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Amparo Bertram

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07:53 am: Inch by inch
My parents have been working hard to help get my house and yard into shape. I've mostly been pruning out all of the plants that I don't want from the foundation beds that came with the house. It turns out they were harboring DOZENS of snails. Yesterday, after I had pulled out a small sago palm, megory was attempting to re-pot it to save it. A guy who had been driving by stopped to see what we were doing. It turns out that he really likes sago palms, and he knew all kinds of things about them (including that they're poisonous for dogs). megory offered to give it to him, since she didn't know if she would be able to take it back to Michigan anyway, or whether it would survive even if she did. He seemed quite happy to get it, so I hope it does well for him.

The first thing my dad built for the front yard was an arbor with lattices on the sides for flowers. I've planted a passion fruit to climb over the arch, and I intend to put roses on the front panels.

The plants in my front yard seem to be doing well. The bunny tail grass in particular seems to be very happy, and several flowers are already blooming.

The back yard is also beginning to take shape. In the foreground of the picture is a kiwi trellis, with the female plant set to vine up the bamboo pole in the middle and the male plant attached to the lattice on the side. Behind that, the raised vegetable beds are under construction. The plan is to have a 3' × 10' perennial bed for asparagus and four 4' × 4' squares for other vegetables. There will be fruit trees between the raised beds and the fence.

Work has been going well enough. I took Benny to perform his first public demonstration at the Alameda county fair, and he did quite well considering that the performance area was right next to the "adopt a dog" pens, so it was distracting for him. wednesday_10_00 shared a link to the cartoonize my pet website, and I was unable to resist buying a Benny mug...or, rather, two--one for home and one for the office.

Last weekend, mangaroo and Jenn came to visit to see the new house. Enough of the kitchen stuff was unpacked that we were able to have a decent meal. We also went on a long stroll around the neighborhood. It's going to be a long time before the place is really presentable, though.

Note: Added a link to Benny's demo.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:July 17th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
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Aww, the bunny tail grass is so adorable!

I'm really impressed at how much you guys are getting done. I love the arbor in the front yard!

Are you planning on filling in between the plants with something, or will you just let things come up naturally?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 17th, 2011 04:44 pm (UTC)
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Are you planning on filling in between the plants with something, or will you just let things come up naturally?

Some of the plants are going to bush out, and there are some bulbs in the ground that will take up a lot of space once they've sprouted. After I see what it looks like once the current plants are well established, I will probably either add more flowers or fill the empty spots with Pacific dune sedge.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:July 18th, 2011 12:52 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, that looks really soft to walk on!
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From:collarnojutsu
Date:July 17th, 2011 05:35 pm (UTC)
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You really are doing a lot quickly. I'm sure it will be amazing when you're done and producing lots of goodies! How nice of your parents to help; are you working too, or taking time off to do this stuff?

My friends bought a house nearly 2 years ago, and she's still in the process of converting the yard to a garden. Of course, it's a pretty big yard and is already half full of food already, but, it's definitely a lot of work! Tabatha is thankful for her catnip bush though. ;)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 17th, 2011 05:58 pm (UTC)
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How nice of your parents to help; are you working too, or taking time off to do this stuff?

I'm still working. In fact, I'm working more overtime shifts than usual to help with expenses. That means my parents are doing most of the house-related jobs.
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From:megory
Date:July 17th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC)
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And by "my parents" she means Bob. I'm the cheerleader who lets them know what a great job they're doing!
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From:mvrdrk
Date:July 18th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
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I wish my spouse was half as industrious as your folks! It looks amazing!
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From:sara_tanaquil
Date:July 17th, 2011 09:35 pm (UTC)
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The arbor and the trellis are amazing! I'm filled with envy. (Not that I would take proper care of the plants even if someone came and built me an amazing trellis, but still.) Your dad is incredibly talented.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to the Bay Area someday and seeing what you've made of the place.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 18th, 2011 12:49 pm (UTC)
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I'm really looking forward to getting back to the Bay Area someday and seeing what you've made of the place.

Come over anytime! ...After the floors are refinished.
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From:mangaroo
Date:July 18th, 2011 01:53 am (UTC)
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we were able to have a decent meal

I can't let you get away with this when lunch was amazing. I wish I had paid more attention to what was in the salad so I could repeat it myself, but then I'm not going to be able to top it with delicious raspberry vinegar, so maybe the point is moot. Anyway, this is twice now that you and Mary have bowled me over with your fresh summer fare. Someday, I need to see your family's winter cookery. (Also, thanks again for having me.)

Are the wires at the top of the kiwi trellis for support, or will vines eventually grow over them like an arbor, or...?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:July 18th, 2011 01:00 pm (UTC)
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I can't let you get away with this when lunch was amazing.

Thank you!

Someday, I need to see your family's winter cookery.

New Year party!

Are the wires at the top of the kiwi trellis for support, or will vines eventually grow over them like an arbor, or...?

The wires are for the fruiting vines to grow on. Here's a detailed explanation with pictures of what it's supposed to look like.
[User Picture]
From:manga_crow
Date:July 18th, 2011 02:17 am (UTC)
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Wow, no wonder we haven't seen you around much... Glad the work is going well, and I hope you are enjoying having your own house =)
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