Saturday, April 26, 2008

Firepit and planting

Saturday, April 26

Today my day was split-up between a few things. In the morning I was staring out the sliding glass door trying to visualeyes the future deck space. I had enough of visualizing and decided to go outside and spay lines where it will go instead to give us a better idea of the space.

The next thing I decided to do to occupy my time today was to work on the firepit. Nothing major... just backfilling the retaining wall blocks with gravel and dirt.

Planted another Redbud...
As I spoke of previously, I wanted to replace the front most Redbud, as it is very gangly. Now I understand pruning... when I bought them 3 yrs ago I didn't. So, we bought a 3rd one to be planted where the frontmost one is. Today we moved the gangly one and planted the nice full new one. We didn't plant the old one too far away, but it just doesn't have the front most spot anymore.

More Planting...
I also planted some purple Iris's, that my parents dug up from their yard and replanted the bulbs of the Canna Lily.

Around the yard...
Everything is starting to really take shape and bloom. The Weeping Cherry, Magnolia and Candymint Crabapple look awesome. The Chestnut and Kwanzan Cherry are looking good. The Redbud Lavender Twist has one little area of buds about to open and the Japanese Maple's leaves are starting to open.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Landscape - Planted & cleanup

Tuesday, April 22

When i got home from work I was greeted with the beautiful snowfountain in full bloom. It definitely lives up to it's name. It really does remind me of a fountain of snow. We missed this site last year when we planted it as it had already lost it blooms.

The Magnolia has mostly opened all it's blooms as well.

And our little chestnut tree also has opened it's leaves as well.

After a walkabout and stopping to smell the flowers :)
Tim and I picked up some Pavestone Windsor stone retaining wall blocks from Home Depot, to make the wall for the firepit. It didn't take that long to put them in place and have a firepit in virtually 20 minutes.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Weeping Cherry Snowfountain

Monday, April 21

When I drove into the driveway, after work, I was pleasantly surprised to see the buds on the Weeping Cherry Snowfountain starting to open. I was quite excited to see them. I asked Tim to come outside. He said he noticed them earlier and was hoping they'd all be open before I got home. If we have just as beautiful of a day tomorrow, I bet they'll be.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Firepit construction - foundation

Sunday, April 20

I am lllloooving it being warm again. All the things that we've been talking about all winter can now start happening. One of which is the firepit.

The firepit will be constructed from retaining wall blocks. I had seen in books and online using them and want to construct our firepit with the same contemporary look.

Yesterday Tim and I had gone to Home Depot to price retaining wall blocks and cinder blocks for a base. We're going to be putting in a base cause that's it's a fairly wet area and it needs to have good drainage. The base will help and I'm also going to be digging out a trench for a drainage tube as well.

This morning Tim and I had purchased the blocks for the base, so I could start on it. My project for today was digging out a square 4'x4' area for the base. After that, Tim and I placed the four whopping 90 pound 2x2 babies in there. Now we just have get some retaining blocks and pace them in a 4x4 circle, backfill and we're good to go.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Landscape - Planted & cleanup

Saturday, April 19

What a wonderful day it turned out to be... it got to almost 90 here. 90... in April!

Anyways... I got a lot accomplished today and it felt great! First, Tim and I had taken a trip to Home Depot to price somethings. And of course, while there, I had to restrain myself. We only purchased 2 things we didn't go there for :)

We really had gone there to price retaining wall blocks for the firepit wall and cider blocks for its base. I got sidetracked before even walking through the garden center gates and looking at the trees.

I'm not liking how our one Redbud, by the road, is looking. When I originally purchased the 2, I had no idea how important pruning is. As a result of no pruning, ours are very bare with not many branches. My thought is to move the front most one, which is the more bare one, and plant a fuller one there. So, after much analyzing which had the best structure I picked one out.

I wasn't done there though..... on our way to the paver area, I got sidetracked again when I noticed a very ornate, Japanese garden style shrub, called a Flowering Quince. The best part is it's deer resistant! It's thorny with vibrant red flowers.

And yes.... we did wind up pricing out retaining wall blocks and base cider blocks :)

When we returned home I planted the Flowering Quince. I also cleaned up the planted beds a bit, ripped out the poor deer ravaged shrubs. In their place I planted Agastache Cana Texas Hummingbird Mint, which has a vibrant fuschia color and more Russian Sage. I actually purchased them months ago from High Country Gardens. It was a pink and blue combo that came with 3 Russian Sage and 3 Agastache.

I also noticed today that the Magnolia also has some buds that are ready to go poof and pop open.

Another thing Tim and I are very excited to see is that one of the Chestnut samplings from his parents tree is doing well. I've never seen a baby Chestnut tree before... it's not what I expected and doesn't resemble a traditional looking baby tree. Tim says that it reminds him of the plant from Little Shop of Horrors.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Everything is blooming

Friday, April 18

I can't freakn wait.... everything is blooming and there's all little buds developing everywhere. The weeping snowfountain cherry tree looks like it's going to explode with flowers any day now and just go... poooof.

This is the first spring for so many things. It's the first spring we've had grass! yahoo... no mud! There's also, flowering trees, shrubs and flowers blooming from the previous year. It's a little different when watching nature bloom in spring opposed to last yr planting things when they were already in bloom.

I'm so excited I can't stand it. Everyone morning, for the last 2 weeks, I'll walk around and take a peek at buds, before heading off to work. Then... when I come back I take another look.... I'm completely obsessed with watching the progress.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Front Patio Ideas

Sunday, April 6

Since last fall I've been trying to come up with an idea for how to finish off the patio area by the front door. My attribute list included: something that gave privacy but open, match the style of the house, gives a zen feeling, welcoming to guests and makes them feel protection. I had not idea what to do and have been wavering on many ideas.

Then.... finally I found my inspiration. It's a book called Patio Garden & Inspiration by Jamie Durie, with photos by David Matheson. On pages 141-142 was my inspiration.

It's sooo zen to me and was in my mind the most perfect structures I had been looking for to include in front patio. What I loved about it was that it matched our interior style perfectly and has the same structure as our door trim. I want to include this structure in the backyard too, like around the fire pit and maybe by the deck to give privacy. So I sketched out today some views of what it might look like.

I'll probably use more refined materials in the front, like composite board, just to give it more of a crisp, modern, formal feel and use more rustic in the backyard for more casual feel.