Harmony in a hammock

This miserable weather has me thinking about our hammock trees.

Source: prettystuff.tumblr.com via Sophie on Pinterest ****************************************** *********************************************************************************************************

We have two perfectly placed oak trees in the backyard with two perfectly placed hooks in the bark that have been a source of many a sound snooze for friends, family and likely unknown passersby when we aren’t around. They look a little like this though I can’t seem to find a good photo in my albums. The hammock trees are about the best place to flake out in nice weather which I plan to do when this winter is over.

However in recent years the trees have grown and begun to swallow up the hooks and one tree is starting to show his age and may not weather the test of time. We’re working on some pruning that may help but I hope to get a few more years out of our lovely hammock trees.

We also need a new hammock. The old white, many-stringed behemoth that someone brought back from Mexico has lost my confidence. It is time for a new one. I’ve been perusing the internet and while their prices are a bit steep it is a sound investment in weekend rest!

Source: hayneedle.com via Ariel on Pinterest

Source: hayneedle.com via Ariel on Pinterest ************************************************** ** *********************************************************************************************************

And of course it couldn’t hurt to have one or two (or three) for the boys!

Did we resolve our resolutions?

2013

The answer to that is a resounding “meh”.

Last year I made a list of “to do’s” for 2012 for both the schoolhouse and the condo. Did we do them?

Schoolhouse

  1. Paint front door – uh no. Haven’t done this one yet.
  2. Put down flooring in vestibule. – see above
  3. Paint vestibule – I am beginning to sense a pattern here…
  4. Replace eavestrough – hey this one I can say, “sort of”. We didn’t replace but we did take them down and fix the one that moves water over the hydro meter and into a rain barrel.
  5. Complete herb garden – not really.
  6. Build nicer garden along the front of the house – again this is a “sort of”. I put in a new perennial garden at the front but we’ll see if the boiling summer of 2012 ravaged it completely. It also turned out to be a lot less sunnier than I thought so things may have to move.
  7. Clear out the back bedroom – yes and no. We started cleaning it out but managed to fill it again to make space for our winter tenant.
  8. Paint bathroom – nope.
  9. Revive the composter – let’s hope for the spring?
  10. Research and install if feasible some new lighting – Well sort of once again. Our tenant has fixed the overhead light which is great. He’s also installing a solar flood light (these exist? Who knew?)
  11. While this wasn’t on the original list I’d like to point out most of our time (and money) went to two things: Removing two fallen trees on the property and replacing just about everything you can on a well system.

Our condo

  1. Come up with a design for the living room – done! I finally have a master plan. I just have to figure out how to pay for it.
  2. paint upstairs bathroom – done! I’ll post photos soon.
  3. fix dining room chairs – less done. And by less I mean not at all.
  4. Paint kitchen – totally done! Pat painted and I got bitten by a cat in the process.
  5. Buy new living room furniture. picked out but not bought.
  6. Hide the dreadful air conditioner cord that is in the dining room – not done and it still drives me mad.
  7. Fix all the general irritations – not done and still totally irritating.
  8. Make alterations to the dining room so that the overhead light isn’t going to cause any “concussion-like symptoms” to my guests – nope.
  9. Re-organize and decorate the office and make it better accommodate my home office space (which requires space for documents, files and coffee) with our home computer (this requires space for chips, beer and other accoutrements that accompany video games and well, this blog). – mostly. This isn’t too bad.
  10. Get more frames for art and photos – some of this is done. We’ve got a couple of new things and a couple of things ordered. But they are all still in a pile…
  11. Oh and jazz up the ol’ patio. last year’s garden was a good start but we need more life out there – started. We’ve new planters and I have almost finished repainting the furniture.
  12. Again while not on the original list, I’d like to point out that we also had repairs to our dishwasher (still doesn’t totally work), washer and dryer so that is where the couch money went.

So that is where we are at. I’m not going to add anything else until we get this lot done. Fingers crossed for 2013!

A step-by-step guide for newbie planters: An infographic

Not everyone got to grow up with gurus or see farms on a daily basis like me.

And hey, I talk a good game, but my gardening still leaves something to be desired.

For those newbies out there I came across this infographic that may help with your planting next year. I’m hoping it will help me with my indoor plants. I’ve never been all that great with transplanting, breaking up or seeding indoors from a cutting. Let’s hope this helps us all.

Sprout
Browse more data visualizations.

 

Growing with hydro (not that hydro): What to plant near powerlines

Our entire front yard is graced with powerlines (or hydro lines as we say up yonder).

While this isn’t the front of our house, it might as well be. Between oak, spruce and pine, there are a lot of powerline/tree interactions.

So we get power but that also means every few years we get the folks from Ontario’s largest power distributor visiting with their chain saws and aerial devices to trim our trees back that grow directly underneath the powerlines. And while arborists are trained and skilled folk that know just how to cut a tree so that it remains healthy and vibrant without interfering with the lines, due to a lack of time no doubt, they seem to just lop the tops off of my lovely trees or cut great gaping holes in their branch systems.

It’s not really our fault. When the property was still a school, I have been told the students would plant trees around the property in honour of Arbor day, which has meant our house is surrounded. Weird since we don’t seem to celebrate it here in  Canada. Let’s see what Wikipedia says about this:

In Canada, Maple Leaf Day falls on the last Wednesday in September during National Forest Week. Ontario celebrates Arbor Week from the last Friday in April to the first Sunday in May. Nova Scotia celebrates Arbour Day on the Thursday during National Forest Week, which is the first full week in May. Prince Edward Island celebrates Arbour Day on the 3rd Friday in May during Arbour Week.

I knew absolutely none of that. Is that true? Anyway I am digressing here…

I understand that lilac are useful in these situations as they aren’t too tall and we certainly see they remain after the cutting crews are done. There’s a snowball bush as well and a couple of apple trees but they seem to be an acceptable height.

The folks at BC Hydro have provided this information for homeowners which I found useful:

Planting near power lines

I am fortunate to work with a lot of folks who know about these sorts of things and have been able to glean a lot of information on this stuff. Generally, just don’t go anywhere near powerlines whether they are above you or below you in the case of underground electrical plant. If there is underground, like in a subdivision, hire someone to conduct a locate. If your trees are too tall and anywhere close to the lines, just don’t touch them. Let the professionals handle it.

If you are going to plant anything near them think about the eventual height of the plants. Trees like lilac, dogwood and dwarf spruce seemed to be the key items during my informal Twitter poll I conducted last week.

Does anyone else have any suggestions? I am going to look at syringa reticulata as I have heard it is hardy to zone 3 and within the limits of the powerlines. In the end this all comes down to the need to have privacy at the front of the house so  passersby aren’t shocked by nude sunbathing and other potential shenanigans. Just thinking of the neighbours!