The transition from winter to spring in Rochester is an ugly one. I gave you a little photo tour of the yard a few months back, but promised that it would improve from looking like this come June:
And improve it has.
In fact, it’s like a totally different space with the fence hidden by roses, the deck furniture out and scattered because we’re not really all that orderly about it, the grill rolled out in the grass, and the tomatoes in the ground. The normally exposed backyard becomes a quaint little haven shadowed by trees and bushes; it’s about this time of year that I stop being able to see my neighbors – they resurface again when the leaves start to fall in October.
It also means that Cody can’t snurf with his little pit bull best friend through the back fence without trampling the lemon mint. Is snurf a term coined by my family and only my family? It’s an adjective meaning to sniff and dig your nose into places it shouldn’t be? Isn’t it weird how familial lingo can make it’s way into international blog posts? And does anyone have any good recipes that include lemon mint because I’m over my dog’s head in it. Anyways, I digress.
Pete and I did some serious grounds work over the weekend and removed everything along one fence that didn’t belong (it’s not always so obvious what’s alive, dead, or a weed until the leaves are fully exposed) and while I had a cleared space, I hung the new mid-century birdhouse on the fence.
You can’t really tell in that picture, but it’s wired to the top fence rail using two simple eyelet hooks and some thin gauge wire that I installed in the sides.
While I had some space cleared that gets decent sunlight, I decided to drop some seeds to see what would happen. These are leftovers from my February efforts to self-start the seeds early (it was too early, it was a flop, I was embarrassed, I’ve moved on). So, they’re now in real earth and we’ll see what happens. My guess? Not much. It is almost 4th of July, after all. Green thumb is quickly turning brown.
Dad’s green thumb, however produces 8′ tall tomato plants. OK, by August they’ll be that tall, but for now they’re babies and nestled into a little caged area.
He gets all the credit for this project; he did it all by himself while I was at Delta Faucet Company a few weeks ago. Didn’t he do a nice job with the labeling of each variety (6 in all + one self-started plant that appeared in my lawn from last year’s tomato crop).
The tomatoes are accompanied by some mammoth cayenne peppers and lime basil (which was a successful self-start inside, if that helps me redeem by green thumb). I’m already enjoying watching some of the itsy-bitsy peppers take form.
I should also point out that the side of the garage is ugly. It’s getting an overhaul one of these days, and by overhaul, I mean a nice new coat of paint. I was also picking out colors that matched the siding or were complementary over the weekend. I’ve made up my mind and hope to pick up some paint tomorrow.
The roses are wonderful, of course; there are 4 different bushes on the fence and I’d tell you all about the different varieties if I was any sort of confident horticulturist, but I’m not. I can tell you that they smell good, are varied shades of pink, and lose their petals within 2 days of being cut and placed on my kitchen island. I actually received a yellow rose plant as a gift not too long ago and will put that into the garden this fall to complement the others.
The berries are off their rocker too. Wild blackberries, not traditional raspberries, the tallest of the plants stands about 8′ straight up in the air. I’m not joking and a photo I snapped doesn’t do it justice; each branch is starting to get weighed down with future-yummy berries that I like to use to make jam from.
That shelving unit is something we scored from a friend over the winter at no cost – it’s the perfect piece for this space.
The final fun of the day included his Black & Decker leaf blower, which we used to blast the dirt, leaves, and helicopters from my driveway at 240 MPH. It also loosened even more of my driveway asphalt, meaning I’m getting closer and closer to trying to find someone who will repair it for me. Oh, and sorry to the beach-going Acura owner who decided to park in front of my house; we did air-blast off your car when we were done blowing dirt all around it.