Sunday, June 16, 2013

Garden and Beach

Today was a refreshing start to the new week ahead. Will really likes to get up early at least one day on the weekends to have some "solitary" time, which works out quite well for our marriage because I will always choose sleeping in just a little longer :)

This morning when I got up at 7, Will had coffee made, a coffee cake in the oven, the dishwasher running, and a load fresh out of the dryer. I know, he is pretty much awesome.

We spent some time outside on our back porch while breakfast finished cooking, just talking.  I treasure those moments when we are able to have quiet chats- usually they aren't of any particular importance, but there's something special when the day has just begun and chaos hasn't yet ensued.

After church, we stopped by Lowes to pick up some supplies for Will's grand plans for the afternoon.

When we bought our house, there was zero landscaping in the backyard. The only thing back there was a storage shed that we were made to rip out because "it wasn't up to code" per the HOA (they said it was too close to the fence, and it may have been. I just have an issue with it because you can drive around the neighborhood and count over 25 other houses with sheds within 10 feet of the fence.) Pretty much all work in the yard was put on hold to this year because, like all people, we had to budget our funds and we decided we'd rather prioritize the inside space where we spent most of our time. Will was really hoping to replace the fence this summer, but we've decided against it for now since the main reason he wanted a fence was for cosmetic reasons, not structural reasons. However, his compromise was that he wanted to plant some vines and other things that would help hide the fence.

Add landscaping? I can get on board with that!

We planted two Texas Lilac bushes along the left fence that we see as soon as we step out the back door. They should eventually grow to be pretty tall and wide.
My phone lens was apparently foggy for some of the pictures
And we planted a Creep Myrtle tree in the corner. For now we put down the landscaping fabric, cut it where we had dug holes. and covered it with new soil. I'm not sure that we'll plant any fillers since these are supposed to get pretty big. Eventually we will get pavers to line all of the beds that we've planted so far. 

Along the back fence, directly in front of the back door, I planted to grape vines. I'm pretty excited about these, and I'm hoping we'll be able to eat them next year. We were planning on getting regular lattice to screw into the fence but these were all Lowes had. 

This area under our window looked horrendous due to our dogs and a cousin dog spending several weeks on play-date  tearing up a few parts of our backyard. As a temporary fix Will put down a bunch of scrap wood and rocks so the dogs couldn't really get in the mud, but I absolutely hated it. I suppose it was better than having muddy dogs every time it rained, but our backyard looked like a junk yard. 

A week or so ago, Will got started planting some rose buses under our bedroom window. Only, it started POURING rain a few minutes into his project, so I let him take care of it himself. 

Now, not to belittle how hard Will works and tries to make me happy, but he kinda messed up a little. I mentioned in the store that the bushes needed to be planted about three feet apart from each other, but he planted them like a foot apart. Since I knew they were supposed to be that far apart we only bought two bushes, but since he planted them closer it was kind of lopsided and obvious that we needed a third bush to round things out. So we got a third bush today and I planted it.

You can see how it looked lopsided with only two bushes. Also, dogs are caught red-handed!
Three's much better
Now, you might have noticed that much bush look a little puny compared to the two that Will planted. For one, the one we bought today was on sale, so that could imply that maybe it was a little past its prime, the gardeners weren't taking such care with it, etc. But also, I learned that Will did not plant his bushes in the ground. No, he plopped the rose bush on top of the gardening fabric and poured a whole bunch of new dirt around it. I'm not sure what that is going to mean for the longevity of those bushes (will the roots be able to get very deep through the fabric? Is it too late for me to go back and replant them?), but we're both super amateurs at gardening so we'll probably just wait to see what happens. 

And finally, I bought these other really pretty flowering vine-things (a very technical name, I know) that needed full sun. Originally I had thought we'd plant them along the back fence next to the grapes, but that would push them into the day-long shade of the tree. The right side of the fence pretty much has full sun, so that was our only other option. 

For the past six months or so we've had these lovely remnants of our out-of-code storage shed leaning up against the fence:

So we halled them out of the yard to the side of the house where they'll be easy to put on the curb on heavy-trash day and then we planted the small vines:

The don't look very impressive yet, but I'm hoping they'll grow quickly and add some drama to the fence. I'm not sure what else we're going to do to this side of the yard; it's kind of awkward because it's right next to the back gate and we have an electrical box just to the left of this picture, and we can't really plant/do anything close to that. So I guess it will just have to stick out like a sore thumb? 

Up close: 

Befores and Afters:

So around 1 p.m. we had accomplished all this and it was time to head to Galveston to meet up with Will's family for beach time and dinner at my sister-in-law's. Will and I went to the beach for a short period of time a few weeks ago, but it ended up being cloudy and a little chilly. This was our first time to go to the beach for a few hours and really feel like summer has arrived. 

I may or may not have gotten a little sunburned. And that may or may not be a bit of an understatement : / 

After the beach we headed back to Megan and Brent's house, where she made a new pasta dish and a fabulous strawberry dump cake. Megan and my mother-in-law are both trying so hard to try new dishes that are vegetarian friendly and it means SO MUCH to Will and me. I know it can seem daunting or overwhelming to cook for people who eat differently from you, so seeing them make such an effort reminds me how much they love me. It would easy for them to fix a meal they would normally eat and expect us to eat the sides, but they both go above and beyond, finding new recipes and experimenting. They are pretty much the best. 

And finally, we made it home in time to watch a few episode of Season Four of The Vampire Diaries. Not gonna lie, I like that vampire series a lot more than the Twilight movies. 

Our evening ended with a classic twist: a dog (not sure who) had a visit from the Tinkle Fairy ON OUR BED. This has never happened before, so I'm not sure what's up. But I do know I am not looking forward to squeezing onto a half of the bed with Will tonight while the other side dries from the cleaning stuff. Oh, and let's hope my mother-in-law's washer is big enough for our king-sized comforter and mattress protector.

Ah, this is the good life. 

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