Larry.s Creative Zone

Larry.s Creative Zone

Saturday, June 30, 2018

More of hot and humidity.....


It was a hot Friday evening and the sky glowed.  Our low in the night was 74 degrees F. which felt like 90 degrees F.



Barney finds it to be safe under the table and the floor is cooler there. His people keep him hydrated as often as possible.


The blurry shot of the rabbit shows here that it is getting ready to go under the blue spruce.  I discovered this morning that she is a mother rabbit. While mowing this morning I had to stop and wait for a small little bunny to scamper crawl back under the tree. I was so glad that I did see him. It was too hot to be mowing but I had to get it done.  I was done by 9:00 and the temps were up 82 already.










Our neighbors had built this at least a year or more ago.  It was in partial completion when we bought our house.  Since then it did get shingles and some trim boards. The last summer the trip boards were finished and he is just now spraying it with primer paint. All winter the mess had not been cleaned up from his work.  The mess included a large part of a piece of plastic that dangled out the one window.  It blew back and forth all winter.  Early spring the young girl wanted to get inside so things were straightened up a bit. While I was mowing this morning, the white primer was finished.  It had been in a partially painted point for the last three weeks.







We were gone late morning and when were returned a dark gray was sprayed on the body of the building.  It is looking really good.  The young man and his wife have two girls and he does work a construction jobs.  I am thinking that is why he is able to stay outside in the heat while painting on it. It will be interesting to see if he places real windows in the openings and how much more will be done.  The frontside of the house has a porch with pergola on it.


I watered everything this morning. My wife and I joke as we have friends that say we should not water in the morning. I have actually heard it both ways that the watering should be done in the evening.  I break the “rules” continually as I water when I have free time. My zinnias are alive and growing well because of my watering cycles.



My rose is a nice one but this is the last good one on the cluster.  All the clusters on the rose are spent now and once this one is finished blooming they all get to be cut off.

We are 91 degrees F. at three in the afternoon and the thunderstorms are now coming our way.  Rain would help green up my yard now that it has been mowed.  Thanks for stopping by today.

Friday, June 29, 2018

I am melting.........meltining....melt.


It isn’t so impressive but things are not blooming yet.  It is like a war zone in these gardens as the rabbits were eating off the zinnias. The clay soil is sort of a challenge and the weather is erratic.  I watered lightly with fertilizer yesterday morning then didn’t water last night. We are having a tropical season with all the humidity but I will water the whole area tonight.  A very hot day has already started as we remained at 76 degrees F. all night. We will be at 99 degrees by noon today.  For me, once it reach 85 degrees it is miserable so adding 15 more degrees to that doesn’t matter.  The heat is awful but it really is all about the high humidity.



The blue spruce must be putting out new cones as these are now falling from the top of the tree. I was out looking for nest in the tree but I just can’t see any evidence of any.  Someone on the net posted a shot of doves in a blue spruce at their next but I don’t see anything.
At the edge of the tomato patch I have great color going on.  The reddish flower is sold among the marigolds but I see that their leaves are not the same. I think it is a zinnia as I look more closely and yet they are all sold together.

I have yet to decide the future of this vine.  If it were a muskmelon I would let it live.  If it is a pumpkin, I know that I want it to be gone.  It is growing among the dogwood shrubs. I had all those pumpkins last fall and we did eat a couple of muskmelons. I could just go buy one to eat at the store and avoid the vines taking over the yard.

 The sucker leaves at the bottom of the maple tree seem to be red.  The tree itself never puts out red leaves like this. The dark red brown is the standard color most all of its season.

I am headed out to the old place to put out the garbage and do some minor jobs. I have dry wall scrap and trash to get off the property.  I won’t stay long and will be glad to get back.  We will be hunkered down today with the heat and just be glad we don’t have be in it.  Thank you for checking in on the elderly here at this site.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Fourth Day of the Week.......


All year long the guy carries his bucket and keeps busy.  The bucket is rusted through now and I should look for a new on for him. The day lily next to him is the one shown below.

It is the first bloom of my day lily collection.  I do believe all of them have buds on them now. I like the plants as their foliage remains good after the blooms are all gone. That corner of the garage is a small planting area and a hosta shares the space with the lily with water boy.

I still like my two plantings of the same vine but I now know that it requires a lot of maintenance. This one vine was invading a robins nest.  Last year it invaded the entire deck floor above. I have a third place that it is growing and I am in limbo as to if it is going to stay. The morning glories like the same post and I do like getting blooms rather than a monster vine.

This is our second summer now at the new place and the weather patterns are so different this year from last year. Last year we were moving into a drought at this time. This year the ground moisture is wonderful. I am still going to water plants this morning.









This sedum is trying to bloom  I will wait and see if the red is a development of flowers or buds that will flower. I can see the grass likes to grow with it too. The automatic camera just can’t get all of the plant in focus

The robin’s nest is doing good and the robin does go off to get something to eat.  I could see her picking bugs off the street this morning while I was out with Barney.  I had a shot of her on the nest yesterday but the neighbor boy was mowing across the street and my showing up with a camera just startled her.

While mowing out there a few days ago I had barn swallows swirling around me.  My friend said that they were not protecting their nest, that they were trying to catch the bugs. When I moved to the back yard later, the two barn swallows flew all over and towards me doing the same. Knowing that they were out there, it makes me wonder what buildings the swallows have their nest.


I have one white coneflower in the front flowerbed. I see that I caught an insect with his shot.  I unfortunately found a Japanese beetle in my marigolds yesterday. I hope that they are few in number this year.  I read in a garden magazine that I should just knock them off into a bucket of water.  Perhaps the spray that I buy for them is mostly water and it drowns them when I use the spray.

I am home today doing my everyday chores.  Our weather will be hot tomorrow reaching 99 degrees F.  I could mow the back yard today.  I have weeding to do as usual and I still have not dead headed my roses.  It was so humid with heat yesterday and I am sure the humidity will stay for today.  Thank you for stopping in on my post today.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Checking in and out.......


A new bloom on my sort of red coneflower.  Planted it last year and now the plant has many buds ready to bloom.

The feeders are a real hit right now as all the newly hatched birds are learning to find food.  They seem to be flocking out there on the deck and eventually I may have to slow down the feeding to get them to go out into the wild and find food.

All of my hosta plants are going to bloom right now. For years I didn’t really pay much attention of the blooms but I do like how they put out spikes of flowers.

The flowers on this hosta seem to be more like a lily with its single white flower. Most of the hosta in the front rock garden are growing well.  On little one can’t seem to take off among all the rocks and the clay soil below it.

Late afternoon yesterday the clouds from rains were still stalking us.  On Sunday we got an inch of rain and then Monday we got two inches of rain.  Our rivers are on the brink of overflow with some roads in Des Moines being closed. I understand from the forecast of the future days we will move into 100 degree F. temperatures with extremely high humid.  Friday is suppose to be a dangerous day for humans and animals.


At one end of the row I have some larger zinnias.  This one bloom is the first bloom for that patch. I have sprouts of new plants in there and all sizes that move up to almost mature plants.

I am headed up to the old house again today.  The further along I get with the work the closer I think I am getting done. Then yesterday I find myself moving backwards with me having to replace an area of drywall in the ceiling. I thought I was done with all of that and then something came up. All plumbing repairs are now done after my work yesterday. I had a kitchen sink drain that needed to be cleaned up.  I also had a repair to the drain for the basement clothes washer to be reworked and ready for a new owner to be able to connect right away.


Petunia power seems to be going on strong. Thanks for checking in on my blog today. Hey, it is Wednesday.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Tuesday’s Things........


Between the rhubarb and the red twig dogwood shrub the angel is going to be moved. The pedestal that the sculpture sits on is the column that held my blue gazing ball.  I have not replaced it  as I can not seem to find a real glass gazing ball. The plastic ones just aren’t the same as a glass one.



These peonies didn’t bloom this spring even though they had buds that seemed to just dry up.  I planted one more in the row yesterday of an old fashion one from the farm.I put some token mulch around them so I wouldn’t have to trim out the grass. The spiked flowers behind them are almost ready to put out their blooms.

 While bragging that I did get the zinnias all put into a straighter rows I took a crooked photos. The seed is hard to plant so I end up with globs of plants coming up and then moving them into a row later. The wire fencing did stop the rabbits from nibbling them and the fence will help to hold up the billowy rows of zinnias once they get taller. There will be a row of sunflowers coming up behind them all just like last year.

If you are having doubts as to what you see here, the sizes of the plants do all eventually become even.  The cottage garden that sits to the right of these really is filling in now.  I planted another peony in the cottage garden as it should be filled with lots of kinds of plants.







Somedays we need to just loosen up.  I have a group of morning glories coming up in the area next to the pole.  They are volunteer and the need to have something to climb.  I call this trellis my Dr. Seuss trellis. Dr. Seuss had illustrations of everything being distorted.  I had an old fan shaped trellis from the previous owners that had fallen apart. The parts form it were bowed and warped.  I threw down three verticals and decide this thing was not going to be straight no matter how hard I tried. So I just turned it into funky art. When the vines of the dozen plants will totally cover it up anyway. In another year I can get some straight wood and make it right.




The time should come that something starts to turn to red. I put the steel posts in to help the cages and plants to stay vertical. The tomato plant usually sprawls out anyway but the support system slows that down and keep the tomatoes off the ground.

I am headed to the old house today.  I will get to cross the bridge over Saylorville Lake to see how hight the water has risen.  We keep getting rains and the lake is getting close to overflowing. The last time it overflowed over the emergency spillway was 1993 and the Des Moiner River flooded out the entire town of Valley Junction It is where the Beaver River and Des Moines River meet. It also shut down the water plant for the entire Des Moines area for 19 days. The water engineers are working overtime to see how to manage it all.  We got rain last night and more is going to hit the state today.  All of it comes south.

Thanks for stopping by today.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Downtown Marvel......


Some of you may remember me posting shots of this building a year ago.  It sits downtown Des Moines and I could see it while visiting the Arts Festival.  This year it is still being constructed. The whole building is wonderful with all of its different balconies and the main roof.

In this blurry banner you can see the finished Kum and Go office building. Most of the outside walls are glass.


In my opinion, it is a Frank Lloyed Wright inspiration with all the cantilevered balconies and roof.




One more shot of it shows the twisting of some o the two top roof parts and the rest having a lot of overhangs.  It will be good to see if finished next year when I return to the festival.

The sunrise on Saturday was looking like this.  We did end up with rain in the evening gaining another inch of rain through the night.  We have had a overcast sky  all day today. It is the wettest summer that we have had for along time.


The overcast sky gave me an opportunity to get a photo of the hydrangea in focus.  It has been hard to do with it being planted on the side of the house where it bright most all of the day.

I did get a lot of things done outside today and it was nice to have the good weather to work in for a change.


It is crowded out there now as I added a new feeder for the birds. The sparrows have joined in on the feeding frenzy with the new feeder letting the eat.  The sparrows can not hold onto the thistle socks.  Thanks for hanging around today at my  post.  I hope to see you her again tomorrow.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Skies.......


The morning vies shows these clouds becoming a wall cloud. I heard thunder later on as it kept getting darker.


Early morning sun peaks between the layer of clouds. A lot of colors resulted from this location of the sun but I couldn’t get a shot taken.

We attended the Arts Festival in downtown Des Moines on Saturday. The crowds were large and the sum heated us up by the noon hour.

Music is being performed on the big stage and the various eating trucks were scatter in long rows. The smell of Asian, Mexican, and Barbecue was everywhere.
A lot of artwork was for sale and signs everywhere to tells us not to photograph it. I did take a shot of these to chickens where were made to be footstools in the den or living room. They were quite the novelty with dozens of them sitting under the tent.

It was a better show this year as they tried to bring in new artists from around the many states.  There still were a few repeated participants but a lot were from new states. A few California artist were there.  They, for some reason,  do not chose Iowans for booths.





No one special was hired to do chalk art but this guy was busy making a big piece on the sidewalk.  In the evening the whole area becomes a concert arena with lots of beer being sold.

Every year the “houses for humanity” create a home.  They had a large crew and this was going up quickly.  They started on Friday and will work on it for two days.  I suspect the finishing of the house will be on site where it will be moved. We had a great time and did walk a lot.  We ended up at Spaghetti Works for late lunch and came home.

Thanks for stopping by today.


Saturday, June 23, 2018

Stuff for Saturday.....


Up at the old place the hosta is showing beautiful leaves. The shade and moisture is perfect for this kind of plant. I mowed the orchard yesterday pushing the mower over many wild violets. I need to return and trim out all of the volunteer trees. Maples and mulberry trees seem to come up everywhere.

This is the first Asiatic lily that is in bloom at the old place. A lot of the flowers have diminished because the gardener isn’t living there any more doing maintenance on them. The peonies that had a dumpster sitting on them last year all did bloom this year.  Places where I dug and moved out a fern leaf peony did have a stray root left behind as it did put out new branches and bloomed.
I was reading about this plant in a garden book last weekend.  It almost made me think I wanted to move it because of its rarity.  They said one could go to old farmsteads and find it growing there to get starts.  I did post this a few years ago and a blogger friend immediately told me to burn it and get rid of it.  The plant is beautiful but it is called “creeping bluebell” for a reason. In the front yard where I planted it  I have to keep mowing it back. It still is spreading towards other parts of the area. In the back yard I had dug it all out 40 years ago and planted spreading jupiter shrubs.  Years later when I removed the shrubs because they had become too large, the creeping plant came back in full force.  I keep thinking that I could plant it in a container with high sides so it wouldn’t spread. Maybe that would be a bad idea.


A new temporary flower garden that I added yesterday is shown here.  It was for necessity that I did this because the dog wet the area all winter causing dead grass this spring.  I had tried to put sod in the spots from other parts of my yard and I couldn’t get it to grow.  As I planted these I discovered another problem.  The people who built the house and put in the sidewalk have layers of clay right here. Also parts of it is filled with river rocks that they were too lazy to remove after they put in the concrete. I could dig down three or four inches and get a bucket full of small rock. Clay does not absorb water as when it rains I can see the water standing on the flower gardens surface. As I nit pic away I want to buy a couple of more geraniums now that I see it does look good.


My thoughts are to  stop the old dog from just wetting there. I also though that grass loves to grow into mulch so that I could get a yard back in there in another year. I did put about a bag of purchased topsoil around the growing area hoping the hardy geraniums will grow.







The petunias are liking our weather conditions and the rains have made them really grow.  The colors seem to all work together for this area. We are headed downtown this morning to see the Arts Festival display.  It is an outdoor show with tents spread all around a four block area. The drive is less than 8 miles now but the parking is such a difficult situation.  We go early and find a ramp to park in that isn’t too far away.  Tradition requires us to go to Spaghetti Works after seeing the show.  Downtown driving won’t be great as the downtown Farmers Market goes on until noon down there.  It will be a crowded place.

I will take photos for sure as their flowers will all be in bloom and the skyscrapers and office buildings are great to see.  Thank your for checking out my blogspot today.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Friday’s Finds.......


The front yard planter is filling in nicely with all of the different kinds of plants. The daily rains seem to keep it looking vibrant. The deep blue plant is like a sage plant in which the goldfinch seem to be getting seed from them.

The marigolds are doing so well as they surround my tomato plants. This has been one of my special plants since I was a kid.  I am sure it has to do with the bright colors. The smell of them I have never liked.


I dug through my May photos and here is the very first day that these tomatoes were planted.  Since then the marigolds were planted and the rain and sun took over doing their jobs.












I guess I have taken a lot of progress shots of the tomato patch.


So, here we are again today a view from today.  I did take the fencing away as there are no critters that want into the patch. I moved some of the parts to surround the zinnia plants that the rabbit was eating.

I took a break from mowing yesterday and when I returned it was so lightly sprinkling.  I just finished up in the sprinkle.  If I had mowed the day before it would have been wet from sweat so I decided a light mist wasn’t so bad.  By the time I was done the mower was starting to collect grass clippings.  It was good to get it all done.

I have a neighbor at the old place that is mowing the bulk of the yard now.  I am taking my mower to do the hard to mow places around the orchard and garden shed. I have to reconnect a hot water line in the basement where the clothes washer needs to be connected.  I had severe cold freezing and when I turned on the water later it was streaming water. .I had to cut the line and cap it temporarily.   If we had been living there it would never had happened last winter.  Today I will reconnect it and the final plumbing jobs will be done.

We are having cool temperatures now for a few days. I do think we will have a rain free day today.  I load up the truck and see what it looks like up at the farm.  There was a tornado at the neighboring town three days ago so I will have some limbs down in the yard.  Thanks for stopping at the post today.