Friday, June 15, 2018

Front Landscaping - Gettin' There! -

So our young handyman guy and his Dad (cool old dude!) came by today with the rest of the shredded cedar "mulch", and finished off the bare spots, and made sure the area had about 3" of mulch everywhere.

Looks much nicer than when we moved in. Sorry for the poor lighting, but I think you get the idea.

The little walkway makes street access easier. Yes, I know it's not a good idea to make it too easy for the goblins to get in, but we have some, uhh....., "Security Measures" in place besides Pebbles The Wonder Dog, who I would NOT want to deal with at 0300 unless my scent was in her memory bank "Top Ten Good Guys" category.

Maybe make that the "Top Five"??

Looks a bit barren, but the plants we picked are fast growing, and only get "so big", according to the House Botanist, my sweet little wife. The nursery we like had these in something like four sizes of pots, so she went by $$ for the final choice, and I think these are the "$10 size" plants. In the above picture you'll see a little "bush" to the left, and that's the size plant she wanted.

That's the "$40 size", and was a birthday/Mother's Day gift from her son. We were blown away when he took it out of his car and gave it to us! Forty bucks is a lot to The Kids, and we certainly didn't expect it.

Anyway....these little guys seemed to have survived the transition from pot to front yard, and seem to be happy.

And we still have to decide what to do on the North side of the house, besides turning the fence panel into a sturdy gate. And I'm going to emphasize "sturdy", because those 60+ MPH winds we had twice this last Spring really caught me by surprise. My neighbor had several fence panels come loose from the posts and blow down. In one case, it pulled loose from one post, and snapped the other one off at ground level, That post was rotted out, along with two on our shared fence, so I helped him dig the old ones out and set the new ones in. It's also why the antenna/tower project is on hold. I really need to seriously talk to some people with local experience with towers and Big HF Yagi antennas here. I should probably noodle up a separate post on the Tower Project. I know some of you guys have experience with towers in places with Real Weather, compared to the benign "weather" I've lived with for the past 35 years.

In the meantime I've clobbered both front and back with a double-dose of "Season Long" broadleaf weed killer. It has good old 2,4-D in it, which I distinctly remember in the "Ortho" cans in Dad's garage when I was growing up. Dad hated dandelions with a passion! Besides the "Weed-and-Feed" treatments he gave the lawn, he had a green plastic tube called a "Killer Kane" that you'd put some big tablets in, and fill up with water, The tablets fizzed and dissolved, and you put the cap on. The business end of it had a spring-loaded nozzle, and when you pushed the Killer Kane down on the dandelion, it got a shot of whatever herbicide tablets you were using.

I always thought the Killer Kane was Kool!

For now we've got the back yard in maintenance mode, just keeping it watered, fed, weeded, and mowed. And as soon as our "Original Lawn Guy" refunds the money he's holding from the canceled contract(s), we'll be getting in touch with Chainsaw Mama to work her magic on the cottonwood trunk. After looking at it for almost eight months, we think we "see" various critters in it, and we'll be interested to get her take on it.


  1. The whole project keeps looking better and better.

  2. Thanks, LL.

    Perhaps someday you'll get to see it.

  3. Different climate then you both know. Lot's to learn. Knowing nothing about tower construction, but knowing Colorado, may I suggest your engineer mantra should be, "Hell for stout?"

    1. Abso-Fucking-Lutely!

      The tower I'm thinking of has a rated wind-load capacity of 24sqft @ 85MPH continuous. The combined wind-load of my complete antenna/mast/rotor/etc is about 12sqft, so it should be "good enough".

      I should call or write to the tower people. I'll have to do that eventually, and I might as well get started....

    2. With the right atmospheric conditions, wind gusts much higher than 85 mph occur on the Front Range. Rare, but the jet stream has hit the ground in places. Boulder airport in 1968.

  4. It's looking good, and your wife is wise to get the smaller plants and let them grow into the space. It's a very common practice for landscapers to way over plant in order to make a new yard look finished. Then in a couple years you have a jungle or have to take out every other one of those $$$ plants.

    1. She did it for cost reasons more than anything else, but I see your point. The landscaper wants it to look 'finished' and 'established', and the homeowner agrees.

      And as you say, two years later it's so overgrown the homeowner has to call the landscaper back to thin things out.

      Landscaper job security, perhaps?

  5. Sigh, must be nice to not have constant winds...

    1. Yeah, but when they DO blow, things fall over!

      BIG things.

      It blew over my 8' satellite tower (no antennas on it) and the 5' HD tripod with the Davis weather station on it.

      The highest recorded gust on the weather station was about 70MPH, recorded right about the time the tripod went over.

      I could tell because the recorded wind speed went to zero....

  6. From first impressions, the tower rated for 24sqft @ 85MPH but carrying 12 sounds good. The guys who make towers don't want them failing any more than you do, and seem to always recommend conservative engineering practices.

    Wind load scales as wind V^2, but I'm pretty sure loads scale linearly, so you're at half the rated load (which probably already has safety factor in it).

    The yard is looking good, too!


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