Tuesday, July 31, 2007

curb appeal??

Okay, I've been talking about showing overviews of the gardens. I've been playing with Mark's cameras, trying to learn how to use them more effectively. I think I'm doing much better on the close-up shots. But big-space photos were the pits. Mark finally got through to me: different settings on the camera!!! I think I'm starting to get it. So for the last couple weeks I've been practicing and when I asked Mark to (kindly) critique my efforts, he had some ideas for blog posts that made a lot of sense. So a week or so ago, he took a ladder and did some shots for me that show the gardens from above. That's where I'm going to start.

The second problem was sorting through dozens of photos trying to pick which ones show what I want to show. So my next decision was to show a different area of our yard in each post. I have a lot of gardens, so if this is boring, just come back in a week or two, and I should have it out of my system!
When you live on the lake, the street side is considered your back door. Our street is like a little paved alley - you pull over if you meet a car and let it pass. Because there is no on-street parking, we have a driveway going the entire width of our property along the street. To keep the dogs in the yard, and to make a clear border between driveway and house, we put up an iron fence that Mark made, and we have paver stones on the patio. When they did the patio area about 3 years ago, they also made me a couple raised planting beds that are lined with limestone. It's nice to have some perennial spaces along with container plantings.

This first photo is the entry to the patio: window box on the fence, gate (with welcome sign), paver walkway going either to garage side door or to steps down to patio. The raised planting space has some fun stuff: siberian iris, dwarf bearded iris, geraniums, mountain bluet, asiatic lilies, daylilies, Hawkeye Belle rose, hibiscus, yarrow, veronica - and probably a couple more things I can't think of right now. I wanted color there throughout the season rather than a big splash of color for a short time. So, at times it is showy, at others not so much - but I'm pretty happy with it. Oh, and can you see my cool iron bench? The previous owner left it for us when we bought the house - it's very old, and I love it. The gate in the garden is from a neighbor - it's old and fun too.

The grill doesn't add much - lol - but it's close to the kitchen and is usually sheltered from the wind - so it's staying. The caladium in the iron planters have been phenomenol this year.

This shows the other side of the patio: door that goes directly into the kitchen (so handy - NOT!), a small metal table and chairs, great iron urn by the door, and the other raised planting bed. This planting space is shadier and has goats beard, The Rocket ligularia, daisies, asiatic lilies, ferns, geraniums, and a ton of daylilies.

This shows a view from the street - we put the half-barrel planters in to try and deflect some of the big truck traffic from a construction project across the street. The first one has a rose and filler, the next 2 have cannas and filler, and the last one has purple fountain grass and filler. They actually look way nicer than just having a big ugly driveway space and if we decide to use them next year, I'll spend more time making them look nice!

The house: the flat roof needs a railing (still deciding on a design and when on earth we'll have the time to actually do it - you know how that goes!), but I have 4 iron urns up there. Two have double red impatiens and 2 have Boston ferns. I bought the ferns at Home Depot for $12 each and they have been fabulous! If I find them again next year, I may do all ferns. The construction project across the street involved taking down most of the trees, so we now have views from this side of the house of the sun setting. I'm thinking when we do get a railing put in, I may put a bench up there for sunset viewing - that would be fun!
(some or all of the photos should click big, I think)


Tracy said...

Kris: I just love the ironwork that Mark does for you. I've already saved a picture you posted of your tomato trellises, and I really like your fence. Does he do it for a living?

Dirty Fingernails said...

Gorgeous.. My fav is the third picture, with the barrels of flowers in front. I love the iron work.. I just love trellises and wish I had more..:)

Laurie & Chris said...

Your hubby did a great job with the fence and the pictures. Your flowers look great and so does everything else. It sure doesn't look like a "Back Door".

Didn't know if you knew or If you have the room you could bring the Boston ferns inside for the winter and they should be ok.

Zoey said...

What a great idea Mark had to take the pics from up high.

I loved seeing this, Kris! I now have a much better idea of your gardens. Now I see how you could water the ligularia so often--it's close to the house. I feel better now about my ugly duckling. It's on the adjacent lot and too far away to water. It could even be dead by now as it's been totally dry for days and I've decided to just let all the gardens live or die on their own.

Is the flat roof right off your bedroom? How wonderful that you got something good after putting up with all the construction mess, noise, etc. I love the urns up there. A bench for sunset viewing will be a must for next year!

Can't wait to see more.

peter hoh said...

Thanks for the overview. Yes, it's a lot easier to take close-ups of flowers than to take wide angle shots.

Karen said...

I love that you posted these pictures -- it's so neat to see all the things you can do with container gardens. Looking forward to the next episode:)

Trailhead said...

Your house has so much character. And the ironwork is too cool.

Kitt said...

Such a cute house! I love the planters on the upstairs porch. I could see some funky, curvy wrought iron painted white as a railing up there. Nothing too elaborate, just enough as a reminder not to step off the edge.

Lynne said...

Love the pictures. I could see a railing for the upstairs porch similar to the iron fence. I'd love to sit up there looking at the sunsets.

MyUtopia said...

Great pictures! Your yard looks incredible.

kris said...

Thanks Tracy! I'm sure Mark at times thinks iron work is ALL he does - lol - but, no, it's just a hobby.

Thanks dirty fingernails! I always have about 10 iron projects in my head for Mark to do - can't have too many trellises!

Hi Laurie & Chris - thanks! I'm trying to decide what to do with the ferns - they would be pretty in the house...

Thanks Zoey! Our bedroom is actually on the other side of the house. This was our older son's room and is now my office space. I have a great old iron bed in there that the dogs lay on while I'm working (or blogging!). I'm thinking I have to take advantage of having sunsets!!

Hi Peter - you're welcome. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever figure out the photography part - much better at the gardening!

Karen - you have a new photo! Very nice. If you want to see some great ideas for containers, check out Perennial Passion (Zoey) - she is VERY creative!

Thanks Trailhead! I do love my iron stuff!

Thanks Kitt - I can see a fun white railing - or a railing similar to the fence below. We'll see what Mark comes up with!

Lynne - thanks! I'm kind of leaning the same direction you are.

Thanks Myutopia! :)

Me said...

Oh - Boston Ferns - I think they are beautiful. Your house and gardens are lovely, they show tremendous attention to detail.

kris said...

Thanks Me - I love Boston ferns too - I hadn't used them outside for a few years. (Having a neighbor across the street who is just not happy about anything you do helps in some ways!)

kate said...

This was a wonderful tour. I enjoyed it. Your house is beautiful and I love the way you've landscaped it ... the ironwork adds much to its charm.

The second-floor balcony is really cute ... I'll be curious to see what you decide for a railing. I like the look as it is ... so many projects and not enough time!!

kate ox
p.s. I agree with you about trellises ...

kris said...

Hi Kate - thanks! I think the little deck will probably look more "finished" (and be safer!)when we get a railing - but the flowers won't be as visible, so it's a trade-off. Maybe the railing will need to be sturdy enough to hang window boxes on - what do you think?

violetlady said...

I love the roof line on your house! I certainly recognize that poodle tail.