it was a jungle … and then, it wasn’t! #greenlake

The old, charming red cedar tree stood as shade and guard in the backyard for years but the place was a jungle in 2010.  Oh, that poor rhubarb had been replanted twice but no one has been able to make a pie out of it since. The back fence was replaced with one made of cedar planks as you can see in the second photo below.

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June 2010

So, then it wasn’t a jungle, anymore.  Ron of RS Renovations who did so much work here handbuilt this marvelous pergola. Look, no nails, just pegs! To the left of the pergola is a side view of the storage shed.

Pergola September 2011
Pergola, September 2011





from neglected wild to controlled wonder #greenlake


What’s more controlled than succulent plants lining up in a grid? These plants were perfect and all last year, but only five of these charmers survived the winter. The metal frame was a cucumber trellis that was previously used in the south yard, but had since been repurposed to hold the succulent plants against the wall. The small pots are attached to the metal frame with a thin garden wire that can easily be adjusted and moved.

Backyard Wall. 2015 #greenlake #seattle
Succulent plants. 2015

This is my backyard in 2013. The 12×12 shed had been built, and painted yellow. The backyard is a bit shady under the red cedar tree, so the paint is a brighter shade of yellow on purpose. Also, the crumbling fence had been replaced and oiled and the landscaping had been done when this snap was taken in the spring of 2013.

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Backyard with new wall and shed. May 2013

This is what my backyard looks like in 2010. The neighbor’s tree might be a magnolia, maybe … it has white flowers that bloom profusely during the season. You can also see that there’s another spiky yucca plant in the yard and some ivy vines that have climbed over the fence.

Backyard Wall. 1 Jun 2010 #greenlake #seattle


solar lanterns to charm the tree fairies #greenlake #seattle


The white hanging lanterns were bought on sale from Amazon (LiteFuze Mosaic Glass Rechargeable Solar Lampbut the other hanging lanterns were made by R.  The jars are mason jars, plus a couple were bought at a thrift store. The handmade lanterns have toppers made from solar garden lights. The garden lights are easily available from Fred Meyer or Home Depot.



then the backyard gets a perfectly awesome, emerald-green lawn #greenlake #seattle


Yes, yellow does look good on me. But even better, the folks of WE Design did the landscaping and installed a new sod in my backyard. They also installed square pavers as stepping stones connecting both the north yard and the south yard to the pergola.

Doesn’t the emerald-green lawn look just marvelous?

016 29 Aug 2012byard
So I was repainted in the fall of 2011, this is my backside. August 2012

This is the backyard in 2010. You can see the hydrangea bushes next to the house and that’s probably a lilac tree next to it.  We’re not putting this in the family album, believe me.

Backhouse+015 1 Jun 2010S
June 2010



a western red cedar tree: one large antique right in my backyard #greenlake #seattle

Alexander Smith said that “trees are your best antiques.” If so, I have one large antique right in my backyard. The red cedar tree has been here for as long as I can remember. Perhaps it’s as old as me, perhaps older.

Thuja plicata, commonly called western or Pacific redcedar, giant or western arborvitae, giant cedar, or shinglewood, is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae native to western North America. Native trees can grow to a height of 125 ft (60 m) in moist soils in mixed coniferous forests.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the range of western red-cedar is essentially in two segments: a Coast Range-Cascade Range segment from southeastern Alaska to northwestern California and a Rocky Mountain segment from British Columbia and Alberta to Idaho and Montana.  Age determination of western red-cedar is complicated by buttress formation and the associated complex growth patterns, but ring counts of trees from Washington and British Columbia indicate that some trees live at least up to 1460 years.  I know this girl is old, but could she be that old?

westernredcedar Jun 2011