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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Now that we’ve FINALLY hit the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer here in the Big Windy, we are all about the house arts here at Chez Chic.

patio_0590The incessant rain has grown the patio into a lush oasis; we have the escape we were planning when we put this together, what, two years ago now. Everything has filled in and matured, beautifully. My most excellent neighbor, Gene, who I swear is the doppelganger of my Polish grandpa (dzia dzia!), did the most amazing thing, hacking down and removing a really awful Tree of Heaven that was growing right through the fence between our yards. Now we just share a line of old-school daylilies, which are so very lovely and tall this year.

I have to admit, even weeding, after so much rain, is not so bad. Almost like magic, the weeds get even more gigantic than the ornamentals (why is that?), giving good purchase to yank them out by their thuggy roots. The spaces between the patio pavers was lush with all types of messy clover and wild ginger and now, after a good picking, only the lovely moss I’ve been sticking in the cracks over the last two summers paints the outlines with velvety emerald green.

That moss, and the self-seeded alyssum which is spilling over the east-end of the place, makes me smile…


But we have High Life over here too: deck culture in the Big Windy is finely honed as well. We had our three-story monster cleaned and sealed last month and I’ve just now put everything back out. My bedroom was stuffed with all the furniture and pots and cushions. It’s all back in place now and nothing could be finer than to sit on the porch swing with a cool libation and some yarn stuck in the cup holders and delight in all I can see.


It’s like being in a tree-house — my neighbor has two large trees in their backyard and since my deck is on the second floor, I’m airborne in their crowns.


But it’s the pots full of color that are intriguing me the most. Even though it’s very late to plant pots, I couldn’t resist! There are three more months of summer, by my Chicago calculations (July, August, September), and it seems some stuff doesn’t really get gorgeous until the very last. So I made a trip over to my favorite flower guy (he’s in the Menard’s parking lot over by Clybourn, north of Fullerton) and as always, his wares were STILL well taken care of and looking fine. To beautiful mediterranean music, in a fine misty rain, I picked out my plants. Then under the patio umbrella, I planted, while it was gently raining all about.

This is my current favorite, oxalis:


Coming in a close second, something we put in at the very end, purple-banded coleus:


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