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I haven’t done much to the garden since my initial effort in 2008, but it has rewarded my neglect by growing with wild abandon. It’s really not such a bad thing.

The Backyard, September 2008

The Backyard, June 2011

The peonies used to be out front. There were four of them when we moved in, but they weren’t getting enough sun so I decided to move them to the back. In the process, the four peonies accidentally became 12, but forging ahead, we planted all 12. Now, for about five days each June, my garden bursts with peonies. My favorite flower.

I would love to make some changes and additions to the yard, but that’s pretty low in my priorities right now. Enjoying the garden though, that ranks quite a bit higher.

Our Eastern Redbud is Dying

Only a third of the tree has leaves. It was a birthday present from Brandon in 2008, and I wanted to see it grow to full-size. So sad!

Brandon thinks it can be saved, but I’m less hopeful. There are deep fissures on the trunk in several places. The neighbor said that I should just chop off the dead parts and keep the rest of the tree, but I think that would look awful. No more awful than the jungle of weeds beneath the tree, but theoretically I can get rid of those. You know, if I actually had time these days to garden.

Maybe it caught some sort of tree disease from my other neighbor’s dying redbud? She has one against the fence that used to shade my egg chair.

The Backyard, 2008

It hasn’t been doing very well for the last couple of years. (The bush next to the egg chair however, that is thriving. Along with more weeds.)

The Backyard, 2011 (The egg chair's cushions are in the wash.)

Do you think we can save it? I want to replace it with a different tree as soon as possible if it’s a lost cause.

Well-Traveled Outdoor Space

My thoughts always turn to outdoor spaces the minute the weather starts to warm up. We’re still a little chilly here in Chicago, but it will be nice out soon enough.

I imagine this as a tucked away corner in a lush garden, up against a wall covered by plants growing in wooly pockets. The bench looks weathered and modern at the same time, and I’d use a ceramic garden stool or two as extra seating or a place to set a drink. Candles in lanterns overhead and an outdoor rug define the space and add to the traveled feeling.

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