Archive for May, 2019

Designated Gardener Notes

Posted on 05/27/2019. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Early Blooming Bleeding Hearts Putting on Their Show

I became the designated gardener of our condominium when we moved here and suggested the landscaping could be improved. There was resistance to the idea by some owners who believed the lawn, trees and few scrubs that existed were adequate. However, after making some landscape improvements most people wanted more and we now have a numerous perennial gardens and flowering scrubs on the association property. I was 76 years old when we moved into our condominium fifteen years ago. If you do the math it will be apparent that my days as the designated gardener can’t last much longer. During the last few years I’ve asked myself if I could still do it. So far, every spring of those years I have found I could do it. One of these springs I will find I can’t do it and hopefully another designated gardener will appear.

The spring garden chores are about over. This included inspecting for winter damage. There were no loses despite a severe cold period, but some damage to boxwood bushes and to last year’s newly planted hydrangeas. Any emerging plants covered with leaves or pines needles were uncovered. Plants to be moved or divided were then dwelt with and new plants, shrubs and trees were planted. All the plants except rhododendrons were treated with a slow release fertilizer. The rhododendrons were fertilized after blooming. Any weeds that survived the winter were removed. After fertilizing, the gardens were mulched where needed using wood chips, pine needles or leaves. After mulching a weed suppressor was applied where needed. Toward the end of May seven containers were were filled with potting soil and annuals planted. These tasks took most of my time in May, in part because it takes me a week to do what I used to do in a day. I had help from the people that do our lawn and snow removal. I had them divide the Forster Reed Grass along the parking lot and at the front sign, plant some junipers and spireas and spread eight cu. yds. of mulch.

We replaced the contractors that had been doing the lawn care this year.  First impression has been good. The person that owns the business is also involved in work being done. Makes a difference. The previous contractor worked in a office and had a layer of managers between him and the people that actually did the work. The people that did the work changed often and likely were not concerned about customer satisfaction. No matter how automated the world becomes there will always be a need for people who provide services that can’t be automated and those services can best be provided by individuals who have a personal interest in providing the most satisfactory service they can deliver.

With the spring chores wrapping up, I hope to spend time on putting together two books of short stories that I am working on.

Below, a picture of a happy Gnome sitting in a bed of sedum.

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Having Lived History

Posted on 05/04/2019. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Having been born in 1927, before the Wall Street crash in 1929 and growing up during the Great Depression and having experienced the dust storms during the historic 1930’s drought qualified me to give a talk to the Milbank South Dakota middle school 7th and 8th graders about the experience of growing up on a farm in the area during those times.

This opportunity to talk to the Milbank Middle School students evolved from my contacting Greg Cantine an 8th grade teacher at the Milbank Middle School. I had been searching for a picture of Milbank’s main street to use in a story I was writing and found one in a blog that Greg maintained. I contacted Greg to find out if I could use the picture. This led to discussing other aspects of our lives and Greg, one of those dedicated teachers always thinking of his students, suggested that I give a talk to his class about my experiences growing up in the Milbank area.
Greg’s students had spent time studying local history and to have
a person who had lived some of that history would provide another perspective to what they had learned in studying the subject.

I embraced the idea and Greg proceeded to make the arrangements for me to talk to his students. Eventually both the 7th and 8th grade glasses were scheduled to listen to my presentation and on April 24 I had the pleasure of speaking to these handsome, well-mannered students. They were for the most part attentive, maybe in part because I had a Power Point presentation with numerous pictures. There is something about South Dakota children. Most of them seem to mature into adults who do their best to contribute to society to the best of their ability. This is an admirable trait. I’m not sure if this has something to do with the climate, teachers like Greg, or one of those unexplained phenomenons that we don’t need to know the answer to.

Addressing the Milbank 7th and 8th grade students

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