Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall is upon us....

Fall is upon us in northern Michigan.  Some trees are already turning colors.  This is a large Ash tree that always is the first to turn color and lose it's leaves.  We have been having ground injections done around the base of the tree to try to save it from the Emerald Ash Borer.  They get in underneath the bark of the tree and eat away at it until it kills it.  The injections are to make it toxic so the bug doesn't want to eat it.


This is just another view of the tree and our driveway with the Blue Spruce trees....we have had to have them treated for Cooley Spruce Gall.  They get sprayed twice in the spring to treat the Gall.  It looked like pine cones to us at first, but then we found out it wasn't. They seem to be all better now.

A shot of the house...you can see how large the trees are around us... Pretty soon that nice green yard will be covered in leaves!






This is my new hydrangea call Pinky Winky....It's on the right corner of the house by the arched windows.  Once it get's taller the color should be great as a contrast against the house....

I love the fall colors and the great blue skies we get at this time of year....
I am looking forward to many more beautiful pictures of the fall season, hope yours will be a good one too!

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In The Beginning.....

In the beginning, there was a pond..... then there was not!

In 1999 when we created the flagstone patio area, we installed a small pre-formed pond...which grew into a much larger area complete with a small creek and many plantings around it to naturalize it.....but it was a lot of maintenance so finally we decided to remove it.  The big hole is where it was.

~jump forward~
Spring 2009     The John Deere garden tractor with it's mini front end loader has paid for itself with all the projects it's done for us.  I am glad my husband is so handy with using it and makes my big projects happen with a great deal less back labor than it would have otherwise!
 Work, work, work, work, work...

Finally after much pushing dirt around the area is starting to be created for the new fountain....








  We poured a 5" thick cement pad to receive the new fountain... (It's somewhere in the 880 lb. range, in 4 pcs)
 I laid landscape fabric along the edges to keep it from eroding.....






 Now comes the fun, tricky part, bringing in the base of the fountain...

Dan calculated this out to the T...I stood by ready to aid whenever I could....
 Ahh, the base is in place and now the fun begins!






















All the pieces are in place and the electric is being set up....This fountain is made by Campania, it's called Palazzo Urn Fountain.. we lucked out at a garden center that had it carried over from the year before, we offered several hundred dollars less for cash and carry and they accepted!


Yay it works!
This is with the stone wall installed before the flagstones were set in place... The timeline of the project was May 1st thru July 2nd... My husband and I did all the work ourselves (and we aren't as young as we used to be....LOL) so we did a little bit of work every night, trying not to push our backs too hard...


Now the flagstones are in place and we brush what we call diamond dust (which is crushed stone into a very fine size) into the crevices.... sprinkle with water and after a while it firms up a bit....
And now it's done...and my newly stained and painted park benches are in place....

After a few months the plants have filled in nicely...

This was summer of 2009, a rather cool summer, but my transplanted Hostas appreciated the cool temperatures and didn't even act like they had been split up and transplanted!



All these hostas were larger plants I split up...I lined the edge of the wall with pink impatiens...they filled in nicely!
This is late in the summer....and things have settled in nicely...we are so happy with the changes we made
  
A collage of the original patio area
This is a collage of pictures of the original creation of the patio with pond.  The 2nd picture on the right reveals the area where it started- a previous location of an above ground pool.  We put a base of sand down then gravel to aid with moisture and frost heaving issues in the spring.  As you can see above a lot has changed since then.  I finally gave up on the grass path because it was difficult to maintain.  We installed more flagstone on the path after we did the new addition for the water fountain.  There are low voltage lights around the patio too and all the electrical for the pond/now fountain was run through a trench Dan dug with piping to protect it.

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