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Monday, June 22, 2009

6/22/09 My Back Garden

I took some pics of the back garden today and thought I'd share them (didn't seem appropriate to put them under the before/after albums). Looking these over, I'm proud of all the work we've done. I love gardening. Enjoy my slice of heaven and where I love to spend time…

Pic 1.5- My little herb garden that sits just out the kitchen door. DS1 helped me put in the brick paths. Lavender section is on the left, Thymes in front, my poor spindly Basils on the right (with a few parsley and dill) and everything else in the back. You can see DS2's raised big veggie garden just beyond.

Pic 2.5- Is the same garden from the sidewalk by the lavender looking across to a small bubble fountain.

Pic 4.5- Is the little pond and waterfall we built into the curve of the patio. I did all the stone work and everything else but the digging. Lots of fish, frogs, and tadpoles.

Pic 6.5- Looking across the herb garden to the rest of the patio/gazebo. I put clumping bamboo all along that side of the patio to block the wind from the West. The "big hill" I've been complaining here about mulching forever is just behind the bamboo and drops down. That's where the steps/path goes down to the basement walk-out.

Pic 13.5- A view from the French doors across the gazebo and into the yard and our woods. Ooops, should have put the cushions out on the chairs, oh well. On the edge is the kids clubhouse I designed and we built with the kids help as a family project (looks like a dollhouse in the pic, but that's a full sized door on it). I acid stained the patio.

*In response to Comments:

-Mmmm...Chicken Chili on a rainy day...sounds perfect!

-Thanks girls...anyone need some herbs LOL? Even in our first apartment I grew herbs in the sunny windowsill...they're easy.

-xavier- OMG...too funny you picking that plant!!! DH likes to buy those tiny cactus that you get at the local harware stores, you know, in a tiny 2" pot. We've only lived here 9 years, and I'm not sure when he bought them but not immediately. The one by the gazebo corner you pointed out is now 5' above the soil, but if you look closely across the gazebo to the far side there's a green pot with another one in it (looks like a post) and it's 6' above the soil now (you can't see the leaves because they're above the gazebo). They're called a Madagascar Palm (but it's not really a palm, it's from the cactus family of Pachypodium so they're sometimes called that). Of course we have to bring them in here in the winter (which is a big production since we have 2 steps down to the patio...someone always gets stabbed). I'm laughing because I call the big one 'DH's phallic symbol' it's a single stem and in the winter here they go dormant and slowly lose their leaves (the giant one is just an ugly gray stem in the winter)...every year I think I've killed it and every year that damn phallic symbol grows back (DH thinks it's hysterical...he always let's me know when the baby leaves are starting to show again). Well I've only got 9' ceilings on the first floor so sooner or later it's not going to be able to winter over inside LOL! Oh, and in the pic the leaves are just about 1/2 way out so they'll get twice as big/long as you see here. He's got several other varieties cactus/palm ones out there you can't see. DD just bought him a 4" 'bunny ear cactus' for Father's Day (looks like a whole bunch of Mickey Mouse heads)...wonder how big that will be in a few years!

-I don't grow the herbs year round inside, but my Mom does bring some of her annual ones in to winter over (Bay, Rosemary), but they go into 'dormant' mode here over the winter even in a window and don't do real well (not the same kind of sun to keep them healthy looking so I choose to buy the annuals again each year). Three sections of the herb garden are all perennials (and a few annual herbs in pots) so they come back every year and the section that looks bare is where I put the annuals (basil, dill, sage, parsley, rosemary, bay...but even some of these stay year round in hotter climates so it depends on where you rosemary can become a huge bush in the far south). We're only a 'Zone 5' on the planting scale here in Pittsburgh. Most herbs like hot sun, well drained soil and not too much water.

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