Third Summer Solstice

We have slipped into our third summer in the Buttercup house, and as we wrapped up Spring and  moved into summer, I have enjoyed watching the gardens morph starting with tulips, daffodils, and irises and transition into the summer season with with daises, buttercups, lilies, and cone flowers.  I feel a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and joy.  We have worked hard on loving this house and yard back into a healthy state. And although I still have visions of expanding flower beds, of planting trees and shrubs, dancing in my head,  I am happy with where we are today, especially compared to when we moved in.

We bought the house on a short sale, and it sat empty for at least a year, maybe longer, so on move in day on July 9th, 2012, I knew this it was going to take a lot of sweat and sore muscles, and there were many days when I wasn’t quite sure I was up for the challenge! But here we are, and looking back, I’m surprised at the difference.

Front yard Spring 2012

Front yard Spring 2012

Front yard June 2015

Front yard June 2015

 

Front yard June 2015

Front yard June 2015

View of front porch with Spiraea bush in bloom

View of front porch with Spiraea bush

We didn’t think to take many photos in 2012, but we have a few, since Gregg was taking photos for me while he house hunted in Michigan and I was still living in Utah.  The grass still looks green in the picture he took above in 2012, but when we moved into the house in July, it was brown, since Michigan was experiencing one of the driest and hottest summers in recent years.  But today in 2015, we have nurtured the grass in the front yard back to an almost weed free existence and have cleaned up and added to the front yard landscaping.  Most of the changes took rolling up my sleeves, donning gardening gloves, and a lot of work!

The front porch continues to evolve as I add and subtract various elements each season.  The first summer, I painted the front porch and back deck, which you can read about here. This year I added the lanterns, moved the rustic bench that sat in front of the window to the back deck, and added more flower pots planted with petunias & impatiens.

Front porch looking North in 2012

Front porch looking North in 2012

Front porch looking North 2015

Front porch looking North 2015

Lanterns

Lanterns

I love the contemporary look and the linear quality of the lanterns.

During our second spring/summer at Buttercup house, I started putting together the side porch, beginning with painting and adding the salvaged metal chairs.  It has become a space for reading, bible study, meditation and prayer, and although I still want to make a few changes, I am enjoying where it is at the moment.

 

Side porch in 2012

Side porch in 2012

 

Side Porch today in 2015

Side Porch today in 2015

Side Porch from Front Yard

Side Porch from Front Yard

The South Side of the house also has seen a transformation as I pulled overgrown Mint and many weeds and added a variety of plants that add color, texture, and height, which changes throughout the growing season.

South Side Flower Bed in 2012

South Side Flower Bed in 2012

South Side Garden 2015

South Side Garden 2015

Yarrow & Trellis with Clematis Vine

Yarrow & Trellis with Clematis Vine

Gardening and landscape design is challenging and allows for so much creativity.  I enjoy how all the elements and principles of design can can be utilized when considering which plants to use together while thinking about the needs of the individual plants.  Sometimes, what I try is a total failure, but I love how it is a constant changing canvas.  I marvel at the creativity of God and the variety in this physical world He made for us.  Even we as painters, architects, writers, sculptors try to create in a more permanent way the fleeting and amazing beauty of nature, its rhythm, structure, variety, vibrancy, and array of colors.

Looking forward to the summertime, where the living’s easy….

 

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