It Never Ends – Gardening

Winter is upon us. Everything in the garden is asleep. Or at least they are suppose to be. Even though it has been cold here, the weeds are doing just fine. I finally had the chance to do my fall cleaning and ended up weeding. But I digress.

The one thing, at least for me, that is year round is cleaning out the gutters. I love fir, pine and cedar trees. They are beautiful and stay green all year round. I hate their needles. They get everywhere! On one side of our house they are close to the house, so the gutters fill up quite quickly. The way our gutters are set up is they drain down into corrugated tubing that hooks each drain into one tube that then takes the rain water out to the ditch by the street. About a year ago the corner drain clogged up so badly that I had to dig the  tubing out and replace it because all 5ft of it was clogged. It wasn’t easy. That part of the yard was covered in years worth of gravel and is where we store our boat in the summer. So it was pretty compacted.

I now have another drain that is clogged. I was hoping all I had to do was clean out at the base of the drain pipe that goes into the tubing, but no such luck. So today I spent a couple of hours digging. Where this isn’t hard compact dirt, it does have a few obstacles. Like the very thick pad from the old heat-pump, a small privacy fence and the garage side door cement pad. It also has the roots of those damn trees. As of now I have it somewhat dug out. I have yet to find the end where it hooks into the main pipe and it worries me because the tube is going deeper and I am right next to the fence.


As you can see there are a lot of roots. A couple of big ones run across the top of the tubing (which I swear it’s in there but the dirt keeps covering it up) and I’m hesitant to cut them. The tree I think they are attached to is rather big and I don’t want to compromise it. If it fell on my house it would hurt it. 😦

I have also been strongly reminded by my body that I am no long 20. That digging a trench is not something I can do in a couple of hours. So this is as far as I got today. Tomorrow, if I can move I will go back out and try again. I know I am close to where the connection is. I just want to get this one done and hope that the clog goes no further. Digging out the entire system is not something I really want to do.

As for the other… let’s see, 1,2,3….5, I hope they will wait until summer when it’s warmer outside and I have more time to spend playing in the yard.

Have a safe and Happy New Year. 🙂



Cave Trolls – Gardening

I have recently discovered I have a cave troll. What is a cave troll you ask? And why is it here and not in Middle Earth where it belongs and there are elves with longbow and dwarves with axes to dispatch them? A cave troll is what I lovingly refer to  moles. Those black little blind rats that dig through your gardens and lawn wreaking havoc.

Over the summer we had… well, no rain. So the trolls  were either digging deep or decided there were not enough grubs in my yard to waste their time. Now that the rain has returned in buckets, so have the cave trolls. Nasty little buggers that evade my well place traps with the ease of a nimble mosquito evading a fly swatter.

What I need to do is go out and tramp down the hills and valleys so I can see where the little buggers are burrowing now. It seems they have been working hard for some time. That is what I get for paying more attention to the inside than the outside. (We are doing a little remodeling, which a whole different story.)

So the war on the slugs has ended and the war on cave trolls has begun. I thought winter meant time off from playing in the dirt so I would be ready for next year. Apparently not.

2015 Heidi Barnes

Garden update #3

Yes, it’s been a while since I have updated my gardening posts. That does not mean we have been idle! Just busy with real life. Like, the end of school. It’s now out for summer so I will have more time to do gardening and editing (which I need to get busy with!) and work on my online presence that has been almost nonexistent. Also some big birthday milestones. Hubby is now 50 and my youngest is 21. (Gah!) Also have had some graduation parties in there. The yardwork is getting done, just not in a timely manner. lol

As you probably have noticed I didn’t not put ‘pathway update’ because I’ve also been working on the rest of the backyard. Here are a few before and after pictures. I wish they would go side by side, but putting the caption on them seems to not allow that.






I’m hoping the Barberry survives. It’s late in the season to be moving plants and this one was pretty big. I had to have my son help hold it up why I put the dirt around the roots. I tried to do it by myself and quickly/painfully realized that was not going to work. 😛

The grass is slowly coming in. I don’t think we will use the type of seed we did again. It sort of works like hydro-seeding in that it has peat moss in it. You lay the seed, water it and it sort of explodes with the peat moss. It’s the best way I can describe it. It also seemed to be too compact so didn’t come in as quickly as the regular see with fertilizer we used.

Here are some pictures I took this morning of the pathway and the garden behind the patio. We are not done with the backyard yet, but I need to now concentrate on the front because it is looking rather neglected and that is what everyone sees.

DSCN3814 DSCN3816 DSCN3818 DSCN3819 DSCN3821 

Well, I should be getting back outside before it gets too hot. It’s suppose to be 100F this weekend and that is not something I want to work outside in :S It’s so weird. My friends in Texas are underwater and we haven’t had a good rain for three months so are bone dry!

Have a great week! 🙂


Update on Pathway Project #2

Good morning everyone.

I am sitting out on my deck on a Sunday morning (really too early for the amount of sleep I got last night, which was none) enjoying a cup of coffee and listening to the morning birds. It is a bit chilly out here, but the last few days of 75F and above have helped make it not too bad. Doesn’t mean I don’t have a sweater and slippers on though.

I’m also enjoying the progress we’ve made on the pathway. Not only is it done, but the sod around it has been moved and compost put in.

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We’ve also put in a do it yourself sprinkler system. I’ve been slowly doing that around the yard trying to make my watering a bit easier. Out in the garden by the shed is done as is along the back of the house. I didn’t get around the house buried and now I need to fix some of the joints because they have cracked. So that will be another project that I need to work on soon.

After we finished with the first load of compost (the entire yard is in need of it. It’s been years since the last time I put some down) Hubby and I went to Home Depot to looked at their plants. We found a few to start with,


but I won’t put them in until we take down the Silk Tree that hasn’t been doing well. Something got to it and it started splitting at the joint.


So last year Hubby and my youngest son got the chainsaw out and took the heaviest part off. It’s something he’s been wanting to do for a long time and I fought him on it. When my mom suggested that it was probably the best thing to do for the tree, five minutes after she left and I was down the street walking the dog the chainsaw roared and the tree was in half.


There is a story with this tree that has to do with my niece, but I will save that  for another day because it’s painful and I don’t want to ruin your morning. Suffice to say, taking the tree down was no easy decision for me. However, after looking at it all winter I decided it had to come down the rest of the way and I’m okay with the decision. I’m hoping that the trunk is not too rotted inside so my dad can make a vase or a small bowl out of it. I’ll have to show you his work sometime. For a what started out as a retirement hobby, he’s pretty damn good at it. But I digress.

So today the Silk Tree comes down and so does a Blue Spruce that is not doing well. That will open up a part of the yard that has been in deep shade for a long time, so I will have more options for plants and also for making that particular garden smaller. This is part of why I didn’t sleep well last night. You know how pruning goes.  Starting is not so hard. It’s the stopping that’s the… well you know. 😉 And now that I have help there are lot of projects that I’ve been wanting to do that involves cutting things down and rearranging. (Just need too tell hubby. (he he he) We also need to hit a better bigger nursery and pick up some more plants. Planning all that out kept me up all night. Going to be a long but hopefully productive day.

Have a wonderful day. 🙂

Update on Garden Project

After a weekend in San Diego and another filled with rain, my hubby was finally able to do some more work on the walkway. It’s looking really good.


We ran out of bricks about the same time as hubby ran out of steam. As soon as we get some more this part of the project will be done. The next will be moving the dirt we dug up from this and a small hill in our yard that we did not want and spread it around the areas that need to be receded.


The project I did last year is doing pretty good. The small roses still haven’t come back from the shock of being moved. Hopefully in another year they will be looking better. I hope so because I really liked those roses, and one I bought when my 23 year old son was born. So a bit of sentimental value there.


I do think the clematis is liking it’s new home.

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I bought this weilgia a few years back and I really like the shape of it. The problem is it is getting too big for the spot it’s in so I may have to do some pruning. 😦


Well, back to what I came out here to do and that is edit my new book while the dog enjoys laying in the sun.


Have a wonderful day! 🙂


New Pathway

This is the first post for my gardening section. I have a few projects that I have done already but I haven’t had the time to start this section of my website. So here is the first post.

When we bought the house, there was a hot tub in the backyard. We, well I because I was a stay at home mom at the time, used the hot tub quite often.  However, it was old and starting to break down. Not to mention it was under a Cedar Tree. WHY it was put under a Cedar tree was beyond me. Not only can you not keep cedar out of the tub, but relaxing with your head back as the jets work the knots out of your shoulders only to open your eyes up to see a huge spider making it’s way towards you from above is not…well…relaxing in any sense of the word. The tree was damaged in a wind storm and it had to go. Soon after I decided so did the hot tub. So one day I took a saws-all and cut it up into manageable pieces and headed to the dump.

Now we had a huge cement pad in our backyard. What to do with it. Obvious answer? Tile it!


So this was done a few years back, and it looks good, but now what? We have to go across the grass to get to it and sometimes that’s messy. So we talked about put a pathway from the deck to the patio. This year we finally decided to do it. So here is what took place Sunday.


As you can see the grass wasn’t in the greatest shape. (That is another project that hubby has taken over this year. Fixing the grass. This was after thatching the moss out. Yuck!) So now that the sod is gone and everything is level we need to put the sand in along with a new product we thought we try instead of gravel.


It’s called EZ Base and it is suppose to take the place of gravel. Also weighs nothing. Says it’s suppose to work under driveways so I’ll let you know how well it works. I know our backs already love it! lol

But this….


not so much. 😛 We still need a few more of the larger stones (Home Depot didn’t have enough) but these should do for now. I have a feeling it will be like putting down new flooring in a room. Suddenly the furniture doesn’t look as good as it used to so it needs to replace. Where the reworking of yard ends we will see.

Until next time…..