Final Touches

I’m thinking that we’ve finally finished buying flowers and plants for our respective gardens and plots around the property.  I’m thinking also that I’m about ready to situate the roto-tiller for the year into a corner of the garage, so that it will be ready for use next year.  We did errands on Wednesday, going to our usual ‘go-to’ greenhouse, who are having their ‘end-of-season’ sale before closing for the year.  Unfortunately, they had closed early for some reason, but will be open on Friday.  Not to be outdone, there’s another greenhouse on the other side of town we could check out, and they have ice cream.

While we were out, we also did some grocery shopping.  Normally I prefer to do my shopping by myself, without the wife, because she likes to wander around the store, and gets lost.  (I call it “lost”, she’s just browsing and tends to lag behind)  Me, knowing where just about everything in the store is, can get in and out in record time.  Even so, there are times when I take a little longer at the store, seeing people that I work with and engaging in conversation with them about this or that.  Generally when I shop with the wife, it’s on an off-day from work, so things might have happened in the intervening 18-20 hours that I was unaware of.  Too, there are times during my vacation where I shop at the store, so the conversation tends to be a little longer at that point, much to the wife’s consternation.  So the pendulum swings both ways.

Insofar as being done with the gardening, at least the major getting ready and planting parts are completed.  The beds have been prepped, tilled, graded, weeded (initially) and planted.  We purchased five bags of mulch from Lowes several weeks ago, and finally got them spread in the last couple of days.  Added to the bag and a half that was saved from two years ago, the ones that were stored under the stairs, we’re still probably about a bag or two short of what we really need to keep the weeds at bay.  Having looked up the ratio of thickness of mulch to weed suppression, its been suggested on more than one site that a depth of 3-4 inches is ideal, and we’re nowhere close to that.  A basic layer of about an inch in most places is about the best we could do with 6 1/2 bags.  Too, there are several areas that haven’t been mulched at all, considering it’s where the knotweed is most prevalent.  More than likely that’s going to be left to its own devices for the time being, and possibly for the remainder of the season.

My idea of getting a second wheelbarrow got shot down in the afternoon, the wife has decided that she wants to not only fix her old one, she wishes to repaint it before the summer is over as well.  My suggestion wasn’t with the idea of replacing the one we have, that she inherited from her parents (along with the roto-tiller I just finished fixing) just giving it a little respite, considering its age.  Even so, she almost had a nutty about the whole idea, so I just dropped it.  Perhaps her idea of the JB-Weld she’s getting from Amazon will work.  If not, I have a back-up plan that involves taking it to a metal fab place near here and see if they’re able to weld the handle back together.  It’s worth a shot.

I was intending to have pictures here when this posts, but I will have to add them in later.  I didn’t take any this afternoon when I got finished and it rained before I could get back out to document the ‘finished product’.  That will have to wait for the next day.

Off to bed, some of us work weekends.



While I was at work on Monday, I happened to run into the woman who used to live next door to us.  Even though she no longer lives in the house, she’s rented it to a several families in the last several years.  Some good, some bad, some middle of the road.  The family that’s living there presently haven’t really been all that good in upkeep of the property, so much so my wife and I have been wondering if perhaps they had purchased the house and could get away with not keeping up the house, grounds etc.

After speaking with the woman, it turns out they’re still renting, but she’s not very pleased with what they have been doing (and mostly not doing) with their responsibilities in that area.  So much so, I thought she was considering evicting them, but probably a good talking to might do better in the long run.  While I had her ear though, I thought it would be a good time to discuss the problem on her side of the fence with the knotweed that has been a continuing problem on my side.  Every spring, the green menace shoots up and by early summer it’s already bowing over my side of the fence.  Of course the infestation on her side is causing it to come up on mine, and as I’ve mentioned in a few other posts on this site, we’ve been trying to eradicate it for years.

She seemed very interested in helping out and asked if cutting it down and spraying it would work.  Yes, but its one of those invasive type plants that doesn’t take a one time cutting and spraying lying down.  It actually fights back.  Hard.  The root system goes down at least ten feet and it comes back with a vengeance if left to its own devices.  I didn’t have a lot of time to impress this on her, but apparently it made some sort of impression, since soon after I got home my wife mentioned there was someone on the other side of the fence cutting down the knotweed.  I probably should have gone out there and talked to them, but after putting in a full day at the job, I really didn’t feel like engaging all that much and besides, it was raining.

Soon after getting home, my wife mentioned that she was observing someone in a pickup and trailer getting over to the grove of knotweed and doing some pruning.  She wanted to know if there was a name on the side of the truck, just in case it was someone who might also do tree removal, as we have a dead tree on the property that needs tending to.  I got up, hobbled to the window and looked out, but I didn’t see a name to reference.  She then asked if I wanted to go out and speak to the person, engage and perhaps get a little information, but being tired from a long day at work, I really didn’t.  A little later she looked out and saw that the stand of knotweed was gone from the other side of the fence and the person had left as well.  I haven’t managed to go outside and check out the work, but I expect the person did a good job, since through the slats of the fence there doesn’t appear to be anything on the other side.  So we’re clear at least for a week or so.

Now whether this family is going to be up and moving after being berated, I have no idea.  I do know for the most part they’re pretty quiet, certainly better than some of the renters that have been there in the past.  Just have to keep observing from my side of the fence and keep in contact (as possible) with the woman as I see her from time to time.


As long as we’ve been living here, we’ve mostly kept the property as it was when we first purchased the house.  Granted there have been minor changes, in that there were two sizeable trees in the front and side yard 20 years ago, but one fell down on its own and the other was leaning too far towards the house, so we had it removed before it dropped onto our roof or into the neighbor’s.  In the backyard, we’ve been fighting a losing battle against the Japanese knotweed a previous owner planted, but so long as we keep tilling that patch of ground and mulching the hell out of it, we can (for the most part) keep it from growing wild like it does on two other sides of the property on the opposite side of the fence.

Considering we don’t have a great deal of land to begin with (the lot is listed at 0.157 acres) and the house and garage take up a good deal of that space, we make do with what we have here, for the most part.  There’s an old patio behind the house, that probably could do with an upgrade, but there are other things we’ve been wanting to do first, so that’s going to get shelved for another year.  Two years ago we managed to get the driveway paved, that had been an eyesore for the longest time.  I can definitely say my old snowblower is very grateful it doesn’t have to chew through gravel and stones every winter just to keep the driveway clean.  Our walkway leading up to the house needs a bit of an upgrade, the concrete forms have heaved somewhat over the years and a few are split as well.  So far as I know, the sidewalk across the front of our property is our responsibility, since it is within the stakes that designate the property lines.  Although I do mow the strip of grass beyond the sidewalk, leading up to the street we live on, and clearly that and the trees that sit on it, belong to the village.  Just one of those curiosities when you live in a municipal area, rather than out in the country.

At the present time, and probably for the next ten days, our focus is on getting a new leased vehicle, since we have to turn in the Edge on the 17th.   Then we can get busy on making the property look nice for the visitors that we’re still looking forward to hosting for the remainder of the summer, as well as the coming fall.  Hard to believe that I’m planning ahead for autumn when it’s not even summer yet!  How times change as I get older.  At any rate, there will be some before and after pictures as things progress.  One definite thing I have to do is get someone to take down the dead tree behind the garage.  Before it falls into the neighbor’s yard.