There has been much shopping and even a bit of cleaning and organizing going on, but nothing much to show you. I haven't even made the first cut into all that fresh, new wrapping paper. But, I did stumble across a post I created and then forgot to upload. These photos were taken about six weeks ago, so of course now all that beautiful early fall foliage is crumbled and gone, but although that added to the pretty factor, that wasn't really what I was photographing.
This is the front of a house of a friend of my friend Shirley. I finally walked by it one day on my way to take photos of the cemetery. I took these photos on the way back. Unfortunately my battery conked out, so I only got a few shots.
Shirley keeps saying she has to introduce the two of us to each other because we have a lot in common. That hasn't happened yet, but I know that Shirley helped this woman change their ordinary cement retaining wall into a work of art. (If you click to open, you can see detail in the larger scenes better.)
Whenever I've driven by this house I've always thought about how similar our gardens are - all wild and overgrown. Mine is a bit more abandoned then this one is at the moment, but they share the same "bones".
The retaining wall runs from the middle of the walkway about..... fifteen or twenty feet on either side of the steps? I might be totally wrong. The entire width of the property in any case. Look at the parkway (the strip between the sidewalk and the road) - they have flowers and even a miniature apple tree growing there! No boring strip of unadorned lawn for them! That's my kind of people.
But here's what I was talking about, the retaining wall. The colors represent the flowing water of a stream. The rocks and ceramic fish are glued on. I don't know who made the fish, Shirley, who is a wonderful artist, or her friend.
They turned a bit of wear and tear to their advantage, filling in a broken corner with a gravel bed and a bit of vegetation for their stream.
Don't you love this trio, leaping out of the wall!
We have a similar retaining wall, same composition, same height, although almost twice as long because our house sits lengthwise on a long rectangular lot. It's actually in better shape than this wall, or at least it was in better shape, until a few years ago when tire tracks and a broken flower bed border one morning showed where someone, I'm assuming a drunk someone, had driven into a section of it in the middle of the night. Now it is cracked and slightly leaning at that spot. In hindsight I realize I should have notified our homeowner's insurance and had it repaired but, I didn't think about it at the time. Anyway, not the point here, which is, we could do something to make our wall more interesting.
Whereas the retaining wall in this photo has only a narrow few inches of dirt between it and the sidewalk, we have a very wide section of flower bed between our wall and our new we-didn't-ask-for-it-sidewalk. (although, I'm finally starting to get used to it - of course we haven't gone through our first winter of dealing with snow and shoveling the damn thing and where to park the cars off the street now and ..... this is so a ranty detour so I'll just stop now) So for part of the year, the wall is hidden behind a tangle of foliage and flowers, or at least, ahem, green weeds.
But maybe it could be improved with the application of a light whitewash, or some other color wash. A cement stain to make it a warmer color? I don't need a mountain stream running along the front of my wall, but I can picture some permanently painted flowers and fairies running or lounging along it? Or protective sigils? (like the ones you see on the sides of barns?) Or some cats? Although, at any given moment, we probably have plenty of real cats out in the yard.
So, another idea that flutters around in the back of my head. Maybe next summer will be THE summer I finally take back control of the jungle that is my front yard.