Caturday quickie: Progress? Not.

So . . . when last I wrote about this, Phil and I were optimistic about getting the work on our yard and driveway done. It was October and the road work was to continue until November 15th. We had the beginnings of the retaining wall, and a promise from the city engineer that everything should be completed.

Then it snowed October 31st.

retaining wall

retaining wall 2

retaining wall 3

What we have:

  • a mostly completed retaining wall; and
  • compacting fill in the driveway.

What will be done in the spring (otherwise, Phil and I might not be as understanding as we have been):

  • finish the retaining wall (further wrapping around and steps);
  • install railing on retaining wall;
  • new front steps;
  • old front steps removed from out back yard and disposed of; and
  • driveway paved.

We’re waiting to hear from the engineer about something we’d like to have added to the work order (and which we will pay for because it’s on our property). Since the driveway is all gravel anyway, we’d like to get a contractor to replace the sewer line. We have roots in the line and think it would be a convenient time to get the work done, rather than pay to have the drive dug up, the line replaced, and the drive repaved at a later date.

So that’s where we are.

Will let you know what happens when work resumes in the spring.

Caturday Quickies

Caturday quickies: What’s going on in the garden?

Just a little note to give you an update on how things are going, or not, with the back yard.

The trees are gone and the hostas and ferns are beginning to recover.  Phil wanted to construct a roofed gazebo on our patio, but realized it would be fairly expensive.  Solution: a purchased gazebo.  He chose one that has a solid roof and intended to bolt it to the patio with tap-con screws.


Sadly, it’s bigger than the patio.  Solution: Phil is going to dig post-holes and sink some sono-tubes in the ground and pour proper footings for the gazebo.

Unfortunately, it’s been too hot to do a lot of work on the weekends.

So we wait.

Second problem, we had this small pond beside the patio.  It’s never been what either of us envisioned, so it came out this year.  The ground has been levelled but there are still all the stones around the edge.

This was the old pond

This was the old pond

then we dug it out

then we dug it out

now it looks like this (plus rubble)

now it looks like this (plus rubble)

Phil wants to replace them with retaining wall bricks or landscaping ties, but not until next year when he builds the deck overtop the patio and knocks down the brick retaining wall he build several years ago, and a whole bunch of other stuff that I think is a little too ambitious.

We’ll see what can be done.

In the meantime, it’s no outdoor office for Mellie.

As far as the gardens go, I’ve decided to let them grow wild.  I keep up with the weeding as I can, but I’m not moving plants from one area to another, thinning, or any other typical gardening duties.

The result is wonderfully chaotic.


itty bitty vine, HUGE flower

itty bitty vine, HUGE flower

Note how this clematis has grown up under my window (!)

Note how this clematis has grown up under my window (!)

And the Hedge Rose

And the Hedge Rose

Strawberry harvest is done.  Had about a week’s worth of berries on my morning cereal.  Perfect.

And my hedge rose has gone crazy this year!  I’m not complaining 🙂


My mom is helping a friend prepare for a move down south to be near family.  As a result, I’ve nabbed a couple of things.

A lampe Berger.


And another dolphin for the office collection.


Tomorrow: An ever so brief pupdate (the last, I hope) and another book review.  I’m thinking Blaze Ignites.

See ya then!

Caturday Quickies