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Diary of a Boy Gardener

We are in the Berkshires, the beautiful rolling hills of western Massachusetts where the season is short and the frosts sometimes win. Visit Sally and David's Gardens and see how two old farts spend their time helping what plants they can find their place in this world.

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Location: Hinsdale, Massachusetts, United States

Retired Service Engineer. Installed and repaired diagnostic x-ray equipment. Trained and supported others doing the same thing.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Monday David worked all day and Sally went to the Hinsdale Garden Club Lily Farm picnic where a good time was had by all. They are taking some action on the town hall.

Tuesday David worked all day again and it was very hot, so Sally was in cottage most of day with just some early morning weeding.

Wednesday was much cooler after storms passed thru Tue aft/eve. Sally weeded and they both propped up the potatoe patch and put vertical fence in place for the squash. David mowed the whole back and continued work on the retaining wall. Nice stretch of weather here, so lots should get done.

Monday, July 22, 2002

David has been a lazy Blogger !!!!
OK, he admits that the daily entries slipped a bit. The reason is simple; he is spending too much time learning PHP and MySQL so he can modify his website to be database driven thus requiring less manual file creation which should then lead to more picture files since they become much easier. So with some front end time invested the routine tasks get automated and productivity increases. And this guy is retired and still spouting company work ethic !!!!
A big rain on Friday has reduced the daily watering need to containers. However the lawn instantly grew 2 inches and will need some attention. David also plugged away on the wall until he ran out of the fancy screws....

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Perfect day for banana fish !!!
David and Sally both watered for an hour or so this morning and then tried to put grape vine on the upper window box shutters, but the ladder is too short and it is too hard and they will probably end up ripping out the morning glories.
Later in the morning Sally took off to spend the day with the girls and left David to slave away at the retaining wall. Not a bad deal as he is becoming a hulk doing this. Lost 20 lbs and looking good !!! So lots of stone behind the wall (there were 6 yards delivered and the pile is starting to get flat....) Also took lots of pix which should show up in a day or two on the July page.
Also David got sick of all the blather on the garden home page so he move all the links, credits, counters, blogs, calendars, etc to a seperate page. Wonder if they will all work over there ???...???...

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Sally spent the first half of the day in the upper garden putting yet more plants into the ground from containers. Will it ever end? Meanwhile David spent most of the moring hustling 6 x 6 landscaping timbers and filling and dumping wheelbarrows full of that 3/4 inch stone. Left to see a movie in the early afternoon and goofed off til now. Even gardeners deserve a break sometimes....

Monday, July 15, 2002

David set the coffe maker for 4 am so he could be out watering by 5 am. He did it. Watered the whole bank and the lily row in just about 3 hours. Meanwhile Sally watered the back and the side and then took a nice walk. They both went off to help Matt buy a house (liensville) and then when back home around 2 David did more retaining wall work and Sally planted the stuff she bought on the way home from the bank. The swallows are flying all around and the birds are very active these days. Very few bad bugs around so one can sit out in the yard and enjpy the sunset without little buzzing noises in the ear.
David busy getting the Lenox garden tour online....

Sunday, July 14, 2002

Saturday was the Lenox tour, so only managed to water and then off and about. Also went to an opening for a local artist friend.
Sunday David worked all day on the retaining wall. Involves laying 6 x 6 pressure treated timbers. Took a long time to get the bottom soil level for that all important first course. Eventually got two full courses screwed together and all plumb and level, so the rest should go much faster.
Meanwhile Sally transplanted, weeded and watered. No rain for almost two weeks.

Friday, July 12, 2002

A record 39 deg F this morning !!! This is the middle of July, not September. So of course it did warm up to a wonderful day and mostly Sally and David did other things. Some guests dropped by and took the tour (had a few the other night and forgot to mention it). Materials for the retaining wall showed up, so David got pressure treated wood slivers pretty quick. Won't get to do much with another garden tour tomorrow. Of course, watered !!!!

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Felt like September today. Near record low temps last nite (40 here) and then scattered clouds with nice breezea and not more than 70 all day. Sally busted butt out in back still transplanting and cleaning up. David working on the retaining wall. Hauling 3/4 native stone. Ordered all the materials which should show up Friday when the games will begin....Of course, watered.....

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Although this was an absolutely FAB day, not much gardening got done here. Sally was off with Jeanne to rescue the bridge boxes and David worked on the wall. When she got home they drove off to check out several points east including Baystate Perennials and some water plant place in Deerfield. They bought little, but filled their heads with possibilities. David did move a giant phlox which was crowding a rose and of course, water water water and a bit of mowing.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Developer Notes:
Vision is to have site be mySQL dB driven pix and text with lots PHP making pages on the fly. Include php based opensource calendar, photo s/w, etc. Allow others access as members. Prototype garden club s/w ??? LEARN !!!!

Tuesday started with watering again. Since there has been no rain for a week now water is needed on plants other than those in containers. David watered everything which ended up taking over 4 hours. Gave the 3 blueberry bushes a shot of miracid and some sawdust mulch. Fixed Sally's signe and hung it out again. Sally cleaned out a lot of the small plants by putting them in gallon pots. This had David screening soil and compost, then mixing them with potting soil. Filled big trashcan with mix and she used most of it. By mid day it got hot and muggy so Sally went in to tidy up her workroom for anticipated guest visits and David did the diary and added the first of the Franklin County Farm and Garden Tour pix to the web site.

This is Monday's post:
It's all a blur. When David came in to do his computer postings he got messages that s/w on his Mac needed updating. The files were big and it took over three hours and the poor boy fell asleep in his chair (sore necksville). Shut down and climbed into bed. So if he can remember Monday it went something like this:
Watering. Work on bank. Clean out last of old patches to make room for the new way. Move a few things to make room for the new russian sage that will expand the current line which runs thru the white rugosa hedge. Down at bottom right finish off corner with sedums. Clean last bit of edge. Mow side and bottom of bank garden, then top later in the evening after shopping for cement for the pond. Long day, but felt really good.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Another great day, although a bit wierd. It was very dark and the sun for the first several hours was a red disc one could look right at like a moon. Turns out there a fires in Quebec and the wind is bringing the smoke down here (up high) and acting like a filter. Still had to water a lot, especially the vegetable garden which was neglected the last few days in favor of the potted things. Cleaned out by the old compost and planted some squash there. Finished the stone on the cottage road side and near the sink by the back door. Farmer Ronnie couldn't make it to skim the driveway to equipment issues. Hopefully later this week. Did another course of cement on the retaining wall. Hope Vinnie will be able to borrow a bobcat and make that job much easier. Posted a bunch more July photos and started the stubs for the Garden Tour pages. Should have Franklin County up on Monday.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Posi toot lee a bee ut e-full day !!!! But no gardening for the wicked, for today was the first of three Saturday garden tours in a row. So some watering and packing, and then off to see 10 gardens/farms in Franklin County. Some details to the tour will link here soon, for now just believe it was a perfect day and many of the places were SPLENDID! It's great to get in the heads of other gardeners and on this day there were two women in particular who seem driven to produce great things. Each a for hire landscaper also selling plants and pouring energy into their own gardens surrounding their homes. Inspiring !!!!

This is Friday's blog:
The heat spell is broken and it is cool and breezy and one can garden again!!! Sally and David spent most of Friday on the main bank down at the bottom edge. The pond needs to have something more than the native clay within it to hold water, so some quickkrete is being tested and if it goes well, the bottom will be lined with it. The bottom entrance and edge all needed to be rescued from the grass and daisies and primrose and other nasties and the rocks arranged in a more pleasing edge. That was all done plus a few roses moved and mulch applied. It is about 80% done and looking much better. Carted away over four wheelbarrows full of debris and added two carts of mulch.
Today is the first of 3 Saturday garden tours in a row, this one being the Franklin County Farm and Garden Tour.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Wednesday was even worse than Tuesday HOT wise. Hotter than Atlanta ferchristsake. So the kids layed low and just kept watering. David managed to get some mowing in early when it was still cool (got down to 60 at night here in the hills). Spent lots of time in Barnes and Noble and other air conditioned places just hanging out and cooling down.
4th was picnic up at the neighbors and that was fun. A few showers passed thru and wet the napkins and one choclate cake sure melted between the heat and the rain. Friday is supposed to bring some cool weather for a week or so, at which time we should start turning that gardening crank again.
Warning: David is learning PHP and mySQL, so the Sally and Davids Gardens web site will get a makeover once he gets competent. So far managed to install mySQL, Apache server and PHP4 on the Win 98 machine and then use ethernet to browse from the Mac next to it. WAY COOL !!!!

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

What a scorcher !!!! 3H kinda day. Managed to spend four hours feeding roses. Each gets a three gallon drench of Neptunes Harvest seaweed/fish emulsion (1 oz/gal). Most all of them took their drench well. A few had some runoff and David will have to note those and loosen up the soil around them this fall. Sally is still planting stuff. If it's in a flat, plant it. If it you don't plant it, water it. Then she watered everything. She spent time picking, cleaning and freezing a whole bunch of strawberries. They are really producing right now. Also had to pull all the spinach which was bolting in this heat. Caught it soon enough that it is not bitter. That too washed, spun, paper towelled, bagged and into the fridge. Omlettes in the morning, salads noon and night. By lunch time it was just too damn hot, so indoors til evening when David will mow and Sally will find something to do.

Monday, July 01, 2002

This string of beautiful days is awesome. David continued in the upper garden on the western edge and finished the weeding and mulching. He also put up the July page on the web and fed all the window boxes. Meanwhile Sally was still in the vegetable garden. Pulled carts full of primrose and johnie jump ups (both will overwhelm if not careful). Believe it or not, just planted the corn. No way it will be knee high in four days. Doubt it will be into plain view. Well, September corn is delicious.....