Katie had to be to work at 5 this morning, and Ali at 6:30; it's Maddy's first day of school, which would normally start at around 8, but only the lowly freshmen have to go so early on the first day of school. Maddy's going to have one last weekday sleep-in, then go out for Chinese with some friends before heading to school at noon.
I've got a pre-moving-to-college lunch date, too, with Alison. We'll have a little mother-daughter chat. ; ) I was going to surprise her with the cloths, but she surprised me! She was surprised, and touched, just not as I'd imagined. Sweet.
Last night I had a little walk past the front garden area and was stopped in my tracks by this gigantic weed, that I only noticed just last night, at a full 4 feet in height! It's amazing what we edit out! I've been meaning to get out and trim back the spent ferns, anyway, and even the meadow rue which I usually trim much earlier. I donned the gloves, grabbed the pruner, and it didn't really take too long to spruce it up a bit and pull the most offending weeds.
I planted the porch pot with the begonia in a gardening class earlier this spring -- it also has impatiens, but the alyssum has long since expired. The begonia just took off and I have always loved yellow against my house, so that's perfect! The porch planter has something dark green with purple flowers in the middle, and two sweet potato vines on each side and, man, did those vines ever take off! This is the front porch, which faces north, so the bright yellow of the impatiens and the bright green of the foliage really lighten it up nicely. It was a pretty good year for the front porch.
Here's the back yard, which is actually on the side. It's very, very tiny. The back of the garage is at left; the right leg of the brick walkway leads to some steps that go down to a path (the playhouse is down there, and more hostas); the concrete walk at the bottom also leads to some wooden stairs that lead to the "lower yard," which is actually in the back and is half grass, half garden -- and there's a ravine/wooded area beyond all of that. Our house was basically, literally, built on the edge of a ravine and our "back yard" is wedge-shaped because of the natural line of the bluff, or whatever. The corner of the garage that you see? It's not a normal, 90-degree corner -- our garage is rectangular except for that corner, which is just lopped right off because of the lay of the land -- and, because of the lay of the land, our deck has only two square corners, too.
It used to be, when the kids were little, we didn't even have a garage. I didn't want a garage because where in the world would we put a sandbox? Where would the kids play? The lower yard is great, but it's only partially visible from one room in the entire house -- and even that with great effort! No, I decided that I'd scrape snow and ice off my windshield, haul in groceries and kids through torrential rain and blizzards, figure out how to steer a wheel that's baked in the red-hot summer sun, because the kids needed a yard, for crying out loud; no-brainer. Well, the kids got older and we got older and they didn't use the yard much -- so they helped us build a garage! ; )
We love our little deck, but it, too, bakes in the red-hot sun. Sometimes that's okay, but an option would be nice, don't you think? I had the bright idea a few years ago to build a triangular pergola over part of the deck, providing dappled shade, with extra seating, some planter boxes, trellis-y things for stuff to grow on. You can see that the tomatoes have pretty much taken over the deck -- it's like a jungle out there! I have been editing out the weeds surrounding the deck for a while now, and soon they will truly be deleted. Heh.
Labor Day Weekend, 2006 -- The Pergola Project. Day 1: Plans are drawn, lumber is in the van.