More by the Garden Gate

I found some before photos of the library and gardens of the Shively House that I wanted to share with you after my last posts about the library and pond.

First, the library before - quite a change, hu ?

Here are 2 photos of the backyard as we bought it - the pond sits smack in the middle of everything partially in the shade of those birch trees. Another view from the Driveway as you go into the back yard.

Finally, here are a few photos, one before, the rest current, of the front gardens of the house - we added the fence and perennial garden along the street, tore out and moved the shrubs under the porch and put in a boxwood and rose garden - Ill add photos of that as it grows in, for now those are potted roses waiting to be put in. The stones and pine needle mulch replace about 9 inches of wood mulch and a ton of termites - NEVER put wood mulch against the house - unless of course you hate your house and want to watch it slowly die.




La Isla Bonita

Here are some photos and a 26 second video of the pond. For those of you who thought we were major slackers, wasting time lounging in the sun listening to Wham! and Madonna instead of diligently restoring the house (yeah, the master bed room is STILL undone), heres the thing that keeps us busy outside - but we love it. The pets are doing well, as you can see in the video. The pond is about 26 x 12 feet and varies from 2-5 feet deep. Sure, we still have more refinement work to do around the edges (ok, who am I kidding, its not refinement, it plain old sluggin rocks - rocks are heavy -- and expensive -- so its slow moving until Fred Flintstone comes to help). Notice the huge white flower in the back left next to the lantern. Thats my lotus that has the most intriquing smell ever (American yellow). More on Lotuses later.

Below is a close view of the "beach" section. This is the end of the pond that we built steps into so we can get in and out (the rest of the sides are straight vertical drops) and the slallow water is about 3 inches deep. Strangely, the fish LOVE swimming around here searching for food. I know - I do keep it netted to thwart predators here.

Below is a quick video of the Koi. Sure they are tiny & cheap (remember, I am unemployed and really cheap by nature, too), but they will grow. I guess most of them are about 4-6 months old. Check out how friendly they are. Also look at the long fins on a couple of them. These are some of the butterfly koi that we fell in love with at a local pond and fountain store. Much more on the pond later, but this should be a quick glimpse for those who havent had a chance to see it in person.


Playing Catch UP

I HAVE PHOTOS. Thanks Lisa for the great little camera.

I will be adding a few posts and photos for each room we have completed to date - along with some that need some work bad ... Hope you all enjoy.

First is the Library. This room sits on the West side of the house on the third floor. It was one of the first rooms we cleaned and painted for a few reasons: We needed a place to store all our books and it had shelves already built-in, and because it needed near zero work (other than a color change and maybe some improvements in the future, they never really stop, do they ?).

There is a wall to wall/indoor-outdoor-type carpet in here with original floor boards below. We may one day strip out the carpet and clean up the floor, but for now its a comfortable room. The third floor has no heating/cooling so we use it only a few months out of the year and suffer through short trips to grab a book the rest. I have a grand scheme for some solar panels and heating/cooling unit in the attic to condition the third floor, but that's a long way and a few thousand dollars off. For now a portable heater in the winter and open windows works fine.

Here's a restored chair and an unrestored frame and easel that are in the library. All part of the Mooresque style we are trying to impart on the room. I have stencils I am playing with, but thats a low priority.

Behind the easel is a little room, its one of a couple of dormers that jut out of the third floor roofline. It has a great original-to-the-house unpainted door on it and there are more shelves built inside the dormer room. I do need clean up the contraption that was built to fill the arched doorway - the door has been hacked off on top to fit under the gable and the dormer wont allow the door to swing if I rebuild a pointed top to the door, so Ill fill in the arch with some wallboard and fit additional door surround to clear out the hinged head-banger on the door - check out the photos of it.

The BLUE carpet is pretty ugly, hu ? but it helps insulate, is in clean/good condition and is far better than ill-fitted plywood. I do need to check out whats below it and see if any repairs/insulation are needed. We insulated this room and under the eaves (access to both the left and right of inside the doorway) last fall. I use it to store cleared hardware for the house and picture frames - and yeah, thats a window air conditioner we took out of the library. It may go back in one day but till then here it sits.

Look for more soon.