Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Actually, my local experts inform me that this is not an Iguana. It is a Cuban anole and it can be mean so I'm not going to grab it.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Waterfront Property

Well, we did say we might like waterfront property.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Walkway Nears its Destination

Shortly after we moved in, our friends Don & Cathy remarked that our entrance was not user-friendly in that it forced visitors who parked in the driveway to wander through the front yard aimlessly to get to the front door.
There was no clear path - no direction. This was not very welcoming.

So, when Dave decided we needed to get to work on a landscaping plan because we were basically the neighbourhood disgrace, the first order of business was to plan the walkway so we would know where the rest of the landscaping should go.
At first, we thought we might just plant some flagstones in the grass.

Surely our guests (being people of superior intelligence for the most part) could follow that but Dave got all HGTV on me insisting that it all had to be level (so no just plunking them down on the grass) and when we researched the price of flagstones, we decided that maybe given that it was going to be just as much work anyway and probably twice the price, we could try to have a more conventional walkway.

When Dave's sister told us that flagstones were slippery when wet, we ditched that plan completely.

We then started looking at Home Despot (as Pam calls it) and discovered that even the generic concrete patio squares weren't exactly cheap. Also, as we gazed around the yard, we noticed that we had at least two large sections of yard that seemed to be randomly covered with the same concrete patio squares they have at the store except all interesting and weathered ... in other words, better.

This gave me an idea so after some gentle prodding by Dave (it would be called nagging if I did it), I drew a design on a piece of paper and dug up a few stones and showed Dave what I wanted. Once he had a plan, he was on his way.

I still was not thinking this was going to be such a big production but it actually involved quite a lot of work consisting of creating forms, digging up dirt and filtering it and then filling in the forms and leveling them.

 Fortunately, I had to go to work so this task was left to Dave - even on the weekends when I had to rest from work.
 I did haul a few stones around and I have full responsibility for breaking the other stones into interesting patterns and laying them artfully about. 

The idea is to have the walkway go straight up to the front door but since the actual entrance to the porch is not straight, it also veers attractively to the right making it functionally more appealing.

This forms a nice triangle with a space in the middle for a small tree or bush. We're thinking a pomegranate tree. It hopefully provices tasty fruits and fulfills the function of blocking the straight path to our front door thereby deterring any evil spirits who might want in. I'm thinking this has been the problem up until now. Evil spirits. We'll have that fixed in no time. However, we can't do it until:
  1. I find a suitable pomegranate tree - it has to be a more bushlike variety because apparently if you have a tree too close to the house, it's bad. HGTV again, I think.
  2. The cantaloupes that Dave planted there finish growing up. 
I think they look quite nice and as you can see, one has gotten quite big but they aren't big enough to eat yet so no pomegranates can be planted at the moment.

The really exciting news is that Dave has been working very hard on the extension to the walkway that will finally connect the driveway to the front door so that we can invite guests without fear of losing them in the neighbourhood and/or shaming ourselves. It was a lot of work and Dave did a fabulous job. It's so straight!

Nobody could get lost on this walkway.

The best part is that most of it is made from pieces of stone we just had lying around although Dave did run out of the smaller white square and had to surrender some of our hard-earned cash to Home Despot for those. Even so, I think it's turned out pretty nice so far. I like it a lot and we've received many compliments from passersby (although perhaps they're just trying a little positive reinforcement to get us to get on with it as we are still pretty much the neighbourhood disgrace).

My favorite part is the junction that we're using to turn the walkway towards the driveway. The previous owner was fond of making mosaicked concrete picnic tables and benches. There are broken bits of them everywhere and one complete one. I love them but you can have too many. One of the table tops was propped up against the side of the garage. I noticed that it had the colors (coral and turquoise) that we were working into the walkway and it's a compass! It has markings for north, south, etc. How perfect is that?

So, this afternoon, after careful preparation of the ground, Dave and I placed it in the junction spot. We're on the last lap!

After this is done, we will be returning to the topic of what plants we want and where they should go. I think at this point, I better get back to drawing. In the meantime, if you've been worried about coming over and finding our front door, you can rest easy and just come on over. We have it pretty much mapped out now.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Mother Nature Decides to do a Little Landscaping

So, yesterday, a rather large gust of wind came by and toppled over the sea grape tree.
I'm definitely getting a hedge.