Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back in the game

It's been a dull few weeks for this household seeing as we both caught a cold and mine was bad enough that I can't breathe well all of the time. So, we've been piddling around with little chores here and there but mostly laying on the couch convalescing. This weekend brought 60+ degree weather and we figured that we might feel a little better after an afternoon in the sun. I had just the project for a warm February day! A new pathway.

We have around 800 bricks from the chimney that our circle of friends helped us deconstruct last January. Justin and I built a walk between the curb and the sidewalk in the front today using about 1/4 of the brick pile. This is the first of the hardscape projects that I have planned for the first half of 2010. We'll be tackling the backyard next and installing a patio, several walkways around the patio, and a new back stoop/deck. However, for this sunny February Sunday, we just have a new walkway.

Here's Justin tamping down the gravel for a solid base:

And the finished product:

And here's Justin in true filth. He not only covered with brick dust but also car grease from "fixing" the muffler on the old pickup. By "fix", I mean remove.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 Flower & Garden Show

I thought I would share some shots of the garden show. There were a few things there that caught my eye.

I wonder what the real Dr. Chomsky would think of this? I thought it was funny.
Here's a lovely panorama of one of the gardens. My preliminary garden sketches for the backyard are leading me toward something like this...a big patio with 3'-5' beds along the perimeter.

This was one of the coolest new ideas I saw this year. It's a vertical strawberry bed. It's something I think I might be able to make work in my space.

And this was my all-time favorite new plant (at least new to me): 'Midwinter Fire' Bloodtwig Dogwood. The photo doesn't do the color justice. And doesn't it look fabulous with the black mondo grass?

All in all, the show this year was a little bit less amazing then in previous years. The first year I attended, maybe 2003, there were tons of freebies and awesome coupons from the nurseries around the area. This year, there wasn't much of that. I think I came home with three packets of seeds and a single coupon to a nursery in Lynnwood. The show organizers seem to have let in a lot more shed-builders and window replacement vendors. There are still some awesome booths, Ravenna Gardens had one for sure and some of the more far-flung nurseries were peddling some interesting plants. Prices seemed a little steeper than my last memory and it didn't look like the vendors were selling as much given the huge masses of people at the show. This was the year for the longest ticket line for sure.
But as usual, the show didn't fail to inspire and with a backyard that is a blank slate (well, more like a blank concrete), I needed a few grand ideas to get me thinking.