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Archive for May, 2009

Along with venerating good Queen Victoria last holiday weekend, we had company for two nights – barbecued, bonfired and drank pink wine – and also carried on with our list of things to accomplish before our first renters of the season arrive next month. Chief among these is yard clean up.

As a team, we wrestled most of the newly-felled firewood into a woodpile behind the (full) woodshed.

woodstacking

Then Cottager hauled a good portion of the debris down from the top of the property while I continued to groom the garden. 

old construction debris for the dump

old construction debris for the dump

All of these jobs are on schedule to be completed next weekend, when we will have the use of a truck (Thanks Gary!) to make a run to the dump and probably a few to the green waste depot. Meanwhile the garden is looking spectacular.

Cottage garden in spring splendour
Cottage garden in spring splendour
 Cottager's Wife at rest
I made sure to take some time to enjoy it, taking my morning coffee into the hammock in the shade of the red maple.
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When the tree fallers carted away all of that debris from our driveway recently, the center portion of the retaining wall in the driveway collapsed and was carted away as well. We quite literally pulled the remaining wall down with our hands, and then set to work making a new one.

Old retaining wall comes tumbling down

Old retaining wall comes tumbling down

Cottager and I went over very early one Friday morning, but still arrived only about a half hour ahead of the delivery truck from the lumber yard.

Delivery truck, after grinding up the driveway

Delivery truck, after grinding up the driveway

Besides a lot of hard digging, which I lent my expert supervision to, the tricky bit was getting the posts in just the right position. It turned out the old wall was rooted in concrete, so we had to put the new posts elsewhere. In the end, it took Cottager one whole day of hard work to get it all lined up for concreting. We got the concrete poured early next day, in about two hours, thanks to this handy little rolla-mixer from Lee Valley. Then we tidied up and left it to set up.

Great little system for mixing very small amounts of concrete

Great little system for mixing very small amounts of concrete

Hard part of the job is done.

Hard part of the job is done.

Last weekend Cottager invited his ‘Fight Club’ buddies (they fight it out over Trivial Pursuit) out to the cottage for a bit of a retreat.

“Oh,” says he, “And could you give me a hand with these giant, sixteen foot timbers, by the way?”

Fight Club crew gets the job done, alright!

Fight Club crew gets the job done, alright!

In about two hours they had it all put together and backfilled, so they could get down to the serious business of board games and cold beer. Thanks for helping out guys! 

Now we just have to fix the driveway that the truck made a mess of it whilst delivering the timbers to repair the wall that fell down when we had the tree fallers over.  And so it goes.

Wall complete. Tick. What's next on the list?

Wall complete. Tick. What's next on the list?

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My pal AJ came over for a visit on Friday evening and we had a fun 24 hours.

On Saturday morning we tackled a strawberry planter that Little Urchin recently found amongst the treasures put out for Spring Clean-Up garbage collection in our neighbourhood.

Tidy potting

Tidy potting

One lip had been broken off and threatened to disgorge dirt everywhere – probably why it had been tossed out. We patched it with a bit of landscape fabric with tape to hold it in place until the dirt fill could take over the job. Then we turned that part towards the fence. Radically, we decided on trailing annuals rather than strawberries. We were a bit short of plants, but I have my eye on some trailing snapdragons to complete the job. 

While we were at it, we prepared planters for sweet peas and a cherry tomato. We also planted some Money Plant seeds AJ bought at a local plant sale for 25 cents. Lunaria annua are usually grown for their translucent ‘silver dollar’ like seed pods as a dried flower.  They bloom with lightly scented purple or white flowers which slowly transform into seed pods. It is also known as “Honesty”, Satin Flower and Moon Wort.

Old vinyl shower curtains are wonderful for projects like this. The one seen preserving our potting soil and keeping the deck clean in this photo is the same one my kids recently used to drag branches and other debris down from our back yard.

They are also a really superior painting tarp, since they lie tight to the wall, don’t tear easily or get squirreled up when you walk across them.

 

 

annual-planter1

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