Apr 20, 2010

Room for rent

Darling toad abode, perfect for a single renter or couple. Cool, shady, damp and adjacent to a pond, via protected crosswalk. Available for immediate occupancy. Must be willing to eat your weight in mosquitoes and other flying and hopping critters every day. Serious inquiries only, please.

We spent the weekend in the backyard, finishing out last year's pond project, when we tore out the large, free-form pond and replaced it with a smaller pre-formed pond. The extraneous area was filled in with dirt and we got some basic landscaping done before fall and winter set in. This allowed us to widen the path around the pond and add a paved area behind the pond, where we'll move a concrete bench for sitting (that's next weekend's to-do.) My sweet husband finished the gravel and rock paths this time - he did a great job!

Flashback - here's the pond back in 2001, after we installed paths and plants (before that it was a pond in a sea of mulch.)

The pond evolved over time - we added a bog filter/garden to the backside and then streamlined the filter to operate more efficiently. But the silver maple, which does give a lot of shade to the area, has a nasty habit of aggressively rooting and the roots buckled the pond liner twice. The final straw was when a large branch fell into the pond a couple winters ago, and punctured the liner - again. There are only so many times you want to empty a pond, tear out the liner and replace it, or even patch it.

Here's the landscape you see as you come through the arbor. It's going to take it a while to fill in, but I think it will be pretty when it does.

Now to get some big, bold-leaved cannas or bananas going in those containers, a few ferns to fill in, and an experiment with some turquoise-y spray paint to see if I can achieve a verdigris finish on a couple black plastic chairs. Oh, and a new wrought-iron hose holder. It's back to a serviceable, hose holder for me...no more hose carts (self-winding or otherwise). Too many broken handles, wimpy cranking mechanisms, and abuse from mother nature each winter.

Then it's on to power-washing and staining/sealing the deck, getting the deck containers planted, getting the veggie garden in...I think the to-do list grows longer and longer every day!

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get!