Plant updated, with photos!

This weekend was crazy busy at my house. First thing Saturday we were up! This is not normal. Usually, given that the kids can get their own breakfast, we let them watch cartoons and we sleep-- until 10ish, usually. Not terribly late, but it's nice to get a little sleep in. But not this weekend.

We went to a local nursery and bought some plants. This was after windscreen replacement, picking up two lamps we bought off Craig's List, dashing to get hair cuts, and then dinner. We bought 2= 50 pound bags of special cactus dirt, some gypsum to promote breaking down of the clay soil we have, 2 red yucca plants, 1 baby pomegranate tree and a saguaro cactus!

Before we could go home, though, we had to go to Lowe's. See, I didn't own a shovel, and we also needed a pick axe-- something to cut through the clay with! We found a killer deal on those solar lights for your walk, and I'll be installing them today (I'll toss the photos on in a later update). We also found the cutest little bronze butterfly that's got a solar cell in his body!

Here is everything packed into the trunk of the car. Go Focus, Go! On the left in the back you can see the pom, and the two yuccas are the stringy looking ones with the weird red tendril.

It's amazing what you can fit into the back of an SVT Focus, isn't it?

We got everyone home, and then had to crawl up on the roof!

We had to paint the cable conduit from the solar panels to where it goes into the roof down to the garage. I found the coolest paint, though! It's Rust-o-leum, which is the best spray paint out there, if you ask me; it's called "textured" paint, and we found a colour that mimics the shingles pretty closely. It's a pale, sandy colour, right-- with flecks of lighter and darker bits in it. Perfect for camouflage!

Thing is, I climbed up there, as it was getting dark; so we used this little lantern we'd picked up for 14 bucks. It's one of those square ones, but it's small and was pretty good. I don't know if I could have climbed up there during the day, or when I could see properly. It was pretty scary in the dark, not seeing the ground!

But, thankfully we got it done, or very close anyway. Anything left my husband can do with a ladder when we get more paint. We had to climb across the entire roof to get the whole tube, it was pretty hair-raising. I was worried about my husband, too. He has MD, and his ankles don't flex properly. When you're on a roof, especially one with a pitch like ours, you need all your joints!  I don't know how people do it, walking upright, up there! I sure couldn't do it.

Anyway, up early on Sunday to dig holes! I started the one in the front for my cactus, and got it about half way before it was too difficult. So I used a trick my Dad told me: I filled the hole up with water, and left it for awhile. The man who runs the nursery also recommended we do that, with ground gypsum to make the ground there less clay-like and sticky; this gives the plants' roots room to expand later, without the water having made a clay pot to contain the poor roots.  While it was seeping in (all told I dumped about 10 gallons of water in that hole) I went to the back yard.

I'd put the kid to work clearing the sticks and debris from our last yard work weekend. We're still tossing them away, but should have them all gone soon. Not having bulk pick up is a pain in the ass, lemme tell you. Before it got too hot, and too dangerous to be out there, I got two of the hole dug. Later my husband worked on digging up this disgusting thorn bush while I dug up the last hole.

I don't know much about the guy who used to list here. What I do know makes me wonder about his sanity. He lovingly planted an apple tree that's doing fantastic. The pear tree died. The thorn bushes with 1 inch long thorns from hell are doing fabulously, as is the bird of paradise. But one of the orange bushes died. Those thorn bushes grow so fast, and are so ugly. They reminded me of that stupid, hateful book, Foxe's Book of Martyrs, how some of the christians were whipped with thorn bushes. There's no way those thorns had any other purpose but to torture people! They stand proudly over an inch long-- even on the new growth.  Half of one is dug up. The root system is bulbous, and my husband swore it was the thorn bush of Satan! I have to agree, because I wanted to find a damned logging chain and a pick up truck to pull it out!

Maybe Mr. Former Resident planted those thorns to make everyone else wonder what the fuck he was on about?

I planted two red yuccas; I'd picked those out especially because of a lunch we had one day at Denny's while we were still house hunting. My husband and I were sitting at the window, and watching the chiropractor's and day care's kerbs across the street. Yes, I first thought chiropractic daycare?

It was very windy that day, and there was a beautiful, whippy plant swinging all over. It was large droplet shaped flowers hanging down, and made me think of the "bleeding heart" plants you see growing wild up north in the forests. This plant, though, it also had a Cthulian look to it. The whipping tentacles, the rest droplets. I told my husband it looked like it was searching for food.

"Probably why they planted it outside the day care, they can feed it the misbehaving children," I said. "I looked like a man-eating plant. I want a man-eating plant!"

He looked at me and laughed. Then he looked at the plant and agreed, it did look kinda Cthulu, octopus-like as it quested around in the wind, flailing here and there, seeking nourishment.

We finished getting the saguaro into the ground after dark. But he's planted, facing properly South, and he'll settle in nicely, I think. It wasn't easy, though. The saguaro was in a huge 5 gallon pot that we had to deal with.

Now for photos. Including a couple of the orange and apples to show how big they've gotten so far.

You can see they're starting to look more like oranges, and less like boogers.

 I still don't know what kind of apple they are, though.
 Two red yuccas and the pon at the very end. This man-eater is pretty well behaved, so far, but when he gets bigger, I expect to have to water him with a riot shield.
 Closer look at the yucca; you can see the little seed pods on it.
 Here's the pom, and my butterfly. You can see in a couple of the photos, the drip irrigating system we have. It came with the house, but the way it is in there is pretty ingenious.

The saguaro is about 4-5 years old, best we can figure; based on what the nursery guy said. The sticks mark north and south, and there was a bit of paint on the bucket he was planted in, marking south. We do this, because saguaros grow tougher, thicker skin on their southern faces, and if they aren't planted right, they get burned! Crazy, huh? It won't get an arm for another 70 years, or so, so long as it stays healthy. After it soaks up the rain during monsoon, it'll look just like a pickle.

The new view of the front of the house. Not much has changed, and we'll get the little solar lights in tonight or tomorrow.

Until then, let me leave you with the song that I was singing on the way home from Lowe's Saturday night. I first heard it sang by Buckwheat, to Porky, on The Little Rascals movie. My husband laughed at me. But he knew right off where it came from!

"I got a pickle,
I got a pickle
I got a pickle,
hey hey,
hey hey!"


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