This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
May 14th, 2007

My Backyard

It was a long winter out here - gratefully nothing like the rest of our country experienced. But for us 'west-coasters' the sign of blooming things takes the curse off. We only had a few days of snow this year, yet in a 'moderate' climate it was enough to kill off many plants. We were lucky, so far everything here seems to have survived. There were a couple windstorms which took the top off one of our wild cherry trees. It is hanging perilously over one of the paths in our woods. The local tree man declined removing it, and muttered something to the effect it would eventually fall off. Great. We do keep one eye on the dangling limbs when we are back there.

A couple years ago I did a spring column showing some of our blooming goodies. The garden does take work and time, but we're thoroughly hooked on having joy available anytime we look at our backyard. This is the view from the office window, living room and the back deck.

View backyard

This view is the right and center of the backyard. There is a path which wanders through the back woods. That area is more managed rather than a formal garden.

Left side

This is the left side of the backyard, and the property extends a way back, but we stopped clearing and planting in order to leave a place for the birds and other small critters. Too many homes are build after totally clearing the property, displacing all the wildlife. We enjoy seeing the birds and even have two kinds of squirrels, the Douglas and Flying Squirrels, who feed at night. The Douglas is tame to the point of coming to the back sliding door looking for a peanut or two. I've discovered his stash in several places around the yard. The Steller's Jay has also occasionally found some.

Center yard

Here you can see a bit more of the path, there are actually two winding through the woods, and a park bench tucked under one of the big pine trees. A great place to hide in the summer with a cold drink. There is another park bench on the edge of the grass behind the burning bush just past the path.

Left side

I have a book which has wonderful suggestions for working with nature when gardening. Some things grow beautifully and other plants which I really would love to have don't make it at all. The ivy on the tree on the left edge of the photo is 'volunteer' - I've planted some ivy which also has done well. There is also a collection of natural ferns which are lovely. The ivy does make a great ground cover, it seems to do very well in deep shade which is a tough place to cover.

I suspect our love of gardening is in direct relation with our fishing. All part of our love for the outdoors and the beauty we find (or create) is a way to cope with the stresses we all face.

I'm afraid that with unlimited time and money I could go a bit overboard gardening. Hope you have enjoyed a little look at our world. ~ The LadyFisher

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