Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary -


Diary Week

April 21-27
written April 21
Dear Diary*,

(* "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.
d140423_02_MamoDinner.jpgWe 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 plan.
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.
Our 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 done.
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 so-so.)
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


Diaries - Travel - Photos

Previous Diary - Next Diary