Garden Tidbits: Hay Bale Harvest, Leave It To Beaver and Flex Tape Hack

Thank you to everyone for your encouraging words about my photoshopped Potting Shed in the fall issue of Country Gardens Magazine. To use a boating analogy, seeing my shed and work in the magazine without any recognition, and on the cover no less, took the wind right out of my sails. Your support and kind comments made me feel so much better.


Fall is the time of year for a hay bale harvest~ when the field next to my Potting Shed is cut and baled.

In a week’s time the field goes from bronze feathery topped grasses to tidy bales.

Depending on the growth and frequency the field is cut, the bales can be large and round or small and rectangular like this year.

The smaller bales are usually stacked and hauled off the same day. Hauling the round bales takes more time with the bales hanging around a little longer to dry.

 These photos are from a few years ago when I couldn’t resist having a little fun with my harvest of pumpkins and mums among the hay bales and tractor. . .

It always makes me wish the hay bales would stay around for a month for a backdrop and pumpkin fun!

Even though it’s October, Mother Nature is still hanging onto summer, like this bumblebee to the Chaste Tree bloom.

Our September 80+ degree days must have been agreeable to the Chaste Tree.

The bees are all abuzz over a second  flush of blooms and with good reason as there isn’t much else flowering this time of year.

I spied this lone bloom on the Earth Angel Floribunda Rose, a happy surprise and so unexpected!

The weeds are growing with abandon, if not kept in check, Morning Glory vine is twines and climbs its way around everything in its path.

September seems like it went by in a whirlwind  thanks to Hurricane Florence ( pun intended ;).  We were fortunate unlike a lot of North and South Carolina, that we had no flooding or damage. We did lose a tree, but not to strong winds. . .

The mystery of the disappearing butterfly bush was finally confirmed as Rita guessed, the guilty party was a beaver! We walked out one morning to discover our Weeping Willow tree felled to the ground. The willow tree is about 10 feet down from where the butterfly bush is. The tree was gnawed to a pencil point and then just left there. . .so rude!

We nursed the willow tree along for over a year since we planted it to replace a mature tree we lost by the shoreline (you can see the stump of the previous tree  behind it). We have never seen a beaver or evidence before, but they must be one or several residing nearby. The next tree we plant will have to have some fencing around it to prevent any potential beaver damage.

My birdhouse toppled over in the wind during Florence, fortunately the birds had flown the coop and the house wasn’t damaged.

I can’t blame it entirely on Florence as it became obvious that the wood post had developed a serious case of rot over the course of three years when we put it up.

We had a roll of Flex Tape leftover from patching our roof after some storm damage in January. I highly recommend Flex Tape, which worked exactly as advertised as a strong and flexible waterproof barrier for our roof until it could be permanently repaired!

 As Flex Tape is a strong rubberized waterproof tape that seals out water, air and moisture, we decided to apply it to the bottom of the birdhouse post that would be below ground to add a layer of protection and hopefully prolong the life of the wood.

I used the opportunity to clean out the birdhouse which I normally wait and do in the spring. I’m always amazed  at the different nesting styles and building materials used!

My husband cut some of the length off the post and then applied the Flex Tape to all four sides, including the bottom. I found Flex Tape in the paint department at Lowe’s. The tape comes with a backing that you peel away before applying. As you might guess, it’s super sticky. Rather than trying to cut through it, it’s easier to use the open blades of the scissors slide through the tape.

Once you peel the backing off, press the tape firmly to remove any air pockets or bubbles. Once bonded, it can’t be re-positioned and adhesion will strengthen over time.

We used a level to make sure the post was straight and then filled in the hole with some gravel and packed the dirt in around it and then top coated with mulch.

Hopefully we’ll get a few more years out of the wood post this way, time will tell.

 I’ve been busy doing a little cleaning and organizing around the Potting Shed. I removed ALL the watering cans sitting around, including the chain gang, as well as anything else that could be a potential projectile, like pumpkins, back in September in anticipation of Hurricane Florence.

After Florence, Hurricane Lola, kept me occupied and I’ve been slowly getting everything back in place. We’re keeping our fingers and toes crossed that Hurricane Michael only brings us rain and no damaging winds or downed power lines. We’re expecting the heaviest winds and downpours to arrive on Thursday.

I did manage to do a little organizing to keep track of my perennials and shrubs. This was a long overdue and good rainy day project! I had all my tags stuffed in an overflowing box in my Potting Shed. Anytime I went to look for something, they all spilled out. I sorted through them, removing the duplicates and plants that bit the dust.

I found book rings at Dollar Tree and used a hole punch on the tags. Some of the tags already had a convenient hole at the top.

I sorted and organized my tags by climbers/roses, perennials, and shrubs/trees so I can refer back as needed and find what I’m looking for.  . so much better than searching through a crammed box!

Hang your tags somewhere for easy access. . . I hung mine on some pumpkins, just kidding. :)

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are in the path of Hurricane Michael. . .

If you’re in the path of the storm, I hope you’ll *bee* safe. ♥

Thank you for your visit, sharing with:

 Between Naps on the Porch

  38 comments for “Garden Tidbits: Hay Bale Harvest, Leave It To Beaver and Flex Tape Hack

  1. Donna C
    October 10, 2018 at 1:05 pm

    Mary: I would love to know if you reached out to them and asked them to give you credit and what they said. I love reading every newsletter and I love at your photos although I don’t post a comment on every one. They are gorgeous!

  2. Rita C.
    October 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Wow, this post is full of some great stuff. First off, it’s amazing to see so much open space near you. How cool to be able to take advantage with a photo op! That beaver incident still infuriates me, as I know the feeling after nurturing our own small trees and seeing that happen. I have a friend who used that construction type fencing (not wire), and witnessed deer pushing it in to where they could still pluck the fruit, so you’ll do better to use real wire fencing when you replace your tree.I pinned that flex tape – it looks like a great thing, even for a temporary fix on window sills that are showing rot. Those rings for the flower and plant varieties is genius! I’ve always just kept mine with my garden journal notes, by year, but that looks so much handier. I may make that a winter project for myself! I think I’ll make one(s) for annual containers/beds, and separate one(s) for the landscape plantings. Thanks for sharing!
    Much of my garden’s still growing, but I’m ready to clean it up now. Otherwise, cold weather may snap and then I’ll be sorry. I hate to destroy the monarchs butterfly bush garden though – they are rampant! I hope you stay safe and clear of any destruction as Michael blasts through. Let us know.

  3. October 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    So many interesting tidbits here Mary! The nerve of that beaver, I agree, so rude not haul off the tree after he took it down. :0 So glad your beautiful birdhouse (and no birdies!) were harmed by the fall. I’ll have to remember Flex Tape in the future. Beautiful hay bales too. I hope you don’t have any damage or flooding from Michael, stay safe!

  4. Vicky
    October 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm

    What a clever way to hang on to tags and labels from potted plants. And seed packets. Hope you don’t mind if I steal your idea!

    • Sandra
      October 10, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      I love this idea too! Imitation is the greatest form of flattery! I’m copying!!

  5. Deb
    October 10, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Oh such beautiful fall photos of the hay balls and pumpkins! I’m ready for Mother Nature to let go of summer too…maybe by this weekend after Michael pushes through. Stay safe!!!

  6. Marion
    October 10, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Mary this is a wonderful post. I love the morning glories. Never saw the mixed color. Growing up in the city our yard had morning glories bloom every year. They hold a special place in my heart.

  7. Joan
    October 10, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    I love the hay bales in the open field. All the pumpkins displayed are so lovely. A friend of mine has had trouble with Beavers also. Like the squirrels they can be quite destructive.

  8. Marilyn
    October 10, 2018 at 1:49 pm

    Here in New York the weather has been warm for Fall. My Marigolds keep on blooming and producing beautiful flowers of mixed colors. Love all the photos of the Pumpkins and Hay Bales.

  9. Brenda
    October 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you for the Flex Tape and book ring tips! Brilliant! And I always love the ‘real’ pictures of your shed. Thanks!

  10. Donna
    October 10, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    I like the ring organization tool too. I used to use this for postcards when we were on a special trip. It makes sense for lots of reasons.

  11. Nancy
    October 10, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Your imaginative and beautiful photos made my day. Michigan has been a roller coaster ride of excessive heat, humidity and drought to the few and far between torrential downpours. Today it is in the 80s and now they are predicting frost for the weekend. My flowers didn’t know what to do from one day to the next. But I can always count on your post to give me an uplifting garden fix. I hope you are not in the path of Michael. Stay safe.

  12. Linda Cunningham
    October 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing so much of your life in photos, the highlight of the day. Fall is on the way. We are cooler today in Dallas. Hope you are in a safe location AWAY from Michael this week as it moves through!!

  13. Lorree
    October 10, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I love the flex tape hack. Years ago my concrete birdbath cracked and I used the flex spray stuff to seal it up. Still holding strong! And the idea for putting your tags on book rings is a great idea, I’ll be stealing that one! I might have to steal the chain gang idea as well, because I have a little obsession with galvanized watering cans. Don’t worry though, all the credit will go to you!

  14. Cyndi Raines
    October 10, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Great Fall pictures. Sorry Mr. Beaver destroyed your weeping willow. 😔 Will pin the Flex tape, really good to know that tip. Loved your idea of the tags on the ring! How smart are You! Stay safe Mary. Praying for my Aunt in Pensacola and friends in Navarre, Fl. Our weather has been muggy and in the mid 80’s these past few days, but cooler weather coming which will work for me to clean up the last ofthe flower beds. Prayers for our southern friends and family!

  15. Jackie Leonard
    October 10, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Mary, your blog never ceases to amaze. It’s so creative and inspiring. You have a certain talent that most people would be highly jealous of. I know I am. I can’t get over how week after week your posts are so beautiful they look like they were developed by a professional artist and a they provide a mental catalyst for us to “pick up our game” in the creativity department. KUDOS Mary. I hope to be able to lose myself in your blog for a long time to come.

  16. Shirley Graham
    October 10, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Love your pictures! Thank you ! My “garden” on the deck is still blooming & I enjoy it so much. I’m going to look for pumpkins next & some MUMS!

  17. Joy A. Haff
    October 10, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Love the fall pictures! I hope Michael doesn’t damage too much around your property. Do you have to put all of your yard ornaments, potted plants and things inside every time one of these comes along? I wouldn’t want to think of them being blown into the next county! I built a simple protector for our trees to keep the deer from damaging them that you can probably use for a beaver too. Just drove three 4-ft long pieces of rebar into the ground about 5 inches from the trunk of the tree and wrapped wire fencing around it and used cable ties to hold it on. Took all of maybe 10 minutes and has lasted for 7 years now.

  18. Tricia
    October 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm

    This is such a beautiful presentation today. Love it all!! And great ideas, especially the rings for holding plant tags And the Flex Seal tape for the bottom of your birdhouse. Looking forward to using it on decorative posts that go into the earth for holiday presentations, Blessings

  19. October 10, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    I loved seeing your Fall photos around your property, Mary. Thank you for all your tips, especially on the Flex Tape. Your post looks good as new! Too bad that tape wouldn’t work on your poor tree!!! Those beavers sure did a number, didn’t they?! I hope you find a good replacement tree and protection for it. Stay safe from the hurricane!

  20. October 10, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    What a delightful visit, enjoyed all the tidbits, I have saved my tags at this house, first time ever, fearing brain loss I was planning ahead! So far I list all my plants on my blog under garden chronicles so wherever I am I can quickly find the list, but I love your hole punch idea, I just can’t wait for a garden room to really enjoy all my plants and projects!

    A new trick to stave or rot we tried this year is metal fence posts, pound them in then the 4×4 wooden posts have zero contact with the dirt, plus you can move about at will. Time will tell if this is a better solution in a decade! Everything is as festive and gorgeous as always.

    Hope you are safe in the coming storm.

  21. Jan Fusco
    October 10, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    We’re on the panhandle in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. We were lucky in that it went on down the road from us to Panama City. I hope the damage hasn’t been to bad but I’m afraid some didn’t fare too well. I have a friend with a beach house on St. George Island and I’m afraid it’s pretty messy over there. Luckily her house is up on pilings. Praying for those who suffered great loss. Hope all will be well with y’all.

  22. Granny Gay:)
    October 10, 2018 at 8:28 pm

    The incident about the magazine reminds me of another true story. A teacher friend of mine worked diligently on her doctorate dissertation for many months…turned it in, the professor liked it so much that he put his name on it and used it in some way to his advantage…never giving her credit…she let him know she did not appreciate his ‘theft’…he never changed a thing and she never completed her doctorate degree. So sorry that happened to you, but anyone can easily recognize the elegance and fun you put into your blogs and know it is your shed…this current post is filled with more goodies…many thanks, as always…:)

  23. Carol
    October 10, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    Mary, Your blog is becoming most favorite. It always inspires me with your colorful and styled flowers or vegetables. Your tablescape ideas never fail to inspire me. Today, your plant tag idea inspired me to finally organize my box full of plant tags. It was a genius and so simple a project. Thank you for all the work you put into your blog.

  24. October 10, 2018 at 11:26 pm

    Mary, I hope you escape high winds and rain. I love when our hay is cut into round bales, they make a nice picture of country living. Wow, the beaver must have called over his pals to help him. Thanks for the tip about the flex tape. Stay safe!

  25. Sheran
    October 11, 2018 at 12:41 am

    Your rose picture is stunning, along with the rest of your post. Stay safe, and thank you🌹🍁🍂

  26. Franki
    October 11, 2018 at 9:45 am

    Beaver must be on the rampage!!! Our shoreline took a hit..willow, dogwood, etc…rude is right!! franki

  27. Sherri
    October 11, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Love the organization tip for the plant tags!

  28. October 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    The hay bales look like such fun to play with! Your tag organization is quite brilliant! Sorry about the beaver, and great idea on the flex tape! I got some after reading about your roof use, and it really is handy stuff! I hope you weren’t impacted by Michael too much, good news is that there is cooler weather behind it!

  29. October 11, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Seems like there’s always something to do Mary… I hope the weather gives everyone a break and we can all enjoy a little fall weather soon:@)

  30. October 12, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Mary, the hay fields are picture perfect. I think your photos of playing with the pumpkins, etc. among the hay bales are some of my favorite. I love the earth tones shown here. The tag organization is a great idea. I’m going to be a copycat on that. Thanks for sharing the idea! Like you, I’ve usually just added them to a box or some other container. This is much more helpful!
    Sorry your photo was stolen. I didn’t know! Did you notify the culprit? They should compensate!!!
    Love the bird house / feeder. I’m glad you salvaged the post. I’ve always wanted to add one of these to our garden, but don’t have a good space for it.
    Happy weekend to you.

    • October 12, 2018 at 6:36 pm

      Hi Sarah, Yes the tag organization on the rings makes it so much easier, copycat away!The “culprit” was Country Gardens Magazine’s editorial staff. Happy weekend—we’re enjoying our first taste of fall now that Michael has pushed through…at last! 🍁🍂🌾

  31. October 12, 2018 at 8:53 pm

    I love the idea for the garden tags..I will definitely try it!! I was wondering if you received any residuals from Michael? Love this time of year with all the harvest going on..lots of dust but also hay and straw smell so good..thanks for sharing.l❤️

  32. Kaye Moore
    October 13, 2018 at 7:57 am

    I loved the idea for the garden tags.

  33. Beth Cox
    October 13, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Anytime I think about my dream shed, only yours comes to mind! Sorry you had that unfortunate experience, but I know that you have a lot of fans around the country, including me from Connecticut!

  34. Nancy
    October 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

    Love your post! Where can I get burlap cover for the pot of mums?

    • October 30, 2018 at 10:51 am

      Hi Nancy, I found the mums in the burlap at Walmart 🍁🌾🍂

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