Monday, March 27, 2017

Focus

The grounds at County Line BBQ where we had dinner.
I hoped to start off the week with a firm purpose and a drive to get languishing projects (e.g. taxes and the plant list) moved along to completion, and so far so good! It was Contractor Light here today, and Steve and Shawn (my guests from Missoula) had things they wanted to do out and about, so I got to sit down with the tax papers and work on them uninterrupted for about seven hours. Then when we got home from dinner I picked them up again and have put in another two hours. With a little bit of time tomorrow pulling together the numbers from the data I assembled today and finishing up the moving expenses and the paperwork for the tax credits on the solar installation and the Leaf, I will be done (and the crowd goes wild!).

I also gave up on building the database for plants that I was working on. FileMaker Pro just defeated me in terms of how it stores and retrieves data. I *could* get everything in in all the tables and related tables, but I would have to make all the entries one at a time as I couldn't figure out how to automate storing the values for multiple entries in one field. For example, if a plant can be planted in Sun, Pt Shade, or Shade, I would like to capture that information without putting it all in one field. It's better to have a unique record for each unique bit of data. I have done this many times before in a previous life when I worked with the Remedy engine (ostensibly for help desk management, but I built all kinds of different applications using it). FileMaker Pro is either not as flexible as Remedy, or I am just not getting it. So I scrapped the project for the time being in the interests of just getting all the data in a place that I can at least use it--like Excel. It's not pretty, but it will work. Best of all, I can probably have it done and be using it by wednesday to design the beds with the 147 different kinds of plants I have collected so far.

Planting a garden isn't just about throwing plants into beds and watering them. You have to plan for eventual size--shorter ones in the front, taller ones in the back. You have to arrange for color and texture of foliage and leaves. You have to stagger the plants in a given bed by blooming season--you don't want all the plants in one bed to bloom at the same time. You also want to make sure you have sufficient plants to bloom from the very beginning to the very end of the garden season. This is especially important if you are gardening for bees and butterflies as the blooming plants are their food source: No flowers, no food.

Even though it was Contractor Light, it wasn't Contractor Void, and they did get the rest of the dirt in the new beds and I think the backyard is just about completely weeded too. I am excited for tomorrow as there will be six people here working and I should really be able to see a difference by the end of the day.

1 comment:

Bill said...

Wow.