Thursday, June 25, 2009

Exactly how shady is that Beech tree?

I've been trying to take a photo of the tree for which this blog is named, but its really impossible to get far enough away to capture the entire thing. These are the shots I recently took so you can see how large the trunk is. The previous owners built the deck around the tree, the photos posted 5 years ago with the real estate listing caused Jeff to fall in love with the house.
This photo was taken with my back to the far corner of the house, looking over the back yard.

This photos shows the beginning of the canopy, it extends well above our 3 story house.

This Copper Beech is one of several in our town. We have struggled to grow a lawn under it for a few years now. When I walk around town and see that other owners have given up the fight and just mulched their entire yards rather than complete with the tree, I wonder how many more years until we admit defeat also.

It won't be this year, though. I'm still hoping there is a true "shade grass" out there...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

House Envy, x100

I saw this website, 100 Abandoned Houses, and spent the rest of the day dreaming about the former glory in these homes.

I'm sure they would disagree, but wouldn't it be fun if one of our siblings lived next door in a mirror-image house?

This is my favorite:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On the Road: San Francisco

We spent a little summer vacation in San Francisco last week, but it wasn't all fun. We spent many hours diligently researching various home improvement topics.

How to reshape the driveway:

Improving home security:
How to add curb appeal:

And of course, what research excursion would be complete without a visit to a child-friendly winery:
We had a great time in San Francisco and Sonoma and are looking forward to future trips for additional "research".

Monday, June 8, 2009

First harvest from the CSA

This year we bought a share in a CSA and this is what our half of the share looks like:

As part of the share, we have to work 7 hours on the farm. I went last Sunday to do a few hours of weeding, the highlight of which was getting to ride in the back of a pickup truck from the parking lot to the fields. I haven't done that since I was a kid!

The share this week consisted of:
Baby turnips,
Beet Greens,
Turnip greens,
mixed greens,
and a head of lettuce.

It will be fun to figure out what to do with all these greens... I'm sure it will involve bacon!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Everything's coming up roses

After all the French drain excitement, I'm happy to report I planted some grasses and flowers that are still alive after a few weeks.

From the far end of the bed, I have:
1. Lavender. This plant has been very happy in this spot and smells lovely when it blooms. When I was in the hospital last year, the big Beechnut brought me a little bouquet of the flowers and it made my hospital room smell heavenly for the 4 days I was there recovering from the birth of the little Beechnut.
2. A tea rose, with dark pink blooms. This is new, and I pinched off the 3 blooms that blossomed to encourage root growth.
3. Miscanthus or zebra grass. This is new and I hope it will add some height and interest to the other flowers planted.
4. Climbing rose. I wanted to show that I have managed to keep this rose bush alive for 3 years going. Its rewarding me by flowering this year. It smells rosy too.
5. Lots of mint and lily of the valley. These were planted by the previous owners and I'm trying to beat back the mint. Its really only useful around the Kentucky Derby when we make mint juleps.
6. Forever Summer Hydrangea. I have hopes this will be large with big blue blossoms, but I think the flowers are a few years out.

Closeup of my climbing rose bush. I think we'll build a bigger trellis next year.

Some of the big rhodies in bloom, with my little peony plant. I think it needs more sunlight than the current location offers, maybe it'll get moved in the fall.

Lately, I've been feeling like this:

Busy like a bee!


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