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Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gardening. Show all posts

Jackite Flight

Have you heard of Jackites? These paper kites are used as kites, but also used as a stable pole flyer, too. 

They are made of Tyvek, which is a synthetic material that is water-resistant, tear-resistant, and withstands a lot of "abuse" over time. The Jackites are durable and can be left out in the rain, or even the worst wind conditions. We picked ours up at the local Wild Birds Unlimited in Corvallis, Oregon, but there are several other retailers that carry them. 

Ours is placed on a fiberglass pole with braided fishing line, with a swivel hook attached to the pole and the kite's top. There is a fiberglass rod across the back of the kite to keep its wings out-stretched. When the wind picks up the kite takes flight and actually flaps its wings as if it were really flying.

Even in the strongest winds that we get here in the Willamette Valley the Jackite flies strong. 

We mainly got ours for a companion for our ducks, but unfortunately they are wise and knew it was a decoy. Other birds seem to enjoy it, though. The Starlings will land near it and chatter away with it, or the Doves will perch on the pole and when the wind picks up they fly with it. 

Ours is the Mallard Jackite, but there's several others that are just as cool. We didn't get the birds of prey because we didn't want to scare our ducks, or backyard birds. A few of our favorites are below. You can get your own Jackite by clicking on the image of the one you like best.

Olsen Honeybees

This time of year, spring, seems to bring out the honeybees. On a small road outside of the city there's fields of turnips, butterweed, and radishes and they're all in bloom right now. I love how the honeybee farms rent out their hives to help pollinate the blooms of the crops. This one in particular is one of our favorites. The honeybees are healthy and thriving, as we enjoy their company. We respect their space and they respect ours. Olsen Honey Farm is based out of Albany, Oregon, and operates out of Olsen’s home in with six to 12 employees. They keep 7,000 bee hives that they rent to about 50 farms around Oregon, Washington and California. They've been operating for approximately 18 years.

Our Garden Currently: Instant curb appeal in less than an hour

Creating curb appeal is something we all want to have for our homes, but getting that curb appeal can be a bit tricky if you don't know what to do. Here we did a simple curb appeal on the Hiatt Street home and before we even finished we had people telling us it looked great!  Here is what we did and hopefully it will give you some ideas on how to bring some curb appeal to the front of your own home.

We started with a boring front with nothing to look at other than grass and a few flowers in the front flowerbed.

The Mr. lined out the measurements of what we had in mind and began digging away at the grass to remove as much as we could.

The Hawthorne trees in the front of the house look great at the beginning of spring, but we wanted to make them appeal interesting year around.

We started with a small area on either side of the sidewalk and it took off from there...

We then dug out the grass on the sides of the sidewalk all the way up to the front step. Once those were done we filled in a shallow layer of bark mulch on top of the cleaned out grass.

We then measured out a circle around the bottom of each tree and lined it in the old chimney bricks. We filled that circle in with a shallow layer of bark mulch, too.

We purchased a few plants that we think will mature and work perfect in the area. Lavender, candy tuft, and two filler plants for the back part of the space.

We placed a fast spreading ground cover along the narrow paths on either side of the sidewalk and placed solar lights along the path.

We recently placed another layer of bark mulch on top of the first layer and this is how it looked as of March 2017. From the before to the after it is definitely better to look at now than before. 

We decided after a season of the changes to make a few more adjustments to the setup. This is how it looks as of August this year. We took out the solar lights that were there and replaced them with globe spheres. The top of the solar lights went over them and they look great now! We also widened the path so the Sandwort (Arenaria montana) ground cover could spread more. We love how it's coming together and more changes may be in the works soon. We'll see how this works through the winter and make changes if needed this coming spring.