Thursday, September 26, 2013

Branch Down

The wind ripped through our back yard this week and twisted the big cherry laurel branch until it snapped--this is the branch that has provided shade for the fish ever since we moved in. A benevolent branch but not of a sturdy stock. I've watched it over the years, hanging there in defiance of gravity, much too fat for its own good and holding onto the mother trunk with no regard for common sense. More than once I considered trimming it back.

I was able to cut most of it down and carry the big limbs to the street. But since then it's rained and rained. I look out at the messy pond, the broken fern branches and the little remains of tree. What a soggy mess, all because I was too tired to finish the job when I had the chance.

Jam wanted to steal my t-shirt from the table, so I let him wear it for a while. Looks better on him than me.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A New Bridge

The old bridge over the upper pond is black and creaky and tired after several years of duty. Whoever designed it had good intentions, hoping that the graceful arch would add some additional grace, but the arch is too steep, and even the dogs are reluctant to walk over it for fear of slipping on the moldy foot boards. I can count the number of times I've crossed it in nine years, and I can count the number of times I've slipped onto my butt, which is once, just the other day. Once is enough.

So the Fall-Winter backyard project has a new sub-project (in addition to the pergola/gazebo and new flagstone walkways). Because I'm getting better with SketchUp, the design only took an hour or so, and I'm pretty happy with it. I've flattened out the arch, and the thicker bridge posts will have caps like the ones on the fence, so hopefully things will tie together.

In the meantime the summer rains have been very agreeable to our new plants, all thriving in their pots. Maybe by next Spring, when the hardscaping is complete, we can find a permanent home for these guys.

Our new pepper plant is in a state of compulsive production, which is OK, but I've been talking to her and telling her to chill out and take a break--we don't need 40 peppers every day. Maybe she's telling me that she prefers being potted. Maybe she knows how many of her species have met a bad end in our yard after I forced them into the ground.

Time is running out for my decision on the pergola/gazebo, but I just can't find the right design, something that is simple, practical and beautiful, and with just enough arch to make us happy. I'm looking.