Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer Ambitions

Summer is very short in northern Illinois and we must make hay while the sun shines, as they say. This summer I've created a list that is quite ambitious and I'm determined to make progress. My absence from the blog is evidence that I'm trying hard.

Neglecting the brick patio behind the house resulted in this:


There are some hosta and spectacular pink carpet roses in there somewhere. The ground cover we planted has pretty much taken over. There's one particularly evil one in there that blooms a lovely violet blue and that's what blinded me to it's real identity - a garden thug!

I've pulled it all out and now I'm working on cleaning up the patio. An internet search revealed the fact that you can use Oxy cleaner on your brick and it's won't affect the plants.


That was good news to me. I didn' have enough in the house so I bought a large container. You mix it up, spread it around and let it stand and do it's work.


You wet it down, and sweep off the residue.


I'm getting there but the amount of weed material is daunting. This week we put out 7 large lawn waste bags and we're still not done.

How about you? Do you have any large projects that need to get done before the weather changes? Those of you who live in temperate climates, does the fact that winter never really comes cause you to put off projects?

Have a great day everyone.


Leslie T said...

Here in Southern California, my husband and I pretty much work in the yard a couple of afternoons every month, usually every other Sunday afternoon, just keeping up with pruning and mowing and weeding. In the dead of winter, it sometimes slows down a bit, but there's always something that needs to be tended to. From November till March, our lawn only needs to be mowed once a month. But once springtime hits, you can practically hear the grass growing.
Currently we're both scratching our heads with a "What were we thinking?" moment, as we wonder whatever possessed us to plant two grapevines in the flower bed outside of our kitchen window last year. TWO? What were we thinking, indeed! Those vines are growing so fast and so vigorously, as I wash the dishes every morning I can almost see them growing, and I figure one of these days they're going to just come in the window and carry me away. :) Every week we have to prune them, just so we can get out the back door. They're gigantic.
Your patio and the surrounding plants look beautiful. I'm so glad you got it all cleared off so that you can enjoy it!

Tess said...

Ordinarily, I try to get all the major outside work completed by the end of May. After that, it's just too hot and humid to be in the garden/yard for any length of time. Currently, I'm just trying to keep the green stuff alive.

Millicent said...

We try to do a big push in April and don't do a whole lot besides mowing until September. It's in the mid 90s here most days now, so it's very hot unless you get up and out with the sunrise. Your patio looks wonderful. Enjoy!

Vee said...

That is a wonderful circular patio. I need one just like it in my backyard. Yes, I'm pretty sure of it. John will be so happy that I was reading here.

I had read that same thing about oxy-clean and so cleaned my deck with it this year as well. I was quite pleased since it was much easier than the former method involving a toxic cleaner. (It said to spray down plants both before and after use.)

Hope that all your pretty posies bound back after removing the garden thug. There are a number of them, aren't there! Enjoy any time spent having coffee and cake in the garden.

Ruta M. said...

We live in a temperate climate (the UK) and for us summer never comes but yes real winter is usually brief. It's the grey rainy season for most of the time. I love the idea of the oxi-clean. We have a lot of paving so I use a pressure washer which is satisfyingly easy to use with no chemicals at all. Our summer project might be renewing the cement between the paving slabs which after 18 years is beginning to fall out and let the weeds in.

lifeinredshoes said...

Holy mackeral, not the weeds but the brick work, it's beautiful!
I look forward to summer in a way a drunk looks for a drink, I find it intoxicating. As I sit here right now all is planted, watered, weeded and fed. This will last a day or so.
I try to take life one day at a time now, enjoy the moment. And in this very moment, winter does not exist :)

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

The althea trees that sprout up are taking over my iris bed. Hoping I can save the iris when I dig the small althea trees up! I love your patio! Wish I lived in a warm climate all year round!

Vanessa said...

I'd like to inquire about doing a sponsored blog post - about 150-300 words that talks a little bit about cars and automobiles and links back to our site We are a car dealership and thought we might be a good fit for your readers/visitors on

Here's a list of some blog post titles we've done in the past:
- What To Look For When Buying A New Car
- 2012 Cars That Look Good And Saves You Gas
- Reasons Why Buying New Cars Is Better Than Used

Our budget is around $15 for the post. Is this something you'd be open to?

Also if you have some other sites just send them over and we might be interested in doing a sponsored post on there as well!



Mary Rex said...

WOW! Great before/after pics. Well worth the effort, I'd say.