Monday, May 14, 2012

Baby Koi Pictures!

The pond has it's first fish! Two of them came all the way from Japan. Meet Luna, who I think is an Ogon Butterfly Koi and Ginny who I think is a Gin Rin Kohaku Koi. Ginny has red lips and blue eyes and a whole lot of sparkle!  So far Ginny hides 99% of the time but Luna is brave and very easy to spot in the water.
 Also in the pond is Red Head Fred.  Fred has less of a pedigree than the girls but he is pretty cool looking all the same.  Unfortunately I have no picture of Fred.  I was so excited to get him in his new digs I forgot all about it!

Pond is coming along.  Hope to finish the veggie filter pond this week and then it is all landscaping!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Waterfall Progress

I spent 12 hours on Friday another 16 on Saturday and Sunday putting about 12 stones on the waterfall.  I'm excited though because I tried out out on Sunday and it works, with only a few tiny leaks!  So why does a short little waterfall take so long to build.  Ah, for many reasons you would never anticipate.

1.  Deluge of rain each day means work interruption, timing of silicone and foam and concrete to work with pending storms.
2.  Deluge of rain each day makes working with massive boulders on tiny wheels on slippery clay...challenging.
3.  Taffy and Daffy the duck visit twice a day.  I feel bad if I scare them so I work slower so as not to startle them.
4.  I spend a lot of time studying stuff.
5.  The rocks are too big.  It took me two hours to get this one off the driveway and into the vicinity of the waterfall.  Then another sweaty hour to get it in place.  The picture doesn't do a good job showing how heavy this is.  I cannot lift even one end of it solo.  Thus the 2x4 in the background.  I learned I can lift a whole lot of rock with a piece of strong wood! 
6.  Limited rock selection.   I only want to move each of these once, which means a lot of time plotting out how it will all fit together.  Since I only have two pallets, I have to plan a few moves ahead.  As we know, I am a bit slow in the whole planning arena.

The goal was to get water flowing down this, this weekend.  We have two new urgencies to inspire faster working.  A BBQ in early June and a new addition to the pond.  We have koi.  Our first of the favorite Harry Potter characters has been added to the water.  Red Head Fred got added to the pond about an hour before a massive thunderstorm.  He promptly disappeared for days.  Since he is a little guy (3") I was a bit worried he became a duck mcnugget but we spotted him on Saturday!  Since Red Head Fred ain't dead, I need to get this filter going!

So here is where I am not.  The area is a HUGE mess, the falls are still sort of sticking out in the middle of nowhere.  The final plan has plantings around them.  I already got a few things in, the amazing Stich in Time hosta has a place of honor at the front lower left.  A division of my Paul's Glory is at the top and a tassle fern is near the bottom with some scotch moss you can't see yet.  Once the rain slows down I will be out daily.  Must get pond done!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May Gardening Update

A full month gone.  Excuses are numerous but not particularly interesting so I'll skip them and get to the updates.
Let's see, in the past month the crazy unseasonably warm weather continued a bit longer, then transitioned to more typical cool temps of April.  Not much rain though.  This allowed me to continue the work here and there where the job/kids/home/other life allowed.

I got sod down over part of the trench, so one eyesore has been partially re-mediated and another created.  The pond area is looking industrial again as I work to build the waterfall and veggie filter.  This has been a very slow process.  The reason is that we have opted to do it ourselves and have also chosen stones too big to lift.  I spent a few hours one day checking out how to move large stones without machines, you know like the Egyptians did!  Why no machines?  They don't fit, unless we go with one of those HUGE cranes that could park on the street and those numbers start in the four digits.  Which means, plant rollers and jock husband biceps will be used.
We had 1.5 tons of weathered limestone delivered.  Last week and started the process of placing the stones.  It is very slow going.  Because the rocks are so heavy they are very difficult to place.  You can't wiggle them around or you'll tear the liner.  You also have to place them so that the water will eventually flow in the way you want.  Never having done this before, it is difficult to predict.  Then there is the setting them in concrete and all the joys associated with mess with all that!
The most difficult part though is getting the rocks to the place you need them without hurting ourselves.  The rollers are great but the ground is not level and rollers...roll.  I have a blue finger to prove it!  I hope to have this first fall flowing this weekend if the weather holds and work tries to stay reasonably sane.  I'm loving all the moss and lichen on this stone.  Hoping that it will not have that new and unnatural look when all is complete.

Garden work has been about more than the pond.  The tomatoes are big and I started putting the rest of them out this week.  I decided to put the wooliest blue tomato next to the knock out roses with a bit of chard to make this bed more edible.  I'm considered putting the peas in front.  The green might not be enough contrast, but that would be easier than attacking the GIANT patch of weeds that is part of the back bed.  I started cleaning that up last week.  Good gravy this has never been this bad before.  Pictures of my shame?  Sure thing.  This blog is about reality, lol. 
I think the crooked Teepee adds a nice touch!
Here are some weeds, plus a few other not particularly inspiring photos' that are shown so we can compare what they look like in a month!  ;)
Tomato(Matina), fennel, oregano and purple annual plus water globe that needs some bleach.

Tomatoes in container, cheap big peony, pricy pathetic peony and columbine

Lettuce planted late, volunteer fennel, onions and weeds