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.
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!
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!