Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Deck - Estimating Costs

Tuesday, July 29

Today was a fun filled adventure going over deck budget. Anyone who knows me is laughing while reading this..... me and numbers.... do not go.

Anyways.... Tim and I sat down for a couple of hours this evening going over supply quantities and cost for the deck. We decided that there are certain things that will have to wait for a next year project. These things include the planter boxes, benches and trim work we were going to add to the deck.

This year we're just going to construct the basic structure of the deck. This will give us enough of a budget left over to get some more land fill and grade the backyard a bit.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Landscape - Black Eyed Susan Opened

Monday, July 28

The Rudbeckia Black Eyed Susan opened up today. The Red Cana Lily and Russian sage are blooming as well, which is a nice sight pulling in the driveway.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Deck - Material Research & Pricing Trip

Sunday, July 27

Tim and I had a fun filled afternoon at Home Depot today. We had gone there to price things and figure out the supplies we needed for the deck. Most of the items I could look up on their website, but not all were listed or came up in the search. We spent a good couple of hours walking around and writing down all the info we needed to compile a supply list.

We were researching such things as joist hangers, lumber and concrete. The next step is to figure out numbers and budget.

After out little trip to Home Depot, we stopped by Alcliff and picked up some more gravel nuggets to fill up the rock garden a bit more.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Landscape - Planted Black Eye Susan

Tuesday, July 15

My Dad gave me some Black Eye Susan from their yard today. They have a whole bunch of them in their garden... too much... so he divided a bunch for me. It's one of my favorites. It's a tall bright yellow colored daisy looking flower with a black center.

The Balloon flower is in fall bloom now. And the Agastache Cana has really filled out too, since planting it on April 19th.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Deck - Building a Model

Tuesday, July 8

After work I stopped by Michael's craft store and bought some packs of sticks and balsa wood for building models. I've always loved building models when I was a kid and this was just an excuse to go back to my roots of being a kid.

My favorite was when I built an Apple II E out of pieces of foam trays, that come food products, for my 8th grade science class. The amusing thing is that I just found out that my science teach still has it all these years later.

I had taken the basic dimensions I had so far and built a 1/4" scale model. During the construction, it became so evident what would or wouldn't work and how the supports needed to be built. I figured out everything we couldn't figure out on paper. Now we just have to duplicated it full size :)

I'n the mean time.... Tim's Newt can enjoy this one :)

Monday, July 07, 2008

Deck - Design & Planning

Monday, July 7

A couple of months back I sketched out a deck idea.

My inspiration for the design came from a book named Beyond the Lawn by Keith Davitt. I really loved the shapes and the multi-levels of this patio area in the book.

The trick is making it a reality. Here's the thing.... all the books, articles and pamphlets I have read about building a deck did not cover a "Kristin" design. I guess it's the designer in me..... I love shapes!!! I just can't do traditional.

The deck will be very similar to the inspiration image. The main level, the polygon shaped area, will have diagonally laid decking, which will be an extension of our diagonally laid bamboo flooring in our house and make the transition cohesive. The other 3 decks will be square shaped with traditional perpendicularly laid decking.

Here's the problem.... multileveled is complicated enough, but add into that a polygon shape and wanting to have all the decks attached and support each other, is quite a headache to solve. So... this called for my Dad's DIY expertise. I had gone over to see him and we spent 3 hours discussing the structure and framework. We have a good idea on how it should be supported, it's just how to do it is the question.

I decided that tomorrow, on my way home, I'm going to stop by Michael's craft store, pick up some balsa wood and do it the old fashioned way..... build a model.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Balloon Flower blooming

Thursday, July 3

I knew it when I had seen the balloon flowers yesterday that they would start to open today. It was a fun start to my day to see that they did in fact start to open today. I just love them. They're so much fun to watch bloom as they form the "balloon" then pop open into a beautiful purplish-blue flower.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Asiatic Lilies (Yellow), Cactus flower blooming

Wednesday, July 2

The last of the Asiatic Lilies are now blooming. Today the yellow ones started to open. And the pink and orange lilies are pretty much all open.

And the cactus that Tim's parents gave us is also starting to bloom. It's such a strange thing to see such a scary looking plant, with thorns have such beautiful delicate flowers. It really is an amazing site.

Around the Yard:
The sedum is also starting to bloom. And the annuals are really starting to fill in.

I think one of my favorites to watch blooming is the balloon flower. I absolutely get a kick out of the "balloon" shape of the flowers before they open. They're just so cool. Tomorrow I bet you that they'll be opening.