And the designing begins.

Today we got out my 200' tape measure and my 25'Fat Max tape and a clip board and made a measured drawing of the back yard. Dean drew them up on his computer. I will be making other working drawing as I work on the design.

The pink is the driveway we share with our neighbors, the lavender is the garage and the addition as well as some steps to the basement (the little narrow part) and the huge Hackberry tree. The brown is the proposed stairway and landing to the studio; the green is grass or garden in new places. The little lilac square in the green is a trellis or some sort of shelter over the gate to enter the yard. You can see that I have been doing a little sketching on the printout. I was wondering if a third car could park and not be in the Harper's way. I think that can work, with care. 

There was grass here before and Alyce and Alan had planted hostas around the tree. I just hope the beautiful hostas survived. At least some in the very back of the yard did. Thank goodness. I want to plant a fig bush near the steps of the porch. I do love fresh figs. 

There is a lot of fence to finish. This and a wire fence around the remainder of the back yard. 

There will need to be a gate here between the front and the back.  
The brighter bricks are where the coal chute and something else were removed. Those stick on the right were (are?) a lovely blue hydrangea. Fingers crossed on that one. 

The yard, which used to be fairly pleasant if nothing special, suffered enormously from big-footed construction guys who ignored my entreaties to keep their feet off the plants. Sometimes, of course, they couldn't, but sometimes they were just careless. 

Dean, not anticipating the huge pay cut we just received, had the sides of the steps torn down in preparation for leveling out the precariously tilted steps. We hadn't thought to have pillars and benches for quite so long. The bags of soil and cow manure are just because it is hard to find time to do things when there are so many to do. They will, this week (I hope), go into the four pots, two of which show at the bottom of this picture. We have to wait for the weather to warm before we can tackle the steps.

Over the next few days or weeks I will be working on a landscape design for the whole yard, making lots of drawings and trying to decide what to do first. Then it is wait until this cold, cold weather ends  - if that ever happens!

Meanwhile, the front of the house is perfumed by the lilies in this week's flowers. Sometimes I can smell them in the kitchen. We will have to move them before Sunday when we will have seven others joining us for a retreat to share our spiritual autobiographies which we write every year for Education for Ministry, our class about the church and finding our place there and in the world. I am making a dessert and I think I will try to find something easy. Any suggestions? 

All is well,


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