Thursday, January 23, 2020

Doesn't feel like winter

The ground is barely frozen, and probably won't stay that way. This means the dogs are always bringing in dirt from the backyard. We spread straw around the worst areas, but there is still mud to be found. Fortunately, a friend gave me her Roomba (it didn't work well in her house). Right now, it isn't saving me much time as I tend to keep an eye on it. It's initial inefficiency is getting better, though, and I'm learning from others how best to take advantage of it. Now I need something that will dust and clean bathrooms.

I repotted the ivy houseplants. One of my potted plant tricks is to line the bottom of the pots with coffee filters. Water can seep through but not soil. The ivy is already showing new growth, so they must be happy. Or happy enough.

There are new blue flags around the neighborhood, marking where water lines and such are located. Since the ground is not frozen, I wonder if the contractors will begin to work on the drainage project early. Like most infrastructure improvements, it will be a pain to live through but I'll be glad when it is done... if it achieves its goal of improving the drainage here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The end is in sight... maybe

I've posted before about how my front yard turns into a lake after a heavy rain and/or heavy snow melt and/or the ground is frozen and/or saturated. Last Saturday was no exception. Since the city water engineers asked me to report when the flooding occurs, I did that. They actually sent someone out to take photos and tell me they would not be installing a pump. My garage has a floor drain and my crawl shows no signs of ever being wet, so I was okay with that. However, my neighbor across the street set up an old pool pump he had, to send some of the water to another storm drain. That probably helped keep the rising waters from my garage.

Meanwhile, the city council okayed the contract for fixing the drainage issues in my addition, work to begin this spring. They don't plan to tear up my yard (thank goodness! I have a lot of shrubs planted in the utility easement), but the swale out front by the street will be deepened. Elsewhere, the storm water will be redirected, hopefully away from my house. We'll see how successful they are.

Indoors, my new houseplants are root bound. Since I don't believe in potting up unless it is absolutely necessary, I plan to trim the roots, refresh the soil, and stick the newbies right back in their old pots. Once I feel comfortable hobbling around my messy garage, that is. I overdid the exercise last Friday, which resulted in a bit of a setback re recovery from my hip surgery. I want to be completely healed RIGHT NOW!

Wednesday, January 08, 2020

Houseplant hunting frustration

In a previous lifetime, I tried to be a houseplant person. This was the time of spider plants and aloe vera and rubber trees and wandering Jew (not a very PC name) and Boston fern. I do have a few tropicals, some of which actually thrive despite my neglect. Maybe because I missed out on gardening last summer I am feeling the urge for some fresh foliage around the house.

I had this giant, sad looking mother-in-law tongue plant that I kept planning to divide and repot. It just kept looking worse and worse, until I decided to just chuck it and start over. I did a little research regarding different varieties of Sansevieria trifasciata, hoping to find one just as erect but not quite so tall. Well, lotsa luck with that.

For one thing, I am not sure where one buys houseplants anymore. They used to be so ubiquitous. I knew both Lowe's and the Home Depot have some, so we started there. The selection was rather slim, but my primary complaint was the labeling, or lack thereof. As a gardener, I found the dearth of information very odd, and the information that was supplied was incomplete and/or questionable.

In the end, I purchased a couple of plants that were simply labeled "Foliage". Their web site Wild Interiors was not much help, either. I think I bought Hedera Ivy. Maybe. The plants are pretty and (right now) quite compact. They will get indirect light. We'll see whether they thrive.