right now

right now

Nov 9, 2009

Mama's Gettin' a Hammock!

This weekend was a busy one! We had great weather, and a decent amount of energy to get alot of the fall chores done. Not often both of those come together at the same time. I managed to spend the entire weekend doing nothing but moving plants around. I found this summer that our sun/shade combination had changed enough over the last few years that many of my plants in the perennial garden were suffering due to lack of sunlight caused by the growth of some of our trees. In the process, I divided many of them and was able to fill in some empty spaces for free! Of course, none of it will be noticeable until spring & summer. Sailor/Farmer/Husband probably has trouble understanding me running around with dead ("excuse me, that's dormant", lol) cut down bushes and spearing spades through them, but all I can see is "free plants"!!

My husband's idea of a good time in the yard involves power tools and things that are questionable for the environment in general, but in his defense, usually things that need to be done in a brutal fashion. Some advance notice would be nice, though...

I am referring to Saturday morning, when I was sipping my morning coffee and leaving a comment on Mama Pea's blog. I was in mid-type when I heard the distinctive noise of a chainsaw... After stating on her comments that "ooooh, I better go, I hear a chainsaw...", I ran outside to this:

Yes, there goes my tree! Granted, this tree had some serious problems, including some decay & rot at the soil level on the trunk, but it was my shade tree for the gravel patio area! Here you can see it behind the kids. It's a purpleleaf Sand Cherry, or some call it a purpleleaf Plum. Either way, it is really pretty and the blooms in the spring are knockouts. It had seen better days though. A hurricane messed it up pretty badly about 4 years ago, and it never recovered and has been going downhill since. But still, some notice would have been nice, as I never really got a decent picture of it while it lived!

Tree is behind the kids with the purple leaves

My Purple Leaf Sand Cherry in Spring

Which brings me to the hammock! I have always wanted a hammock. I wasn't sold on putting a tree back in that area, since planting it among the roots would be painstaking, and I would also have unwanted shade on some of my raised beds. So the kids and I re-routed our little "fake dry riverbed" and reused some slate I had stored from our old huge aquarium and created a little patio area where the tree trunk was. We have a small shade sail that we never got around to putting up so we will use that here. Picture a triangular shade sail suspended above this area and a hammock that will straddle diagonally the dry riverbed and slate walkway to it. I am also going to finish the herb garden here, with some extra thyme, sage, and Salvia for color. I already have lavender and rosemary on the left and right. Of course, I will probably never get to actually lay in the hammock and read since I have too many garden chores and little heathens to chase around and a husband on deployment, but I am hoping that just looking at it might have the same relaxing effect!

New Hammock-Patio area

Lastly, our Chief Bottle Washers helping us sanitize and bottle a batch of homebrew Saturday night! We like to call it "Life Skills class"!


  1. OOO...hammock.... (eyes flutter dreamily)


  2. Erin, that will be a lovely spot to look at while you are wishing you were in the hammock! Now, if it were me, I'd put a very thick layer of rubber mulch beneath it, as I've never seen a hammock that wouldn't throw me!

    Your little helpers are growing more handsome each week. I'm sure glad Loch is over his H1N1 and that you and Finnegan didn't get it.

  3. Have you ever thought of going into landscape design? You are SO good at it. Your back yard is unbelievable both in the amount of stuff you get in it and the beauty of it. (YES, I'm slightly green with envy, why do you ask?)

    And, uh, aren't there child labor laws against using underage workers in the production of liquor? ;o)

  4. have husband too, i think they are all the same lol, sorry about your tree it is difficult to get that size of beauty in a yard, love how you are using your loss to move forward with you plans, peace for all

  5. I ditto RuralRose' comment-husbands love to cut down trees. Mine has caught hell so many times from me, he waits till I'm gone now to massacre the trees.
    You have some seriously beautiful landscaping going on. Maybe I need to get some "free help" too!
    LOL-I'd have to steal my child labor!

  6. Thanks for the kind words, everyone! I don't think I would be good at landscape design only because I can't stand the way everyone in my area wants to plant non-native things like palms, bananas, etc... it looks just stupid here in the winter to drive around and see everyones trees wrapped in plastic wrap since they aren't hardy here! duh.... I pretty much only plant native, drought tolerant species, much of it being alot of herbs, they seem to thrive in my sunny, dry gravel beds. The bonus being that I get all the bees and hummingbirds in the neighborhood! I have never had a hummingbird feeder but I get about 6-10 every morning in the summer on my herbs and flowers! Matter of fact, I just saw one Saturday and was very surprised they were still around! And yes Mama Pea, there are probably laws about the homebrew production, but I figure maybe they will develop an appreciation for the time and effort required for good brew and maybe pass on that binge-drinking swill the college kids call beer, lol!

  7. Your backyard is no nice Erin, I am impressed everytime I see it!

  8. Omigosh, Erin, I apologize up and down if I sounded the least bit serious when I teased about your boys participating in the home brewing process! There's a whole theory of education based on the fact that children WANT to learn by doing exactly what they see adults doing. (Just ask our daughter and you will know she was raised "working" right along side me.)

    I could write pages on my beliefs that parents don't include their kids in family activities enough anymore. And there's absolutely nuthin' wrong with home brewing in my book. It's something we've always wanted to get into. (We have made root beer, does that count?)

    So just keep putting those little munchkins to "work" helping with the brew. They (as we can see by the picture) love it and will have a lifetime of wonderful memories.

  9. Erin, thanks so very much for your comment this morning. I shall certainly miss them over winter, but don't worry-there will DEFINATLY be a Christmas post-I haven't decorated the house in YEARS and am preparing to go a bit nuts with it, right down to making my own roping.
    And of course, I shall always be here enjoying your posts.
    Take care, and thanks again!

  10. Mama Pea, you're funny! Of course I knew you were being tongue-in-cheek! And root beer does count! We order our supplies through Midwest Brewers in the Twin Cities and they sell the equipment for soda, root beer, hard cider, and wine too, although I have a hard time getting the hubby excited about making ginger ale and root beer LOL