My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Backyard

 I can't think of the word "backyard" without thinking of the adorable video of my niece Jamie singing the theme to the Backyardigans when she was about three years old. It's on my Facebook if you haven't seen it. Super cute!

Last night I changed into my jammies around 7pm and decided to take a tour of the backyard while the sun wasn't bright overhead. We wander around in the backyard in our sleeping clothes because... well, other than Google Earth nobody can really see back there. I mean, there's a view from across the lake but those folks are weekenders and hardly ever out there. And my jammies aren't too different from my normal daily wear anyways.

A new shipment of plants came the other day so there's a lot of new stuff in the yard. Austin spends a lot of time helping in the yard and he is always willing to give an official garden tour. When he saw me out back with my camera he was glad to show me around.

It's a huge relief for me. Last year was a constant battle to get him to help with the yard work. The only thing he hated more than yard work was being reminded to do yard work. Fortunately this year he's shown a much greater interest and has been much more cooperative.
 Despite my Southern heritage, I'm not one of those Southern women who can grow stuff in the dirt. Whatever the opposite of green thumb is - black thumb, maybe? - that's what I've got. And of course my inability to bend over without pain hampers things... but I definitely appreciate the amount of effort my parents and my kid have put into the backyard. I love the stuff that comes out of the garden and I really love the view from my nest.

No matter how yucky I feel, at least once a day I go out on the back porch and just take it all in. Little Kitty loves for me to hold him and carry him outside with me. I don't let him down because I'm afraid he'll run off but he loves to be outdoors. During the day he spends a lot of time in the screened porch or on the shelf by the back door where he can see outside.
 My parents have always had a fairly well tended yard. Cody said that some tulips bloomed this Spring at the house in Riverdale - bulbs that had been planted several years ago and never came up! They were mine originally, so, go figure. Black thumb strikes again. There were fruit trees in the backyard there that I don't remember ever doing much, probably because of the dogs and the kids and so forth. There were roses along the fence that my parents transplanted up here - and all but one looks to have survived the trip. The yard there was 75 feet by 200 feet - this yard is much, much larger.
 I don't remember exactly what these things are... they're planted along the wood line. Hopefully the deer will leave them alone. They tend to congregate by the woods, which are fairly dense on both sides of the backyard. I can't tell what kind of landscaping has been done next door but they do have some really pretty red azaleas that are blooming. I tried to capture them in pixels but you can't see them that well. I'm reluctant to violate their privacy as they seem to be a little ... um... weird. Austin says they grow their own marijuana but that is entirely his conjecture, not based on any evidence. If they do, they're really dumb since the county sheriff lives on the other side of the lake.
You can just barely see a little dot of red in this photo...
 What I'm enjoying right now is the various shades of green. It seems like in the Summer it's all the same color. In the Winter it's all brown except for the pines. In the Fall we get some color but somehow this seems more intense than even the Fall colors. You can see our little dock with the tiki hut and the across the lake neighbors. They are weekenders and usually only come up on holiday weekends.
 This gives a better idea of the scope and slope of our backyard. I'm close to the wood line on one side. Austin is standing in front of my sliding glass door. The two raised garden beds are across the yard from me. Sarabeth sets her driving range up at the top of the hill, just right off the bottom patio. My porch swing is closer to the raised bed gardens. I can sit in the swing and supervise the backyard activity. We also have two rocking chairs back there. We have to be alert in the area under the screened porch because Lily, our old dog, is fairly incontinent and if she doesn't think she can wait for someone to let her out to the Poop Pen in front of the house, she just pees on the back porch. A couple of times a day Mom dumps soapy water down there to clean it. If the pee doesn't get you, the shower will.

Mom and Dad ordered a peach tree and I requested a fig tree. I got a fig bush. I don't care, as long as it puts out figs at some point in my lifetime. Right now it's a tiny twig, so small that you can't even see it at this angle. It's planted right beside the shed, right outside my door. I can taste the broiled figs with goat cheese.... mmmm! One day. Before I die. Last Summer I didn't track down any fresh figs and I'm determined not to let that happen again. With all the rain and the really poor growing season nobody every got them in.
 With our access to the backyard we tend to accumulate necessities for wandering outdoors. Right inside the sliding glass doors are several pair of my shoes - crocs and other slip ons - and several pair of my moms. If she forgets hers she borrows my crocs - even though her feet are two sizes larger (snicker). It's the only thing small on me - my feet! I also keep a sweater there to grab on the way out when it's chilly. Mom collects walking sticks to aid in going up and down the hill to the dock. Eventually there will be some kind of established walkway that will be easier for old folks.
I love how green everything is right outside my back door. There are a few bulbs that were transplanted that seem to be struggling but several plants - like the rosemary and parsley - that are doing really well. Last night was overcast so things seemed even greener.
 These are some of the roses transplanted from down south.
 My favorite thing out of the garden so far this year has been radishes. Pop planted some more in the smaller raised bed garden and they're already sprouting.
 One of the plants we ordered was a chinese lantern plant. I've never seen one before but Austin was really interested in them. So far it's just a little sprout.
 Little Kitty was in the screened porch while I was outside. He hardly ever meows loud enough to be heard but he was frustrated that his mommy was outside without him and put up quite a fuss. He couldn't figure out how to get to me from up there.
 Still April and we already have a lot of stuff growing!
 cabbage and pole beans
 More of the beautiful palette of greens in the backyard... this is from the other side of the yard.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the backyard. Stick around... it changes every day! We're expecting strong storms and heavy rain over the next few days. I'm hoping there won't be water in the basement... but at least I'm in the safest part of the house if we do get a bad storm! There was a big pine down up the street yesterday. I've got a feeling that we're going to see some trees down somewhere up here... I just hope we don't get any tornadic activity.

And that's about it for today... love and hugs, y'all!