Monday, February 09, 2015
… at least for a little while.
Then, suddenly it's the middle of summer and what was easy to care for in the spring, has become unbearable to care for in the blazing heat of the summer sun. I know this, and yet, I'm ever the eternal optimist that this will be the year! With that in mind, we've made some physical changes in the backyard garden area that we're hoping will be more inspirational to keep us going during the hotter months. To wit, we removed a large palm tree that was beginning to lean a bit and tangle in the wires that cross the back of the property. We were afraid that we might lose it in a powerful wind storm and, if so, it would cause a great deal of damage to the retaining wall that surrounds it, as well as the swimming pool. We also removed a sago palm that's been there for years. Our original thought was to re-plant the sago in place of the palm tree, but when we discovered that the pods it sheds are poisonous to animals, so we knew that would have to go too.
This year, I decided to sketch things out a bit before we did any planting. I'm not really much of an artist, but I have to say that it was a fun task deciding where to put the herb garden, where the lettuces would grow best, and where to plant the hummingbird garden. I thoroughly enjoyed sketching all of the different shades of green and adding some flowers for pops of colors.
I've also been thinking about some decor I'd like to add here and there to punch things up in the planters, as well as a rather dull redwood fence that outlines the sides of the yard. Each year I add a few pieces of Talavera pottery to add splashes of color. I have several planters as well as a beautiful bird bath. This year I'm going to focus on buying some things that will add splashes of color to the fence. I already had several terra cotta sun faces and decided to gather and hang them in one area of the fence; I added a large Talavera sun face to this area and I think it's the perfect addition. I also found a climbing frog that we positioned on another area of the fence. He looks a bit lonely and will need some mates, so I'll be looking for several more to add to this area. On the other side of the yard we already have five large. open work wrought iron stars. I'm going to add small battery pack lights to each of the stars for a little more sparkle at night, and I found some Talavera stars to intersperse in this area as well.
I love adding all of these fun things to the garden, but it does get a little expensive! This weekend, however, I thought of a really wonderful addition to the garden that won't cost us one dime. I thought of a clever way to use something we already had outside that hasn't been used in years, and I'm really excited about it! Years ago dad received a small outdoor fountain as a gift. He put the pump together and used it for about a year or so, and then stopped using it. I'm not sure if the pump broke and needed to be replaced, or if he just didn't want to deal with the hassle of it, but it's been sitting in the same spot on the patio for years now without a purpose. I don't know why I didn't think about this before, but it suddenly hit me over the weekend - why don't we 'cut the cord' (literally and figuratively!), turn the fountain into a planter, and move it to the garden area?! There isn't a lot of room to plant anything, but I believe the basket the little girl is holding will be just deep enough for impatiens. The fountain is similar to this one, but not exactly. Anyway, it's enough for you to get the idea. Fun, right?!