Archive

Gardening

Crabapple.
Crabapple skirt touches the ground.
Japanese Flowering Cherry
Service Berry tree at year four in the yard; the boldest color spanning many back yards.
Service Berry
Pampas grasses bound up for winter, so this week’s snow doesn’t lay them flat.
Pond is turned over for winter, with salt water softener added to keep the fish healthy.
Hunga Tonga- Hunga Ha-apai is mounted to the wall between the Bean Whole coffee roasters. Jed is planning on painting the black gas line behind the mask white. At night the backlighting will look great from outside through the front wall of windows.
View from the common area of the Neighborhood Hive in Sugarhouse.
The latest Aeromod to the truck is this “floating” bar of mudflaps running the length of the back of the truck, with a 6 inch gap to the ground (unloaded). The low pressure a truck drags behind it will push all the way to the front, proven in wind tunnel studies. This low line in the back is nearly as effective as a similarly (impossibly) low bumper in the front. The bar is a custom weld job from scrap metal I had around, fitting into the hitch mount (or in tandem with the ball hitch), and has two loose-fit stabilizing pins in the bumper; in this way, additional to the mudflap’s flexibility, some tip and give is allowed when backing up our steep drive. The truck also drops a lot of big ranch mudballs that explode onto the highway, so this keeps other drivers and their windshields safe.
Night time thunderstorm with rain and the poppies begin to bloom.
This bunch must be anticipating tonight’s storm.
Purple Bearded Iris and purple Columbine.
Boulder, Colorado in Montana: Shazbat variety.
Ohio blooming in Montana.
A proto iris and a bearded iris, for taxonomic comparison. The skinny yellow iris were split from our pond in Coatsville last year (?), and the purple was also from SLC original to the house’ 1940’s owner- in a giant root bound mass that would put up just a few blooms. Now they are the entire South bed along the ice house, in the front bed, and up on the hillside bed (and still in SLC as well).
Boulder, Colorado blooming in Montana. The Nanoo Nanoo variety.
Lilacs have a few blooms remaining.
Original to the ranch butter and cream iris with some of the original to Coatsville purple.
Butter and Cream being showy.
Matching columbine volunteered among the P & C iris.
These giant white iris had 4 rhizomes among the SLC purple- all blooming now. They hadn’t bloomed in our 10 years at the house, out in their root bound purple patch.
Another emergent: micro clover is finally emerging. I spread it into the lawn last summer in a big way, and a bit more this spring. It will help revitalize tough patches like this, bring nitrogen into the soil for the grass, push out weeds, and amp up the drought tolerance.
After last summer’s springbox waterline fixes to the yard and house, I added this inline high-pressure filter for the yard. Now every little thing that slips past the cage up at the top of the line doesn’t jam up the sprinkler heads.
I also built this new high footing for the water bird.
The water bird is joined by this super-jet, with a 50′ range and 360 degree rotation- so it waters a 100 foot circle, and can even water from the front yard over the hedge and into the back poppy patch.
Crabapple blooms.
Orb is entirely skinned in ocean; new oceania was created yesterday and firmed up overnight.
South pole with pole.
Another 8 hours of art time are absorbed into the Orb…
I added two transparent “windows” today as well, cutting the fiberglass ball and skinning with clear & color panel created yesterday.
Layered edges with the new window panel overlayed giving a sense of depth.
The edges around the door are cleaned up, and skin-thin at top to allow paper to be slid inside.
Center is a clear-edged seam cover from a trove created yesterday. All too wide, and most are not color-correct; so a do-over tomorrow, then wait til Saturday before they are ready.
Kwanzan Cherry is just starting, and will be slowed by a 3 day rain/snow storm.

last night’s Quiddler Poem: Your Covid Quota

It was as DEATH TO LET HER WED / that USER, that TOE ROT / that GAZE into the LOO and never AIR IT / THINE ACE lost to class FEES for CLAY / as one might sip LAWN DRINK by the PINT / using a HAIRY GRATER to strain out the FLIES / your MOOD-CUBE could not MOP up the RUN / the over-run on your COVID QUOTA.

Water Hyacinths have filled in the upper pond nicely, better than ever- I think it is because of water-blueing. This year I started using a water-bluing agent to cut sunlight penetration, and the water has stayed cooler and the fish are happier, and algae has cleared out.
In past years I have used a pricey UV light in the pond filtration unit, and this year (our hottest / driest year ever) has been fine without it.
The hyacinths are a living whole pond filter; I haven’t had to clear the pump or the filter in weeks!
A spot for morning coffee. From here we watched a male Broadtail hummingbird court a female; lots of ringing and diving as they both flew, then she settled into the big flowering Trumpet Vine and he began a series of side-to-side waggles / perch-breathers / waggles. She was impressed and they flew off together.
Sultry and hot, shaded in the ever-embiggening Purple Sage. She did some math in her head re: Delta transmission at R9, vs the original at R2 (R9-R2)/R2 x %100 = 350) The Delta variant is 350 times more transmissible than the original variant. (now a week later, updated to the same transmission rate as Chickenpox= R12. So 500% more transmissible than the original variant) It also has a replication factor of 1000 over the original, hitting full speed 3 days after infection while still fully asymptomatic (now, showing the same factor whether vaccinated or not). This is the kind of thing she ponders, because she’s aluminum and doesn’t have to worry.
A hummingbird favorite.
Drip irrigation keeps the landscape from powdering out.
The goldfish all rush to make the shot; Influencers, each and every one. Even Koi follow their feed.
WeeOne has left the Ms.Kims unmolested since the fixes, and it looks like they will survive.
I cut all the roses back before our last trip out to MT, and this one has come back nicely.
Out front this summer bloomer fills with bees every day. It dies back to the ground each winter, and this summer has seen its rowdiest growth and blooming. All the plants to the L of it were nuked last summer, even the ground cover reduced to powder this summer.
The little patch of front lawn is heat-stressed and yellowing out- it has been more than a month since it needed mowing and will likely stay dormant till late fall.
The secret sitting space.
Garden path.
Panther in the Iris jungle.
3 dozen floating water hyacinths introduced to clean the water, among the yellow pond-iris.
Lucky’s stable is a Hummingbird haven with Coral Bells and a feeder under the eve at top R.
Same bunch-grass divots as in MT, same girl lounging between them.
So much more brushing in her future…lots of ranch burrs came out yesterday.
The yarding ladies like to check in with each other.
This rose spills over the fence from the front yard.
The view we give the neighbors. They do not return the favor.
The roses from the front yard.
Xeriscape mini-garden continues the front lawn footprint reduction.
The Queen of Hearts white roses.
The front bed of Ohio Black Iris, same variety as in the first few images, but backlit for nutzo-level irradiance.
Bubblicious Black Grape is their bubblegum flavor note; it permeates the front and back yard. Delicious.