Beating the Rain

Today, I made up for hiding from my allergies all weekend.  I also wanted to beat the rain that we’re supposed to get overnight tonight.  And as if those weren’t reasons enough, I slept on my right arm funny last night and kinked that elbow, and after doing a little work, I realized it’s the kind of ache that is going to get worse tomorrow before it gets better; might as well get as much done today as possible before letting it recover tomorrow.

I started bright and early at sunrise this morning (6:50am) and got most of the blocks hauled around to the raspberry bed and put in place.  That took an hour, and I stopped to wash up and get some breakfast before starting my day job.

I did a decent job of sticking to my 1hr/10min schedule: 1 hour of day job work, 10 minutes of garden work.  I finished moving and setting up the blocks around the raspberries during the next two 10-minute windows.  The next window (11:20am), I measured all of the distances between the blocks and figured out how to get the most out of each piece of lumber.  I spent the afternoon windows cutting lumber and placing them.  About 3pm, the dark, storm-looking clouds materialized, so when I wrapped up work at 5pm, I got down to business.

With the clouds came the mosquitoes, which provided additional impetus to finish the job.

And I did finish the raspberries, with the exception of some leveling that needs to be done to make the corners line up.

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This part of the raspberries are done! That one corner needs some TLC, though, to make it level with the other corner…

Since I was cutting lumber, I decided to go ahead and do the perennial beds as well.  That didn’t quite work out as I planned: the beds span about 18 feet and are 4 feet wide, so I ordered two 10-foot boards, a 16-foot board (to be cut into two 8-foot lengths), and an 8-foot board (to be cut into two 4-foot lengths).  (Yes, three 8-foot boards cost more than one 16-foot and one 8-foot.)  Unfortunately, when I got the blocks in place, I found that the ends were 50 inches, not 48 – so the 8-foot board couldn’t be cut in half!  However, the length turned out to be a few inches shy of 18 feet.  Instead, I cut the 8-foot board down to that length, then cut the other 7’7″ board and two 50″ boards from the 16-footer.  So it worked out, even if it wasn’t quite how I planned it.

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Like the raspberries, the perennial beds need a little shoveling to make that one corner level.

And I beat the rain.

The only beds remaining are the BBB (birds, butterflies, and bees) garden, the blueberries, and the flower bed/blackberries.

The BBB garden needs weeded before I can put the blocks and boards in.  I added the hummingbird feeder to that bed today after I got buzzed by a hummingbird checking out the zinnias and autumn joy sedum this morning.  I put up a feeder the first year I was in the house and only ever got one female hummingbird that year; I’ve put the feeder out every year since and haven’t gotten any hummers at all, this is the first one I’ve seen in 4 years.  Some of the seeds I planted in that garden were supposed to attract hummers, but only the zinnias and sunflowers sprouted from the seeds I put down (the sedum and the goldenrod were purchased as plants, not seeds).  We’ll see if having the feeder out among the red flowers will attract more!

The blueberries are suffering from my intentional under-purchasing of boards for the raspberries (I didn’t know how long some of the shorter sections were going to end up being, so I didn’t order boards for them…but I forgot that when I was working on them, and the blueberries got the short end of the stick); however, I decided I didn’t like what I had been planning to do with the blueberries anyway, so now I need a couple more blocks and some different-length boards than I originally planned.

The flower bed needs more blocks (60, to be precise).  Home Depot badly messed up the original delivery of blocks and lumber and double- and triple-delivered a lot of the lumber, which they haven’t returned to pick up yet (it’s on a pallet, so I can’t take it back in to them).  I’m planning to get the blocks I need and then see if I can “make do” with the lumber they over-delivered rather than getting more lumber.  That way, they don’t have to come out and retrieve it, and I don’t have to deal with getting more.

But those are projects for another day.  Tomorrow, if it isn’t raining, will certainly be rife with mosquitoes, so staying indoors seems like a good plan.  Besides, my housework has been neglected, so I can catch up on that tomorrow.

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