Gettin’ back to nature

Marie’s gratitude challenge is spreading like wildfire. Several of my friends in the blog-o-sphere have taken up the challenge and are writing about nature. The other Nancy is focusing on trees, Jan is reminiscing about her koi pond, AnneMarie is watching butterflies, and Martine discovered a gorgeous flower while out for a walk. I’m jumping on that bandwagon. It would have been too easy and too predictable to use the first day of school as my gratitude du jour, so instead I spent a few minutes in my backyard after delivering my kids to their respective schools. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Earth laughs in flowers,” and there’s a lot of laughter in my backyard.

We’ve done a bit of landscaping since we moved into this house in May 2004. The corner garden pictured beyond my favorite girl and our favorite chocolate lab was the beginning of our efforts to fill our little patch of earth with all things green. A banana tree, a fan palm, and a few crepe myrtles went into the ground with hopes of fast growth. They were the anchors of what we hoped would turn into a lush backyard paradise.

A very rare snowstorm on our first Christmas in our new house gave me a good reason to snap a pic of our backyard. That corner garden is still working on becoming a lush screen from the houses behind us, and a pitiful patio table & chair set looks pretty lonely in that barren backyard. 

Two years later, when we decided to put in a pool, the corner garden had grown quite a bit and was getting some competition form a tulip tree on the right, a trio of oleanders on the left, and the stars of the show — 3 Italian cypress that carried the weight of really filling out the backyard. It’s looking decidedly less bare, but still a long way from the tropical haven I envisioned. 

A quick glimpse of that tulip tree during pool-building shows a little more growth, but there’s still a whole lotta fence showing through. I tried to mitigate the expanse of fence with a few old plates. Back in the day, I thought they looked cute hanging there. 

Today, I know better, and I’ve expanded on my quirky display. 

I love how the ray of sunlight snuck into this photo today. I’m not a great photographer and am too impatient to use anything other than my iPhone camera, and when I snapped these pics of my backyard this morning, I knew the light wasn’t going to be great. Little did I know, the light might not be great, but the sunbeams are!

Here comes the sun! 

The plumeria under the plate wall makes me smile, especially now that it’s blooming. It’s a fickle plant that craves more attention and TLC than I give it, but apparently it’s stubborn like me and decided to bloom anyway, despite its lack of care. Next to the plumeria is the ginger that grows under my bedroom window. Both of these plants scream “tropical” to me. Who needs to go to a resort when I have all this in my own backyard?

And that little corner garden? It’s all grown up now!


14 Comments on “Gettin’ back to nature”

  1. David Benbow says:

    Very beautiful. Makes me want to dive right in.

  2. Christy says:

    That is a great retreat!!

  3. Oh, I am coming to YOUR house…. I snapped today’s picture….. It’s similar to yours… Will be up tonight! FYI… those Italian cypresses…… We WANT them in our yard. I definitely have cypress envy. But, I’m not in a tropical climate here in NY!!

    Love this… love this!

  4. Trevor Hicks says:

    You didn’t mention it, but if you look you can see the digger in the pool construction pic has its right track separated. That thing sat in the dirt pit for more than a week until they could find someone who could fix it in situ.

  5. Marie says:

    Oh Nancy, I am truly humbled and gratified to see where my spur of the moment challenge has taken everyone. This really touched my heart deeply – thank you for going to such trouble to put together this montage. Isn’t it wonderful to get glimpses into the lives of our blog sistas? I must say I am envious of your pool and all that glorious sunshine. I adore how you have put the plates on display. I am planning on doing just that in my kitchen. I have built up a collection of vintage plates that I really want to show off and you’ve spurred me onto action. Loved this so much xxxx

  6. Eddie says:

    That yard sure has come a long way since that bare patch of grass. Macy and Snoopy are both so young in that photo, it’s hard to believe it’s been so many years. No pics of your awesome custom-built patio? Clearly an oversight!

  7. Nancy, I’m loving your back yard, and that pool is flipping awesome! I’m really enjoying your pictures. Adorable dog and child, too!

  8. What a backyard delight! Your photos are always stunning, but these are priceless. Your daughter and dog are adorable, just adorable. I’m so glad you are continuing in the challenge. xox

  9. […] this link: Gettin' back to nature « The Pink Underbelly ← Koi Fish Ponds – Koi Pond Care Tips to Save You Time in the […]

  10. Renn says:

    A delight indeed! Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed seeing how your yard has matured in such a relatively short amount of time. Fantabulous!

  11. […] of trees featured in Time to Consider the Lilies, Nancy’s Point, The Big C and Me, The Pink Underbelly and Martine’s and Jan’s blogs, and even Philippa was sweeping leaves in here […]

  12. Yvonne says:

    Love the plates … such a cool idea!! I
    Might steal it …

  13. I love this journey from garden to jungle retreat – it is so like our vegetation here. I was also really struck by the picture with the snow in it – it took me right back to Scotland and the snow-laden skies which are there. I could even remember the smell of approaching snow! I will be mentioning your post in my post today 🙂

    What an amazing space you have created 🙂

  14. […] Waldo Emerson said, “Earth laughs in flowers,” and there’s a lot of laughter in my backyard~ The Pink Underbelly We are forever linked not just by breast cancer, but by an unspoken bond developed by shared […]

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