iPhoneography Monday: 12-9-13

iPhone Monday 12-9-13

The second Monday of every month is devoted to mobile phone Macro photography at Lens and Pen by Sally so for today’s post I have this shot of the last Anemone seed pods left in my garden.  The final seeds let loose during our last windstorm and I’m sure we will find new plants sprouting all over the yard next spring.

Posted as part of Lens and Pen By Sally Phoneography Challenge:  Macro  

Our Landscaping Project: Week Two

Garden Week 2 Collage

Just in time to escape the dusty excavation mess John, Ryan and I spent a few days away from our project shopping for new plants and stone steps.  We found most of the large plants on our list at one local nursery and thankfully their delivery fee was reasonable because there was no way the trees were going to fit in our Subaru.

The next day found us an hour outside of the city looking through a stone yard packed full of an overwhelming assortment of colors, textures, sizes and shapes.  With a map in one hand and coffee in the other we walked across the property to the farthest corner of the lot looking through pallets and piles of stone for dry stack steps.  Cowboy Coffee  Quartzite was the perfect color and size for our project and as an added bonus I really like the name but wow, five of them together weighed over 3,600 pounds.

Our new steps and terraces were installed Monday and we hope to plant the largest Vine Maples along the side yard in a few days. As soon as a new watering system is ready to go the rest of the plants will leave their temporary location on the back patio and settle into our new front yard.  This summer brought the Seattle area a record-breaking stretch of dry weather but I’m afraid our luck won’t hold and I can’t help worrying one rainstorm will turn the newly spread topsoil into a river of mud if we don’t plant it soon.

The new driveway will be ready for cars by Monday so front porch construction should start next week and I plan to post pictures of the building process as well as a peek at the new driveway and garage doors for my week 3 update.

If you are new to Northwest Frame of Mind and want to follow this project from the beginning please take a look at my first two posts in the series:

Daily Prompt:  Weekend

The First Days Of Our Landscaping Project

The first days of our landscaping project

The Yard Before

About six weeks ago I posted an overview of our big 2013 home improvement projects in response to the Daily Prompt:  Weekend.

If you have read my About page or Hello widget you can see I mention right away we love gardening and remodeling our home.  In fact one of the reasons I started this blog was create a space to document and share a few big home improvement projects that have been slowly working their way up our to-do list.  When we bought this house four years ago it had a lot of features I was happy with (location, space and privacy in the yard) and two major ones I wanted to change right away (dark brown paint and a rickety, narrow front porch).  In our first year we put on a new roof and finished two interior rooms but the really big items on my “must have” list have had to wait… until this weekend when they finally reached official planning and scheduling status.

Our project got a jump-start last summer when the Utilities District let us know our large Cedar Trees in the front yard were too close to the power lines and needed to come down.  They gave us a fair amount of money to use towards replacement plants but losing these trees meant we had to rethink the entire yard since what was once an established shade garden is now sitting in full sun.  We talked through our ideas over the winter and this spring hired a Landscape Architect to help us with a new comprehensive plan.

We are also working through the measurements for a new porch, deciding on door styles to convert our car port to a garage, selecting more decorative window trim and finding the perfect house colors.  It is going to be a busy summer but I can’t wait!  Every few weeks I plan to post photos, including some really awful before shots, and if all goes well we will have a finished project with a lot more curb appeal by fall.

I can finally report (de)construction began this week!  I will post updates every week in at least one of our three in-progress categories:  front yard. deck and driveway, paint and trim.  This is a big job, wish us luck!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost in the Details

Late Winter

Today’s photo challenge  is about getting lost in the details.  Late winter in my backyard can be dark, muddy and sometimes a little depressing. I love to garden but this time of year is tough for me to appreciate as the ground is covered with debris from winter storms and too wet and cold for most spring flowers.  After spending a chilly day clearing leaves and branches it is a treat to find the first hellebores blooming and the fine details of their simple, hardy flowers never fail to make me smile.

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