My spring break is almost over. I did not go to Utah this year because of the new puppy. He turned out to be quite a distraction, particularly where the side yard project was concerned. The first day I worked out here he was OK; he thought it very entertaining to "help" me pull grass. But by the second day I was moving into more dangerous territory and had to keep him on a shorter leash. Which meant he was usually standing where I wanted to work. I got to the point where I had to only work out here when someone else was home to keep an eye on the scamp.
I've been moving right along on this project, but there have been some nasty surprises. For example, when I built this trellis thing, I knew that grass behind the trellis might be a problem, so I designed the structure so that the lowest piece of trellis (it's vinyl) can be taken off just by loosening screws. Then I had put down landscape cloth behind it and covered the landscape cloth with pea gravel. Worked pretty well for the first couple of years, but last year the fence blew down in some heavy winds and the guys who rebuilt it did a few things that I didn't appreciate. One of the things they did was to dig new post holes and put the dirt over my pea gravel, which created a good environment for grass to grow this year. I took the trellis apart and pulled the grass, then used a whole bag (Costco size) of recycled tire mulch - about a 4" layer - to create what I HOPE will be a weed-free zone behind the trellis.
I REALLY had hoped to finish both of the other projects in this garden. First, I wanted to rip out the drip system (I hate drip systems because they are constant maintenance and never work right) and replace it with a pvc system. Went pretty well except that the last two strip sprinklers were twisted a little. But that story later.
The other project was the rescue of the Cecile Brunner rose. It actually went very well. With some dramatic pruning I was able to manipulate the bush back into an upright stature. It is temporarily secured with a rope to the trellis. I was able to install the 12"x12" deck support which only awaits the 4"x4" for support. I have the wood for the support and it won't take more than five minutes to cut it to the length I want. So, what's the problem?
I don't seem to be able to find the screws I bought two months ago for this project. Those would be the screws I bought at the same time I bought the deck support so that I could make SURE I have the right size lag screws and ancillary screws. Those would be the screws that I kept on my desk for weeks because I knew right where they were and as soon as I had some spare time I would install this rose support and by golly use those screws.
I was NOT able to finish the project because the screws are gone.
However, I decided I could turn on the water and adjust the levels of the new sprinklers, so I walked around to the newly installed lever and turned on the water. To my unhappy surprise, the new strip-pattern sprinklers were at full open and the water was gushing right into my partially opened office window. I raced as fast as my fat self could move through the kitchen (grabbing a small screwdriver on the way through) and headed to the sideyard to adjust the sprinkler output. Of course, the water was now gushing right at me (at it was COLD). I never was able to adjust them. I was reminded of the water-boarding torture stories as I fought the full-strength spray in my face and down my shirt and soaking my sweatpants. After a half a minute I realized there was no way I could make them work, so I sloshed back around to the valve and turned the water off. Chore two for tomorrow is to go out and adjust the screws that control the volume of water while the system is OFF, then cut the pipe and re-glue it so that those two sprinklers spray UP as they are supposed to rather than toward the office window.
In a happier story, Dodger dragged his bed out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, where he took a nice long nap in front of the refrigerator.
He cracks me up.