Hey, did I mention that, besides the Willow House, I had another major outdoor undertaking this spring? I should have, but I was so busy doing the actual busyness that the bloggy matters slipped to the back burner. (Now though, summer is upon us and outdoor projects are almost unbearable, so we retreat indoors and ponder and muse and write.) Yeah, anyway, our backyard had always been a shameful affair. When we first bought the house back in the early oughts, it was just a neglected little patch of grass. I tried to spruce it up with a few banana treess, but the results were less than convincing.
Things got worse after Katrina. All vegetation died. It became a trash heap of flood-ruined appliances and construction debris. We did eventually clear the junk, planted some more grass and and some little baby bamboo (a variety I recall as being called "Giant Panda", though the the internet doesn't seem to believe this exists; it supposed to get enormous, but at least for the first while it didn't seem particularly happy about its new home and wasn't making a big effort on vertical growth). That was that was about it. After the giant task of reviving our house, we just ran out of steam. (I also blame the redneck strains of my genetic heritage. If I owned a rusty old Chevette, I probably would have parked it on cinder blocks back there.) And so things remained for several years.
But finally this spring, we got a bee in our bonnet, got some guys to pour us a lovely little cement patio (all dark-stained and stamped and sealed and fancy). Then I went full-steam manic on fencing it the yard in and filling every available inch with of a lovely assortment of plants. (And that laggardly bamboo finally decided to get a move on and has, thus far, pushed up to about twenty feet, approximately half of its ultimate height.) We bought some fancy Ikea furniture, strung up some outdoor "bistro" lights, and voila! If I may say, the results are quite lovely. (And will continue to get lovelier as the little plantings grow and fill in.)
And so, some photos seem in order. Here's the first, of the little "Welcome" sign that June painted to greet folks. And there will be more snaps to come (many by Louise who has been a busy little shutterbug back there.) Stay tuned.