a pair of most venerated rat zappers, which let us down a bit this week (only seven dead chipmunks in the trash, damnit)--bringing the grand total to 19 this spring
have you been thinking about the swamp? lord knows i have--it's damn near consumed me since it has been warm enough to work outside, and work i have certainly done. i try to get out there as soon as i get sophie settled at school and work nonstop until i have to pick her up, then go back out again until i have to make dinner. admittedly, we've had some pretty crummy meals recently...however my generous neighbor marge estimates i've done 10 years of work outside in 10 months! i know it's an exaggeration, but i'll totally take the compliment.
so, to recap: we bought a house, with a swamp, which i managed to convince the city to drain. yay me! even though we did have to install a whole-house dehumidifier to live here comfortably, things are markedly improved from last year. now to recap, pictorially:
this is what we started with...
...this is after the drain addition...
...and this is a reverse view of the above, where we are today!
i've made serious progress on the swamp. i think i actually have to stop calling it that now.
in the back: a reconstruction of the unfinished deck, complete with a long-lusted for japanese maple "bloodgood"
off the driveway: a hand-built (by me!) limestone raised bed for annuals, made with stone dug up in the back of the house. it is beautifully patinated.
front driveway corner: flowering almond, purple leaf western sand cherry, ratibida (mexican hat), nepeta (catmint), penstemon "husker red" and blue alliums
further down: gaillardia (blanket flower), blue salvia, tons of narcissus bulbs, eupatorium (chocolate joe pye weed), baptisia (false indigo), hard-necked garlic (which i definitely put in the wrong place), and a few orange border carpet lillies poking out in the back
same sidewalk, view from other direction: lots of baby stachys (woolly lamb's ear), black-eyed susans, penstemon "chocolate drop," blue-eyed grass, white echinacea (coneflower), purple echinacea (also coneflower), coreopsis and snowmound spirea
it is starting to come together, aided by the new coat of paint on everything (dig that red garage!)
other side of driveway: flagstone path around an old hackberry for sophie (leading to a tree stump) with spiderwort and toad lily
more toad lily and very long-lasting narcissus leaves, with vinca minor and heuchera in the background
to summarize: drain. work. good. the weed barrier will have to stay up until next year, as i just can't figure out what to do on that slope (it is REALLY steep)
see that property line marker and the frightening amount of overgrowth behind it (which looks remarkably familiar)? guess what i've got my eye on...
updates to come.