Tag Archives: gardening

A bit about me and update on 2020 “resolutions”

I haven’t said jack about my Kinda, Sorta New Year’s Resolutions 2020 since one update in March. I suppose I’ve had other things on my mind.😕 But I did not just give up. That was not an option. The world is not ending and I’m not sick. That said I didn’t/don’t feel that it has to be “business as usual.” I can be tough on myself but I am not out of my head.😁

My work life, which is part time, has been unaffected by the pandemic. I don’t have a lot of people contact and when I do have any, distancing is possible. I mention this to note that I was and have been grateful to be working and to say it came first over the course of the last 5+ months.

While work has been the same, several other things have not been, obviously. I’ve stayed away from people, out of stores almost entirely, and off public transportation.

Reading books became difficult for the early months of the pandemic; it was too hard to concentrate. I’m very, very happy to say my public library is in the earliest stage of reopening and it’s possible to request & pick up materials (outside). I feel less distracted now and am enjoying books again. I’ve read 22 of a planned 30 for the year. I’m currently listening to Three Women by Lisa Taddeo, which got a lot of buzz last year.

My “good deeds” are going okay too. The rule is it has to be something where I go a bit out of my way (more so than normal, every day things I do) and it has to be with no expectation of reward of any kind. I’ve done 16 of a planned 20. I don’t know what a “good deed” will be in advance; I just look for opportunities.

The Elementary School has lovely flower gardens. They were initially planted by volunteers/parents (I’m neither) and they’d typically hold “work parties” to maintain them. At the end of February, pre-pandemic, I noticed the beds were neglected, full of leaves & last year’s dead perennials. I knew that there’d likely be a cleanup date scheduled when it got warmer, but since I usually work best alone, I started working on them. Well, you know what happened in pretty short order. School got closed and nobody touched those beds. So I did. I keep ’em clean and haul away the debris. School is not re-opening for fall so I expect I have an ongoing good-deed-doing project this year. They’re so nice; it’d be a shame to let them totally go.

The best one with rose bushes, black-eyed susans, coneflowers, sedum & other stuff😊

Two other beds. Both have flowers and one has a Crepe Myrtle & I don’t know what the other tree is

Yoga has fallen off. I am active outdoors in seasonal weather (and unseasonal to a lesser degree) and I’ve realized that yoga is a better winter activity for me at least now. I do feel like I lose momentum by not doing it year round but I just have to accept that. This means my yoga goals will not happen as they were ambitious, pre-pandemic, and supposed to be spread over the calendar year.

I have gotten rid of (recycled, given away, etc) over 90 things. I love it! I want less things/better things. It’s kinda funny to me; in the last several years I’ve focused on making my home an attractive, useful, clutter-free place. And now, during the pandemic, I’ve gotten to live in it. It’s almost as if I’ve been preparing for this time. In retrospect anyway.

This is not mine & it doesn’t count as a “good deed” because I think of it as my contribution for the use of it, but I’ve been weeding this bed & keeping the immediate grass around it cut. I thought it was such a lovely, generous thing for someone to contribute. I’m mad for Basil especially & really don’t get enough sun for it so I’ve been delighted to have access.

I planned to cut back on movie-watching (more books, less movies) in 2020 BUT since I don’t have cable & don’t watch movies on my tablet AND I couldn’t get DVDs from the library, I was FORCED to cut back! That’s right, I didn’t see any of the Tiger King stuff – not sure I want to – or that Love is Blind (I think that’s the name) pod dating show either. Instead, I discovered re-runs of Shipping Wars on regular TV. Fascinating show. The shippers are SO insulting toward one another but SO funny. I could relate! Now however, I am so happy to again have access to library DVDS. They are my reward.

There’s something else I want to say. For most of the time I’ve had this blog, I’ve also had a problem in my life. No one is sick or dying but the problem is one I have no control over. The people who should have helped didn’t. In my 2020 Resolutions post I wrote about relief from this problem. That relief, which gave me back a kick in my step, has continued. I have wanted to tell you this: for me personally, everything that has happened this year has been a cakewalk when contrasted against this problem. I tell you that so you’ll have an idea of the magnitude the problem had for me. I am so, so, so grateful to not have had this problem on my plate in this year. I don’t like to think of what it might have like to have dealt with both. This problem may easily return, I have no certainty but AT LEAST it was not on my plate this year. I breath easier.

Let’s lighten the mood. I had slacked on pushups figuring I was doing enough other exercise. I was wrong.😐 Like many, I put on a few pandemic pounds. You wouldn’t know it but I do. Pushups strengthen the upper body AND tone the abdomen. I’ve started doing 10 every day again.

That’s right, I’m BAD

This post would not be finished if I didn’ talk about the social upheaval. If I was a younger woman and there wasn’t a pandemic I think I’d almost certainly have gone to a Black Lives Matter march or anti police brutality demonstration. These are terrifically important times and I had tugs of feeling that history was passing me by as I stayed home safe in my community. But there’s only so much you can do and you have to prioritize. I’m not young & I don’t like crowds. So, like many, I watch the TV, I take in the latest horrifying event, whatever it is. I still fear for this country but that so many do seem to want healthy change, gives me hope.

Come on in!

In my last post I wrote about the importance of passions to happiness or contentment. One of mine which is incredibly satisfying is gardening; that is, making nature beautiful (or more beautiful if you will). I love both the working part and the enjoying part. Creating a gorgeous garden is like creating art and in the end there’s something to look at, just as with a painting or sculpture. It has a calming effect and delights me. Even a small yard can have many charms.

In the fall a large nearby tree came down (it was pretty much dead) and its absence gave me more sun which means brighter flowers and even a crack at vegetable growing (veggies need a lot of sunlight). I think the 2017 yard is the most beautiful it’s been. When I look out I am sometimes taken aback by it. I took these photos on the last day of July.

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MUST have a screen against mosquitoes

 

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On the right, a fabric shower curtain to block a not great view

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Lydia, the one-armed watering girl

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BASIL!! My favorite

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The coloring on this moth is fantastic

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This is a prize. It’s a dipladenia (an annual flower that’s supposed to die) I bought in summer 2016, wintered inside and brought back out and BAM! Gorgeous again.

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Silver Arrow grass plant, a garden star

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The grass plant kept getting bigger so I dug/wrestled a piece out and potted it

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The Bathing Station (for the birds not me) 2017

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Trying some different basil types, Purple, Thai

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More basil types, Lemon, lime

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Tomato attempts

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This guy kept a beady eye on me

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Green/White Grass plant (part 2)

The first summer I blogged I posted a photo of this Green/white grass plant. There wouldn’t be any reason to revisit it except that particular post has had somewhat regular views over the last two years. I was confused at first; why would people care about that post? It must come up in searches and that brings people to the blog.

I’ve felt a little guilty about that, thinking if those readers were looking for useful information, they sure weren’t finding any in my post. Granted, it wasn’ t meant to be an informational post full of big Latin words and discussions of soil conditions, but yeesh, I didn’t even say what it was. I’m here to correct that. It’s a Silver Arrrow Grass plant. Grows 5-6′, needs full sun, and gets tall reddish blooms in late summer (which I always forget till I see them).

Here’s also a current photo of this gorgeous plant. Well, two photos. One for “context” and one a little closer. What you won’t see in the photo is dental floss but it’s there. About this time of year the whole plant starts flopping over, perhaps because it doesn’t get as much sun as it wants – I really don’t know –  so I use my go-to garden helper, dental floss, wrapping it around the perimeter once and knotting tightly. (You want to knot it tightly so birds don’t carry the floss away for nest-building. Also I was chastized last year by someone online saying that wildlife could choke on it basically. That sounded far-fetched to me, but I dutifully mention it in case it’s true.)

I love that this beauty basically takes care of itself. No fertilizing, no regularly trimming, just cutting it down in the late Fall when it browns. I remain forever impressed that a giant plant like this can just “disappear” over winter and return again every summer, starting from scratch. It’s like a magic bean!

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