Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Backyard: Keeping it simple.

Here is the backyard. No beds, nada going on. But I rather like it simple like this. Much shade. In the one sunny spot along the fence in back I've put in a mutabilis rose. This reliable rose grows to the size of a 57 Chevy within a short time and blooms relentlessly throughout our terrible summers with its merry confetti of pink, yellow and rose blossoms. Next to the dark limb of the elm tree on the left, there is a vitex tree, something I've always admired but never had a place for. The corrugated metal shed is a treasure; it's become my garden shed and I love it. My daughter Rachel thinks it may have once been a chicken coop. If you ever saw the movie Cold Comfort Farm, you can understand this shed's fascination: "there's something nasty in the woodshed" comes to mind every time I enter.
In the last picture you can see a light green bush. All through February and March, from the time I first saw this house until I moved in, I could smell a heavenly scent wafting in the backyard. I had never heard of this plant before, and now cannot imagine living without it. Bush honeysuckle or winter honeysuckle. It blooms all winter long, a fairly unobtrusive white flower, but intensely perfumed with an almost rose-like scent. The garden books say the bush is untidy looking but I find it winsome and appropriately old-fashioned and unfussy. Perfect for my easy-does-it backyard. The house has a large and wonderful deck, in some kind of composition material that I at first thought ugly. But everyone pointed out it its durability, and having paid for the installation of a wooden pergola at my Rollingwood house which did not last 9 years, I am warming to the synthetic deck.
This picture makes the yard look much bigger than it is. I've bought an electric lawnmower and it takes me 5 minutes to mow. There is a standing faucet in the yard; another 1940s relic I cherish for its wabi-sabi charm.

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