Monday, December 17, 2007

Orchid Tree Baby Pix

When we bought this house in 1996, it was the second ugliest house on the block. So very ugly I swore I'd never live there...

But Walter knew. It's one of the only times he ever made a prediction about our lives, and he was adamant in his prediction. Also he was right. We bought it, and it was one of the best things we ever did.

The real *before* pix are pretty hideous. Here, at least, you can tell I'm trying to do something with the place. The front of the house has been painted, the wood front porch replaced with my St. Joe brick, and the queen palm and ponytail are planted (far right).

And! So is the orchid tree. See the two stick-type little trees in front of the house? It's the one on the right. It even has flowers.

I've cleared out all the grass now, except for the swale in front. The planting areas have been dug WAY deep, and the sand mixed with peat and compost. The cats found this process extremely interesting. The neighbors did too...most of them, anyway. A few found it extremely annoying, but hey.

Once they realized there was a plan behind all the mess and digging, they came around.

Here, the front yard walkways are finished, and the planting areas mulched. In the front two sections are a Christmas palm from the back yard, and a triangle palm next section to the right.

Remember the orchid tree? It's still there. The tiny stick tree actually has a bit of bushiness to it now, and under it are a bed of rhoeos (aka Moses in the Boat, oyster plant, etc.).

Fast forward to several years later. The nasty asphalt driveway is gone, replaced with St. Joe Brick during the infamous Driveway Paving Incident. The vegetation has matured. This pic was taken in summer, 2005.

And the orchid tree? I've carefully shaped it over the years. The branch structure is beautiful, and the trunk almost a foot thick. It towers over the house, and has branches arching over the walkways. They go over your head and dangle down to the ground on the other side of the walkway. When it's in flower, it's as if the tree is holding bouquets to you, beautiful flowers with a delicate gentle sweet fragrance, right at nose level as you walk the paths.

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