Monday, March 30, 2009

The metamorphosis begins-Backyard sprucing

Welcome to another edition of Metamorphosis Monday hosted by the fabulous Susan at Between Naps on the Porch. So be sure to visit her blog to see the list of this weeks participants.

Spring has definitely sprung in sunny southern California. Saturday was the perfect California spring day. Temps were in the mid 70's and there was a slight breeze. Great weather for working out in the yard.

This is the first year since we have lived in our house that we have decided to grow some veggies. This was brought on by a purchase hubby made from Home Depot earlier in the week. He bought some hanging growing thingy for growing tomatoes upside down (don't remember what it is really called, but I like hanging growing thingy better anyways). Now we don't have room for a regular garden, so we are doing a pot garden. And I'm not talking about the kind of pot you smoke, so I don't want any DEA showing up at my house. I know California is progressive, but not me. I guess I should have called it container gardening.

So before starting outside we went to Lowe's to get some flowers & veggies. Hubby couldn't wait to get a tomato plant for his upside down hanging growing thingy. Then our son decided he wanted to grow jalapeno peppers. Then we decided to get some cilantro plants. That way we could grow our own salsa. We love salsa!!!

Then I saw the sugar snap peas. I remember eating fresh peas that my Grandpa had grown & I loved them. Especially if my Grandma made creamed peas. I could just taste the peas in my mind. Then I remembered seeing on another blog (sorry that I don't remember whose), where they took a tomato cage & turned it upside down & used a fleur de lis finial to put all the pointy ends together to make a cool trellis of sorts. Hey! I have one of those fleur de lis finials. I could make that trellis for the peas. So we got a tomato cage & the peas.

We finished off our trip to Lowe's by purchasing some flowers & 3 open bags of planting soil. Because the bags were open they sold them to us for 1/2 price. A deal on top of everything else. This was the perfect day.

So when we got home, we (I mean hubby) got to work planting everything. First he put together the trellis that I had seen. When I took a photo of the finished product. I accidentally cut off the finial. I hate taking photos outside in the sunlight, you can't see the little screen on the camera to see exactly what is in the shot. So here is a close up of the fleur de lis finial. Hubby epoxied it on so it ain't coming off!!

The black pot actually starting out off white. Hubby painted it black. It is the same pot as in the before photo photo of the dolphin topiary (it's later on in this post). Now my peas have a cool trellis to climb on. I can taste those peas. Can't wait!
Hubby also planted some sweet alyssum to fill in the bottom of the pot to make it pretty. Here is the upside down hanging growing thingy with the tomato plant.
Here's hubby with some root stimulator for the plants. Looks like he has used some on his head!
And here is my son's jalapeno pepper plant. Has anyone had experience growing in one of these upside down contraptions? Hopefully they work.
Here is our cilantro container. Lowe's only had 2 small plants left (the girl at Lowe's had to search high and low for these). They aren't in the best shape, hopefully they will survive. I guess I could play that disco song from the 70's, I will survive. Maybe that would motivate them.

Here is a before of the dolphin topiary. Sorry it is so small. I had to crop it from another larger photos. See the ugly pot it is in? That is now the black pot for the peas trellis. Here is a current photo of the dolphin topiary. This new pot is soooooo much prettier. And the sweet alyssum is really taking off. We didn't do anything to this over the weekend. I just wanted to show you how much it has changed from the before photo above that was taken last October (at least that is when I think it was taken).

Dolphin from the other side. You can see the pot better in this photo. Here is before photo of one of the hanging baskets for the lamp post. It has been sitting on the wall since last summer. The coco liner was rotting & the entire bottom was eaten out (probably by snails, I hate snails).

Here is a before photo of the lamp post (taken in Oct). Kind of plain without any hanging baskets. For those of you new to my blog, hubby fished the lamp post out of a dumpster at his work 20 years ago. It was broken in 1/2 & hubby welded it back together. The post originally came from Scotland. Hubby's old boss had brought a bunch back from Scotland & England & the broken ones got put in the dumpster. Hubby fished out 3 posts from the dumpster (yes he got permission), we still have 2 of them, but are only using 1 right now. The light fixture he got later & faux painted it to look like aging copper. And here are the new hanging baskets. Hubby put new spaghnum moss on the outside, then put a new liner inside. He planted geraniums. He loves geraniums. I'm not such a big fan, but since he was planting, he picked the flowers. He likes them as they are soooo hardy. They don't mind the hot California summers (as long as you remember to water).
Another view of the hanging baskets.
Here is one of the new flowers we got. I've already forgot what it is called. I just like the pretty yellow flowers. The urn it is planted in came from the thrift store a couple of years ago. I paid $7.00 for it. It is about 2 feet high.

Another new plant. I think this is rosemary. Hubby loves rosemary. This pot came from Walmart or maybe Sam's Club about 4 years ago.
Another new plant. I think this is Rosemary as well (I don't know my plants at all). This urn came from Sam's Club last year. We got it at the end of the season on clearance for $13.00.

Here are apples on my apple tree just starting to grow. Sorry that I don't know what type of apples they are. I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to plants.

And here are the peaches just starting out on my peach tree. We also have a plum tree & an apricot tree we well, but no fruit starting to appear yet. My husband cut back all our fruit trees in January. He really hacked them up good. They were soooo ugly. I wish I had taken photos. I'm bad at before photos, I always forget. But after he was done, I was sure he had killed all the trees (it looked that bad). But low and behold, they are all growing new growth & we are even getting fruit. I guess he did know what he was doing.

I'll try & post photos of the metamorphosis of our backyard throughout spring & summer. And I'll keep you posted on our veggie container gardening. Hubby has plans to build something else for more container gardening. I'll post about that later as well. Wish us luck & lots of veggies for making salsa!!


Anonymous said...

Your yard is delightful! I'm amazed at the apples and peaches! Wow!!!
Robin Rane'
All Things Heart and Home

Anonymous said...

Your yard is delightful! I'm amazed at the apples and peaches! Wow!!!
Robin Rane'
All Things Heart and Home

LdyDy said...

Great post. Your new garden additions are wonderful! I bet you can't wait for the fruits of your labor! That lampost is just awesome! All the way from Scotland! Wow! How neat is it that your hubby was able to restore it! It looks great!

DesignTies said...

It's still a couple of months before we can start planting outside here, so I'm enjoying visiting blogs like yours and looking at the pictures of flowers and plants :-)

That lamp post your hubby rescued is awesome!! That was definitely worth diving into a dumpster for!!

I've never seen those growing upside down thingies -- it'll be interesting to see how well they work. Hope you have happy tomatoes and jalapeƱos :-)

Thanks for checking out my Met Monday post :-)

Kelly @ DesignTies

susan said...

You have a green thumb! I love the dolphin topiary!

Crafty Girls Workshop said...

My hubby has an upside down pot (it's actually made from terra cotta) and used it to grow a tomato plant last year. It worked pretty well. Too bad the climate here in Texas is so unpredictable. I think we had a bad wind storm and the poor tomato couldn't handle it. But the infomercial about the upside down thingy made it look sucessful. Good luck!


Amy said...

What a lovely yard. Good luck with the tomatoes. My hubby is in the container garden business (he owns and manufacturers a tomato box) so I know a bit about small space gardening!


Prescott family said...

You crack me up! You know more about the pots the plants are in then the plants... I guess I would probably be guilty of the same thing. Your yard looks great, can't wait to enjoy your pool again. Tell your hubby he's doing a great job keeping up the yard!!

Linda said...

I confess that I am an urn-fanatic and you have some gorgeous ones! Love the way you have used them all! Linda

Donna@designson47thstreet said...

Loved your visit to my blog today. It looks like you have some serious OUTDoor Growing skills ~~ AND a great sense of humor. I laughed out loud about your husband's hair, holding the root stimulator...too funny!

I hope you'll stop by again.

Anonymous said...

I must find that root stimulator for my husband. If he could only get those results! You have dome an amazing job. Yes it is Rosemary, but I couldn't quite make out the yellow plant flowers. The dolphin topiary? Wow. I can't wait to see more!


xinex said...

Oh I am so envious of your peaches. We have 2 mature peach trees that bloom and then a lot of small peaches appear but they never grow. I don't know why. Maybe your hubby can tell me. We have 2 raised vegetable gardens that are doing well but I have never tried a hanging thing. Let me know how it works. Your plants are beautiful...Christine

ellen b. said...

Kim! You guys really accomplished alot. Your yard is really looking good with the changes you made. Love the dolphin topiary. That picture of hubby is great!!

salmagundi said...

I can't believe the apples already!! Looks to me like salsa is in your future. That lamp post is amazing. I can't believe what some people throw away. Looking forward to more garden blogposts from you. Sally

Cocoa Stake said...

Oohh - everyone is planting gardens - how exciting! You'll have to keep us updated on how the tomatoes do because it sounds great.

janet said...

nice yard and the dolphin topiary is awesome, never seen anything like that before. thank you for stopping by my blog, i too am a fan of black and white which i do have a bit in the room too.

Mary at Boogieboard Cottage said...

I LOVE your backyard! And your blog, I'm going to add it to the list of blogs I read. Happy Met Monday! :O)

Kitty Scraps said...

Wow Miz Kim,
You have a gorgeous backyard! How beautiful! I bet y'all enjoy spending time out there.
Thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving me such a sweet comment *smiles* It's so nice to meet you *smiles*