Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin
queerbychoice

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Weekend Gardening and Pet Door Installation

As part of my preparation to eventually move in, a few weeks ago I ordered a pet door insert for Susan's sliding glass door. She set it up this past week, and I added the weatherstripping this weekend (while Susan commented on how butch I am). She trained Taco to go through it, and then Taco and I together trained Boston to go through it. It seems to serve its purpose reasonably well; it fits the door frame and fits the dogs and doesn't pop out of place or do any of the other things I had feared that it might. There were an awful lot of air spaces around it before I added the weatherstripping, and I ended up going to a hardware store to buy two rolls of extra weatherstripping - it came with only one roll. With all three rolls applied, there are still a few spaces I just can't get rid of that mosquitoes or even houseflies could probably wedge themselves through if they chose to; it's just not possible to make the weatherstripping stick in certain crevices. And the part the dogs go through sometimes doesn't close in an airtight or bugtight manner either (despite the magnets that do help somewhat). But it's as good as I can get it, and it's a definite improvement over just leaving the door open for the dogs all day long. There are fewer houseflies inside now (though still some), and maybe slightly fewer mosquitoes inside (though still some), and the heating/cooling bills should be lower.

Her neighbors have been flooding her yard lately, and the result is a horrifying outcrop of weeds. I think the main weeds coming in are foxtails, although they don't have actual seedheads right now. I dug a bunch of them out on Saturday, although I really probably shouldn't have since digging just exposes more weed seeds. I didn't dig up more than a third of them, though, before I was exhausted. I tried to dig out mainly the foxtails that were growing closest to my native plants, because it's hard to spray herbicide that close to my plants without accidentally killing the wrong plant - though it's also hard to dig them out without harming the roots of my plants! I hope I did all right. On Sunday I bought some new herbicide (at the same hardware store where I bought the extra weatherstripping) and sprayed the remaining ones. While doing this, I noticed that there are various tiny broad-leaved plants sprouting that may very well be the beginnings of the wildflower seeds I scattered out there. I hope I managed not to kill too many of them. I also noticed that the golden currant I bought a few weeks ago that was looking so sickly at the end of the truck ride home has now sprouted new leaves and is looking much healthier. Currants like plenty of water, so I'm sure the neighbors' flooding deserves some credit for those new leaves, even though it also deserves a lot of blame for the sprouting foxtails. I'm very happy that the currant is recovering so well. The grapevine and deergrass also enjoy flood situations, and those three plants are the ones I planted closest to the neighbors' yard (precisely because I suspected that the neighbors would flood Susan's yard occasionally), so if I could just get the weeds under control, the flooding wouldn't be a particularly bad thing.

While at the hardware store, I also bought some seeds of non-native plants: delphiniums, rosemary, oregano, and lavender. I think I'll have to plant the delphiniums in the front yard though, to keep them away from the dogs; delphiniums are poisonous when eaten. The rest can go in the back yard. Susan can use the rosemary and oregano in her cooking, and the lavender - well, I just like it, and since it's native to the Mediterranean, it should grow very well in our Mediterranean-type climate. The seeds for these plants all say to start them indoors and transplant them later though, and I've decided to actually follow the directions. So I brought the seeds home, along with some pots. Tomorrow I'll buy some good potting soil and plant them.

We had been planning to have some delayed first-anniversary celebrations this weekend, but we didn't get around to that because Susan was feeling sick. Next weekend we should get around to it; I'll be taking her out to dinner at the restaurant of her choice. This weekend we mostly just stayed home and read together, which was very pleasant. I read Come back to Sorrento by Dawn Powell. Susan read at least three books, including Winner of the National Book Award: A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weather by Jincy Willett.
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