Friday, June 26, 2009


Our new fence has been stained

We gave our new fence awhile for the wood to dry out and then stained it with a semi-dark oil based pigmented stain. We got the stain at Sound Cedar, the same place the wood came from. It is the same stuff they used on the cedar on the front of their building which was stained with it in 2004, about five years ago and it still looks good. And it faces west so gets the afternoon sun. We didn't want to leave the cedar to weather naturally because it doesn't do that evenly and didn't want to use a clear stain as you have to redo it about every two years. At almost $34 a gallon (we used all of three gallons) it is fairly expensive, plus the time it takes to do the work. Anyway, we both like the results.

Fence 06
This is the outside of the fence looking at it from one end toward the other end. The sunroom is in the background and the patio outside it with the picnic table, chairs and propane barbecue. This photo has a pretty good view of one of the solar powered lighted post caps we used on the ends of the fence. It has kind of a stained glass look. Later you'll see the one we used beside the gate which puts out a clear, white light and actually gives enough light to be a help coming in when it is dark. They all have rechargeable AA size batteries and the light comes from clear LEDs so they don't use much electric power. It will be interesting to see if we get enough sky light in the winter to charge them to run long enough after our early darkness to be useful.

Fence 11
This is again the outside of the fence that faces the common area in the middle of our park but closer to the gate. You can see the clear light I talked about earlier as well as the cedar post caps that we used on the other posts. We also decided that we wanted an arbor and found that cedar unit at Sound Cedar, ready made in three pieces. Our fence contractor set post holders in concrete and they hold the arbor which we stained in the same stain. Also notice Pat walking along outside the sunroom and the two hummingbird feeders. We have planted a grape plant on each side of the arbor and hope to have it grow up it and give us some good fruit.

Fence 05
Here is the gate and arbor looking straight at them from outside the fence. The hardware for the gate is simple black metal but it is pretty heavy and should last a long time. It is a fairly long distance from the edge of our yard where the fence is located to the concrete sidewalk that runs down through the common area and during much of the year that grass out there is so wet that it is like walking on a sponge. We asked the park managers if we could put in a crushed rock walkway to connect our yard to that sidewalk and he said we could, so now we can exit our gate and keep our feet dry to get out to that sidewalk even during the wet time of the year. The girls came from our house to the gazebo via that main sidewalk for our wedding but then they had to walk through that wet grass to get to the sidewalk.

Fence 03
This view is about the same as the first one but taken on the inside of the fence showing part of our actual yard. Pat is very good with plants and has done quite a nice job of setting up our yard/garden. The soil here isn't very good, just a little bit of topsoil over clay, so we have a few larger type plants that are in the ground but for many we have used planters and other containers. We took out a hill that was mostly just bark and roots from some cedar trees and put in a couple of raised beds that are over to the left, out of the picture from where this view is looking.

Fence 02
The arbor from the inside. We are trying an upside down tomato planter thingy and that is it to the right of the arbor. By now the tomato plant is almost reaching the ground so we may have to move it to someplace higher but we are not sure, never having used one of these before. There was some crushed rock in the back yard but along both sides of the house they had used a fairly small river rock that was really hard to walk over, so we had the gardeners bring in a few yards of crushed rock and even it out all over the sides and back. It is much better now. We have some lawn in front and that is all that I want to mow- the rock is nice.

Fence 01
I probably don't really need to put this photo in but it does show our pampas grass plant. It was badly damaged by the cold weather over the winter but is starting to come back. It also has Pat in the background working in the garden area. Those tall cedar trees on the other side of our yard are where all those roots in that bark hill came from. I kind of wish they were a bit smaller and may trim them. I don't think the former owners of our lot planted them as the neighbors have more of them across the back of their lot but these three or four trees are on our side so I think I can trim them back.

Fence 04
Here we are looking through the side of the arbor toward the garden. We bought stainless steel hooks to put one on each fence post and Pat has baskets of flowers hanging on each of them except the one with the tomato plant and the two corners and ones by the gate. You can just see the grape plant starting at the bottom of the photo and the small tree is a dogwood that has about 18 lighted solar powered butterflies in it. They look interesting at night.

Fence 07
Here is the other corner of the back yard. You can see a stump of what we called the bumblebee plant. We had two of them, one on each side of the yard in the corners. They were quite large and had a lot of purple flowers on them that really attracted bees, especially bumblebees. The cold of the last winter killed them so we took them out and are finding that we really like how it has opened up the yard. Not to mention that you don't have to fight bees all summer out there now.

I have a few more photos but this is enough for one post. The others are a couple of photos of the arbor from a different angle, one showing the light on the post top better and a couple of closer views of the ground cover. We thought about getting more bark to use out there but it has the bad habit of turning into dirt pretty soon and that doesn't do anything about stopping weeds. It also doesn't look good for all that long. My brother was shopping at Costco in Spokane one weekend about the time we were ready to do this and he found a product he told me about that we used. More about that next time.

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I bet what you called the bumlebee plant was a Ceanothus. We have a few of those and the bees love them. I don't mind the bees, as long as they are not yellow jackets.

That was a fun tour. Your yard looks great.
It looks like you did a lot of hard work it really looks great.I like the little stained glass solar light on the fence post.
You and Pat have a nice yard, and it's obvious you put a lot of effort into it. It makes me want to garden more, but I'm just not able to do it now.

I'd be interested to see photos of the butterflies in the tree and solar lights at night.

Happy weekend, Dick! :o)

Love and hugs,

You and Pat have done a great job, your yard looks fabulous Dick!
Gday Dick. You and Pat have done a great job in your back garden love all your plats and the stained glass solar atop the fence post.. A job well done,,
Hi im vicki bobs wife its so rewarding when you do a big job well done. Our gardens are so different. vicki
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