Fall 2018

We had an early freeze on October 14th and that was the beginning of the end for many of our plants. But the frost on the last roses of summer was gorgeous!

Summer 2018 – A Sad End to a Tree

One of the things that attracted us to this house was a backyard full of trees! We were especially fond of the majestic Bradford Pear tree that towered over the house. It gave such beauty in all seasons and survived several snow- and ice-storms.

And then, last summer, its leaves started turning long before they should have. Ken sprayed and pruned, trying to save the tree. But this spring, it barely put on any blooms or leaves and it seemed apparent the tree was dying, as Bradford Pears are wont to do after the 20-plus years this one has probably been growing.

We had a tree guy come and take a look and he confirmed our fears. The tree was diseased and needed to come down. We were SO sad! I never knew you could have such feelings for a silly tree.But down it came, limb by limb. And within half an hour, this tree that took decades to grow so tall was only a memory. :(
But even in death it gave us some gifts. A nice pile of free mulch.

Gorgeous sunrise views that we hadn't even realized we were missing!And memories that will last a lifetime. We might replace it with a much smaller tree (although the budget is blown by the price of removing a tree!) Or we might just enjoy the views and wait for our other trees to grow tall and strong.

My favorite outdoor office

It's the end of August, but there have still been some days when it was cool enough early in the day to bring my laptop out to the back deck to work. This is my favorite spot on our property when the weather is fine.

Spring 2018

Such a late spring we had, but now, on June 1, it feels like summer already. Here are a few views of the deck and backyard:

The checkerboard patio continues to look great and offers a nice "landing" at the bottom of the deck stairs.

The Coke crate sedum

It's October 18, 2017, and we're starting to bring some of the plants inside in preparation for winter. Love how this pretty little sedum planter turned out.
This is where the sedum came from. We had fun planting this back in April.

The plants quickly filled out the box.

Mid-June, we added a perfect hen and chick, and some pink blooming sedum from a farmer's market.

In late July, the creeping thyme bloomed!

Now, in mid-October, the thyme has almost covered up the Coke box.

We'll be planting most of this in the ground, but it was a huge success in this spot and we hope to recreate it next spring.

Meanwhile, I'm thoroughly enjoying having some of it inside to brighten the coming winter days.

October is here

 The other day, someone said their favorite color was "October." If that means the colors of these pansies and mums, I think I agree! Even though October marks several sad anniversaries (the deaths of my sister, my sister-in-law, and last year, my mom) it is still such a beautiful time of year and very symbolic of the beauty of death when you have God's gift of eternal life.

Tomato, tamahtoh...delish any way you slice 'em

Came home from a trip at the end of September to this lovely bounty of tomatoes from our Fourth-of-July variety we planted this spring. It wasn't a super harvest, but enough to keep me happy.

Garage sale season...score!

Garage sale season is in full swing now that school has started. We found these great chairs for only $5 each (to replace the fast-wearing-out ones that were here.) Plus 50 cents each for the striped pillows. That's my idea of a great bargain! And the chairs are super comfy too!

Mid-September...favorite time of year

We've had such a pretty fall! Plenty of rain, not too hot, just perfect. I've been able to work at my laptop out on the deck many days. Makes for pleasant work.

 Discovered a new vantage point for the back yard, though it involves hanging precariously out our bedroom window.
After squirrels ate half a dozen strings of lights, we decided to give these rope lights a chance. So far, so good (though I do wish we'd gotten the soft yellow option instead of the "blue light special"!

August Rain

Rain in August in Kansas is fairly rare, so we were delighted to get over an inch of the stuff last night, with more in the forecast in the coming week. This is only about the second time we've seen the creek in the back out of its banks like this. It looks like we live at the river's edge!

Shasta Daisies...a new favorite!

Ken wanted Shasta Daisies in the worst way. I wasn't a fan of the idea, but I must say I'm coming around! Especially now that it's mid-June and these are tall enough to be seen right outside my office window. So cheery and bright. I've definitely become a fan!

A week in June

It's been a beautiful early June and these were the views throughout this past week:

The clematis is going nuts this year! It came to life before we had a chance to prune it this spring, and I'm thinking that was a good thing!

The pink roses are blooming along with the orange butterfly weed. I love the color combination!

It won't be long...

...before we have Shasta daisies galore!

We so enjoyed watching this little clutch of robins hatch and grow up. Alas, today two of them met a tragic end at the paws of a squirrel! I'm still in shock and grief. (Didn't know squirrels would do such a thing! My opinion of squirrels has taken a nosedive. :( )

This hot little bunny cooling under the chair brightened our hearts after the robin tragedy.
Though the days have been warm, the evenings are lovely, and I've sat out here many a night until after dark enjoying the sounds of our neighborhood. It feels completely like home these days.