Then and now references

I've been reading all the twitter updates by friends at the National Stationery Show and Surtex (Go Team LPP!), sounds exciting! Good luck kids!

We spent the weekend outside working on projects, dined with a dear friend from high school,  and took lots of naps.  Here are some pictures of 2 of our mulch beds, the first one is new as of this year, the second was new last year. The difference in soil under all the mulch is amazing: it went from hard, compacted and a light gray color to dark brown, soft and easily trowel-able.

The new keyhole mulch bed on April 3, 2011.

And then there's the ol' poison ivy. It doesn't itch so badly anymore. I'm doing quick rundown of what I've used on it and what I think seemed to work in case anyone wants a future reference.

Hydro cortisone cream--eased the itch, but didn't heal. Aspirin cream: eased the itch, didn't heal (in fact, both of these creams seemed to leave a thick residue that made the itch worse over time, I think). I feel like zinc was the same way, but maybe I didn't give it a fair chance. Rhus tox gave me a 10 minute headache at first then the headache went away; it seemed to help the itch a bit but for 3 hours at most.

The Keyhole Bed on May 15, 2011.

Allergy tablets (like a generic Benadryl) helped me sleep through the night without itch, but it makes me drowsy, so daytime use wasn't an option.

Not scratching also seemed to keep the itch level down.

What is now the Perennial Edibles bed soon after I started it, May 9, 2010.

The best solution was running the rash under water just on this side of the bearable threshold until the sting goes away. That sting hurts so good and when it and the itch go away you'll want to cry tears of joy. The hot water in combo with Tecnu Extreme scrub and Tecnu itch spray are the best of the best. No itch all night long.

The Perennial Edibles bed May 15, 2011. The big patch of grass front and center is grass
I trimmed from around the bed, layered on top to add a bit of nitrogen.

My arm is still swollen and blistered, dried out from the hot water/Tecnu combo; not pleasant to look at, but I can handle the ulgy. Ugly + itch = not so much.

Did you have a good weekend? What did you do?