Saturday, September 24, 2011

Fence,Trees,and Plants

Well, it took a few days and lots of sweat, but we finally got the fence repairs finished, the vines pulled/dug out, and the roses fertilized. They should be able to breath and grow much better now.  Carol also got all the rocks re-aligned and weed free.  (these three pictures were taken on Friday, Sept 22.)

Sad, sad, sad.  The park has lost a number of the big pine trees due to the drought.  And now, it looks like some of the wonderful, very old, oaks are giving up the ghost.  The park staff have been watering the trees all summer but Mother Nature can't be replaced with a garden hose for things of this size.  Our big trees by the garden gazebo still look ok, thankfully.

                                                      The garden is looking very healthy, given the weird summer.   We have a lot of very large Butterfly Weed plants, but have seen no caterpillars.   Usually we are having to buy new Butterfly weed throughout the summer just to replace what the caterpillars eat.  Not so this year.  Many are shoulder height as you can see here. We did see one Monarch while working on the roses, however, so that is a good sign. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Garden Fence Update

A big Happy Birthday today to Carol Bennett. She continues to be the major vision and energy behind this garden.

Here is a "during" and "after" set of pictures with respect to my repair of the fence on 17 Sep.  I didn't think to take a "before" shot. (but for that,  check the Aug 1 post "Natures Revenge" in the blog archives on the upper right of the blog)    These two sections were completely broken off and only being held up by the overgrowth of roses on both sides.  Although I had to do a lot of pruning to get at the fence sections, much of it was dead anyway.

There is one more section that is broken off on just one end. But it will have to wait for now as it is covered with roses and most are healthy.  There are also 4 or 5 broken pickets throughout I still need to patch/replace.   That, too, will wait until cooler weather.  

Overall, the fence is holding up well.  The roses have kept the kids off for the most part.  The soccer balls and kids do get to the pickets once in awhile.  The breaking of the whole 8 foot sections is mainly due to the fact that the 4 brackets that hold up each section are made of the same vinyl (pvc-like)  material.  The sun weakens them and the weight of the plant growth/kids breaks them off.  They are somewhat difficult to replace.

However... in researching Lowes on-line, I see that everyone else in the US has been having the same problems with the poor brackets and Lowes now sells aluminum ones as replacements.  I'll get some of these for the future.  I am particularly glad we originally went with the more expensive option and put 4x4 posts inside the main uprights when we were installing the fence in May of 2007.  Can you believe it has been more than 4 years?  There has been no problem with the posts and they are still solid; well set in cement. We can thank our Pct #4 park staff for their fine help with that.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Sept Work Day results

Cool weather, no smoke and Joan, Georgeine, Cathy C and Maudie came out to help clear out plants and weeds.  Thank you ladies.  Tomorrow Modesto will come and help Chuck and I clear up the rose vines and get the fence fixed. 
"The purpose of life is to discover your gift.  The meaning of life is to give you gift a way." from How Many People Does It Take to Make a Difference? by D. Zadra and K. takes people like our garden helpers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

September Weed Smackdown Sept 9 at 8 am

Want to win the war on weeds and dead heads at Matzke Park Butterfly Garden? Join in this battle ( now that the mornings are cooler) on Friday Sept 9th at 8 a.m.  You will need pruners and work gloves.