Monday, July 18, 2016

Lighting the Way

Last week, I took a little break from the yard work.  I had several meetings that I needed to attend on several different days, so I knew I wouldn't get much done out in the flower beds during the week...but I did decide to go out and look around and see what I could do one evening.  A snake slithered right through the corner of the bed a couple of feet away. Seeing a snake usually puts an end to my yard work for the season, but this year, I have to keep going.  I can't let Down in the Delta's market happen until the yard is all finished.  Anyway, maybe I'll get back to the yard work this week and I'll have something to share with you on the next post.

Today, hubby and I were going to get the mowing all finished, but it was raining when we got out of bed, and by the time we figured it was dry enough to mow, it started raining again!! Oh what could we do?

We decided to take care of some of the small jobs that had been hanging out waiting to be done, one being the new porch light.  It's been sitting in the floor in the box for a couple of months now.  So that's what we did.  It seems so much brighter than the old one, or that could be just because the front porch has been completely dark for a couple of months...Anyway, it's really pretty and I'm so happy something happens when I flip that switch now!

We are deep into the plans for the new gate and fence for the property.  I can't wait to share that with you, but the sharing is probably still a month or so away.  That project is about to get rolling. It takes four different contractors-and that's after we get the power out to the gate.  First, the concrete people come in and pour the footers for the columns that will be on the sides of the gate, then they do the concrete columns.  The stone mason will then show up and cover the concrete columns with some pretty rocks.  (The columns will have lights that match the one we just hung today on the porch- pic below.) Third contractor will be the gate man who will come in and put that in place, and finally, the fence will be put up.  It's a long process, and silly me...I thought we could get one person to do it all.  I'm really excited about the gate, because it will have my Down in the Delta logo trees and duck on it!!   

Here's a picture that I created to give the gate contractor an idea of what I wanted. I found a random gate picture online that looked like I could make it work with my logo.  I then put the logo on front of the gate.  So, if you jumped down there and looked at the picture before reading this paragraph, you're thinking right about now that I have a dog...just a picture.

Now I have these lights sitting around in boxes waiting to be installed...after the columns, and gate, and fence...

Hope you all have a terrific week and I'll see you again when I have something to show you.

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Garden Shed Gets a Makeover Complete with Snake Barrier

Hi everyone!  Happy Monday.  Another week.  I hope you have a great week, and I hope I get lots done this week...

When I last visited with you here on the blog, I had worked my way around to the back of the house and was going to turn the corner to work on the flower bed on that next side of the house...well, as it happens sometimes (frequently), I got sidetracked.  I looked back and saw the pitiful looking little garden shed that has been neglected for as long as it's existed. It was calling out to me, so I diverted my attention to that little shed.

We had gotten the painters to paint it to match the house, and I had painted the old white door a new bright turquoise, to match the front door of the house.  Nothing had been done beyond that.  Now, it's a cute addition to the back yard.

I wanted to make a little porch/patio thing to sort of act as an entrance, because, we know that every proper garden shed needs an entrance, right?  I had flagstone leftover from the back patio project, so I decided to use that, and edge it with brick. That job took about a week and lots of energy.  When I finished it, I decided it needed a brick wall to fill in the gap between the bottom of the building and the ground.  I guess I should tell you why....

When I was a young child, I was standing on the doorsteps of my aunt's house, which was a wood frame structure set on piers, so it was up off the ground.  As I was leaving, I stopped there to say something to her (she was inside) and when I turned around to step down, a really big rattlesnake had crawled out from under the house and was right beside me!  That did permanent damage to my psyche. To this day, decades later, I still have a fear of snakes crawling out from underneath buildings that are up off the ground.  So, now you know why I felt the need to put the faux wall made from real brick under my garden shed. Now, when I'm about to step down out of the shed, I don't worry as much, because I know there's a barrier between my feet and the space underneath the shed.  

And after all that effort, my very sweet son pointed out that I had left a small hole in my wall, and that a snake would probably still come through there.  There was a water pipe interfering with my brick wall, so I had to leave the hole-my brick-laying skills don't yet include cutting brick, so I had to do the best I could with what I had...maybe I should stick a rock in the crack.... I still feel better when I step down, knowing that if a snake is going to come out under my feet, it will have to come through the little hole.

And I will say that the brick wall was a pain to build!  I had to dig out from under the shed with a tiny shovel and not much room to work, all the while watching for snakes that I was sure were lurking under there.  Then, I had a tiny level to put on top of each brick to make sure that they were level.  That last row was tight, trying to push them in under the building with no room to spare.  It did take me most of a day, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. Not only does it put a layer of protection between me and the snakes, but it's pretty, too! How about that?

I wanted to use something unusual to hold the garden hose...we had removed the plastic, not so pretty one, when the building was painted.  I decided on this piece of rusty fence that I had leftover from another project a few years ago.  It's fine for now, just propped up, but hubby is going to attach it to the wall with a bracket that holds it off the wall about four inches.  That should give plenty of room for the hose to wrap around easily.

For years, we had just "put" things beside the shed that didn't fit inside.  It had turned into a big pile of stuff that was buried in leaves.  When I started digging in to clean it up, I just kept finding more and more clay pots.  Lawd have mercy...why did I buy so many pots?  Now, I'll clean them and store them inside the shed, or maybe I should just get rid of them.  I'll never have that many living plants at one time.  I'm sort of known for my brown thumb...

I still plan to add another piece of rusty fence on hinges to the open part on the left side. Those side board things are used on the truck when we go to pick up large loads of mulch or compost, and they really need to be hidden, just not pretty...

I hung some of my galvanized tubs and pans onto the walls because they needed a storage place, and because I thought they were pretty there.  It just screams "Garden Shed" now, don't you think?  Oh, and every garden shed needs something green, so I planted that pretty tropical looking plant (heliconia) beside the door.  

Now, I need to head back over to where I left off by the house...Stay tuned.