When John's Not Working Part Two

Again, John is practically always working. But he does have some other passions and talents besides the strip. John grew up working part time in his dad's flooring business and is an extremely handy guy. He designed and built the amazing treehouse pictured above when our boys were small - (not so great about cost projections though, the project took about 30 extra unforseen trips to the lumberyard/hardware store and cost about 5 times what he though it would) and, just before the launch he completely redesigned and rebuilt our screened porch. 

Another passion is gardening. Our backyard is quite small but John has managed to squeeze in an herb/kitchen garden (in the approximately 8 square feet of full sun we get daily - many, many neighboring trees) and a substantial flower garden. These plants bring all of us such great joy and have also created an inspiring writing space for John on the porch. My contributions generally consist of picking out a few new perennial additions every year and some thoughts on placement. This is for the best as I am known in the family as "she who kills all plants". This would be largely because I never remember to water anything and am then surprised as everything dies. 

So thank you for all the lovely flowers John!

Peonies, strawberries, evening primrose, the herb garden, and some of the rebuilt porch . This little corner had dead grass and a small bush of some sort (also mostly dead) when we bought the house. The 90 year old neighbor lady (who had lived on the block all her life) informed us "nothing ever grows there". John built some terrific terraced boxes and the rest is history!

Black Rasberries ( these have become jam since this was taken)

This year we have enough peaches coming on that we just might get to eat a couple. So far, the squirrels have managed to steal them all every year. This is the Peach tree's final chance or else it's getting replaced next year.

Our daughter's cherry tree - we got just enough for a pie. Delicious!

The evening primrose in bloom.

Peonies are my favorite! 

This is our first year for hanging Nasturtiums. I think we'll do this again next year - so much nicer than Petunia's and less deadheading.

This is also our first stab at a Hibiscus. We'll se if we can keep it alive over the winter. (Doubtful)

 Our Mock Orange - the most heavenly aroma comes from this.

Our daughter's little plot is inside the box. Since this picture was taken her watermelon has taken over most of the box and has designs on the rest of the yard. Unfortunately, this has been an absolutely dismal year for tomatoes. The pathetic little plants you see behind the box are only slightly bigger now than when this was taken. In years past we have had so many tomatoes we have spent a couple days canning the extras, not to mention eating tons of them. We've even had cherry tomato plants that have grown 7 feet up into the overhanging cedars.   Not this year :-)


  1. That treehouse is bigger than my flat.


  2. I know! I would have killed for such a thing to play in as a kid :-)

  3. Anne -

    Lovely garden! Can't tell from the photo what type of hibiscus you have. If it's a perennial, be sure to wait long enough in the spring before digging around it - it may not sprout its first leaves until July, but it will still flower.

  4. Peg,

    I have no idea what type of Hibiscus it is - it was in a pot, it was at the garden center, we bought it and stuck it in another pot ;-)

    We ARE hoping to winter it over - taking it indoors if necessary - any advice you have would be GREATLY appreciated.