Monday, August 9, 2010

    Mid-summer yard update

    This is the year of the great squash experiment. Not knowing a blessed thing about the plants we were planting (as in, did you know that pumpkin vines can grow to be 35-40 feet in length? I didn't!), we have overloaded our tiny backyard garden box with two pumpkin vines, a yellow squash vine/bush, a zucchini plant, four cucumber plants and two broccoli plants.

    The overall effect:

    Up close with squash overload. Zucchini in the top right and one of the pumpkin vines in the bottom left:

    Produce! This is so far the only pumpkin we have produced for our pains. It is ripe, beautiful and lovely. So now we have a pumpkin in August.

    These pumpkin vine tendrils wrapped themselves around patches of grass in the backyard, holding on for dear life. I think they're gorgeous on their own, though.

    The broccoli...that we're hoping will turn into something edible one of these days:

    The cucumber vines and our nascent basil plant:

    Fresh cucumbers from the garden are our top delight this summer:

    Pepperoncini, for which I have my doubts, mostly due to serious overshadowing by pumpkin leaves:

    That's all in one garden box. In the other backyard box, we planted a couple of varieties of carrots (Danvers, Nantes, Little Finger and Carnival Blend -- Carnival was the least successful).

    And this is what happens when you get a radish packet from Matthew Moore at Sundance and figure, eh? Why not? But then realize that neither of you like radishes (nasty little things):

    Then, we have a third garden box (clearly in over our heads) by the kitchen. By and large it has been scorched by the heat and exposure of our site, but a few things have survived. Namely, the tomato plants that I didn't kill are now threatening to take over the house:

    And this is the end of a fight with arugala. It started out so lovely, with spring greens that we added to salads and quiches. It ended with an insane patch of flowering plants that crowded out everything else. So I hacked it back:

    ...and made room for a watermelon vine that has showed its appreciation for the extra space by doubling in size over the last few days. I'm still hoping that this will produce something before the first frost.

    In the rest of the yard, our front yard on the south side was not getting full coverage from the sprinklers. So now that Tai is a pro, he added a few extra heads to hit our borders:

    But the best thing about the summer has been slowing down and enjoying the results of all our hard work over the last 18 months. It's a bit surreal to think of where we were a year ago and where we are now. That was a lifetime ago.

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    New moderns

    Just a hat tip to all the folks in our area doing new modern projects -- it's great to see a swell of infill modern homes. Grassroots Modern is keeping tabs on a few, including the one we drive past every day: ul[1] on 900 East around 700 South.

    We like the lines, suspect the architect is the son of a former neighbor in our original slc202 condo building by the University of Utah, and love the privacy walls in the outdoor spaces (can you tell we still haven't built our fence yet?).

    But this was our favorite:

    "We had been looking for a lot in the up and coming neighborhood of the Salt Lake 9th and 9th area for a period of 3 years. This area is extremely competitive for vacant land and building small modern homes is beginning to be the trend. This has been going on in other metropolitan areas for years but we are seeing an increasing demand for this type of product in SLC for which there is few to choose from. I believe we are raising the standard for this building type in the area and am very excited to see it being constructed." (emphasis mine)

    We also loved this gem (in a non-sarcastic sense):

    "The house achieved Gold LEED standards but the owner opted for spending the additional 5-6 thousand in other areas instead of the LEED testing and registration fees."