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Wednesday, January 27, 2010


HELLO from your Garden Daddy here at the garden home! Can you believe the speed that this first month of 2010 has shot on by. We are in the last week of this month and everyone already talking about Valentine's Day and Easter holidays along with spring break already. As for the energy here at the garden home, this month has been dedicated to clearing the house of the holiday decor and getting it stored back in the upstairs and attic space. I still have to move a bit into the attic it self and out of the 1/2-story "upper room" but at least the downstairs is completely Christmas free at this time as well as the exterior of this garden home. Whew - finally it is back to normal in here and I have been able to redecorate for normal living.
I have almost made a firm decision to NOT do all the holiday decorating I normally do next season and do a bit more on the outside since I will not be on the home tour for at least another 5+ years anyway and that way more of my neighborhood can enjoy seeing some ideas I have been developing since tearing down the decor for storage. I will still have the main living-dining room dressed to the hilt but will tone down and not even decorate most other rooms I think this next year.
As for now, this place in time, I am working every so often when we get a bright, warmish, sunny day like today for instance, to do a few things outside to keep this old place in some sort of respectability and keep the "curb appeal" at peak on a daily basis. Once one has set so high a standard as far as yard maintenance is concerned it is almost impossible to let ones guard down. This garden home has won yard awards for the past three (3) years since moving here and now the neighborhood (and my "fans" as it were) has come to expect that little extra zing on a regular basis. I had an old friend from Bolivar, TN visit me during the recent holiday home tour and she reminded me of something she always taught me and reminds me of: "Ninety-five percent of the people do ninety-five percent of the work, but the remaining five percent of the work that makes something a perfect 100% will make all the difference in the world. And you Mike make up that five percent". That always made me feel wonderful, especially coming from this mentor and friend but I never believed enough in myself to feel that 5% was in my make up!
Today I picked up branches, raked up some leaves back into the beds they are mulching and over-wintering in to cover the roots of my wonderful hydrangeas and other tender plants. I burned some of the branches and other paper trash in my chiminea on the back deck. I always add my ashes into the vegetable bed in the spring when I add my other nutrients before planting. I also dumped out some pots that had some now frozen palms, etc. in them and added that into my compost bays. I took the garden home guard dog for several walks today for him to enjoy the sun as well and we met some new neighbors on the next block down. We also visited a neighbor who had surgery on Monday morning as well. I added some artificial greenery to some urns out on the front porch to add some freshness to the front entry and basically spent the day in the yard and just doing winter maintenance and upkeep.
I will soon be adding the new picket fencing to the vegetable garden site and preparing the soil there to accept the addition of lime and other additives needed for summer production. Remember...lime (calcium) MUST be added 3 to 4 months in advance of planting your veggies in order for the lime pellets to be dissolved and build up in the soil.
With this thought I will leave you today and send you off into your warm, safe and winter hibernation time in your own garden home with our ongoing gardening affirmation: "GARDENING: ONE YARD AT A TIME!"

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