Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yard Pr0n and a Stump Table

Yeah, so there's been no additional progress this week... unless you count going to beach everyday as progress.  School finally ended for both of my kids this week and work was slow, so I took the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather and do some relaxing at the beach before the real heat and chaos of summer start to kick in.

Yes, chaos.  I've agreed to keep working over the summer--with no childcare.  It's only a couple of hours a day at most, though I tried it once last week with both kids home and they darn near killed each other.  Savages.  I'm hoping they get better at it.

No, I don't know where this leaves my creative goals.  OK, that's a lie.  It leaves very little time for that.  But it is SO HARD to say "no" to a paycheck... and it's only a couple months, right?  The fall will be different, even if I am still working.  Two kids in school full time.  Two kids in school full time.  I'm just going to keep repeating that to myself over and over like a mantra...

How about some late June yard yumminess?

Clockwise from top left (above), this is my front yard (top two), my front bed (bottom right), and the back yard adjacent to the deck.  My hydrangeas are all in bloom--all except for the six lacecaps that contracted a nasty fungal infection this spring.  Conveniently, I did not take any pictures of those. 

The astilbe also bloomed this week and the Big Daddy hostas are, well, big (below)!  I love these waxy blue hostas for their slug resistance.  We usually have a pretty serious slug issue around here, though this year *knock wood* I haven't noticed ANY slug damage yet.  What's up with that?

These lady ferns (below) dot the mini hill that you can see from my front bay window.  The hosta came with the house, so I'm not quite sure of the variety.  The photo below that is my new Brise d'Anjou polemonium with a little "whoops" hosta squeezing in next door.  I planted several bare root hostas this spring.  Looks like I should have marked their locations before I did more planting.  This one is supposed to be Rainforest Sunrise, but the coloring on the leaves says otherwise.  Oh well!

And here's another shot of the front "yard."  The butterfly bush is just on the verge of blooming.  Notice the stump in this photo (conveniently labeled STUMP)?  That used to be a 60-foot oak.  It up and died the year after we moved in and no one could figure out why.  Since it was perilously close to the house, we ponied up the outrageous amount of money it required to have it cut down... and it's a darn good thing we did, because Tropical Storm Irene came only a month or two later, and if that hadn't taken it down, Hurricane Sandy sure would have.  I guess it was money well spent afterall.  

When the tree was removed, I had the guys cut me a side table-height chunk of trunk so I could make myself a West Elm-inspired stump table.  This was long before the blog, of course, so I have no process pictures.  In a nutshell, I let the stump dry out in my garage for about six months.  Once sufficiently dried, I used a chisel to remove all the bark, and then sanded it down until smooth.  This thing DRANK polyurethane, so I can't even tell you how many coats I applied, but it was a lot.  I put felt on the bottom so that I could slide it around on my wood floors more easily.  Ta da!

I was so proud of my little stump table--how unique!--and then Sandy came and all of a sudden there were tree stumps EVERYWHERE!  Seriously, every homeowner on Long Island could probably make 10 stump tables now.  Kinda took the wind out of my sails... because now my little stump table doesn't seem so special, but it's still pretty cool that it came from a tree in my own front yard. 

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