Looking forward to Hollywood Rose Day and hope the weather is as lovely as it was this weekend! Can't wait to see you even if you're in business worked-bee mode ;)

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    1. Seeing you TWO days last week, with one more day coming up this weekend is a treat!

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  10. WOW! you have gotten so much done already!
    The greenhouse work sounds exhausting but will be rewarding I'm sure.
    Congrats on your appointment! Very cool.
    My very first car was a Mustang! I saved forever to buy it!
    But it wasn't a convertible, that's super cool!
    xoxo

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    1. Slow and steady on the greenhouse windows, and on lots of other things, is how I tend to roll.
      There's just something about a Mustang. It's awesome that your first car was one!

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  11. Oops. Forgot to say Dorothy is adorable
    and I had (ok, still have) a tiger too!
    LOL!

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    1. I lost my original small Steiff tiger to a basement flood decades ago. I think that it was really cool to find a big one at a great price. Had to have it!

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  12. Believe it or not, I used to love reglazing windows. It's been a few years though - does the putty still smell as good as I remember? Wow, that is one awesome view beyond your fence there. :)

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    1. I didn't mention the smell of the putty, because I was a little anxious about what my dear readers might think ... reassuring to know that there are others out there who feel the same as I do. The view beyond our fence is the neighbor's hay field and an old cattle pond.

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