A Reader’s Suggestion

When I posted about our wall of Lemon Queen sunflowers, Jen suggested I investigate The Great Sunflower Project.

Lemon Queen sunflower seeds

The purpose of the project is to gather information about urban, suburban and rural bee populations and to provide the tools to learn about what is happening with the pollinators in individual yards.

A row of sunflowers in 2014 in the yard at The Glade.

People all over the United States collect data on pollinators in their yards, gardens, schools and parks. The number and types of pollinators visiting plants (especially sunflowers) are counted. Thanks to thousands of observers, the strength or weakness of pollinator service in a certain area can be determined.

Hylaeus (Yellow faced or Yellow Masked Bees)

This is important because scientific studies suggest that both honey bee and native bee populations are in trouble which might be affecting pollination of gardens, crops and wild lands.

Looking for pollinators: bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

The average person can help by counting and recording how many pollinators visit Lemon Queen sunflowers.

Lemon Queen sunflowers take 75 to 90 to bloom.

We have already planted Ferry-Morse sunflowers “Lemon Queen” variety. The issue is have we planted seeds that have not had a neonicotinoid seed treatment.  I have an email into the seed company with a request for this information. I’ll share the response when I receive it.

Are you working on a special project?

Starting #15 on the New 101 in 1001

On my 4th 101 tasks to accomplish in 1001 days, number 15 states:  Get rid of 101 items.

I need a place to donate these pink flowered balloon shades.

Since there’s no time like the present to get started here are the first 10.

  1.  Old leg brace

    Even with a sore knee this isn’t a good option anymore.
  2. Old-fashioned screen door

    The old-fashioned screen door on the Cottage has been replaced.
  3. Wire hangers

    I’m only counting the wire hangers as one item.
  4. Old can of tile grout

    This old bucket of grout dates before 2012 — time to spring for a new one.
  5. and 6.  Two suitcases
    After getting rid of these 2 we still have more than enough suitcases.

    7, 8, and 9.  Outdated vitamins and medicine

    I probably have more outdated bottles to toss.

    10.  Old Fax machine

    We haven’t used the fax machine for years.

    Ten down, 91 to go.

What can you toss this weekend?

The Pink Garden

The west yard has become overgrown in the past few years.

The west exposure of The Glade in May.

We’ve had to remove a huge dead oak tree the stump of which is now covered with vines — Virginia creeper, grapevine, and honeysuckle.  We’ll sort it out.

In the mean time some of the perennial flowers have begun to bloom.

Simple sweet pink roses.

There’s a little pink rosebush that always seems to put out a bloom or two.

In addition to the peonies we also have giant leafed hosta.

There are also large and gaudy deep pink peonies.

This bloom is about 6 inches across.

I’d love to take them in the house except they look so great in the yard.

Tiger lilies grown wild and freely spread in our neighborhood.

The next chore in this area is to dig up the orange ditch lilies that spread too easily.

Peonies

The beautiful flowers make the upkeep worth the work.

What’s your weedy nemesis?

Wall of Sunflowers

We’re on our way to having a wall of sunflowers on the west façade of the house.

At the end of April the sunflowers had sprouted and the whole area had been weeded.

When they first started to come up I was excited because last year out of 100 seeds I got 6 wimpy plants.

In less than a month the sunflowers have made a lot of progress.

This year however Charlie did the planting: Sunflower Lemon Queen and Sunflower Italian White.

The rows are 3 deep in 2 different varieties.

He turned over the soil and enriched it with compost.

Each plant has its own personality: short, tall, spindly, healthy.

I can’t wait until they start to bloom which I believe might be the middle of June.

How’s your green thumb?

Integrated into the Door

When the new front door to the Cottage was installed I left out a detail.

The shade is between two pieces of glass.

The new door has a louvered shade built between the two panes of glass.

At the top the slider opens and closes the louvers; at the bottom it raises and lowers the entire shade.

The shade is controlled by a slider on the inside of the door.  There are no rods or strings.

The slider is on the right hand side.

If the shade needs to be removed the glass can be unscrewed.

The new door.

The new door has made the Cottage more insulated and quieter.

The house is reflected in the glass.

The muntins and mullions are also between the glass.

Have you installed replacement windows?

New Hangers

The new master closet is ready to have clothes hanging on the rods.

The new hangers fit Charlie’s shirts well.

After a little research I decided to get Proman Kascade Hangers.  I ordered one hundred.

My side is a bit more colorful.

Our clothes used to hang on plastic and wire hangers.

Destined for the trash heap.

I’m getting rid of the old wire hangers but I’m hanging on to the plastic and odd wooden ones for the remaining closets in the house.

Our suitcases fit neatly above the hanging sections of the closet.

And the horizontal closet boxes that we topped the towers with are perfect for storing our suitcases out of the way but handy.

Do you have a closet that needs an overhaul?

Spring Goals

I have 2 main goals this spring:

The master bedroom still needs baseboard trim.

one indoors and one outside.

Trim in the hall ready to be measured, cut, and applied.

I have a hallway full of wood trim which needs to be cut and installed.

The bedroom hall needs trim also.

I know there’s not enough to finish everything but I’m not going to place the final order until I know exactly what I need. I plan to work on this during the week.

Some of the shutters have already been scraped.

I also want to clean, paint, and hang the shutters we took off the house 3 years ago when we started the renovation.

I hope we can match the right shutters to the corresponding windows.

I’m going to start the shutters on Memorial Day weekend.

What are your plans for the long weekend?