No Single-Use Tools

I have a simple rule for tool buying: I don't buy anything that has only one use. Well, except the concrete mixer, but my exceptions to the rule are for tools that I'll use often enough to justify buying versus renting.

Anyway, today the bolt cutters, which admittedly we inherited from a neighbor rather than buying (thanks, Clay!) came in handy. It turns out that right before the Buddleias all grew up to four times their size this spring, I forgot to remove one of the cages I'd had around them to protect them from dog romping. It was a heavy-duty cage, too, and the dykes were just not going to get through it. Bolt cutter to the rescue:

Cutting free the buddleia

I must say, I'm very happy with how big the Buddleias are. That part of the garden is looking really great. Here it is last weekend:

Back corner

(Anybody want any leftover cementitious siding?)

I took that photo as a reference because it shows the little eucalypt I'm considering cutting down in order to put in something else. What could I be considering putting in that would trump such a fine little tree, lovingly hand-raised and protected from dogs for years, just as it is starting to develop adult foliage and look really awesome? I'm thinking about putting in a wood-fired bread oven. (Some people call them pizza ovens, but those people are heathens.) I've been reading a million web pages about building such an oven and I think we could make it happen (just in time for a total ban on wood burning, with my luck).

So an oven of that size needs a certain amount of room, and the back corner looks to be the best place in the yard to put it. I'm still considering, because it's possible that I could just get a decent oven that will bake the way I want for a lot less money and fuss, but if it happens, the little eucalypt is gone. Probably for the best as I am allergic to the stupid thing's pollen.

In other garden news (I know, I didn't even put a "Garden Report" title on this as a warning!), I spent some time today adjusting my compost-watering setup in the chicken yard. Look at this:

Spraying down the compost

For those not in the know, we get no rain from April to October or thereabouts, and the compost dries out completely in that time if I don't water it. A dry compost pile won't burn, so I water it. I've been working on tying it into our irrigation system so that happens automatically, because I often forget until it's gotten pretty dry.

So today I tied the sprayer up into the netting and voila, we have an overhead sprayer. A little saggy but functional. Last weekend we helped our neighbor put a roof on his chicken yard, and now I'm thinking it shouldn't be so hard to put a roof on ours that is somewhat more solid than this bird netting. With a solid ceiling on the yard, I could put up overhead sprayers that dampened the entire yard regularly, which would keep down the dust and help the compost decompose. It all comes back to my compost empire in the end.

We'll need a few more fence posts, and I'm afraid we're going to have to move this enormous compost pile I've been building up, but I think it could happen in a weekend. Now to find a weekend when we're not totally booked solid with crazy stuff.

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posted by ayse on 08/15/09