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Backyard swing

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In mid May, we attended a dinner party at the home of a customer of Bill's. The man and his wife have a small home with a large backyard - lovely large backyard - with lots of flowers and plants for me to admire! There was also a large, vine-covered pergola with a bench swing hanging from one end of it... I fell in love with the swing!!

Because Bill is such a loving and thoughtful and can-do kind of husband, he got busy within a week or so of the dinner party building an extension on the shade structure at the back of our backyard where he had earlier this year removed most of a large Bay tree when the neighbors wanted to replace the fence bordering our properties. Anyway...

We had some difficulty finding a swing or bench to hang from the shade structure - even online we didn't have much luck. I wanted a swing wide/long enough that I could lie down on it - so over 5 feet - and comfortable for a short person (me!) to sit in (feet touching the ground when sitting). I looked online, but the closest I found was a bench at Bass Pro Shops which doesn't have a store in California (yet). The swing project was delayed...

...until last weekend when Bill said we should go look at what Lowe's had in swings and benches. We didn't see anything that fulfilled my ideas of a proper swing until we wandered into the patio furniture area - where lo and behold there it was! A cushioned 3-person A-frame swing for $99.00. It is light enough that it can be moved anywhere in the backyard - and, therefore, can be moved as the sun moves (since I'm fair skinned and try to stay out of the sun).

It's wonderful. I've crocheted there, napped there, swung there, relaxed there. I can see my beautiful flowering garden plants, hear the birds, enjoy the Bay Area evening breezes after work while Bill cooks dinner on the BBQ. The swing is a perfect addition to our backyard!

And, the extended shade structure area won't go unused! Bill is using it as additional covered workspace for his 1947 Ford Truck restoration project - the one he's been working on for about 10 years now!

Taking advantage for gardening

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Thinking that this is probably one of the last nice weather weekends before it gets cold (well, as cold as it gets here in California), I did a lot of trimming and cleaned up dead leaves and dying plants yesterday.

This morning, I was torn between watching the NASCAR Cup race or heeding the urge to buy red cylamens (on sale at Orchard Supply Hardware). Getting outside in the beautiful weather won! Of course, I bought more plants than just the cylamen!

Planting is done now - probably until spring...

Our gardens

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(Photos 1, 2)
Before we left for Hawaii, I asked Bill to make a structure that would allow less sunlight to hit the potted plants on the plant benches in our backyard (he enjoys making things for me!). After much thought and sketching, we decided to go with a structure that matched our deck. He finished the new "shade" last night! See the first 2 photos. The lattice roof allows the plants to get direct sunlight, but not so much that they suffer in summer heat. It's quite nice to sit in our backyard now! I'm so not a sit-in-the-sun person!

(Photo 3)
That's Jasmine outside the screen door to our backyard, and Cleo peeking through the screen. The picture tells the story: Jaz thinks she's an outdoor cat, but she doesn't go much further than that from the door; Cleo is much more comfortable looking outside than being outside.

(Photos 4-6)
The plants growing on the fence side of our backyard this morning before I left for work. I love the randomness and bunches of color!

(Photos 7-13)
Our front yard. One plant in the right side planter is out of control. It's grown shoots and has nearly filled up the entire planter box. There are even a few shoots growing in the grass outside the planter box. I'm gonna have to remove the plant - all of the shoots - before the yard is overtaken!

Our backyard garden

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Above are photos of the plants and flowers in our backyard (taken May 6).
While I did work in our gardens last year and I even took some photos, I never got around to posting about it. In summary, I pulled out the 9 rose bushes in the backyard, gave the 4 climbing roses to Paula, and put the 5 non-climbing rose varieties in containers so I could place them where the sun shines more.

I didn't realize how much getting snagged and scratched by the thorns bothered (annoyed!) me until I removed them and put other plants in their place! It's a delight to see the very full green vine with clumps of purple flowers from the kitchen window! I also love the bunches of colored flowered in front of the vines.

As you can see, purple is one of my favorite colors! Red, yellow, orange, and green set it off just right!

Our front yard garden

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Above are photos of the plants and flowers in our front yard (taken May 6).
On the last weekend in April, I was finally able to get outside to work in the garden! It was cold or rained nearly every day through March and April!

On Friday evening after work and Saturday, I hit the front yard and on Sunday the backyard. It was delightful! The weather was warmish-cool - not too hot, not too cold - with a light breeze.

Some of the plants that weren't working for me were removed and discarded. New plants were put other in their place. Two rose bushes were moved from the short part of the L to the long part where they'll get more sun. I've added more color, which I adore. I'm still undecided whether I want to replace the now nearly leafless vine on the front porch (it has lovely purple flowers!) or add another vine to it with the hope that the purple-flowered vine will come back.

Bright red Bottlebrush Tree

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In one of the staff parking lots at the college, there's a wall of Bottlebrush Trees that are now in full bloom. I happened to have my camera with me one day this week and captured them.

Weekend gardening

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There was finally nice weather last weekend! Bill and I worked in the gardens Friday evening after work, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning. While I played "manager," Bill dug up plants I wanted to replace or that took up space I now want to use for something else (4 blue Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile), 2 Orange Canna Lily, [evergreen bush with pink flowers]).

I made a trip to Home Depot Saturday morning to buy a variety of plants and a new shovel to replace the one Bill broke Friday night while digging up the Agapanthus (wow! I'll never plant those in the ground again - the root system is amazing!). After feeling just fine (better than I remember from last year) during over 3 hours of gardening on Saturday, an asthma attack hit me within 10-15 minutes of working in the moist, shady area of the backyard garden. That ended my gardening for the day - and wiped me out for the rest of Saturday.

On Sunday morning, however, I woke feeling just fine again and tackled an hour and a half of front yard gardening before breakfast. There are still quite a few plants that need to be planted. I hear it's going to be nice again this weekend!

Spring has sprung 2005

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It's been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO beautiful weather-wise the past 8 days or so! I'm visiting the Alden Lane nursery in Livermore tomorrow (with Bill's truck of course!) to buy flowers/plants!!! Whoop!

Plants for the planter boxes in the front yard...for the empty pots/containers...to fill empty space in a shady spot in the backyard...and to fill the rectangular area where the 9 rose bushes used to be in the backyard!

Sunshine day!

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It's a lovely sunshine day here in the Bay Area! High 60s to low 70s, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, no wind. Just a wonderful spring day! Whoop!

Most of the gardening tasks I've been wanting to do for several weeks were done this morning!

  • Done - Fertilize backyard plants in pots and ground
  • Done - Pull weeds in front and back
  • Done - Put out ant stakes around front and back
  • Done - Remove 3 rose bushes from the pots they were put into last weekend, cover the pot's drainage holes with coffee filters (which I forgot to do before!), and re-plant them into the pots - after all the rain we've had recently (more than Seattle typically has during winter according to this week's news!), very little, if any, of the soil in the 3 pots leaked out so I've elected to skip this for now. I did, however, use coffee filters when I transplanted the remaining 2 rose bushes into pots
  • Done - Move 2 remaining rose bushes from ground into pots
  • Done - Pull out 4 climbing rose plants, package for delivery to Paula
  • Done - Look at container plants, decide which to keep/transplant/discard, and then do it
  • Done - Clean out gardening cabinet
  • Done - Wash gardening gloves
  • Done - Clean gardening tools

Still to do...

  • Clean front porch bench
  • Take 4 climbing roses to Paula

I'll deliver the climbing roses to Paula's house tomorrow, and we'll do coffee and visit a bit. It should be another lovely day and even a little warmer (mid-70s!).

The sunshine has created an urge to make the Hawaiian-fabric curtains for my office window! But I'm going to wait for Bill to wake up from his nappy...(so the sewing machine doesn't disturb him). I'm still intimidated by the sewing machine, but I hope this project will help me get over it!

It's raining

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Rain, rain, go away... Come again another day.

It's raining and may continue for the next few days. So, no gardening. Poor plants...they need some lovin'.

Sketch of Cheryl

About Cheryl

Enjoys crocheting, gardening, cats, NASCAR (especially Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch!), reading, photography, snorkeling in Kailua-Kona with sea turtles, Sizzler's Mega Bacon Cheeseburgers, hot and iced decaf coffee, dark chocolate, color (yarn, fabric), playing around with web technologies - not necessarily in that order! Still very much a beginner with quilting, knitting, and sewing. Donates crocheted lap blankets.

List maker, detail-oriented, organized, leans heavily toward perfectionism. ISTJ. Libra.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Gardening category.

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