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was Labor weekend now horses

Something I've always wanted to do and keep putting off is to learn to ride a horse comfortably and know how to saddle, etc. I've got my first riding lesson on September 23rd. I'm so excited.

I labored some in the garden over the weekend but not nearly as much as you Cyndi! Wow. I'm truly impressed. If I had you and Theresa here I could have my new shade garden ready to plant in no time. I did splurge and buy four Smith and Hawken plant stand from a lady who is moving. They are very cool and hold tons of stuff. I've managed to get quite a collection of orchids working at the Garden Gate since no one know how to take care of them and they all looked like crap. They got sent home with me. LOL! I'm actually off this Saturday so I've got more plans to get the shade garden cleared out. If only there wasn't so much "junk" in there I could start planting right away. It's still got piles of bricks, fence posts, old windows, etc that need to be moved and I am NOT looking forward to it. I just know the bricks will be teeming with Palmetto bugs, or, the southern version of a giant cockroach that can fly. Bugs don't normally bother me, but those things freak me out. I have no problem squishing one, but hoards of them make me feel like I've been dumped into the middle of a bad sci-fi movie. Shiver shiver!

I got some Salvia gregii 'Cherry Queen' this week which is one of my favorites, and a very cool Alocasia 'Polly' that is on my front porch. Also a new lime green ceramic pot for 50% off and a few other odds and ends. I'm very much looking forward to less humid weather so I can play out there for hours.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Bonnie Holmes" <holmesbm@usit.net>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 4:34 PM
Subject: RE: [CHAT] Labor weekend

You really labored!!! All my friends with horses say that they do take a
lot of work.

We finally got some cooler weather and great rain...the kind that softly
comes down for hours and really soaks into the soil...caught up about five
inches. I put up some posts and rails along the veggie garden, did lots of
weeding, and am trying to catch up with pruning moving plants, and taking
up bulbs, etc. I had planted a lot of kitchen mulch in some new garden
areas that resulted in volunteer cantaloupes...the hot weather before this
rain gave us some wonderful melons...large and sweet.

My neighbor who has a large veggie garden said that her okra didn't do well
this year, too.

Today, I started digging up crocosmia...have some red and a sort of golden
orange if anyone wants some.

[Original Message]
From: Johnson Cyndi D Civ 95 CG/SCSRT <cyndi.johnson@edwards.af.mil>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Date: 9/6/2006 1:05:34 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Labor weekend

I finally got through all the mail you guys generated. Sounds like
everyone had a pretty good weekend and there was even some rain where it
was needed.
We labored much over the Labor Day weekend but alas, not much of it was
in the garden. Mostly we are adjusting to the new horse. Thursday we had
corral fences delivered to extend the two stalls. After looking at the
original installation we decided it didn't take as much space as we'd
expected and we were able to give them more room, so we bought the
extra. So, take down the old, move the horse out of the way, take down
the cross-fence to allow in the delivery truck. All I can say is thank
heaven the delivery guys were willing to install the new fences, because
they were 24' long instead of 12' and correspondingly more heavy, and
while I'm not weak I'm no match for guys - husband and I would have
spent hours wrestling those things into place and instead it took maybe
45 minutes.
Since we just gained so much time we then put up the fences for the 50'
round pen. That was only a couple hours too. Of course it's getting hot
by then so we collapsed in the hammock under the tree. But husband could
not rest...he decided to start the concrete work under our vehicle gate.
Between the back and the front there are several big gates, and this one
had a long section of cattle panel - very heavy welded wire - over the
ground to keep the dogs from digging out. We decided that we didn't want
the horse walking on that and if we dug a trench and filled it with
concrete right under the gate, it would work as a barrier. So off he
goes with his shovel. It's dead of summer of course, this is the desert,
so the ground was like rock. The shovel was discarded in favor of a
pickaxe. After watching him turn beet red within seconds I figured I'd
better help so there's the two of us, pickaxing away at a 12' long
trench. Then we had to go get the concrete, 25 bags at 60 pounds apiece
which we loaded into the truck. Then we mixed the concrete and filled
the trench, and since he was mixing, I got to move all those bags again.
And when we were done with THAT, I went for my 3 mile walk with my
friend, who was getting snarky about me giving her all these excuses for
not walking because I was busy with the horse.
So that was Thursday. If you think that was a lot of work, why yes it
was, thank you for noticing. :-)
I'd also like to know why all that calorie expenditure didn't show up on
the scale. Life is not fair. But anyway...
The good part is that what we did on Thursday was my husband's entire
to-do list for the weekend. He got a lot more little jobs done over the
next few days so that was helpful. We worked the horse a number of
times, quite educational for all of us. I picked bell peppers and
stuffed them for the freezer, and I made pesto and froze it. I had to
tackle a heck of a lot of grass in the herb bed to get to the basil, but
the worst of it is out of there. The basil has gone to seed pretty much
but I cut it back and with luck I'll get another few cups of pesto
before it freezes in October. There are few zillion peppers, I have
plans and just need the time to deal with them. Zucchini and cukes still
producing but a massive attack of aphids has arrived - I sprayed with
light oil, so we'll see if I did any good. Maybe I'll go in there with
the hose and spray real hard in a couple days. I'm getting enough
eggplant to make me happy, there are no tomatoes to speak of, and the
melons are pretty much worthless. I'm not growing honeydew ever again -
despite reading many descriptions I am having terrible luck guessing
when they're ripe, either I get dry and tasteless or fermented melon
bombs. I like cantaloupes better anyway. I'm surprised I am not getting
much okra, I thought that was like zucchini in terms of mass production,
but there are only a couple pods a day out of maybe six plants. Not
enough water maybe.
I had planned on digging and moving a lot of bearded iris but never got
to it, that needs to be done. The dry garden still has russian sage,
salvia greggii, germander sage and the desert willow blooming. I haven't
seen the zauschneria blooming yet and I'm kinda curious why not. There
are a few roses and the sedum is making big blossom heads but they are
not open yet. Liriope looks very nice this time of year with its purple
spikes, I should start dividing some of the bigger clumps.
At our fair I talked to a guy from one of the local conservation
districts, he has native California juniper available. I have been
looking for that for my back fence so next month - if I remember - I'll
drive that way and see if I can get one or two. He said they grow slowly
but I'm hoping with a little extra water I can speed it up. He also said
that they are pretty hard to germinate which may explain why I never see
any seedlings around the one in my yard. I am sure having a time getting
stuff to establish back there. But I have two mesquite planted this
spring that look pretty good, another two saltbush, and even the
manzanita is not looking too bad. The elderberry all croaked, oh well,
and one each of mesquite and saltbush didn't make it. Well...another ten
or fifteen years I guess before it looks good...then no doubt we'll
decide to move.


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