Magical Colors in the Garden

This tree always surprises me. The color that it turns seems unreal to me.

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Here is a close-up of the leaves:

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And here is one more Japanese maple turning orange (seen through the dogwood tree.)

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We’ve had so much rain that most of the leaves are now falling off the trees (yay, rain!) My tree guy came and topped both the flowering cherry and the apple tree. I bet I get a lot of apples next year 🙂 Oh, and he also chopped down that poison oak and the little tree that it was climbing. And then I drowned it with some super concentrated weed killer.

Next I will be pruning some of my trees, and planting all the bulbs that I got from John Scheepers! As soon as it stops raining 🙂

Took a couple more pictures today. Two days ago this big maple was still green. Its funny to me how the color can change so quickly with just some rain and cold weather.

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And then I took a picture of my cherry tree, so you can see how much it got topped.

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Before it Snows!

We were supposed to get a big snowstorm yesterday and today, so I ran outside to get some pictures of some of the Japanese maples and a few other plants! So far, there’s just a sprinkling of snow on the trees…

My laceless maple turned bright red this year! I think in the past its been orange/yellow.

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I took this picture of some of my roses a couple weeks ago.

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And just when I said this plant was not blossoming this year, all of a sudden it was filled with blooms!

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Also, I complained about this hydrangea not blooming. All of a sudden there was one bloom on it!

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Some of my little roses. They never stop blooming!

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Two more Japanese maples.

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And the dogwood tree, which absolutely has the most beautiful colors in the fall. It hasn’t bloomed for years. This year I’m going to prune it, and see if that helps!

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A close-up of the dogwood tree’s leaves.

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am staying home this year, and looking forward to it!

Noah’s Birthday

Baby pictures of Noah:

2 Months old:

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4 months old:

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This past Saturday Noah turned 10 years old! Since it was Saturday and his trainer has a class on that day, I drove over at the end of the class and took some Apple Hill donuts over. I am very appreciative of all the work she’s done with Noah, and also a couple of her helpers that worked with Noah. Of course, I forgot to take pictures over there. So I took a picture when I got home. Noah had just had a bath, but the picture doesn’t look so much like that.

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When I took Noah to a special vet to be neutered, I asked how long these dogs lived. She told me that many times they escaped and were hit by cars or other terrible things happened to them. Noah has surprisingly never tried to escape from my yard. He has occasionally run off when I leave the gate open, but he always came back. Noah is slowing down. He still takes walks with me, but he usually walks behind me. Of course he never picks up sticks on our walks. But he does still enjoy barking. And he does enjoy sleeping most of the day!

A little rant: this bit with PGE turning the power on and off is getting VERY old. I am very glad that I got a generator this year, and that my neighbor Tom has been very helpful in giving me advice on how to keep it going. I wish it would rain a BIG rainstorm.

And here’s a few pictures of my garden. Its also very hard to water the garden when they turn the electricity off (I have a well, so I run out of water frequently.) Today at the gym, one lady told me they filled their bathtub up so they could flush their toilet–brilliant!!

Carnation:

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Rose:

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Petunias:

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And one more new thing. I am going to have my contractor put the fence all the way around my whole yard. Please don’t ask me how much it is going to cost! I have a large yard, and I was even shocked at the cost!

Oh, one more new thing. A friend gave me her mom’s Keurig. I never thought I’d want one, but I do love it. The only thing is that I think it might be old and it gets clogged up frequently. So Keurig sent me a 25% off coupon, and I bought a smaller Keurig. Then I researched what kind of water to put in it, and they said Distilled water. Walmart has a lot of water on sale, so I bought 10 gallons of distilled water!

My Generator…and a Little Garden Update

So, after living up here for 32 years, I finally decided to get a generator. I got the same model as my neighbors, and Tom helped me TREMENDOUSLY with setting the generator up. I was supposed to run it for about an hour once a month. But it has a key fob that turns it on and off automatically, and I forgot to turn the start buttons to OFF, and the battery went dead. Aaargh. So, after trying to order new batteries (wrong size) Tom took my old battery to his house and powered it up! Just in time because PGE decided to take our power out all day yesterday and today. I have one light, the computer and wifi machine plugged in, and the refrigerator. And, in the morning, I bring out my coffee machine and plug it in and make myself a cup of coffee 🙂

So, here is an abbreviated garden report. The salvia seem to love the cooler weather. Their color is so brilliant blue! You can also see the zinnias that I planted in front of them. They aren’t blooming as well as I thought, maybe because the weather is so cool.

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One more pic of the salvia with my magenta geraniums in front of them.

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One zinnia.

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Okay. Have you guys ever heard of Giant Poison Ivy? All those red leaves are poison ivy. And this past summer, I actually got poison ivy on my arm just from a little shoot that was starting up. Anyway, it is starting to come into my yard. So I have a plan. In the middle of winter I am going to get disposable clothing from the thrift store, going to put a plastic bag over my head, and get good gloves from Walmart, and I am going to cut that sucker down, along with the little tree it is climbing. I have poison and a good sprayer all ready to go. After all is done, I will throw away everything that I was wearing and go take a shower.

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Here you can see the base of it. It is a pretty good sized vine.

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This abutilon is huge, and it didn’t bloom this year. So it is going! Hopefully I can dig it out myself.

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Here is a part of the garden that I am very pleased with. It got shadier over here, so I planted heuchera and ferns. They are all doing so well.

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All the maples are doing well, and all the trees. I got quite a few apples on my apple tree this year, maybe because I pruned it last winter. But mostly I am a little overwhelmed by the garden. It hurts my back to bend down and pick weeds, so I mostly don’t do that. I am having my tree guy come to prune the flowering cherry this fall. It is getting too tall! Anyway, that’s the report for now. Hopefully I’ll have some fall color to show you in a little while.

Just a Few Little Things to Show

This is the biggest news. Every since I’ve lived here, I had CATTLE gates. Yuck. So one day I asked my contractor if he would be able to build gates and a partial fence. I just loved this round gate that I found on the internet, and he also built a trellis in front of it so I can get some climbing roses and put them there. I want to get Queen Elizabeth roses, but the climbing ones are hard to find. Anyway, I love the fence so much that I am going to put the fence all the way around my yard eventually. Also, there is welded wire on the outside of the fence so Sophie can’t get out and skunks can’t get in! You can also see the little patio that I had built. Sadly, I haven’t used it much yet.

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I hardly ever remember to take a picture of Noah right after he has his bath. Isn’t he a handsome dog. He’s going to be 10 years old in a couple of weeks!

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This is just Chloe and Sophie trying to get me to feed them. They were barking at me, but I didn’t get that shot.

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And my new baby chickens are just about grown up. I have four blue laced red wyandottes, 2 Black Astralorps, and 2 Barnvelders.

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The babies are still afraid of most of the chickens, so I was surprised when I saw this picture of one of my Dominique chickens up there with the babies.

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And that’s about all the news that’s fit to print.

Applying for Medicare

I Know! Its hard to believe I’m this old. But I will be 65 in December, and so I had to start making preparations. It made me very nervous. But there is a guy at the UC Center that has helped me with health care over the years, and he told me last year to call him in September.

In fact, I had already received my Medicare card, and I didn’t even know it because I was a little afraid to look at that piece of mail.

Anyway, this guy told me exactly what to do. Turns out my supplemental insurance from the UC system will only cost me $40 instead of the $340 I was paying! And he did advise me to sign up for part D (medicine.) I was pretty sure I wanted to do that, because my mom did not sign up for it, and now she has to pay $50 extra every month…

So I got a little confused about how to do that, but then I saw you could sign up online. Oh, and let me advise you—READ ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT YOUR PASSWORD. I about gave up on getting a password until I looked over and saw there were MORE instructions about the password. So then I tried signing up for the basic medicine (part D) which said it was $12.90. But then I filled out the whole questionnaire, and at the end it said I had EnvisionRxPlus, and it did not say how much that cost! I tried calling them, but I did not have the number they wanted so that didn’t work. The next morning, I tried live chatting with medicare, but they also couldn’t help me. Then I finally saw that they had a website. Went on there, and sure enough, the cost was $12.90…

Anyway, looks like I am set, and I will have more choices than ever, according to the UC guy. I also found this interesting article talking about if you even need supplemental insurance with Medicare.

New Stuff in the Garden

I know I haven’t been posting much this summer. It has been a busy summer. My mom’s health hasn’t been that good, and also I finally got my little patio put it. I’ll take pictures of that later. I’m also going to get some real gates (I’ve had cattle gates for YEARS!) My good contractor Jay has been doing all this for me.

Here are some new things in the garden. I have reverted to putting things in pots again. Here’s a trio of pots.

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And here is the big plant a few weeks later:

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Here are some more potted plants:

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This begonia sits atop an oak stump. I haven’t had much luck here, but the begonia is doing great!

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Outside the fence I always look for plants that are deer resistant. I found this plant. And then I saw on Lori’s blog that she had a similar one and called it bee balm. Sure enough, I checked the label, and mine was bee balm too!

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Only one of my hydrangeas bloomed this year. I’m going to have to investigate and see if there’s a specific fertilizer that I need to put on them.

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My daisies are always pretty, but they are in the shade too much, and eventually they just fall over.

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The day lilies put on a good show this year. I’d like to get some more of them.

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And I had lots of oriental lilies all around my yard:

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One day I went to my local nursery looking for a few plants. They just didn’t have anything I wanted. So I stopped at Lowe’s (which I usually avoid) and they had some really pretty plants that were in good condition. I got two geraniums, and planted them in front of the blue salvia.

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And I got a really pretty heuchera. Once again, my garden is getting more and more shady, so I am turning this little bed into a shade bed.

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Here is something very interesting to me. I had a “Raspberry Dazzle” verbena from last summer. Because we had a mostly mild winter, it stayed alive. So I was super excited to see it bloom again. But it just sat there for the longest time. Just this week I went out and it was covered with blooms! Sometimes it pays to be patient in the garden.

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I just finished doing this. It was a big job. I’ve had ivy growing below this lace leaf Japanese maple almost as long as I had it. But this maple is fairly short, and I decided that the ivy detracted from it. So I spent several days pulling the ivy out. I am planning on getting some of my favorite corsican mint to plant underneath it.

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And to end, here’s a little chicken report. Did I already tell you that I got 8 baby chicks? What a mess! But finally they were old enough to move out to the big chicken house. All the literature warns that older hens can be quite hard on the baby chicks. So for a couple of weeks, they stayed in the big chicken house in their rabbit cage. And finally I took their rabbit cage out. They just didn’t know what to do with themselves! And they still haven’t gone outside. I’m not going to try to make them go out until they are ready. I don’t want any chicken massacres on my hands!

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