Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cherry Blossoms

The first blossoms have made their appearance here in Lockport! 2-3 white blossoms on the new Yoshino tree and 4-5 pink ones on the shidarezakura (weeping cherry blossoms tree) poked their heads out of their buds late this afternoon

Will post pictures when most of the tree is in bloom, but i am sooooo happy tonight. :-)

Meanwhile, work on the back yard started again this week.

* Built a new brick retaining wall and steps around an area next to the porch that will get white gravel to simulate a pond and then a small 6' round deck over that, which will look like the center portion of this picture, sent to me by a friend many, many years ago (thanks Shirley).

* Terraced the top third of the area on the north side of the house, trimmed all the wild grasses, and transplanted several dozen handfulls of day lilies to that area. Will terrace another third over the next weeks and then leave the bottom part alone until fall. Probably.

* Widened the (fake) creek that flows through the yard from north to south. About two-thirds done and will finish the remaining one-third this week.

* Cut down three-quarters of the remaining wild grasses and Russian Sage in the front and side yards. Will finish the rest tomorrow because they are all starting to show new growth.

* Moved about 50 day lilies, maybe more, probably more, to new locations around the yard to expand already existing sections.

* Took a sledge hammer to about 30' of sidewalk and busted out all of the cement. That will get filled back in with gravel and topped off with dirt. Then limestone stepping stones will be laid out as the walkway from the garage up to the house. Large flat stones to step on, medium stones to fill in between those, and small stones to make everything a reasonably standard width. Then plant grass around it all to hold everything in place. It is going to look oooohhh so good.

* In mid-April i'll buy the wood (6" x 6" posts) and FINALLY build the Japanese-ish gate at the end of that stepping stone path, just before stepping up to the sidewalk along the back of the house. Finally. I'm not sure when i'll get the actual roof on it (money issues), but at least the frame and door will be up and in place.

* This week i have to finish trimming last years growth down, then hope to build another retaining wall with steps down to where i'm going to "skin" the back wall of the garage so that it looks like a temple on Shikoku. That's the purpose of almost everything i'm doing in the back yard. Both stone walking paths and the stone bridge all lead you in the direction of the temple.

* Had an ingenious idea the other day (if i say so myself). I'm going to keep my eye open for someone who has cut down a tree and try and get a section of the trunk about 1.5' long. I'm then going to take the time to saw and chisel it, and hollow it out so that it looks like a temple bell and hang it from a post in front of my fake temple. Haven't decided if i will have to paint it or not. I'll wait until it's done to decide that.

I have promised to help my sister Thursday through Sunday with work at her house. Will rototill almost her entire back yard and put in mole repellent to see what we can salvage. The moles have destroyed it. Once they are gone, we can re-sod sometime in April. Will also install two windows in the shed in her back yard — windows that came out of my back porch when i replaced them.

We'll then pull 6 very old lilac bushes out of her back yard, trying to get them out in good enough shape to move them to my house were i'll add them to the side parking and front yard.

It's going to be a busy next several weeks. :-)

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