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Today I was only going to do a bit of watering. Somehow watering turned into weeding. I have no idea.

Also, I watched Sherlock again. It was better the second time around. I didn't seem to notice the jerky camera movements as much. I've decided I quite like Mycroft, though he seems horribly prissy. Though what can you expect with a name like Mycroft I suppose. Poor Watson seems perpetually befuddled, probably due to his proximity with Sherlock. And I like the way Sherlock is boggled by the normality of everyone else's brains. Such a trial to be a genius.
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Until my co-worker goes home. Seriously, today is as close as I've ever come to strangling her. I think it's because she's doing EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HER ANNOYING THINGS all at the same time. She's chattering like a lunatic AS WELL as constantly interrupting my work to ask stupid questions. I am contemplating taking Friday off just because I'm so mentally exhausted from having to deal with her.

I am also physically exhausted from running around dealing with my boss' plants. I have decided to tell her next time she's planning to go away, she needs to get someone else to come water them. It would be different if it was for a day or two, but she's been gone for two weeks and it's been incredibly hot so the potted plants needed watering every couple of days. It meant lugging a watering can back and forth for 12 trips. Considering the fact that she doesn't pay me extra for doing this, my goodwill toward men has been used up.

Also, today, my neighbour yelled at me for not watering my own plants. I have no idea why, but this particular person feels the pain of EVERY PLANT IN EXISTENCE. Okay so plants are living creatures but it's not like I was killing a dog or cat or something. Frankly, between watering my boss' plants and the shrubs by our office building, yes, I didn't have the energy to water my own. I figured, if they die, it's my own money I've wasted. Not so. Apparently, I shouldn't be gardening at all. Even though I've only missed watering them two days.

On top of all this, I woke up with a headache that has gotten progressively worse. I'm so surprised. Right now, I'm at the point where I want to just pack up all my stuff and get the hell out of Dodge. Will have to see how I feel tomorrow.
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There's a Native American story that goes something like this. Once upon a time the crow was the most wondrous of all the animals in the kingdom. He had beautiful plumage and an amazing singing voice. Because of this, he was prideful and went around lording his beauty and talent over the other animals. The other animals complained to the god of the kingdom and the god punished the crow by taking away his beautiful plumage and amazing singing voice. And that is why, from that day to this, crows are black and have such awful voices.

I'm thinking of crows at the moment because as I was outside gardening, there was a crow sitting at the top of one of the cedar trees cawing like mad. He was cawing to another crow I couldn't see but could definitely hear. It was the most dreadful cacophony. And that was just two of them. When they're in a huge group it's deafening.

Around the co-op, there are two crows to every unit. If you go out early enough, you can see each pair perched on opposite corners of the roof of each unit. I assume these pairs are sentinels. I imagine they report back the goings on to the head honcho. I figure that's what this morning was about.

While I was listening to them speak to each other as I continued on weeding, I wondered if perhaps they consider me part of their territory. I had the thought of the two of them reporting to the boss. Section 12Z secure sir! Two cedars, two rose bushes, three hostas, one black woman etc.

I can totally understand why Hitchcock modeled the birds in his film after crows. They're so intelligent it's scary. I don't believe it's chance that a group of crows is called a murder. I have seen them harangue birds much larger than themselves. In defense of their nests, I know that there have been reports of dogs, cats, small children and even adults been attacked. I myself have been dive bombed by two crows, sentinels presumably. They came close enough to pull my hair out of its clasp.

Forget don't go in the water. Don't go outside when the crows are restless.
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I need to buy an extension cord so I can move my computer monitor from one side of my desk to the other. Right now, my computer desk sits facing the living room window. I had the idea that it would be nice to sit at my computer and look out the window. Which is all fine and dandy, but at the moment, my computer monitor is blocking the view of my rose bush. My rose bush has about ten or fifteen buds on it in varying stages of development and I can't see them at all when I sit at my desk.
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I wasn't going to garden today. I was going to lie in bed and sleep. HAHAHAH! Yeah right.


From 11AM - 4PM

- I weeded out the bit by the living room and bedroom windows.
- I watered all the potted plants.
- I watered the potted shrubs around the office next door to me since they looked so sad.
- I watered the maple and the two huge potted pine whatsits in big patch.
- I deadheaded my black planter box and the pot by the patio door.
- I gently pruned my lilac and plucked off all its infected leaves. Let's hope that takes care of Mr. Leaf Miner.


From 5PM - 10:15PM

- I watered everything else. This involves getting up every hour to move the hose from one place to another. Kinda annoying. Especially since my hose apparently harbours great hate for me and constantly tries to kill me by strangulation. Failing that, it tries to bludgeon me to death when I try to wind it up after I'm done with it. I have no idea.

When I went out at 10:15 to turn off the water, guess who I encountered! Mr. Stripped Kitty! Luckily, it was opening the patio door that startled him and not me coming up behind him. He darted off as soon as the door slid open. He looked like a junvenile. I'm a bit concerned as he was checking out the underside of the hydrangea bush. Not sure if he was thinking to make a nest in the corner behind the bush or if he was just thirsty and was looking to get a drink.

At least now I know why there's is quite often the smell of skunk in the air at night.
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So last night we, myself and a handy neighbour, took down the wooden trellis. It's just as well I did not attempt to take it down myself. What I thought was just two nails holding it up in the corners was actually SIX NAILS. Two in the corners, and four more across the top. And they were HONKING LONG NAILS. I had no idea nails came in that size. It didn't help that the nails were apparently finishing nails so they had no heads really.

We ended up with me holding it steady and my neighbour standing on a chair to get better leverage and then using the claw of the hammer to pry the wood of the trellis away from the wood of the divider behind it. At one point I thought we were either going to break the trellis or break the divider. However, careful and judicious rocking managed to ease the nails out and out and out and out.... well, you get the idea.

Also, Monday's wind storm damaged a couple of branches on my rose bush and it looks like a part of the hydrangea may have been hit as well. I noticed one side of it is dragging on the ground. The wind must have been really bad because the hydrangea is actually in a fairly sheltered spot.
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Remember this guy?

Remember how I said I dug him out and put in hostas? Well, this is them.

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Here's a shot of the pot we planned on using. In it is a scraggly boxwood that my boss tried to dump on us. We're not gonna use it but we just wanted to see what the pot would look like with something in it.

Here's a pretty planter that sits center edge of the patio.

And here's the finished product.

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So. Remember this picture

and this picture?

Well, it now looks like this.

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After a two hour battle, I finally got the white plastic trellis thing down. It took me about an hour just to get the bloody nails out. They had rusted over the two years the damn thing's been nailed up. I had to hammer and yank and hammer and yank and hammer and yank and rock and all manner of ridiculousness just to get them loose enough to pry them out of the wooden frame they were nailed too.

Then after that I had to get the vine out. After so much time, the vine and the trellis were like mated for life. I ended up not only hacking the vine to pieces to try and worm it out of the trellis slats, but I also ended up having to hack the trellis to bits as well. Damn but my pruners are sharp. Probably not meant to cut plastic but they did a fine job of it.

So now that's done. I raked up all the vine bits and dug up some weeds and watered all the potted plants and put the trellis remains in a garbage bag and then I had to come in and get something to eat. And now I'm X_x. I still need to go out later and put away the hose and weed bag and such but I was just too exhausted to deal with it.

I still have the wooden trellis frame to take down but I am NOT doing it today. Firstly, I'm bushed. And secondly, I suspect it's going to be a two person job. I'm pretty sure that once I take out the nail in one corner the whole thing is going to swing crazily to the side. I'll need to find someone who can hold it up while I take the nails out of both corners and then together we can lower it to the ground.

Tell me again why I why I started this?????
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The lawn guys came today instead of tomorrow. Must be taking an extra day because of the holiday. I can still smell the gasoline from the leaf blower. Whoever had the idea to create this monstrosity should be shot.
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Today was blessedly silent. Both my boss and my co-worker were absent so I spent the day just enjoying the utter silence.

Then I came home and spent four and a half hours watering. Why did I want a garden again???? It's like having children. Feeding here. Watering there. Tucking these ones into the soil. Weeding those ones. Pruning someone else.

The only good thing was I didn't have to actually stand outside holding the hose for four and a half hours.

In other news, heliotrope smells like baby powder. Which does nothing to dis spell the children image.
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Too bad I was indoors all day.

However! I now have a water gauge. So I can tell when I need to water my potted plants. And I have a new pair of pruners, instead of the decrepit rusty pair I was using. Watch out branches, here I come!

*watches as plants cower in fear*

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I have a lot of what I've been calling square flies because they seem to fly in a pattern of squares. Does anyone know the actual name? Or have even seen them? They're probably 1/8 of an inch to 1/4 of an inch long. And I think they have double wings that stick straight out like a dragonfly's. Though that's only when they're flying. I've never actually seen one light on something.
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- I got a proper holder for my hose. A neighbour came over with her electric drill and put it up for me. It's a handy thing as it has a built in compartment to keep bits and bobs. I put my garden gloves there. Now I won't have to look all over for them.

- Finally started weeding out the last corner of the bit under the bed room window.

- Have decided to cut down the climbing vine as it looks a mess right now. Won't dig it up, just cut it back and see if it grows back a bit healthier looking.

- Tied up the daisies as they keep keeling over. Once they finish blooming - if they ever get around to it - will chop them back so they're not so tall for next year.

- I let my boss take the peony blossoms as they made the plant so top heavy they were lying on the ground. I really must find something large to hold the plant up better. Or conversely, cut the plant back so the thing that's there now actually works.

Have decided to dig up the two yucca plants by the hydrangea bush. They like more sun than they're getting in the shadow of the hydrangea. Will move them to the front. Hopefully, the move won't traumatize them too much.

- Saw a robin in my big patch today. I guess digging up the weeds stirred up a lot of bugs. He looked happy. I didn't realize how big robins were.

- Lastly, where is summer???? It was FREEZING today.
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Worked for a couple of hours this morning. Was appalled to find that I had woken up at 7am. Like what??? By 8am, I decided that since I wasn't going back to sleep, I might as well get up and go garden. I'm glad I did. The sun got really hot really fast. I wouldn't have got nearly as much stuff done if I had gone out at the time I was originally planning.

The big patch is finally weeded. I still have to rake but I was exhausted by the time I got the weeds pulled so eh. Apparently, under all the weeds, the maple tree has a friend. Some kinda spiky thing. It's a pretty green so I left it for now. We'll see what it develops into I guess.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with the huge piece of ground.
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- My neighbour found four pots that match the fountain, so we put those in the wire hanging frames against the wall. Now we just have to find plants to go in them.

- Dug up Comfrey. Pretty purple flowers aside, he was getting all droopy and falling all over the place. Replaced him with three hostas in terracotta pots that go with the pots in the wire frames. Two Guacamoles and one Northern Halo - if that means anything to anybody. Pretty green shades anyway. Moved Mr Frog over to sit with the Hostas. He looks rather nice in the corner.

- Cut back the Shasta Daisies that were lying down on the job. That corner looks tidier now.

- Have decided to cut back the vine. It's got tiny flowers but they're not anything spectacular at the moment. I suspect though that it it gets cut back and trained up properly it will look rather nice.

- Still mulling over what to do with my big patch.

This garden thing is turning into a full time job.
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I should have taken some but meh.

- 90% of the buds on my climbing rose bloomed. I really wish I'd gotten a shot of it when they were at their peak.

- My peony bloomed while I wasn't looking, the sneaky thing! I really need to find something to prop it up with. The blossoms are so huge the poor plant is practically lying on the ground.

- My regular rose bush put out one bud that's now bloomed. Don't know if it'll do any more. It seems to be concentrating on putting out leaves.

- The Shasta Daisies are still standing around doing nothing like a bunch of high school kids hanging out in the smoke pit. If they don't bloom soon, I'm going to go off with their heads >_<

- Moved the bird bath from the bedroom window side to the living room window side. I still think it's too close to the house but my neighbour says the lady that lived here before got lots of birds. I think that's because she fed them and we're not supposed to but we'll see I guess.

- Took the moss and dirt out of the two hanging frames on the wall by the living room window. My neighbour is thinking pots to replace them. We'll see if that works.

- Did a little weeding of the big patch. Not as much as I had intended. Got side tracked by all this other stuff and by the time that was done, I'd used up all my energy. Next time I suppose.
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So, when I talk about the big patch, this is the area I'm talking about. Four pictures, three of which show the width and some of the depth of the lot and the last one is a shot of my maple tree. It's about five times the size as it was last year. You can see how much weeding I did in the three hours on Saturday. I think probably another week end should do it.

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This is a long view of the stuff under my bedroom window. The spiky plant in the back is a yucca. You can't really tell because it's just green right now but in the foreground is a lilac and directly behind it is a hydrangea. The rest of the green stuff on the ground are weeds I have yet to dig out. You can see where I've been weeding in the foreground. The holes being where the bigger dandelion plants were.

In this picture is the barely top of the lilac, the top of the hydrangea and climbing the wall is... some kinda climbing vine :D I don't think it's a wisteria or a clematis. It might be a honey suckle but really, I have no idea. I may end up digging it out as its a mystery plant that doesn't have any flowers. Yet. Lastly, off to the right is my neighbour's pine tree. At least I think it's a pine of some description.

To the left is a picture of the edging stones I mentioned in an earlier post. You can see the start of the double row I was talking about. To the right is a picture of a giant frog :)

Directly behind the frog is a bird bath. It won't stay there as it's too close to the house for the birds to feel comfortable using it. The fact that it's neon blue may also perturb them. I know it perturbs me. I have no idea what my boss was thinking.

December 2012

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