Sunday, November 14, 2010

Time To Migrate To Florida

Although the weather the last week has been pleasant it's time to go south! I'll be spending time on St. Pete Beach near Tampa as I have an appointment with a fellow web guy that occasionally helps with my websites. He knows more than I and is definitely worth the expense. After all he does it for a living and is not your flash in the pan kind of guy that says you can get top Google rankings in 24 hours or other such pie in the sky ripoffs. I've known Steve since we met at an Orlando webmaster convention back in 2004.

Anyhow, I've grown tired of all those modern hotels that don't even allow you to open windows. They say it's for liability reasons. Oh no, maybe I'll fall out of the window that sits four feet off the floor! Yea right! This is a mom and pops type of hotel right smack on St. Pete Beach only two miles from Steve's office. King sized bed, efficiency type one room for $120 bucks a night. Sound great to me.

See The YouTube Video. Leaving Tuesday November 16. Return? Mid February...maybe

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yessir. Fall Is Here

But very pleasant weather the last week or so and not those frigid mornings where the temps hovered a tad above freezing. Finally finished off the insulation under the house and noticed this on the dust mask I've been using. Do these things expire? Notice the use by date. There must be a reason for it.

Peak foliage is very close around town, but you'll notice I have a number of bare trees, notably many Poplars that surround the lawn area and a few black cherry trees that never leaf out well to begin with.

Hostas are showing their fall color, some of them. My climbing Hydrangea has done well this year with one shoot or branch making it to six foot up the tree. Barely noticeable in background.

"First frost" hosta living up to it's name so far...No frost yet.

Mexican Sunflower finally bloomed. Surprising, because it get's very little sunshine this time of the year. I expected blooms by August when the location gets oodles of sun.

And those crazy Paperwhites planted last November love to appear early. I assumed they would sprout at the time many other spring bulbs late winter..not mid fall.

Upon removing some Gladiolus bulbs from a shady spot where they never bloomed I came across dozens of itty bitty bulbs. By dumping them in a few holes about two inches deep up the drive maybe a surprise will show next summer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Misc Plants

Looking at a few misc plants scattered about; some barely hanging on while others seeming to like the cooler weather. Two in particular are the Cactus Zinnias and the Pineapple Sage that normally thrives in November. First pic is some cut this afternoon while the second shows plenty of buds ready to pop. I have several that just hang over the driveway and look pretty cool once they're in bloom.

Pineapple Sage making it's fall appearance. It was moved from against the cabin earlier this year to the lawn along the fenceline..

A Purple Cone flower that for all intent and purposes died two months ago. It had no green growth whatseover. I thought it was just another casualty of the summer heat, but now it's back to life and ready to flower?  Below that is another cone flower purchased at one of the stores that is hanging on. I'll leave those guys alone and see what happens next spring.

And some fall flowering perennials (Stonecrop) in the back ground that are also struggling in the very dry Alpine garden area. I thought they'd be a brighter red, but appeared a brownish color.

And on to a Mexican Sunflower. This one is one of two grown from about a dozen seeds sowed on top of the soil back in May. Slow grower and the danged thing has a bud on top. I suppose it will fare better the second year. Oh wait it's an annual. Nice showing there Mex..doh

Morning Glories doing well but changing color during the day or at least the burgundy ones appear a lavender color in the morning then resort to their standard when the temperatures warm up. You be the judge.

Standard color...

Saving Caladium Bulbs...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Very Easy To Grow

We'll see what happens here. I've heard it time and again especially those Cosmos that did not impress at all this year. It has much to do with the silly spacing suggestion they have on seed packs. Too far apart! So these very easy to grow Violas are planted at the driveway bend along with some past blooming Asters I picked up for a buck a piece. Even Walter Reeves the Georgia gardener expert says they're easy. Spring bulbs planted here and there as well.

One container garden done with a new twist while using some landscaping timbers. Notice the Cactus Zinnias leaning in the wind in the background. Several are six to seven feet high. They're keepers for next year, or at least worth spending time with.

Plenty of color over on the west side with some Mums that have been moved several times. They're keepers as well. They're kind of growing on me as long as they're out of sight most of the year. Coleus and elephant ear fading along with the Caladiums behind the Mums.

I was about to pull these Impatiens until I really looked at them closely. One of the best showings this year.

Knockout Roses planted a few months ago are an easy one to grow...very easy. Should provide some great all year round color up the driveway...

And finally the lawn has improved while using some annual Rye...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Violas & Pansies...Bulbs Too

Earlier this summer the small amount of Violas mother planted surprised me. I mentioned I was going to get a bit more serious about adding more color around here. I just hope these danged things survive while I'm gone for the brutal winter months. Or at least I think they are! Getting buried in leaves is something that may dictate my Florida retreat. That would mean the middle of November once 95% of the leaves are down.

Here's a spot that hasn't done much lately. With the drought that surrounded my property this past summer (not 2-4 miles away) nothing would grow here due to lack of water and just plain lousy soil loaded with rocks. By removing down to 12 inches and replacing with good stuff Violas and Pansies may welcome my effort?

More spring wonders against the cabin or at the railroad tie gardens. Lowes has been a disappointment as far as finding these plants this fall, so I ventured into Wally World where oodles of stuff was available. Yea, I over did it again, but what the hey. I'm not planning on doing anything on the west side until spring, so much of the color will be around the driveway area.

Planters and containers. Not sure how these will do with nobody around for 2 1/2 months or so...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Looks Like November

And I'm not interested! Low of 38 degrees this morning got me to thinking time to get some use out of the firewood collected this past summer, though I didn't expect to be using it for another four weeks. The annual migration to Florida will begin earlier this year, much earlier.

Last week son Ryan and I started insulating the crawlspace. I'm 3/4 of the way done with no interest in going down there until my back begins to feel better. Yep, can't do things like I used to be able to do, even five years ago. It made a pretty boring weekend doing nothing but laying on the couch for the most part. Incidentally Ryan has gone back to Florida. It was a combo decision. Afterall, there just isn't much up here for a kid that has no interest in doing the kind of things people his age do. IE drinking and partying. Besides he has an interest in a lady down south. Good for you son. Be happy and go for it!

Oh, a month ago I said to hell with that lawn, but thinking it through I knew I'd regret it come spring. So throw a little Rye and some Fescue and hopefully it will look halfway decent come May of next year. At least this time around the seed didn't get washed away like the heavy rains of last fall. Looks pretty strange eh? Hoping the Fescue will blend in once it germinates. I didn't have a very well organized plan of attack this time around.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Louisville Churchill Downs

Once a year and they run for the roses. I wanted to put this small pictorial together last week when we toured the museum and did a tour of the grounds. Imagine 165,000 people here on race day. Great party excuse and a chance to say "I was at the derby."

Son Ryan...

Derby Museum...

Anyway, naturally the place is impressive and large! A few incidentals before more pictures of the grounds. Here's a saddle from the 40's. Not sure what size they are today, but it's more of a weight thing when it comes to racing. I sure could not fit on this thing!

A visitor posing for a photo with the 2010 winner...

You be the jockey. It's a simulated game anyone can play...

Call the race!

The grandstand....

On the rail...
 View from another angle...

Yea, I was at the Derby (grounds)

Friday, September 17, 2010

School In St. Louis

That's the reason for the visit. Very good experience for anyone desiring a career in the business. My purpose was to get some good images for the website that keeps me alive. Turned out okay for some pics, but I'm really looking for actual on site pics. That's a tough one to crack nowadays living in the sticks for two reasons. Getting into the good 'ole boys club in a rural area is hard if I needed work, and two, mention the internet and I get consistent blank looks. Few if any, see value I can provide.

I still got it many times at this school. Flooring people don't do the web. Good thing for me because it reduces the competition. Had I been in something like insurance, computers or other geeky stuff I wouldn't have a chance. Nowadays I just say I'm a gardener if they don't understand my business.

Son Ryan (blue shirt below) got lucky as some 40 students were broken up into four groups with instructors. His instructor was the infamous Daniel Boone (right) who claims to be a direct decedent of the Kentucky pioneer.  I had doubts as I couldn't see the math in what he called an 18th generation, unless them Kentuckians had kids at real young ages...good possibility!

This Boone is synonymous with hardwood flooring instruction and and recognized by all that know the industry top to bottom. Starting as a helper for his father at a whee little age of six or seven, his knowledge and talents have taken him around the world as a respected go to guy whenever problems occur or opinion is needed.

Anyway, lot's to mention, but little time. Some misc pics.


Cards Vs Cubs. Busch Stadium St.Louis

Yep, why not check out a Cardinal game this time. Having been in this city for a third time in my life I always wanted to see one. One can sense the longtime rivalry with the visiting Cubbies as traveling fans had reason to cheer while downing the slumping Cards 7-3 behind problem child Carlos Zambrano. It seems the Cubs are working on a new milestone as one fan laughed while waiting in line for a hot dog.

"We're now working on two centuries..." (without a Wold Series win) That's right fans, the Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. For trivia buffs, this marks a time before the radio was invented!

Easy access to this ballpark. It was really spur of the moment when I saw Zambrano was pitching. Staying at the Hampton Inn in Chesterfield, I mentioned to Ryan at about 6PM let's go check it out. I-64 East and about 25 miles later we're there without any traffic problems, parking about two blocks from the park. Tickets? Whoaa, they're all too damned expensive in my opinion. I can't see how people can pay these prices. These days I sure don't see many Afro Americans in the stands.

Anyway we got lucky as one gal was trying to dump two $85 dollar third base line tickets for $40 each outside the ball park. All I had was sixty in cash so she agreed to the deal. Good thing they take debit cards everywhere, otherwise it would have been a ballgame without dinner. That made up for the ticket deal.

Nice back drop of the the arch from this seat. Having been to Citizens Bank (Philly) and this park being newer I thought they would have a collaboration of ideas for food and other stuff. Not impressed but they had a similar outfield mall area where people can mingle, but lousy views of the ball game.

Smoking sections? Good thing I don't need one every other inning as it's on the street outside the park with street entertainers here and there. Quick Cardinal trivia question. Who has the retired number 85 for St.Louis? A few fans I asked couldn't answer it either. Answer below.

Answer- The Cardinals retired the number 85 in Augie Busch Jr's honor in conjunction with his 85th birthday in 1984.