Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New pergola, new garden bed, bloomin' crepe myrtles!

Dear friends,

I've been waiting to post pics until Mr. Husband finished our current project--a lattice-covered pergola to go over the concrete slab that was left behind when we tore down the old greenhouse that was attached to the garage.

In a previous blog post, I wrote about how we built a little fence/plant support grid at the end of it

We do have one large old pecan tree there, but during the late morning, it was too sunny and hot to sit out there.  Rudy loves to sit out there playing his guitar, and I needed a place to rest in the shade while gardening, so we wanted something simple that would help shade that spot.

After some head scratchin' and sketchin', he came up with this.  Here's the first "in progress" photo, with the four posts.

 One thing you can't see in the photos is the lattice that covers the top.  (I'll try to get some pics of that later.) The lattice is painted in my signature "cloud design" with mottled white, fuschia and blue.  You can barely see the ceiling fan in the center.  That was my idea to add it, and it really helps keep the skeeters away, too.  Another of my ideas was to add an electric outlet near the top so I can plug in little fairy lights, or Christmas lights.  Woohoo!

Today we're shopping for some interesting "thingies" to go on the top of the four posts, finials of some type.  We thought about adding solar lights, but they do require maintenance and I want something colorful.  We'll see what I can find.

 While I was outside in the searing heat, I took some random shots.  This is the view from my back porch, looking to the right.  The pergola is directly to the left of this area.  That's one of our many crepe myrtles, blooming like mad.

And here are the others.  It seems that former residents planted one of each color, including the illusive watermelon red.  I expect that some of the older stumps I've found were from white ones.  I love crepe myrtles.  Although they aren't Texas natives, they act like natives, and once established, don't have to be watered, and are gorgeous.  My kinda plant!  Because of all the electric lines, cable lines, metal grids in the garden, this photo always looks messy to me.  This side yard is where we grow all our veggie, for now.

But not for long!  I just added another of my "So Simple it's Stupid" garden beds underneath the pecan tree on the other side, right by the new pergola. This one will have greens and other things that love the dappled shade.  It's made of simple inexpensive cedar fence pickets (that I recycled from the former house), and large metal spikes I find at the hardware stores.  I'm slowly building up the soil in this one, and another new one on the other side.  I'm digging kitchen scraps directly into the beds.  In this heat, they break down quickly.  Then I'll top them up with compost that we've made here.  Since there is native soil under there, although hard-packed, I won't have to add any soil brought in from other places.

And there's Mister Husband, admiring his handiwork!

Happy trails, and stay cool, y'all!  It's H.O.T. out there!

bobbi c.
Author, gardener, cat herder