All posts by plantergirl

Life

Ever Changing

I spent the last week or so packing and unpacking. Boy am I tired. I haven’t wanted to do anything extra as far as yardwork is concerned. As I get older, my recovery time from unusual manual labor is longer and longer. I helped pack a moving truck and did less unpacking it. This seems to be a wakeup call that I need to get more physical activity.

Our property is in pretty good shape water diversion wise. This was lucky for me for two reasons. First, I don’t have to find, move and place rocks so much this year. Second, the rain and snow didn’t do as much damage to the ground areas, or cause as much clean up as it would have done in past years. I do have smaller pieces of wood that the water carried that I have pick up, but the area looked pretty good. I think the worst part this year, because we had a storm with a lot of heavy snow, is broken branches.

I need to get out with my saw to cut up the broken branches. Since we are in Arizona, it gets dry. The cedar and pine can be a fire danger if they are dried out and not taken care of. Some of the wood is saved for fireplaces and stoves, but we get rid of the smaller branches and needles. Since I won’t be at the property full time any more, I need to plan my improvement projects. I have to take into consideration timing and money. We are coming into a great time of the year to get outside. It seems like the summer heat isn’t too far away.

It is still a great time to contact my favorite, Redwood Landscaping and make your yard more beautiful! You can get a free estimate for a cleanup or a new project. They do a lot of wonderful things.

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Moving Days

Oh, My Poor Back

This week would normally be a time to start a new project at the property with winter ending and spring arriving. We are not going to be out on my property full time for a while, so I am having the pleasure of packing up items I need to move. I hate moving. While it does give me the ability to focus on the next segment of the journey of my life, my back just does not like it. I start out more organized and by the end, I am putting things in boxes because I am too tired to sort out the last things. It takes a while to get to them at the new place since I am tired from the move and unpacking the basic things I need.

On the positive side, the weather was very nice. No rain. No snow. Not overly cold.

The move is going to show me new areas that I have to have automated at my property. I will not be there every day and not even every week. I have to make sure that the plants that need water have water. I don’t think I have to worry about freezing this time of the year, but I will have to look at that in the autumn.

Last but not least, it is now time to do my taxes. I’m not sure if I get a refund this year or not, but years that I do get a refund, I tend to do projects or buy a bigger needed item. Call Walter at Redwood today and schedule your free estimate. Put your tax refund to good use and improve your property. You can get a small job done, find out about maintenance or improve your yard with a fire pit or outdoor kitchen. Just because we live in Arizona doesn’t mean that your yard has to be drab. Add some color to your property.

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Outdoors

Enjoy Nature

No rain in the 10 day forecast. It hasn’t hit triple digits in the East Valley or Phoenix yet. It is truly a beautiful time of the year. There isn’t quite 12 hours of sunlight yet, but it is getting there.

Landscaping for the average person is a never ending job. It changes depending on the seasons, but if you own your house or condo, yardwork is a part of your life. You can get all the tools and work in the sun yourself, or you can hire someone to help you plan and maintain your yard.

Landscaping these days can include outdoor lighting, a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen. This lets you enjoy your yard through daylight hours into the night. This is a great time of the year to gather with family and friends. You need to budget some of your tax refund money for a yard upgrade. Call for your free estimate today!

I find it relaxing to be outside in the early morning hours or at sunset. I like the cooler fresh air. I like to watch birds and look at the plants and flowers. Sometimes I sit outside and play games on my phone. Even when I am playing games, I feel like I am a little further from the electronic jungle. I have a fascination for math in nature. For example, spirals or the number of petals on flowers. Nature is amazing to me. I like to observe nature. There is always something to look at.

Sometimes I feel like I have mentally hibernated in the winter and begin to come alive in the spring. I get more energy, I feel like working outdoors. This changes in the heat of the summer, but for now, I will enjoy the weather.

I may push and talk about Redwood Landscaping, but they really are good people who take pride in their work and professionalism. Call and have Walter come and look at your yard. Bring your ideas to life.

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Mardi Gras

Carnival

Now, I don’t aim to get religious… Mardi Gras. Fat Tuesday. Lent. Somber. I always think of this time of year as a time for things to begin to bud and grow from the bare earth. The dirt is brown and will begin to get a fuzz of green. The bushes and trees send out new shoots. The season ends with Easter and spring and green all over.

That was the Midwest. Here in the Valley, spring is well underway. Flowers are blooming. Plants are growing. The desert is alive. I like driving from the higher areas of Arizona down to the desert. You can start out in snow or just plain starkness and end up in the lush spring.

February and March is definitely much too early to plant things — in my mind. The desert is a whole other world where the schedule is advanced. My dad’s yard is yielding a bounty of blooms and citrus. I haven’t broken out my shorts yet, but soon.

I’m hoping the wet weather is over for a while. I would like some non-muddy walks. This is a beautiful time of the year in Mesa and the surrounding area. Get on your phone, call Redwood Landscaping today and get a plan together for your yard for the year. Have them clean up any debris from winter and plant for the heat that will be here soon. Go to the “Our Specials” page. Have the crews do the hard work. They take pride in their work.

So Fat Tuesday will be the end of one season and the start of the next season for me. It is a time to move forward. It is very, very hard to believe that two months are over. As I get older, the time seems to go by faster. One difference is that I do take time to smell the flowers.

Happy Fat Tuesday! Don’t eat too much!

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More Weather

Will it Ever End???

One more of week of moisture is headed our way. This is the storm of the century in California. One thing that this winter has brought into my mind is the absolute necessity of examining water flow. Mother Nature will do what she wants and if I do not go along with her, she will chew up my yard. It will not matter what I have planned or where I put things, the water will dig them up.

We have seen what rain and snow can do with the Spring thaws. The Oroville dam is a prime example of that. The people were lucky the dam did not fail. The repair of the area and spillway will cost more than the prevention would have. This is the same with your yard. If there is not a proper diversion of water, it can even affect your house and foundation.

Water doesn’t have to be all bad; it can be quite pretty if it has a rock way to flow down. I love the sound of waterfalls. When I am on my property, a ways away, there is a creek bed with a drop of probably 20 feet in one spot. When the creek is running, I can hear the water roar. I don’t have the fear that a dam will fail so for me it is a peaceful yet exhilarating sound.

The land is starting to come to life on my property. The plants are putting out buds. I am higher than the Valley, so Spring comes a little later. I stay a little cooler in the summer. But I also have to deal with a lot of mud. I am hoping this coming storm will be it for a while. I need things to dry out so I can move ahead with property improvement projects. Yes, this does include landscaping.

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Valentine’s Day

Spring Specials

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. I love holidays, but they also drive me nuts. Many people go out and buy something, anything, a last minute item as a present. I prefer a present that has more thought to it. Something special that is for me in particular. Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers and chocolates, but I would love a plant I can put in the ground and get flowers for a whole season.

I may be weird, but I like to get things for my house. I like to get things for my yard. I really like getting things for my hobbies. I like flowers once in a while, but I like a very small arrangement, one or three flowers. I can remember as a child bringing flowers to school for the teachers. We would bring blooms cut from the yard. There would be 2 or three tulips, irises or lilies. The cut part of the stem would have a damp paper towel wrapped around it and aluminum foil over that. The flowers on the teacher’s desk would brighten up the whole classroom.

It does the same thing in your house. There is the satisfaction of knowing your hard work produces something of such beauty.

In addition to Valentine’s Day, tax season is upon us. Tax time is a time when I have a block of money to purchase a bigger item. I try to plan on getting something each year that will improve my property or life. For my property, I have done hardscape recently. It would be a great time for backyard improvements. Look at your backyard family space and see if you can fit in an outdoor kitchen or a fire pit. This is a great use of your refund.

In the Mesa area, obviously, the summer is hot. If you have an outdoor barbeque area, you can have great food and not heat up your house. It is a place for family and friends to gather around. An outdoor kitchen will add to the value of your house. No more rolling out a Smokey Joe and a bag of charcoal.

Think about what to do with your refund and add to the value of your property. Visit the “Our Specials” page and call us today!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Taking Stock of Your Water

Get a Drip System Consultation

February is the month to ramp up your yardwork in the East Valley. Consult your local landscaping company, Redwood Landscaping, to plan and implement your spring yard. Do it now while you have extra money from your tax refund. Quotes and estimates are always free.

Okay, enough of the advertising.

February is the month when the danger of a frost in Mesa gets behind you. The first growing season of the year is approaching fast. You will notice buds and fruits on the trees and bushes. The box stores are stocking plants, seeds and fertilizer. As I showed last week, plants are beginning to burst forth with life, citrus and flowers. Arizona is different than the Midwest, as there is green all year round. It was easy up north to see when spring was starting. The green showed up brightly among the whites and browns.

It is tempting to plant anything your heart desires, but the problem is when the heat of the summer and lack of rain hits. Your drip systems need to be examined to make sure there are no leaks. They need to be adjusted for the changing season and plants. When I was working at the hotel, we adjusted the drip system at least 4 times during the year. I would talk with our grounds people and we would set the timing and watering amount. We had different zones set up for different areas of the landscape. Grass, bushes and flowers. Each zone had its own settings based on water needed.

It is important that your drip systems are installed properly or you could lose your investment in the softscape part of your landscaping. There is nothing I hate more than to have to pull out a plant that died because it was under watered. It is such a sad thing to look and see a dried up plant. I do accept that I am hard on plants and I expect to lose a certain amount. My thumb is not as green as my mother’s thumb was.

It is supposed to rain later this week. Enjoy your sunny days and get your free landscaping quote today!

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Roses in the Desert

Beautiful Colors

My stepmother and father live on the west side of the valley. Last week they posted pictures of some of the roses in their yard. I mentioned this, but I just felt the need to show you some pictures. These are not professional shots, but it shows the diversity of what you can do in the desert with time and water. As always, consult your professional landscaping company for ideas and tips.

yellow rose

I have to admit that roses are not my favorite flower. Don’t get me wrong, I like the look and smell, but I am more partial to tulips and wildflowers. These flowers are gorgeous. Their yard is a mix of desert and non-desert plants. They have a drip system in place.

Growing up, we had a variety of flowers in our yard. The blossoms came from bushes, bulbs, rhizomes and seeds. My parents had plants that flowered throughout the season from crocuses poking their heads through the snow to mums in the fall.

pink and cream rose

I think I had a privileged childhood as far as plants were concerned. My parents always had a garden that had fresh fruits, vegetables and decorative plants. If we were interested in a plant that could be grown, they would research what to do and try to grow it. Some experiments were more successful than others. I had my own little garden probably 3 feet in diameter. It had a rose bush in the middle that I got from my uncle. Shorter flowers were planted around it. Things like moss roses and alyssum. I was in grade school at the time.

red rose

I remember being confused that the flowers on the rose bush were peachy yellow the first year and red the second. That was the first time I heard about plant grafts. The hybrid rose was grafted on a hardier root stock. What happened is that even though the rose bush was covered during the winter, the graft part died and the roots survived. I was amazed at what plants could do.

yellow rose

Roses are a good choice if you have their environment set. They do not have to be replanted every year. As you can see by the pictures, beautiful!

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Snow Storm

Cold and Wet

Well, I survived the storms. I knew that I would. Different parts of Arizona had rain, sleet or snow. I am in the middle of the state right now, so I got mostly sleet. Another 10 miles north, they had snow and 10 miles south they had rain.

The problem we had here was not the rain, sleet or snow, it was the electricity. Friday night, the power went out 5 times between 10pm and 5am. I was lucky. Some parts of the town did not have power for 24 hours. These days with modern conveniences, some of my friends have only electric appliances, including their heat. As we were borderline freezing the whole weekend, their houses or apartments got pretty cold. The hotels were filled with cold residents, electric company workers and people who make the journey from the Phoenix area to play in the snow. Every time the electricity went out, I woke up. I think it was the dead silence. I got up each time. When I looked out of the window, the only lights I saw were the headlights and tail lights of the vehicles on the road.

This is probably the last good storm of the winter season. I know I said we were headed to spring, but I mean it this time. We had a couple of storms back to back. Now the sun is out for a week. The dripping has started. I saw a couple of pictures my step-mother posted on a Facebook. Beautiful roses in full bloom. They are also getting the grapefruit, lemons and oranges ripening. They live in the western part of the Phoenix area. The blood oranges are almost ripe.

Since I am considered high desert, I want to put in some citrus. I believe I get cold weather too long in the year to be able to do that. Another future task for me is to figure out what kinds of fruit trees I can actually have. I would be happy with any of them. I don’t want a tree that starts putting out fruit only to have a late frost kill the baby fruit.

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Getting Along

Planning for Spring

We are supposed to get moisture later this week. Parts of California and Northern Arizona have gotten a lot of moisture in the form of rain and snow. Dirt roads are a muddy mess. One thing about the East Valley or in Phoenix, is the general lack of rain until monsoon season. The forecast says around 1 inch of rain this week heading into next week. It is going to be crazy on the roads. There will be a certain number of people who head north to play in the snow.

This rain may be a good soaking to head into warmer weather. My northern family would be happy with 65F. Happy with 65F kind of sounds like what I said a couple of months ago. The difference is that we are on the downside of winter and headed towards spring. I love spring when the buds start to form on the trees. The plants start to peek out of the ground.

I am still learning. I am glad we got some of our hardscape done last year. Moisture can play havoc in the desert region. The problem is that the first moisture soaks in the dry ground and the next moisture makes the yard a disaster. Not to look at so much, but to walk on. The ground does not dry out as quickly as it does in the summer either. We have a couple of waves of storms going to roll through in the next week or so.

I need to make sure that the freezing is over before I begin to plant outside. Depending on the seed I want to put in the ground, I can “start” them inside. However, I am still not at home to do this. I think by the time I return home, it will be beautiful out with everything starting to turn the lovely shades of spring greens. I am looking forward to the growing season. I’ll let you know how the storms go.

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