Saturday, July 5, 2014

Mulch, flagpole, and hostas

We've been busy, but then who isn't busy?  Our garden shed soil regrading has abruptly stopped.  The tiller is back at the garden center for service.  Last fall R took the rototiller in for repair.  It needed a new recoil and had a terrible miss once it would get hot.  The tiller has a key start but it's nice to have the recoil working for when the battery goes dead from lack of use.  The miss could possibly be a slug (dirt particle) in the carburetor or maybe a fuel logged float because it misses whenever R lowers the handles to dig the rear tines into the soil. I didn't look at the carb to see what kind of float it has but sometimes the seam between the two halves leaks and the float fills with fuel and no longer floats so the bowl doesn't have the correct amount of fuel in it.  So now we are without the rototiller.

We decided to work on the rose bed that you see when you drive through the gates.  The roses were cut back and are already blooming again.  I sprayed the rest of the bed with the vinegar mixture to kill everything else. Originally, I had planted 3 concord grape spiderwort and I was very happy with them for the first three years. Then they started popping up all over the yard and after that they grew so big that they just fell over. So no more spiderwort.  I lost track of how many clumps of spiderwort that we dug up and removed from that flowerbed.

Once we had everything removed from the bed except for the roses, 3 dogwood trees, and a cluster of trumpet lilies it was time to define the edge of the bed.  Previously I had the edge of the bed too close to the rose bushes and within 2 years I was having difficulty mowing close to the roses without getting stabbed. This time I left a lot of room for growth.  Using my flat shovel I cut into the sod and made a nice perfect arc.  All of our rose beds except for one are arcs. Five in all.

Since we use mulch in this bed, I like to make the edge deeper so that the mulch doesn't end up in the lawn when it rains.  So yesterday we started laying down the mulch and seventeen bags later we had the outside edge and the roses covered in mulch.

It was during this time that we discussed the possibility of moving the old original flagpole from it's current location in front of the house to this bed.  Personally, I don't think it's a job that we can do but R says we can take it down, sand blast it, and then have a flagpole company install it.

This is a very tall and very big diameter flagpole.  It is held in place with concrete and we have no idea how deep and how wide the concrete will be once we start digging.  Do not look at the weeds.

It's common in this area for the concrete to be between 36 and 48 inches deep to get it below the frost line. But this flagpole is leaning so maybe they didn't use enough concrete.....we can only hope.

Notice how the flagpole is copping a lean?

R's plan, notice I'm saying it's his plan because my plan is to call 'a guy' to do it all.  R says we can excavate around the concrete and then lean the pole down by digging away the front of the hole.  At that point we will decide whether we want to cut the pole off at the concrete or lift the entire mass out of the hole by building a truss of sorts and using a chain fall to lift it out of the hole.  Sometimes you just have to dig in and plan as you go.  Of course if we get in over our heads, we can always call 'a guy'.

Today we added additional mulch and left the center of the bed mulchless in preparation for the flagpole. We even  leveled the birdbath after we placed it on a square patio block.

My bloggy friend, Yvonne, gave me the scoop on how to increase my cash back on Ebates.  She says when they want to buy something from Home Depot, they first go to Ebates, click on Home Depot, order what they want to buy, and then click on pick up at the store.  Currently Ebates is offering 4% back on purchases from Home Depot so I just went to the Home Depot website and found out that they offer a solar light that clamps to the flagpole.  How clever but I need to know the diameter of the flagpole.

Just a reminder if you click on the Ebates icon on the left side and register, you will get a $10 gift card from either Home Depot or your choice of several other stores AND I get $10.00, too.  Yvonne says they always check Ebates first before buying anything.  I'll admit that I forget sometimes but I didn't forget last night when I ordered 37 hosta plants on eBay.  One of the sellers that I purchased from gives a free hosta for every 5 hostas purchased so I will receive more than 37 plants.  I used my PayPal balance to buy the plants but if I used a credit card that gets points or cash back, I would be rolling in the dough.....well maybe not rolling but I would receive additional cash back.

When I was ordering plants on eBay I realized that I needed to give you guys some additional info on buying hostas online.  Look for that post in the next week or so.

I also purchased two hostas at a local garden shop on Friday.  I haven't purchased any hostas in the last two years and oh my gosh....sticker shock!  I bought two plants and each one was $17.99.  I couldn't believe it. I checked out the plants to make sure that I could divide them.  One of the hostas was called Maui Buttercups.

It's a small yellow hosta and there are three divisions in the pot so I get three plants for $17.99.

Yes, I paid $17.99 for this pathetic looking hosta but this is what happens when you get the hosta addiction.
The other plant was called Paul Revere and it's another small size plant. This plant only had two divisions but I bought it anyways because it was the last one and I already have the other ones in this series. Hosta hybridizers like to name their plants after a theme.  I already own Loyalist, Patriot, Minuteman, Liberty, and Revolution so I really needed Paul Revere to round out my July 4th weekend. I hope your July 4th was spectacular and full of sparklers and fireworks.