Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sadie's Thrilled To Walk & A Lot Of Landscaping Progress

With Heidi refusing to go outside after lunch, Sadie and Stella were already outside starting their walk, whether I intended to come or not. With the winds still strong, I could barely feel the humidity rising as we finished the walk. What a relief to feel 15°-18° cooler today. With the ground really soft I had some big plans for later this afternoon.

I had barely walked to the corner of the house when Sadie stopped to see if I was going to join her for a walk or would she and Stella take one on their own. She was between a sprint and hopping all the way from the yard to the field ... thrilled she was getting her walk.

Like after any other strong storm, the winds were still strong today. It wasn't a cool breeze but one that felt good being just a few degrees cooler than the temps. With my shoes already soaked and squishing water out of the tops of them, I was hoping this wind would hang around to help dry my shoes out this afternoon.

Sadie wasn't the only one excited about walk. Stella walked into the back of my knee to let me know I needed to step off the path so she could run by me. She NEVER moves out of her way to go around someone or another hound ... she steps on them to get by. She continued past Sadie and took the early lead of the walk.

Although my location was clear of any pending storms, the skies to the north and south of us looked as if they were still having big storms. Would all of the rain last night wash away the scents Sadie and Stella were use to or bring out that many more new ones for them?

They have always been a good 'team' when exploring the field.

Since it has been a long time since our last really good rain, the ground was still quite firm after a couple of inches of rain the past 12 hours. I could tell the field grew even while I slept. I was surprised though it wasn't muddy as we walked.

I did not have to do much herding of the hounds today. They were in continuous motion, getting all of their nose work in. It's good exercise for them and they also get me out walking a mile or two per day.

It's amazing just how fast this field is growing and all the rain last night increased the speed of that growth. Looking at pictures from a year ago that Facebook automatically provides if I posted one, the field was taller but they also cut it earlier last year.

I could barely see my shadow in the back of the field but I could not only feel it getting warmer but I could see just a glimpse of sunshine. Combine that with the humidity, I knew I'd be shutting the windows and turning on the AC as soon as we got back to the house.

Stella is showing me what I am feeling from the little amount of sunshine, is right. She is already panting heading back to the house.

Slightly veering off to the center of the field, she abruptly made a turn in my direction without me saying a word. She must have thought I knew the shortest way back to cold rooms.

Hopefully the wind will dry out the shoes. They are made for all kinds of weather, they are built to get wet. I am on my second pair of these and will try to buy the exact same model later this summer. Yet, this pair has a lot of miles left on them.

With all the plant ideas giving me some motivation of sorts, I decided it was time to pull out the Windex and clean the bird crap off of my 30+ year old thermometer. It might be as old as the house but so far I can confirm it's at least 30 years old.


Now that it's clean it should have another 10 years added to its lifespan. It does not need a battery, isn't wireless ... just a good old fashion thermometer.


By 1pm I was pretty sure I had the plan for the new landscaping project firm in my mind and where I wanted to plant everything. With the ground much softer than yesterday afternoon, I took advantage of that and planted all the plants I bought the other day.

I'll wait and add some more as I go along. I need to find a place locally that has the Hostas in stock, plus a couple of new suggestions today ... Marigolds and Nasturtiums.

The plans were to replace the old iron carport supports next summer, once I decided to either go with new rod iron or change to wood posts. In the meantime a blog reader suggested I use Hollyhock to grow around and through the carport supports in front. Sounds like a good idea.

As usual once I come to a decision, in this case knowing where to put each plant that I had bought, I want to do it as soon as possible. With all the rain last night and earlier this morning would the ground be too wet or muddy to plant flowers?

My two assistants wanted to make you think they had important parts in digging the holes ... but while I did the manual labor of digging and planting ... they were out back eating that fresh mud that the moles had pushed up.

It didn't take long for Stella to lose interest in the job at hand. Once I told her I had to wash her nose off, she decided taking a siesta and not moving was a better idea. After all she had a bath just a few days ago.

The job didn't take me long but it was long enough for her to switch positions while sleeping and a deep sleep that she didn't know I was taking her picture.

I like to make sure the shovel is clean after it is used.

It's hard to imagine this Hemerocallis 'Happy Returns' Daylilly will grow to 14"-18" tall and 22"-26" spread ... If it does it will be perfect for the far right corner if you are looking at the front of the house.

I wanted a Azalea 'Girard's Hot Shot' just right of where Heidi goes from the carport to the front of the yard. She has already found it different since her Yews are gone. This should help bring some color to the front of the carport.

I forgot to mention the first hole I dug had dry dirt believe it or not after all the rain we had. It might have helped that it was under the roof overhang. The dirt texture was the same as peat moss.

It looks bare now but once that Azalea matures, enough of that wall to the right of the window will be covered. I not only wanted to keep the steps open but also the vent for the crawlspace. I might put a potted plant there later. Remember my septic tank is right below that window, 3' from the last step and 6' out from the foundation. That 2nd stone is about 9" behind the septic tank inlet that they would use to pump it.

Here is a closer look at the Azalea, with a lot of room to grow

I decided to go with another Azalea in the right corner instead of a yellow Daylily. That will be two reds on each end. Besides adding mulch here, I'll add more small annuals later on or mums this fall.

I think this will fill the corner nice, unless Ethan gave me some wrong dimensions when it is fully grown.

I thought the Daylily might spread out and cover a little of the entry to the crawlspace. I cant remember if it was the Yellow or the Purple de Oro. Either one will be easy to brush back so I can get down into the crawlspace when needed. I might add something smaller next spring or mums this fall.

Here I might have made a mistake and may have to replant the Azalea to the right of the dish bracket. When I sat it there it looked too open left of the dish so I moved just left of the bracket. After it's fully grown it should cover a lot of the dish bracket so it will not look as bad as it does now. You have to admit though ... that dish is storm proof.

So we can remember just how small it was when I planted it. Of course I'll be adding more topsoil and mulch in this area between the gutter downspout and Azalea along with anything showing dirt.

Early this morning I decide the Purple de Oro and Hemerocallis Happy Returns Daylily might work really well hiding my satellite dish pole for my internet service. I didn't want to go right of the pole due to the underground cable a few inches below the grass.

Based on what I have read, both of these should grow enough to hide a lot of the pole but not all of it.

This has been here since I bought the house in 1997. A few times when I have let it grow longer/taller it has pink blossoms. I do not know what it is. I usually cut it back every fall but that means I don't have flowers on it every year.

Even one year it was burned almost to the ground when I had a leaf fire get out of control. You know how I am about fires in the fall. I was so lazy that year I actually thought I'd burn the leaves I had raked right there at the base of the small bank ... poor decision and one never repeated.  LOL

After I found Sadie out back, I called her in. She actually had been walking around and at times on the Azaleas as I planted them. She was more than curious what they were and what I was doing ... until she got bored with it.

Stella went to sleep but Sadie had to roam.

After she inspected my work along with my 'rough layout' of the sidewalk ... she thought it might be best if I would add one more square stone to it and also put one of those gray stones in the middle of the red ones. 

I'll spend some time this week getting the stones level since they are just tossed in the general area so I could see what they would look like. It looks pretty empty with the full grown Yews there but I see a lot of potential from what I have done so far.

One new idea I had as I was looking through these photos ... that picture right above with Sadie standing by the covered car ... just to the right of the potted Geranium is a spot where the rain over flowing from the gutter spreads out all of the mulch.

Since it has done that over and over for 20 years, making no difference what I do to the ground, more mulch or clean the gutters ... I am going to buy and place a large rock there for some added decor and a place where the water can run on all it wants.

I still have a lot of open space to plant smaller annuals or even small perennials. Or I can leave it open with mulch and some large rocks. I think I am off to a good start even if I don't have a clue about what I'm doing and it took just a little over an hour to plant everything.

Another good day here in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. You are doing great! Looks very neat.

    1. Thank you, not bad for a rookie.

  2. Looking good. Don't know if they do well in your area, but wisteria loves to "climb" and would grow their green leaves right up your carport posts. They produce a beautiful cluster of purple flowers (like a cluster of grapes) each spring after they leaf out. They go dormant in the winter. Hollyhocks are really pretty, but they do "die" back after they bloom (late summer) and come back in spring.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look them online and see if they can survive harsh winters. Yet, I am not sure that I would like that much purple. I'll add it to my list though and do some Google Image research.

    2. They only bloom in the spring. Purple is the traditional color, (believe they can also be pink or white) and when they bloom they start out purplish, then the color fades over time. Blooms last a while. The rest of the time the vine is covered in green leaves until it goes dormant for winter.