Today, Donna had me water the terraces first thing in the morning. She helped me with attaching the water meter. I would say that I lack finesse with putting it on, but I am 99.9% sure that the meter has a mind of its own and was being difficult to spite me. I managed to water the entire South Terrace without a problem, but the real fun began when I went to move my hose from the South Terrace to the East. I detached the meter from the hose, but I forgot to do one important step before removing the meter.
And thus begins Piatt’s Pro-Tips for Landscapades:
Be sure to ALWAYS release “pressure” from the wand end of the hose, or else you will take a shower–whether you want one or not.
I can’t complain much about getting a little wet; with the heat we have been experiencing, it was welcomed! I finally moved my hose from the South Terrace to the East, and proceeded to hook up my equipment. I watered half of the East Terrace before I came to my second problem: I somehow managed to knock loose that infernal water meter and lost water pressure. I shut off the water and attempted to fix my predicament, but to no avail. I went to search for Donna, but found Mike Janis (who volunteers at Mt. Cuba three days a week) instead and I asked for his help. He kindly stopped what he was doing and came to my rescue.
Mike shares my same view on the water meter, and told me that the most important thing was to make sure that the threads line up on both the water meter and the hose. It is a little difficult to do since the water meter is made out of metal and the hose is plastic, but if you take your time, there should not be an issue. Mike, thanks again for helping me out.
I finished watering the terrace, and after break, Donna started me on dead-heading Echinacea purpurea (cone flower) in the Round Garden. I worked on them before and after lunch; it was a long project. Which brings me to the next several Piatt’s Pro-Tips for Landscapades:
- If you know that you’ll be working with things like Echinacea (cone flower), or Heliopsis (woodland sunflower), wear the appropriate clothing. They may seem harmless; delightful even, with those cheery brightly colored flowers, but they will make you ITCH. They have hairs all over their leaves and stems which aggravates the skin. Wear gloves. Wear jeans/long pants. Wear a long sleeve shirt if you want. You’ll be happy you did. I did not know I was going to be working with them today, or I would have worn long pants. At least I had my gloves.
- Be aware of the wildlife around you. More specifically, the insect life around you. Even more specifically: bees. Bees are doing what they were born to do: Pollinating flowers. They do not mind being cozy with you. In fact, they don’t even pay attention to you; they just don’t pollen-pickin’ care. Just be aware of them and dead-head things with caution. Sometimes, the bee decides she’s going to land on the flower you want to dispose: let her. Pick another flower to prune in the meantime. She will fly away soon enough. Although I did not get stung today, this is just a cautionary tip to others if they ever need to dead-head flowers in the presence of bees.
- If you know a plant has a virus or disease, always clean your equipment. Cleaning your equipment saves lives and money. It saves plant lives and your money. I had to do this today with the cone flowers, as some of them had a virus. I sprayed my pruners with some Lysol after every plant, to avoid spreading the virus to other healthy plants.