Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday to me.

I'm 38 as of 9:20am. The party this weekend was great. I cooked and fed all my friends. Everybody loves pizza. I think everyone had a great time. Thanks to Carla especially, but everyone else who helped. It was awesome. And I looked fabulous.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flowering Quince

is finally flowering. Three years, but it finally did it.

People are out, even when the temperatures dip into the 50s during the day. It's unseasonably warm. Tomorrow should be another mid 70s day. Today, cloudy, cool, and rain likely. Of course the sun decides to show itself as I type this. It's NC, what do you expect?

Work is, to say the least, busy. I passed myself crossing the Garden Center twice yesterday. We're short staffed for the volume of sales and customers we're seeing. This time of year, only a few people are usually milling about looking for clearance deals on winter damaged plants. We're unloading trucks of plants almost three days a week now. Mulch arrives 22 pallets at a time. We're out of room in the racks. Spring is busting loose regardless of what the calendar says. Stupid peach trees are gonna get burned, I just know it.

Maybe I'll get a few heads of broccoli from my fall sown crop before summer slams through in early April.

Maybe it's just my age, but there doesn't seem to be any "normal" weather these days. I know, Global Warming (Climate Change), whatever you want to call it. I'm not knocking it. I'm glad winter keeps retreating earlier every year. I'm just worried about next year's budget and how bad my comps will be if February is cold and dreary like it usually is.

It's 41 degrees.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More painting.

Three and a half years and I've finally painted the dark hole that takes you down to the basement. It's dark paneling and stained Celotex. While the pressed fiber board doesn't take paint well, one heavy coat covered enough.

The walls got two coats.

I painted the stairs. I know it won't hold up being indoor latex paint, but it brightens the creepy space.

I even painted the back of the door which was this horrid dark hunter green used all through the house. I painted the doorknobs and hardware black. The color of the door matches the kitchen floor and concrete countertops. This color was originally intended for the living room, but it was too cold.

It's 63 degrees. Lovely day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Late this year.

Even with the above normal temperatures for this time of year, the daffodils are about 3 days late compared to last year. They've just been waiting for my day off. Going to be a great weekend.

This hill was planted with 200 bulbs last year. Muscari should come along soon.

Upper potager.

The rose and lavender bed.

Daylilies are coming back too.

63 degrees, but feels cool with the breeze. It's still a gorgeous day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Seventy Seven

Degrees. February. Yeah. Tell me about it. The first Daffodil popped today in the backyard. Tomorrow, hiking at Morrow Mountain.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

32 days.

Wow. Seems like only last week I started counting. Spring is just over a month away. It's 63 degrees and sunny. My face is chapped.

More C. japonica blooms are on the way.

Carolina jasmine is budding.

There'll be daffodils blooming by Monday.

I might even get to eat some of the Brussel Sprouts I planted in the fall. Babies have formed.

Self sown larkspur is off and running.

Mountain Bluet is returning.

I finished the bedroom yesterday. The color is almost exactly the same as before. It was just to refresh the room. Not bad for an oops paint. I've got a little more firewood to chop. The house is still cold at night. Hopefully, our last chance of frost for a couple weeks is over. 35 is the forecast for tonight. It was cold this morning for the longest time in the garden center.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I hate painting ceilings. I'll open the windows this afternoon. It's 52 degrees and sunny.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Thaw

Not much else to say. Click to embiggen.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Dryer.

It sits next to the basement door. I usually come and go by that door so lots of things end up being left on the dryer. This morning, you can see where my mind is.

The shower attachment was $1.61 on clearance. I didn't need it, but it seemed the right thing to do. The seeds are from a Windmill palm. I asked a customer for a few and she brought me hundreds. The paint was a mistint at the store yesterday. I had Kathie add some gold and my newest color was born.

It'll go over the existing green in the back bedroom. It's a little more soothing and less "bright". I might get around to that if it actually snows tonight like they're forecasting. No accumulation, but it'll still be snowing in the morning. I need more firewood too. Gotta sharpen the chain this morning. I'm done with winter.

It's 30 degrees outside. Cold and windy all day.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I'm throwing myself a 38th birthday party. I want to host something. Me, Robert, and Laura all have birthdays in February or very Early March. I want to get friends together to celebrate. And it's something to do.

So I need to prepare. I still have to paint the underside of the front porch. I want to paint the back bedroom too. The walls are beaten up from me using it as a bedroom/office/storage space. I'm thinking of changing the color just a bit. Maybe something more fern-like. All the trim still needs to be painted in both bedrooms. The ceiling in the smaller room is still only primed with Kilz. Never use a sprayer with solvent based primers. Woooooo. I still remember that headache.

I want to finish sorting the basement too. I've invited about 40 people knowing only a few will actually show. Some are from work, others from my closer personal circle. It should be interesting to get them all together in the same room. As prepared as it can be, the garden is doing its own thing. Seedlings are up, daffs are pushing through, spring is right around the corner.

I want to blow off a little steam before the madness really begins at work. It's 36 degrees. I need to split more wood.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I finally sowed seeds. Spinach, carrots, snow peas, broccoli, and brussel sprouts are in their beds. 27 containers were done after work. I didn't sow a lot of varieties, but I did sow a lot of seeds.

I spent the rest of the time just looking.

Work was a monster today trying to catch up from yesterday's absence. We should be back on track by this evening if all goes well. I only lost one day. There's still a few more weeks til all hell breaks loose. It's a cold, wet 52 degrees.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I'm back, baby!

That's the email I wanted to send to my boss this morning. I got a msg from my LNS stating that she had called in sick. I'm off today with no hours left to work. When I closed last night, I managed to get the fountain pod built and filled with rubber mulch. I got the hanging basket racks cut down. I also placed the third concrete stackout pod which consists of five 4' x 8' pieces of plywood attached to pallets. It keeps the stuff out of the runoff from the plant tables. I also stocked fencing and set most of the castlewall block on the front sidewalk. And, I moved 10 hacks of landscape timbers to their spring position. A hack contains 88 timbers, banded. I didn't do it alone. I had spotters and a forklift.

So today, I've done all I can from home. I let my manager know that the LNS was out so no block would be moved today. Instead, I have switched my schedule with Faye so that I can have an hour before the store opens in the morning to get all 36 pallets of pavers and blocks moved to their homes before the store opens. What? I'm optimistic. Just give me a pair of headphones and three cups of coffee. I'll be good to go.

In the basement, it's warm. Outside, it's cold and dreary.

I wouldn't want to be working outside either. I understand. I'm preparing to prepare my containers for sowing seeds tomorrow. I've sorted and printed my labels. I'll get the containers ready today. After work tomorrow, I'll scatter the seeds, water them in, and put them outside. They'll do their thing and I won't worry too much about them until late March. I'm a pro at this thing now.

Pansies are about our only color these days. Entering through the basement door most nights, I miss this color when coming and going. I forget to water it too. It's getting some rain today.

On the front steps, there's evidence that my nephew helped take down the Christmas lights. I should probably sweep this up before all the house hunters come crashing down my door.

It's 36 degrees and sopping wet. Last night there was sleet. I'm staying in the rest of the day. There's plenty of coffee and a stack of wood to feed the heater. I'm going to empty some more pansy hanging baskets for the upper potager. I've got sugar peas to plant along that trellis. I found some carrot seed and brussel sprouts too. I love fresh veggies. I'm gonna try to do it right this time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

I got up at 4am. I took a shower and got dressed. I arrived at the store just before 5am. I sent a couple emails and printed a few reports. At 5:30, we left for Winston-Salem. It was a day of "training" and sharing. It was good to hear the problems of other stores in our district. We were number one for controlling shrink for the second year in a row. I've worked in this garden center for just over two years. I don't like to throw anything away.

I got home around 4pm. I split some wood and moved it inside. I hit the chainsaw blade against a rock and managed to grind it down. So I'll need to resharpen that before I finish the tree that I took down almost two weeks ago. I just can't seem to get ahead with the wood.

Around the yard, there's activity. Daffodils everywhere.

Self sown rudbeckia, rose campion, Sweet Williams, and others are popping up on the hill near the mailbox. I think I'll leave them.

The fig cuttings finally got planted and got watered in by the heavy rain last night. That's why it was 63 degrees this morning at 4am.

Tonight, 30. Friday, maybe sleet. Saturday, 54. Mother Nature is bipolar.