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done gone crazy

August 5, 2012

So, I kind of lost my mind the other day because I was inspired by something that I will reveal very soon but not yet, as difficult as that is for me. I have a really hard time keeping exciting secrets! I realized that we have a crazy spray paint collection as well as a serious tape collection. I know, I know, spray paint is pretty much one of the worst evils – unbelievable amounts of nastiness floating off into the atmosphere – but I did it anyway. I am a horrible person. I gathered up a bunch of colours, a big roll of tape, a ruler, a pencil and just went a little nuts.

spraypaint

spraypaint crazy

spraypaint diamond

spraypaint diamond finished

tape ball

Now our privacy screen that I wasn’t really loving now has a big farting diamond on it and our backyard is beginning to look a little like Candyland. All things are temporary…hopefully that applies to my insanity as well.

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now you see it, now you don’t

August 1, 2012

I took the opportunity of being home alone for a week to make some executive decisions around here. Some of them were a bit shocking to my lovely when on return she saw that we went from jungle to barren landscape but overall, I think that it was a move to the good side. I have a great reputation as a plant killer but I am really trying to turn a new leaf [pardon the pun] and be a caring, nurturing propagator!

So we went from this:

big bush

To this:
VIEWER ADVISORY
A perfectly good, overgrown bush was killed in the making of this image.

big bush gone

And after all of this and some blood, blisters and backache:

mulch

To this:

mulched front

We also have had this disgusting mosquito breeding pool that smelled a lot like poo – probably a favourite raccoon hangout. The pump died quite some time ago and a small child toddled over and did a full somersault into it – pandemonium ensued. That was enough for me. Cesspool, you are no longer thanks to the leftover dirt from the load that we used to fill the stock tank garden.

pond

Gone, flattened, BAM!

pond gone

I did salvage a bunch of hostas and transplanted some ferns from the other side of the yard. This summer we have had so little rain that the ferns, along with other things, are scorched already but hopefully they will come back again next year.

new vegetation

Before I spread the mulch I laid down landscape fabric because we have a persistent plant [weed] that someone thought would make beautiful ground cover that takes over the entire area. It’s called goutweed and to me it’s just about as painful as what I imagine having actual gout would be. I have spent hours and hours obsessively digging and tracing its convoluted root system but no matter what I do, it always comes back. Word to the wise, NEVER plant this stuff!

Once I laid the fabric down, I cut holes for the individual plants that I put in. So far the grasses are doing okay, they don’t look to have grown much, probably because I am a sparse and sporadic waterer. The squirrels did their magic on the smaller mosses and creepers. They dug a hole in each one of them. They tested numerous areas around the garden to stash their nuts but the fabric made it too difficult so they went for the easy kill and destroyed most of the new greenery. The best part of this is that now that I see the space there, I have decided to put in a stock tank pool like I hinted at earlier. SO EXCITED!!!

I am trying to make the space feel less visually cluttered. If you follow me on pinterest and look at my backyard board you will see the type of spaces that I would really love to see back there but…baby budget, baby steps. I decided to build a screen that would block the view of the craziness along the path to the back back garden and also provide some privacy from the back for the when the pool is in. The neighbours behind us are on a much higher grade so we are in a bit of a fishbowl. I wanted to mimic the shape of the studio somewhat and reference a little what’s going on in the front so I came up with this:

new screennew screenmulched backyard

It doesn’t knock my socks off but I guess that it serves the purpose for now. If the zebra grass in front of it ever grows it will be somewhat passable. The POOL will also help to hide it! Now I had better stop talking about this thing and just make it happen or before I know it summer will be over.

ring of fire

July 31, 2012

jennifer graham ceramics

The other day the sun was shining on these beautiful sculptures that my fantastic friend gave me. It created this crazy fluorescent orange that looked like fire because of the translucency of the material. Not only does she make terrific sculptural work but her functional pieces are the best. I use one of her gorgeous mugs every single morning when I have my cup of joe. You can check out more of her work here.

the bear awakens

July 29, 2012

So after a very long hibernation I am back.

There wasn’t much to share around here for the last few months (as you can tell from my absence) as all projects came to an abrupt halt once I became immersed once again in work…who am I kidding, I am just totally unmotivated and want to do nothing but get warm and snuggly once the cool temperatures of fall set in. Once the snow arrives I get myself couchified until the crocuses begin to show their faces!  Now, there is nothing but day after day of beautiful, sunny and warm so there are really no excuses.  Also, I tend to get bored with all this time off in the summer and I feel the need to work in order to shed my guilt complex so I dream up little projects for myself to keep busy.  Here are some of the things that I’ve been up to:

triple mix

We got a big load of triple mix delivered last month so that I could fill in the stock tank. I went and did some plant research and decided to put in a row of grasses that will grow to be about 3′ tall and another row in front that will go to about 2′.

zebra grassfeather reed grassstock tankstock tank garden with grass

Here’s a little reminder of what this looked like before.

I totally got sucked in by the cute factor of these little plants, some of them are even steppable. I bought a few and we have been trying them out in different areas in the front and back gardens.

brass buttonselfin creeping thymehens and chicksbaby tears

The raccoons or squirrels didn’t take long to find the hens and chicks and proceed to rip them apart, succulent leaf by succulent leaf – I shed a few baby tears myself when I discovered them strewn across the ground. I find that I have to cover everything new that I plant with a plastic mesh until it gets established. We had the same issue when we planted the vegetable garden. Another stock tank is on its way a la Brick House. I am so excited! I have been doing a lot of research and sourcing – these things are not so easy to procure in the Toronto area! More details to come later.

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