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Yard and Garden

With Spring comes a need to put my hands in the dirt.  I guess it comes from being a farmer's daughter.  Spring has dealt us some problems this year because it can't decide when to stay here.  It is long past Easter and yet we are scheduled to be in the low 40's tonight.  It makes it difficult to know when to plant vegetables and bedding plants.  Having said this, I planted my veggies over a week ago.  I am excited that everything seem to be doing well.  My tomato and pepper transplants all look good.  My tomatoes and peppers have started blooming.  I planted seeds for the following:  cucumbers, cantaloupe, spaghetti squash, green beans, and okra.  All of the seeds have sprouted and looking strong.

Last year our wisteria and Passion Vine nearly toppled our inexpensive arch we put up several years ago.  One of the problems with the arch was the lack of support,  It only had short spikes that held it to the ground so the vines made it lean.  I have tied it to the fence several times to keep it upright.  I decided last fall, after the Passion Vine died back to the ground and the Westeria went dormant, to trim everything back, and remove the arch.  Yes, I know I sacrificed my Wisteria blooms this Spring, but it had to be done.  This is what the arch looked like at the beginning of last year.  The second picture is the middle of Summer.

Yes, the arch is under the mass of growth of the Passion Vine.  I love the Passion Vine.  Yes, I have to keep it from sprouting in my grass and I have pull them up, but I believe that the joy I get from it, outweighs the drawbacks.

After shopping all of the local nurseries and home repair stores in our area, hubby decided to build a trellis.  He found plans on the web and purchased cedar wood to match the columns on our patio and our fence.  By the way, I decided that our fence needed a new coat of stain.  This has been tricky with the weather.  I have to wait 24 hours after it rains to stain, and can't stain if rain is forecast in the next 24 hours.  It has also been terribly windy so using a sprayer is out. I have been painting each picket with a brush.  It has been a slow process but I have gotten the part that faces the street done.  Now I am working on the backyard side.  Today, it has showered so I get a break.

Back to the trellis my hubby built.  While I was staining the fence on Saturday, my hubby was hard at work cutting the wood and making the trellis.  Sunday afternoon, I borrowed some of the stain from the fence to stain the arch.  While I was staining, hubby started digging the holes to set the arch.  Trying to improve on the design, he made the new arch to bury the post 18 inches in the ground.  We have awful clay dirt full of rocks, so it was not an easy dig.  At one point, hubby said, I've hit water.  This hole has water in it.  I said, you hit the sprinkler system.  Sure enough, he had nicked a pvc pipe that was spraying a fine mist into the air.  No good deed goes unpunished.  Hubby found where to turn off the water to the sprinkler system and continued his digging - in case he hit another pipe.  We did get 3 of the 4 post cemented into the holes.  The sprinkler repair man is scheduled to come tomorrow to replace a section of pipe and replace a couple of other sprinkler heads hubby has not gotten around to working on.  At that point, we can cement to last post into the ground.

Hopefully this one will hold the weight of all it has to carry and last a long time.

Thank you to my hubby for not settling for what was available locally and going to the effort of building a trellis. 
I hope to get the fence staining finished before it gets too hot and it will help our fence last for many more years.
Then I can concentrate on maintaining my yard and harvesting vegetables.
There is always home improvement needs when you own a home.  Our front door needs to be refinished and the shutters need to be scraped and repainted.  The second story shutters should be fun.