Landscape & Gardening

Finally! After a Four-Year Wait.

Please click on the photo for a larger version and notice the lacy details of the chain-link fabric. The silver spray paint on the poles around the hinges and fittings will have to be removed. Ggggrrrr...
Please click on the photo for a larger version and notice the lacy details of the chain-link fabric. The silver spray paint on the poles around the hinges and fittings will have to be removed. Ggggrrrr…

My custom designed front gate has finally been installed. It’s been an extremely time consuming and difficult project that began in 2011 with the original sloppy installation. Because it is the front gate, a custom solution was necessary. Since chain-link fencing is no longer as popular as it once was, I could not find a fencing contractor who would give me the time of day on the phone, much less show up for a meeting. They didn’t care if I had created detailed drawings with specifications. The word “custom” caused them too much brain pain. Plus using the traditional galvanized pipes and fittings would make the panels too heavy, causing them sag in the middle. So my architect Charley McKenney took my drawings to the metal artist who had created my fire screen and worked out how to create the two gate panels. It was critical that each frame corner be a sharp 90 degrees and each lace fabric panel be completely inset to the inside of the frame—not merely attached to the frame itself. Eighteen months later, January 2015, the completed gate panels were finally delivered. I had aged considerably since this whole thing started. But wait! There’s more!

Landscape & Gardening

Prolific Spring Bloomers

Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue'. The popular common name for this plant is the Pincushion flower. Even though all my scabiosas are blooming profusely now, I was amazed that they even had some blooms this past winter. In fact, they never did stop blooming.
Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’. The popular common name for this plant is the Pincushion flower. Even though all my scabiosas are blooming profusely now, I was amazed that they even had some blooms this past winter. In fact, they never did stop blooming.

Shot over a two week period, these images are being posted just in time for Earth Day. It’s taken three years of hard work, patience, trial and error, and I have often wondered if it was in the stars for my gardens to become fully realized. Finally, there are results. This spring has rewarded me with loads of foliage and blooms. There are still areas (I call them “death gaps”) where additional and/or new replacements are required, but on the whole it’s reassuring that I haven’t wasted so much time, effort and money. In late June, I’ll photograph the gardens in their entirety, but in the meantime while the plants are filling in, here are photos of individual bloomers.

Landscape & Gardening

Dog Windows

Since the neighbor’s dogs weren’t outside, I had to entice my dogs into posing with scattered treats at the base of the fence. Only Bertha showed me a profile, while the twins were inhaling mulch.
Since the neighbor’s dogs weren’t outside, I had to entice my dogs into posing with scattered treats at the base of the fence. Only Bertha showed me a profile, while the twins were inhaling mulch.

Something had to be done to stop the noise and destruction. While Brewster was working out his jaws on my custom interior and exterior painted woodwork, Beulah was busy ripping out the neighbor’s fence hoping for some face to face social exchange with the two dogs next door. Every time I or my neighbor blocked up a hole, Beulah would start afresh somewhere else along the fence. In the above photo you might notice the chewed up wood. After four large holes, many starter holes, and an entire length of fencing covered with jaw marks, I turned to my contractor Bert Watford to help me implement a plan for repairing the fence, creating three windows, and covering the lower third of the entire length with hardware cloth. The hardware cloth and windows were my idea, but I needed help working out the details. Thanks to Bert, in one long day the entire job was done. Now the dogs can see each other, and the noisy violence has subsided.

Family

Meet the Twins

Beulah at 20 weeks on the left and Brewster at 18 weeks on the right.
Beulah at 20 weeks on the left and Brewster at 18 weeks on the right.

These two joined our family at the first of January. Since losing Bubba, I had tried twice to adopt a frenchie, but was turned down both times. Why? I don’t know. I was encouraged to keep trying, but Bertha and I weren’t getting any younger. Filling out reams of paperwork for each dog and waiting up to two months for the rejection is not a positive experience. Besides, I am no masochist. So I looked up Bertha’s breeder, and lo and behold she had two litters ready to find families. Bingo!