Sunday, July 19, 2015

Backyard Tour 2015

All right folks.  Due to popular demand, here is a video I took on this hot and humid Sunday morning of my backyard.  Actually it was only one blog follower (the famous "Anonymous") who requested this year's tour but I agree.  

Growing up in second floor apartments, I only lived in a house with a real backyard the last year I lived at home (1958).  Then I graduated from high school and I was off to the Army for three years.  After getting out of the Army in 1963 (they didn't allow gays back then, that's why I got out while the getting was good), I lived in a series of apartments.  

Then I met Bill, my lifelong (51 years this year!) partner and friend in 1964.  We lived in his garden apartment (Penn Manor) in Pennsauken, New Jersey.  After a couple of years we moved to Philly (Philadelphia) where the "action" (ready "gay" for a young, not and horny guy like me) was.  We got an apartment in Roxborough (Cheswick Square).  Roxborough is a section of Philly like Brooklyn is a section of New York.  I was only a bus ride away from THE BARS (read "gay.")

Then when they raised our rent from $140 a month to $165, I said "Enough!" and we went looking for a house in center city Philadelphia where I could walk to work (and walk to the bars - read "gay").  

My first real house with a backyard, albeit, small.  

After eleven years I had enough of The Bars (read "gay") and center city living with the police sirens and the dirty streets and the crime, and the congestion.  I needed SPACE.

We moved to The Country.  Specifically East Brandywine Township, Downingtown, Pennsylvania.  Built a house on 6.875 acres of land and I really had a Backyard now, even though I had to share it with the local deer population.

After twenty-five years I had enough of the high Pennsylvania school taxes and power outages and congestion (yes Virginia, Pennsylvania was getting congested even where we lived).  We (read "I" because Bill was against the idea) brought land and had a house built right here in southern Delaware, near Rehoboth Beach and the large gay population.  I figured as I got old and needed a support group, the local gays would be more accommodating than my super religious, right wing, conservative, gay-hating neighbors in Pennsylvania.  Well, the gay support group thing didn't quite work out but I've made a lot of friends through this blog and I now have a real backyard that I thoroughly enjoy.  Of course I'm still "sharing."  This time with a rabbit

Yes, this is the actual rabbit that is decimating my flower beds (likes lavender especially) - I took this picture a couple of nights ago.  I haven't been able to take a picture of that fat groundhog that lives under my shed but I will, give me time.
and a groundhog that lives under my shed but what the hey?  There's enough for all of us. 


P.S.
I'll write about The Rabbit later.  He/she is worthy of a whole blog posting of their own.

22 comments:

  1. I was raised on 80 acres, and I love my condo. Can't wait to read about the bunny.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. David,
      My upbringing was the exact opposite of yours. I think condos are nice but after a while I feel too confined. Like I'm in prison. I need a LOT of space.
      Ron

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  2. Anonymous1:22 PM

    Well, thank you for the visual update, Mr. Greenthumbs! Not having land myself I like to live vicariously through other gardeners. Sure is a lot of corn ... whose is it? A plot of land rented/owned by a farmer somewhere? Peppers(?) (the Nursery) needs to give you a bulk discount if they don't already. Surely you must be their best customer. Also noticed how you sped around your backyard, it sure didn't take long for you to regain mobility. Although you didn't highlight your planters this year ( you did last year) I assume you planted/arranged some more this year as well? I was wondering if the planter on the front step was one of your creations.

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    Replies
    1. Thank your for your suggestion. I do like to memorialize by video each year's version of my little oasis here in southern Delaware. I don't know who the corn field belongs to. That land adjoins my just under one acre plot of land. I specifically wanted this lot because it didn't back up to anyone else's lot. Ah yes, Pepper's, I was just there this morning. I daresay I am probably one of their best customers. I don't mind that they don't give me a discount, they're a locally own family business and I like to buy local. The other greenhouse I frequent does give me a discount though, which is cool.
      I did many planters again this year. I forgot to video the ones I did on the back deck. Perhaps I'll do that in the future. I had a red, white and blue motif this year. And yes, the one on the front door stoop is my creation. Thanks!
      Ron

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  3. Your yard is beautiful, Ron. I am sure it gives you a lot of satisfaction.

    Peace <3
    Jay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jay and yes, my backyard does give me a lot of satisfaction. Keeps me from sane and happy.
      Ron

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  4. Roger6:06 PM

    An enjoyable Sunday afternoon view!

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  5. The video is so relaxing, Ron. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of your beautiful (and big) yard. And it's nice to see you walking unaided.

    I like the photo of the rabbit - - he's definitely residing in a bunny's paradise. (I've recently seen a few cottontails around my house).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jon,
      My goal was to create a "backyard paradise." Always a work in progress but I so enjoy wandering around in my backyard and keeping tabs on things. Each year is a challenge though with either critters or insects. If I was gun-toting kind of person I would send that rabbit to his/her "oasis" but I'm not so I have to coexist with that pest.
      I just returned from my doctor's office. He's very pleased with my progress but concerned about the continued swelling of my leg. He advised me to take more brisk walks which I haven't done since my injury last February. I will start.
      Thanks again for the generous comment Jon!
      Ron

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    2. You truly have a very keen eye for gardening and landscaping, and your knowledge of plants and flowers is impressive. I THINK I heard you mention that Bill mows the lawn. Is that correct?? If so, that's fantastic!

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    3. Jon,
      I have a passion for gardening and landscaping. I find working outside in my backyard, creating and meeting the challenges always rewarding. To use a tired old cliche "I am one with nature" at that time. Yes, Bill mows the lawn. I do the trimming and planting. That's one thing about Bill and I, we complement each other so well in out skills. He's mechanical, I am not. I am artistic (somewhat anyway), he is not. We're a good match, that way.
      Ron

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  6. Dedeoutwest7:03 PM

    Ron, thank you for the fine tour of your arboretum. You certainly have gardening talent
    and patience to have created this lovely and serene space. I'm glad to see that your knee
    is making good progress, too.

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    Replies
    1. Dedeoutwest,
      My passion is growing things. I find this pastime so relaxing and yet challenging. I need to be good at something, and this is one area in which I can experiment and create as I pleases without criticism and putdowns. The garden doesn't talk back. (smile)
      Ron

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  7. Ron - that is an amazing undertaking. But your love of it shines. So much diversity. I can't imagine looking after anything like that. And your yard is bigger than a football field. I always admire folks who have lovely gardens. In the city it's a pleasure to see well maintained gardens and green areas. So many don't bother. And you know me - I didn't want to be one of those bad neighbours so it was Japanese minimalism. I know you have a sprinkler system - I'm guessing that looks after all or most of the gardening you showed us. Otherwise there'd be a heck a lot of walking around with an extremely long hose.

    Pat

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    Replies
    1. Pat,
      We're alike in many ways but this is one of our differences. Just the way you like to play in your band, I love to "play" in my backyard. To me it is so relaxing and yet challenging. I never tire of getting on my knees and planting and watching things grow out of the ground. It is life force that has always amazed me.

      Ron

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  8. Randy in NEB.1:29 AM

    Ron, You have such a green thumb, a lovely garden all around. If I posted pictures of my backyard and asked for suggestions. I bet a lot of people would say it's just better if you move. I have the rabbits too and even a Opossum or two.

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    Replies
    1. Randy,
      Well, that's one thing I DON't have, a possum (thank God). Nor do I have a skunk (yet). I guess I should count myself lucky that that's all I have, a rabbit (or two) and a groundhog which is relatively harmless except he/she likes to dig up my newly transplanted plants right after they're planted. Ah, the perils of gardening. I guess I should learn to share.
      Ron

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  9. Are you sure that isn't the DuPont estate?

    It's beautiful, but good grief, what a lot of work!!!

    You should move to Colorado and grow marijuana...you'd be *rich* !!!

    :-)

    -Andy

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    Replies
    1. Andy,
      You can say that again - "It's a LOT OF WORK." It is believe me but I love working in my backyard. In fact, I just came in to catch up on my blog (way overdue) and to get out of the increasingly oppressive heat. I can't work from 10 AM to about 6 PM, just too hot and oppressive. The humidity is what really gets to me, I can't breath.
      Ron

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  10. Chris9:28 AM

    Very impressive. You do a great job of keeping the weeds down and the flowering plants thriving. Given the amount of space that you have, I wonder whether you might do well to add a tall focal point in the back, like a dawn redwood.

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    Replies
    1. Chris,
      Actually, you have made a very good suggestion. I don't have a red (maple) tree or other focal point. I do like focal points. Thanks again for the great suggestion! Working a landscape is always a work in progress, it never ends.
      Ron
      Ron

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