Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sitting in the Garden

I have several sitting areas in my yard and I thought I would share a couple.  There was a promise of somewhat cooler temperatures and lower humidity for the weekend, lows in the mid sixties and highs in the 80's -- but, alas, that seemed not to materialize.  The low maybe hit 70 degrees, and it was close to 80 by midmorning.  Now it's in the low 90's and it just feels hot.  But it's not too bad in the shade.  If you slather yourself with bug repellant to keep the skeeter hordes at bay you might be able to sit out a while with a cold glass of something.  Above is by the front door, a stone (Lowe's "portage") terrace layed by my husband several years ago.  It is just outside the window to our front room (aka living room that functions as office and catch-all room).  The terrace connects to a stone walkway that circles around the small frog pond and connects to the front walk.  In the early spring it is sunny and warmer than the rest of the yard from the eastern sun.  In the autumn it makes a nice place to sit and watch the happenings on the street when the vegetation dies back.

Had to throw in some pictures of the spectacular compass or cup plant that grows in the bed between that front terrace and stone path around the pond, and the sidewalk.  Drought and heat tolerant, comes back every year, needs absolutely zero watering through our hot summers.  And look who is living high between its stalks!  Argiope -- a huge writing spider.  When I was looking at her a wasp flew into her web and she was on it and had it wrapped up in less than 30 seconds!  We have several other writing spiders in other spots in the yard, but this one is the biggest -- no doubt because she has the prime real estate.  The cup plant attracts butterflies and other insects to its flowers and the water pooled where the leaves attach to the stem.

And below is our patio area.  When we moved here it was a dreary concreted area that connected our back door (just inside the screen porch) to the driveway on the southern side of our house.  Our driveway runs along side of our neighbor's driveway so we had a lovely view of the two driveways and the neighbor's air conditioning unit.  A huge concrete pipe runs in between the drives, so no tall plantings can be done there and basically there was no shade at all for that side of our house.  We now have an adjustable awning on our kitchen window (which has helped our cooling bill a lot!).  And we put an outdoor rug down on the concrete, moved a picnic table there and have an umbrella, which not only helps keep it a bit cooler in the summer, but also gives some relief from the bright sun even when it's not so hot.
Since the chickens took over the backyard, this is where I sit and have tea, weather permitting, and where we picnic for lunch or dinner.  The girls and their friends like to hang out there a lot.  Last fall we moved our fire pit over to the back of driveway, near this area, and kept it there through most of the winter, which meant it got used way more frequently than when it was in the backyard.  Maybe in a couple of weeks we'll get a real cold front through that will make having a fire outside a pleasant prospect!  I'll have to see about moving the fire pit back over soon.


CIELO said...

Love your garden... what a lovely cozy space you've created... thank YOU for bringing me here! And for participating in Show Off Your Cottage Monday...I shall come back soon.

Cielo - the house in the roses

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Oh now I love what you have done. All those wonderful colors. My kind of garden!

Ann said...

Your garden and sitting areas are just gorgeous. You'd never know the summer had been such a scorcher, as the colors and greenery in your space are so vivid. I'd love to see it all in person!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Love your sitting areas! I think it's so important to have different areas where you can sit an enjoy your garden. Those blue shutters of yours are my favorite!