Little Work & Lots of Sun

There are twenty two hours of useful daylight in Anchorage currently. Yep, you read that right. 2-2 hours. This photo was taken around 10:00pm on June 20 (Solstice).

Summer Solstice

It’s crazy. I hate it and love it at the same time. I hate it because it makes it hard to gauge when to start winding down for the day. Dinner at 10:00pm has happened. It’s also frustrating to wake up and know it is light outside but unsure what time it is. This morning I woke up at 4am and it didn’t look like it when I stood in the kitchen and looked out the window.

The flip side is that with all this sun creates an amazing growing season. I wish I had snapped photos of the huge dandelions in my yard. Huge is an understatement. I had to buy a special tool just to be able to get them by the root and yank them out of the ground. I planted a vegetable garden a few weeks ago and I can’t get over how fast everything is taking off. The carrots were from seed and they are growing like weeds. I am also able to cut peonies from the bushes in the backyard and fill my home with their prettiness and scent.

I also spent some time planting a few planters to include a pot of succulents. Oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to tell you my giant crush on these bad boys. I had to give away my succulents when I moved here from S.Carolina so it was a must on my list of items to plant this spring. I found a container from a store that I thought would look quite swell with a succulent or two. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any holes for drainage which is a necessity for most plants, especially succulents. I knew it would be an easy fix with a drill, carbide drill bit, duct tape, and a little muscle. So if you are like me and like to think outside the box for creative ways to display your flowers/plants, then read on for the easiest way that I have found to drill into ceramic (or any other type of hard material – granite/stone/porcelain/etc.)

First, I went to my local hardware store and bought a 1/4″ carbide drill bit.

Second, I marked 6 holes on the bottom of my container and then covered the spots with small strips of duct tape (from the inside of the container). I filled the container with about 1/8″ of water and then placed on top of a scrap piece of plywood so I wouldn’t drill into the workbench as I made the holes.  Then with my handy-dandy drill and bit, I slowly began to drill into the pre-marked spots. The water helps keep the drill bit cool and the duct tape gives the drill something to hold onto. Without the duct tape, the bit would just move all over the hard surface.

I emptied the water after drilling three holes and took off the duct tape to see if how it looked and it didn’t appear the container was cracking so I continued to do the same process with duct tape—>water—>drill.

Once I had pre-drilled all the drainage holes, I went ahead and started my mixture of potting soil.

  • 5 parts perlite
  • 4 parts bagged potting soil
  • 1 part coarse sand

Once I mixed the soil, I planted three hens and chicks succulents. I planted them three weeks ago, and they are doing well. I had them outside for a week or so, but I had to bring them inside since we got hit with some heavy rain.

While I was busy filling planters, I also went ahead and freshened up a few areas in the yard with a bit of weeding, mulch, and sweat (which is cuh-razy because who would have thought that I would/could sweat in Alaska?!)

Before:

After:

Before:

After:

Matty K and I also wanted to have a raised bed full of veggies. So we converted a sandbox to a vegetable garden. Here’s to hoping we will have a great harvest. 😉

Before:

During:

After:


We planted this garden almost three weeks ago to the day and there has been little work needed to make anything grow, just a lot of sun. I took a short video today of what everything looks like in the backyard. Almost twenty one days later and the flowers and carrots and broccoli are h-a-p-p-y!

I have said it before and I will say it again, this place really does feel like home. For anyone who wants to visit in the summer then you will not be disappointed. Come by mid-June since it has been the best weather to-date. Just make sure you bring a sleep mask and maybe a Tylenol PM (or 10).

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