Coming up the street from downtown here we are.

There's a parking space for you.

The newest flower bed left of the parking area. I have planted about half with with 'Chocolate Chip" Ajugas which will spread over the whole area in time. I ordered Aubrieta Rock Cress seeds to complete the planting.

Coming up the walk to the house. The Petunias are doing great. Its a new variety for me that I really like. They are heavy feeders and need to be deadheaded more often it seems.

On the way you'll pass by a planter attached to the first gold fish pond. More Petunias.

The bottom pond is 1200 gallons. Right now its has juveniles who stay pretty close to the bottom. On the right are Water Lettuce and Hyacinths I'm growing for all the ponds. This pond gets the most sun.

You've made it to the downstairs porch which has become the unplanned main entrance. My project next spring 2015 is to tile the porch floor and steps..

Should you decide to go to the front door you'll pass these potted hostas. I've had them in the pots for three years and they've wintered very well.  I planted bare root hostas below the pots. They are yet to show their heads. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Past the hostas is the steps going up to the landing for the front door. All kinds of small pines on the left and briar berries on the right.

Should you decide on using the back door you'll need to take the wooden steps off the porch. At the head of the steps is a sheltered storage space, and on the left is a small deck and my shop, You see my stack of scrap lumber. Might need it some day, you never know.

To the right of the steps is a fern and hosta garden with pea gravel paths. In the extreme bottom left corner is another flower bed (much larger than shown) with a new planting of Bronze Beauty Ajuga and soon more hostas will be planted above them. All of the ferns are native harvested for me by nephew Doug. It was he who helped me build this and several other projects. You like the fence? Shirley I built it with deck boards years ago while I was off recuperating from open heart surgery. The Leyland Cyprus' next to the fence have major die back in the upper branches. I'm afraid I'll eventfully have to have them removed.

Above the hosta garden are blueberry and blackberries planted last summer. This part goes to the left several feet beyond what can be seen. There is a half fence behind the pine on the left that hides the burn barrel and blackberry briars. Will have some fruit this year.

Before leaving the porch you'll have to greet my babies who believe you ought to be feeding them. This pond is build into the porch and is 1500 gallons. Has about 30 fish. Never lost a single one last winter. The largest is about 10 inches. Most are six or seven years old. There is another 1000 gallon pond (not shown) between this and the bottom one.

These plants separate the porch pond from the hosta garden.

At the top of the wooden steps to the left is the walkway that leads to the back deck. On the left are white grape vines arbored against the shop wall, on the right more pines that I had to extremely cut from blocking the way.

Off the walkway attached to the deck is my latest project. What you see is a structure supporting four seven foot gutters holding 30 everbearing strawberry plants. Below are more photos of the elevated strawberry patch. All of the windows in the rear of the house are barred such as this one on the sun porch. They were fabricated by J&J Welding in Gainesville, Georgia.

The framing above the gutters is for netting that will drape down over everything in hopes of keeping the birds out. I will be adding a shelf later in the open space below the gutters. I posted all theses pictures in case anyone would like to build one. Next year when the wood has cured I'll paint it to match the deck. I chose brown gutters thinking that dark color would tend to heat the soil from the sun's rays sooner in early spring. I sprang for the added cost of organic soil. The plants were bare root that I soaked in water three days before planting and they are leafing out really fast.

Looking to right off the back deck is what Steve Hughes named "Shirley's Jungle," What used to be back yard is totally fully grown with trees and shrubs. Hard to believe that a neighbor lives about 30 feet away on the other side of the fence. By the way there a good raspberry patch tucked away in there. Another fight with the birds who nest all over the place.

This hidden path leads to rear of the lot which has a grape arbor and a raised vegetable garden where next year I plan to raise melons and sunflowers. And maybe a few tomatoes.

This path leads from the back deck to the left side of the house. As you can see Steve's jungle comment is more true than not. Shirley loved her plants, trees and shrubs and so do I.

This is looking across the front lawn to far side of the house. A crab apple tree to the left and plum tree to the right.

Behind the plum tree next to the house is a secluded fern garden. Ferns here are native as well. There are several different varieties. I'm in hopes that they will spread in time taking over the whole area. This garden is much bigger than shown.

We have reseeded the side yard (grass sticking up through the straw) after removing several shrubs that were not doing well in the shaded area. I plan on allowing the grass to grow unmowen this year to strengthen the root system. I'll fertilize it often. Before we've had a hard time keeping this area grassed in, maybe this time it'll work. The tree to the left is an apple we though was a Golden Delicious. Don;t know what it is. The apples are large and green not a tasty eating apple raw but cans and cooks up well. The deer like them and leave me a muddy spot when they visit in the fall. At the far end of this yard is a pear tree that someone harvested last fall while I was away. Hope they come back this year. I have a surprise waiting.

Looking back across the front lawn is a mound of Blue Rug Junipers in front of the upper floor landing.. These plants require very acid soil and full sun. At one time they were planted across the entire front of the house but died out as more shade covered the area.

Another view across the lawn. You'll notice the grass looks yellowish. The lawn had been taken over by a variety of weeds which have been poisoned a couple times lately. We used a concentrate applied with a garden hose. Last year we used the kind thats mixed with fertilizer and it didn't work, the weeds loved it. In a couple of weeks when the weeds are gone we'll fertilize and lime. If I can find them next spring I continue planting creeping phlox the length of the wall. They've not been available here for the past three years.

My last project for the summer was to build a 20' pergola separating the parking area from the neighbor to the right. I've planted Clemantis, flowering vines, by the three posts. Will plant colorful ground cover next spring. I'm raising them from seed now.

 

After Shirley passed I lost the desire to keep up with out of doors stuff along with many other things.. Only in the past two years have I begun to take interest again, enjoying my home. After forty-five years of being together living alone without her is a bitch.