Even better than just having the house itself, is the outdoor space we also gain in the summer (remember that season? I know, I'm having a hard time too). The previous owner of the house was an 80 year old woman who, I'm fairly confident, spent every waking hour between March and October in her garden. The entire back yard was not a patch of grass- just completely perennial covered. It was lovely, lush, fragrant and completely impractical with a toddler.
"Go play in those prickly plants and wood chips dear!" etc.
So, with some sadness, we removed many of the perennials to the front of the house, where we had ripped out a hedge that resembled the plant from the little shop of horrors- I'm pretty sure it swallowed the neighbourhood stray cats. Some others were replanted along the perimeter of the back yard, and a few unlucky (or maybe lucky) few were placed at the curb where the rabid gardeners in the neighbourhood (and there are many) scooped them up and transplanted them a few blocks over. In the stead of the old plants we laid sod and voila! Judah had a place to play. Alas, there are no mature trees on our lot so the new play space was quickly deemed fun, but at times really hot. Standing directly against the fence to steal the neighbours' shade got old pretty quickly, so Luke was enlisted to create some carpenter-political scientist-engineer created shade. Last weekend our cousin Ben (also an amazing carpenter) came with his lovely wife Erin (also an amazing English grad) and the gentlemen built a pergola while we, the women, happily reverted to Victorian roles of making lemonade and swooning in the heat.
Our backyard oasis is now, very nearly complete. We have some free Unistone coming our way in the next couple of weeks (thank you Freecycle!) and we're hoping to magically come upon a patio set of picnic table on the side of the road or some other equally cheap place soon.
Now without further ado, some pics of this year's garden...and a few of Judah, because we finally have a working camera again and I think he's cute :)
Judah's "smile for the camera" smile.
Checking out our tomato plants...which I think something is eating...
Lily of the valley- quite possibly my favourite scent.
South side of the yard
More south side. One iris finally open!
The pergola! Don't mind the excess wood against the fence, the dirt floor or the decrepit lawn furniture...just use your imagination to see how lovely it will be. There are clematis and grapevine planted at the bases of the poles to grow overhead...eventually.
Judah's garden bell and the lawn mower- eco friendly and a great workout.
Spot the cat!
Spot the blue jay in flight.
Wait, I see a weird critter in that bush...
Ah! Judahmus Rodentimus, the most voracious creature of them all.
And, for good measure, a self-portrait.