The View from the Office Window

View out the office Window -- A Pinch of Joy

The view from my office window will be changing soon. . . .

View out the office Window -- A Pinch of Joy

because the sign in the front yard changed.  .  .

In contract - realtor's sign

Had open house one Sunday and accepted an offer the next Sunday! 

For a different view. . .
Deck Garden
  Here we are looking toward the office (where the light is in the window) from the vantage point of the photographer’s drone!  The photographer did a fabulous job and made us look really good!  It was fascinating watching him manipulate the quad copter and snap pictures using his cellphone to control the camera.  We will miss this deck!! 

Backyard -- Drone shot
Another great shot by Andy, the photographer.  The perennials, mostly hostas and other shade lovers,  were in full bloom.  I didn’t put out annuals this year — no time! — but I did buy a few hanging pots for a bit of color.   You can tell it had just rained again.  This yard had nothing but a few straggly raspberry bushes and a sad weeping willow when we moved in. I put every single stepping stone in place, divided the hostas, and planted the hydrangeas.  Bytes built the “Great Wall of China” retaining wall as my Christmas gift one year.  Wheels and Bytes put together the raised garden beds.  Looking forward to creating a new garden in the new place — with sunshine!!

Thanks for your patience and understanding while we transition to a new home 1000 miles away!

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Garden Tour 2014

Garden tour 2014 -- A Pinch of Joy

1Garden tour 2014 -- A Pinch of Joy
Welcome to our garden!  When the cold of winter and rain of spring finally gave up and allowed us to actually BE in the garden, we took the opportunity to rework everything!  I’d love to show you the results!  Our yard is very shady so you’ll see lots of hosta, coral bells and astilbe!  This collection stretches along the neighbor’s fence to the east.  Clematis are growing up the arch in the middle.  

2Back yard West -- A Pinch of Joy
This is looking the opposite way.  The white lattice behind the blue heron figure hides the big electrical box that started this project.  Last year the power company dug up and replaced the lines all through the neighborhood.  We painted the fence gray to match the house — a big improvement from the dark brown it has always been!    Lots of pictures coming. . . .

3Corner garden -- A Pinch of Joy I like to tuck little surprises in here and there. 

4Lady -- A Pinch of Joy

Another surprise.   I like the detail on the Garden Lady.  

5Hydrangea Collage
I planted seven hydrangeas last year — plus the five we already had.  They all made it through the winter.  I am delighted to see the variations in color!  There are six of these planted in front of the heron.  They are still too short to be seen over the hosta, but they are doing great! 

6Back yard north -- A Pinch of Joy

We added the privacy fence across the north.  It blocks the view of the cul de sac behind us and the busy street beyond that.  Just makes the whole garden look better!    This photo was taken right after the fence was installed.

6Tomato Collage
This is what the raised garden bed looks like today — full of tomatoes and cucumber vine!   Looks like we will have BLT’s on the menu soon! 

7Garden Container - A Pinch of Joy

Container garden with red geraniums and sweet potato vine.  This is the first year  I’ve used sweet potato vine — love it!  The chartreuse color makes a magnificent contrasty foreground for almost anything you put with it!  

8Double Lily -- A Pinch of Joy
Double lilies from my mother’s garden.  Starts have moved all around the country with us. 

9Toward Deck -- A Pinch of Joy
Looking toward the house.  The baskets and planters seem to have a hard time filling out this year — between cold, rain and more rain alternating with 90 degree days!   There are steps behind the tree to the lower level of the deck, which stretches almost the full length of the house.  There is also a pergola over the raised portion of the deck.  We spend a lot of time working, eating and relaxing there in good weather! 

10Lantern -- A Pinch of Joy
An old iron lantern just beyond the deck.  That’s jacob’s ladder to the left and liriope to the right.  This area gets some morning sun. 
11Pump  A Pinch of Joy
A pump from Wheel’s family farm.  It works!  But not here — no water supply :-)    
I hope you enjoyed your look around!  We’ll see what’s out front of the house another time! 

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How to Squirrel Proof Your Planters

How to Squirrel Proof Your Planters -- A Pinch of Joy

How to Squirrel Proof Your Planters -- A Pinch of Joy

This cheeky fellow was standing on the corner early one morning, watching me through the window.  Not a blink.  I ate a bowl of oatmeal while he stared at me.  He was issuing the spring challenge for the squirrel tribe that races through, around and over our garden.  Go ahead, he taunted.  Plant those cute little flower starts.  See how long they last before we uproot them, chew them up and spit them out.  Bring it on baby!  He seemed to swagger as he broke his stance and scampered up the tree behind him. 

Back Fence A few days later, this fence went up in the backyard.  We put it up to keep children and pets in the yard and to block the view from the cul de sac behind us  and the street beyond that.  The squirrels, of course, saw it as a highway installed just for them.  All day long they scampered back and forth at high speeds, delicately balancing on the top of the fence.   Somehow they managed to avoid collisions.   Apparently there is an unseen traffic control that directs them to only travel  to the west, then change and everyone can only travel east.   Several brave jumpers tried to go from the fence to the top of the tomato supports or vice versa.  A few splats on the ground showed the folly of that detour and they resumed running back and forth. 

Flower Basket
I began to plant flowers around the yard — in the ground, in pots, in three baskets hung on the new fence.  Squirrel and buddies fulfilled his threat.  In the morning, half the contents of every pot would be uprooted.  On the ground, every other plant was lifted out and dragged a few feet away.  Then they would return and bite the remaining plants off at the base. 
By the time I got ready to plant the baskets on the fence, I was done with this nonsense!  I planted the baskets and shredded old cocoa mats (like the liner) to put across the top.  Then I went to the kitchen and got my secret weapon! 

Cayenne Pepper
Squirrels do not like the taste or smell of cayenne pepper.  Or red pepper flakes from the dollar store.   Sprinkle them generously around the small flower starts and the squirrels will leave them alone.  You may have to renew after rain, but you’ll only need to do it for a couple of weeks.  Once the flowers are a taller and fuller like the picture above, the squirrels leave them alone.    It was actually funny to watch the squirrels go tearing across the fence, stop when they were about six inches from the planter and then drop down to the horizontal support on the other side.  They would run on the horizontal until they were about six inches on the OTHER side of the planter, hop back on the fence and repeat the process for the remaining two planters.  They never touched the planters or anything in them! 

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

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