Monday, May 19, 2014

Still Playing Hookey

I'm trying to find a rhythm to hooking again.  After going to camp in March I fell off the wagon.  Household projects got in the way and then we transitioned into doing backyard projects so we can enjoy our patio area to the maximum this summer.

When we moved here in February '13, we inherited a nice yard for what is called an "interior" lot in the community.  That means you are surrounded by neighbors side by side and in the back.  Other homes have a golf course view or a nature area view, but those lots fetch a pretty price.  We felt this house had a lot going for it in the backyard and future improvements would be minimal (ha, were we wrong on that note!).  We have an extensive waterfall system with koi pond which is the central visual feature.
The biggest drawback is that our yard gets 100% sun all day long with a south-west exposure.  Shade is at a premium late in the day and with our hot summers (dry heat....not humid heat!) it's hard to use the yard for entertaining.  We've embarked on several projects to help create shade, to the degree we can.

We added a patio cover last summer and now we are adding lots of potted plants around it to create as lush a feeling as possible.  This area is still in progress. It will be framed along the wall with some of Larry's bonsai plants.  
Potted maples are all the rage here.
We love maple trees and hope these will flourish in our heat conditions.  
A new pond grass plant (sitting directly in the water) adds a little greenery to soften the rocks.
Can you see her?  My special smoke fired ceramic face in the lower right corner.  She is blending in well with the rocks.
We purchased some water lilies and other pond plants on Saturday.  You just plop them into the pond and let the pot rest on the bottom of the pond.  The water lilly on the left was submerged 4" below the water on Saturday.  It grew 4" by today (Monday) to reach the top of the water.  Amazing!  
More waterfalls.  I hope to get some Creeping Jenny planted around the rocks to add some  greenery to the rocks.  It will help soften all the hardscape of rocks and cement.
The koi love the new plants.  They seem much happier darting in and out of the plants.  
Another view of the pond area.
Larry's star bonsai Japanese azalea.  It is in full bloom.  This is a Satsuki azalea.  Satsuki means 5th and these azaleas bloom in May, the 5th month.   The mother stock for these plants was imported from Japan.  
More bonsai Satsuki azaleas.  This area is still under development so we can stage these lovely plants to best show their beauty.
Well I guess we all know there is more to life than just hooking, so now you know why I've been off the wagon.

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