written April 21
(* "Diary" instead of the normal "Friends and Family" because this felt
like a no-news week, not of interest to an audience much beyond the
writer. That may generally be true, but ...)
The week started with a bit of exercise digging a sewer trench for the
washbasin drain in the art "hut" - our new name for Marianne's little
yellow house. All together, this will be a 75-foot trench, with a
slope of two-and-a-half inches per ten feet. The foot-and-a-half
starting depth will run down to over three-feet by the time I need to
make a rather large working pit at the sewer line itself. This
may finally do me in.
managed a few visits with Mamo, as usual. Some of these visits
were not-too-fun trips to doctors, but we also managed one dinner and
overnight stay at her place. She appreciates the company and,
frankly, I appreciate the break from the never-ending stream of house
and garden work.
The break didn't last long, however. Ever since one of our guests
injured herself walking out of our yard gate, I have stressed about getting
a smoother way out. The basic design problem is that any path in
the front has to pass over a series of tree roots that look like the
back of my old-man hands. In the end, I used flagstone I had dug
up from around the house (decorations from decades ago) to outline a
broad path from the fence gate to our lawn proper. Inside the
fence, I outlined a path to the new gazebo. Seemed like a solid
However, to make the paths really solid, we needed a couple of tons of
"dg": decomposed granite. I didn't really know what I was doing,
but for Thursday, we ordered the material anyway, along with five yards
of bark chips. The granite filled in our paths and, with some
tamping down, seems solid enough. The bark was used to cover
parts of our dirt back yard - a nice cosmetic improvement. I will
say I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day! I even took
Friday off mostly, something retirees can do.
Staying with the garden theme, Marianne talked me into going to the
"Master Gardner Association Spring Garden Tour". Now, why did I
assume this would mean more work? We managed just three stops,
two display gardens and the Association's Garden of the Sun, where they
try to hook you on the ease of Fresno gardening.
first display garden was a charming mid-1930's home not too far from
our own. The current owners have been redoing the garden for
almost 25-years and it most certainly is a wonderful series of outdoor
rooms, featuring a petanque field (sorta like a boccie court) to a music
room and a series of fruit and vegetable mini-gardens. All nicely
Our second home visit featured another charming older home, but the
gardens were almost overwhelming. I don't think we will ever get
close to this opulence.
The Association's Garden of the Sun has all sorts of test plantings
with fruits, vegetable, flowers and trees particularly suited to the
local conditions, or so we were told.
We willingly bought a half-dozen veggie plants and, after a stop for
some Mexican truck-food (my cevice cocktail was great, Marianne's fish taco was
From lunch it was back into work clothes and more planting.
Marianne filled our little veggie garden with tomatoes, peppers, and
squash and I stuck three trees in the ground.
Now we just need to
connect up irrigation before next week's 90-degree weather and watch
things grow. (In Pommersfelden, the traditional day-of-last-frost is May 15 - what a contrast!)
So, that's the Dear-Diary diary. It may be some time before the
next edition because my technology needs updating, or so I am told.
Updating will involve a new operating system ("Mavericks", for Mac
fans), which will render obsolete a few of the software tools I have
used for a decade. New tools after a decade? I'm not sure
I'm not as obsolete as my tools, but I'll try.
John and Marianne