SPRINKLER BLOCKED

Without consistent watering the lawn would be kaput. Probably should do the slopes and poor soil areas twice a week, but I usually forget. So the once a week watering is very, very important.

What is wrong with my one-piece sprinkler? There’s 40 holes. One side is sprinkling more than the other. I wade in and run my fingernail over the top. It helps.

It wasn’t until I turned the water off that I could see the problem really well. Little pieces of stems and leaves are blocking the holes. I shove them back inside and poured them out.

That should improve things. Must remember to store the sprinkler with the threaded part down.

A LITTLE MORE COLOR

I’m digging the color and motion the flags bring to my yard. I don’t have to water them. There’s color for as long as they are out. Maybe I can add a little something similar along the fence and help drivers miss my fence at the same time. I looked about for pennants. What’s out there looks like the opening of a gas station.

I chose a three pack of rectangular fiesta banners. Nice colors. Holes to allow air to flow through.

I tied them to my chain-link fence, much to the delight of a father-daughter duo bicycling by.

They weren’t the best quality and I knew that when I ordered them. The plastic was almost see-thru. Within an hour I took cellophane tape and laid it over the top corners to prevent the pennant from ripping off the string.

Oops. In a slight breeze the pennants jumped the fence. Every little cut hole caught on the wire ends. Two upcoming days of Red Flag Warnings had me take them down before they shredded.

The only way these flags will survive more than a week is to put them farther down the fence which will look a little weird or move them elsewhere.

PINK, PINE, AND MORE

Nope, I didn’t work on re-leveling the pavers in the BBQ area on Sunday. Just because Saturday was a gung-ho day doesn’t mean the next is. It’s just the opposite. Usually on the second day I ache too much.

I did get out to enjoy my yard.

This is the best I’ve ever seen the pink rose in my front yard. For every flower there’s four more buds. I’ll give some credit to the half-inch of moisture falling from the sky. Mostly I’ll give credit to my tossing some fertilizer under the plant every six months or so and watering once a week during most of the winter.

Tiny little white specks were appearing on the leaves. Whiteflies. A strong stream of water cleaned the leaves and drowned the little suckers.

The pine tree, five years old and still the same 14″, is doing its version of blooming. It may be little but it has survived string trimmer slaps and a gopher that practically unearthed it.

All four mums are promising greatness and they will deliver. I wish I could find some local full-sized mum plants.

Volunteer sunflower is 18″ tall and is in danger every time I water and every time HappyDog thunders past..

LAZINESS. PAVERING INTERRUPTED

I started off the year so promising. Laid 250 17-pound pavers for walkways. Hours and hours of backbreaking, rewarding work. Then I got tired and I got tired of hurting, but I wanted to finish. I laid down the last stack of the pavers in the patio extension without using a level. Looking down from directly above, it looked okay. Stepping back ten steps, it was remarkable how unlevel it was. Told myself I’d fix it one day knowing full well it might be a long time before I got back to it.

For two months I did almost nothing. I’d wake up with the best intentions and they would melt away about ten minutes after I made the bed.

So it was quite the surprise this Saturday afternoon, after months of procrastinating, I pulled much of the section along the long fence that had a definite upward slope and relaid it using a level. Got a lot to do yet. I’ve been staring at that broken paver and the 4-paver gap needs a concrete cap. Sunday I’ll do more. Maybe.

Maybe.

RUSSIAN SAGE SHRUBS

Margo gifted me with two, foot tall Russian sage shrubs. She suggested planting them in the awkward, 20′ long, 8′ wide eastern slot between fence and house In front of the short fence. The area only gets sun during summer days. In fact, there’s no Bermudagrass within two feet from the fence. Let’s see how much sun a Russian sage need? Whoops, it needs a lot. Scratch location #1.

Location #2 is the along the fence of the “spare parking area/ignored spot in a big corner next to the street.” There’s nothing of vegetation value since I quit watering the area.

So I got my favorite tools for digging plant holes — a manual post hole digger an a tape measure. Looked at the data on the pot and measured out how far away from the fence I should dig.

I punched the ground and lifted. The very dry sand fell out the bottom before I could throw it to the side. An indicator of how dry it is. So I filled the indention with water to let the clay return to it’s clingy self. A bit later I returned to punch some more. It clumped until I dug below the moisture. Filled the hole to the rim and let it soak overnight. During the night we got half an inch of rain. Now, it’s too muddy. No problem. I can wait.

Margo wandered over yesterday, stared at the holes and suggested planting the sages in front of the garden fence. Russian Sage spread through the roots. No way I want to put that danger near my garden.

My area of choice doesn’t have good soil and water slides off like glass. The secret to keeping plants healthy in the desert is to make a big, below the surface, indention to hold water. I scraped the top three inches of the circle off and made the large dish. Even if the dam wore down over time, the indention would remain to hold water. Got the idea from the Senior Citizen’s Center where they planted their trees with a 6″ deep indention six feet around.

Potting soil in the bottom and crammed around the sides.

Here’s to luck.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE BBQ PATIO ROOT?

You can see my BBQ patio dilemma. A root from the neighbor’s tree has lifted out of the ground slightly so my pavers won’t sit flat. It’s a grand tree that gives my patio shade until noon. So I’m not going to shave it down with my mattock. Who am I kidding. I won’t dig it out even if I hated my neighbor. At least I don’t think I would. Trees are magnificent. To harm one is to harm the Earth.

Unless it’s a wild elm tree. To those I say rebuke ’em, saw ’em, salt ’em or you will be sorry. I am well into the second year of salting the stump of an elm tree that had to be cut down because it invaded the drain line. Had to rip off a couple of tiny sprouts the other day so that sucker is still able to spring back to life.

I laid the pavers in hoping a little bit of sand here and there would flatten it nicely. Nope. I pulled them so I wouldn’t step in that area and get the feeling of being on a see-saw.

Should I fill it with sand? Concrete?

The entire BBQ patio is somewhat unlevel but so far I’ve been uninterested in pulling them up and re-leveling using something other than a wishful, tired-of-pavering hairy eyeball.

A GREAT DAY FOR BIRDS. APRIL 6, 2021

April 6th was an awesome bird watching day. As I was watering the grass, a dozen sparrows and a robin took a bath.

A male yellow finch came by for seed brunch. I see very few of these birds in my yard. Margo has a bunch because she feeds thistle.

I heard a hummingbird so I’ve put out half-full feeders because I won’t get many at the beginning.

NEW YARD FLAG

My plants aren’t adding a spectacular amount of color to the yard so…

Lemme try to gain it with yard flags. These flags have a slide-on sleeve so I thought they might fit on the flag pole I already have.

I took two sections out of the pole and slide the pole end into the hangar so it hangs horizontal.

This is how it came out. Don’t know about you but I’m loving it.

While we are stuck at home during the hottest part of the summer, I plan on buying a second flagpole for the other porch post.