Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hello Spring and Summer Living


The snow has melted away and spring arrived late. Unfortunately, the spring blooms come and go too quickly and now we are looking at summer living. 

You're welcome to come take a look around our outdoor space. Just don't mind the mess while I pull things together. Each year, I try to improve and expand as I work on the outdoor spaces. With so many plans and so little time, I get overwhelmed while wishing there are 10 of me. 

This crab apple tree bloomed and the winds blew away most of the petals the short week it sported its beauty. I'm glad I got a photo of it while I worked upstairs and thought of it. 


The havoc of winter means a lot of spring clean up around here. So that is what I'm doing this week. And next week too, I'm sure.  

Draining and cleaning the pond is always the worst job, especially this time of year. The leaves and microorganisms that laid under ice and snow are... quite frankly... gross! 


The frogs don't think so. This one won't budge while I clean. He's obviously claimed his territory.


Putting this monster sized fountain back together is a task that takes two of us. Hubby helped me with it on Monday. It's a "cleaning out the home gift" from hubby's Uncle Fred a few years ago when he sold his house after his beloved wife passed. We lost him too, just recently, which makes this garden piece more special to us now. I call it the Fred and Joanne fountain.


The never ending deck and backyard projects are getting put together to welcome summer. I pressure washed everything and will freshen up the wood with new paint. I usually shade the top of the pergola with these drapes that I sewed together. That technically means I use a ladder to juggle myself while straightening out the fabric the entire length and width of the structure before securing it to the beams.

It's got to be comical if anyone is watching.

Undetermined at this time is a section of the long deck. I'm contemplating a screened off section for our birds to join us while we enjoy the outdoors. Being tropical Amazons, they love humidity and the summery temperatures outside lately has been very healthy for them. Keeping them protected from the sun and predators means more custom deck work. For now, they use their cages. So it's another unexpected project in the works. They always pop up. Don't they?


I've been planning a poured concrete and rock garden pool in the back corner section of the huge yard. That plan has been a dream since we moved here. Now that the kiddie pools, jungle gym, fort and swing-set are all outgrown and given away, it can be a reality. We have the equipment; it's a matter of getting it done or at least started. I can hear the water falls already... splashing from a pump disguised behind a tall rock wall. Landscaping... shallow walk in pool... spitting water sides... lounge chairs... night lighting... I've planned it and sketched it on paper. Ok, back to reality.

In the meantime, it's snowing maple seeds everywhere.

The advantage to that is, the chipmunks love them! They fill their cheeks as they munch out the seeds and leave those whirly jig casings all about.


While I work around the outdoors, the one thing I truly enjoy are the plants and blooms.  It's my absolute favorite seasonal passion! I swear I fall in love each time I look at them. The rebirth of nature in the spring time is so beautiful. Getting excited over plants and flowers is something that takes over me. When sharing them, I kinda feel stupid with the males of the house because it's not their thing. But it's certainly mine! I already missed the hyacinths and crocuses under the snow. The tulips didn't even have a chance...
again this year...
because we have wild life friends who enjoy them before I do...
and last year it was a deer.


This year it was...


a rabbit!

Who is still hanging around; and now with two babies. At least I feel good about contributing to a needy family.

So, before I get all lost in projects, it's time to stop and smell the flowers. Take in the beauty.

Like this gorgeous Shooting Stars hydrangea that  I planted in a pot at the front entrance.


Along with this Strawberries and Cream hydrangea, in the same planter.


I totally dumpster dived the planter. When I saw it on the top of the pile, peeking out at the world, it completely screamed "save me"!!!! Quite large and heavy, hubby helped haul it and asked "you sure you want it? It looks like a crack on the side." I responded with "drainage is good for plants". Son and Husband shook their heads no while they smiled. And here it lives. All's well that ends well. 


And that crack is hidden, while making all 4 hydrangea plants happy and healthy. 

And there are the irises in full bloom at the garden pond in the back yard. All in their blue/purple glory.


I'm loving the colors of this "red" rhododendron. Lucky to have planted two bushes, I can't wait to see them mature over time. Crazy beautiful, aren't they?


Purple and Pink rhododendrons are here and there on the premises. I have several that seem to tolerate the horrific winters we endure. This particular bush blooms quite full with lots of velvety petal puffs.


And here is a spring time perfume. Living on the shade side of the house, it's the Lily of the Valley.  

Hmm.. the greens of these lilies look a bit chomped here and there. I wonder... 


Lilacs, Lily of the Valley, Hyacinths, Violets and Peonies always give off a sweet aroma. They intoxicate the floral tour.  ( I need some lilacs and violets! ) I did plant Wisteria this year while not sure if it will bloom and can't wait to see what next year brings! That baby is sitting at the grilling throne. (You've got to see that brain storm!) It's where my best outside restaurant reviews come from.

Aw, and here are the hardy,  mysteriously beautiful, Hen and Chicks.


I love succulents. My mom gave me some from her gardens way up north. I planted them in rocks. These new species are riding in a flea market find. Even if this iron trike rusts it will look awesome with the patina.


So much to take in. So much to do. So much to enjoy.

These plantings and outdoor projects are my spring and summers. The wrap around the house deck is finished. The patio and fire pit are set;  dining at the garden pond is a joy; the hot tub is getting opened up and the front entrance is getting all inviting like. Every start from scratch project took a lot of hard work. But, every aching bone part of it has been worth it.

I love spring and summer!

I'll post the finished and "in use" next time and hope you'll stop by to visit.