Page 49 ~ September 1st,2009

Sorry for the delay in updating these photos. We were back in Michigan during April and May. Then most of our summer was spent either shoveling or socializing. These photos show the side garden developed by the garage. We had 32 yards of compost and topsoil delivered and dumped. I moved the dirt into place by hand. Originally this area was part of a hill decending down to the ocean. John built a retaining wall and stairs out of 6 X 8 timbers. We thought that it would be high enough to keep the puppies out of the gardens. However, Taffy can jump 4 feet straight up laughing at the idea of being denied access. So John erected a black aluminum trellis over the stairway and 4 foot fencing along the retaining wall. I planted climbing yellow roses along the fence, 4 flats of annuals and many seeds which developed well in the rich topsoil. It's a jungle now ! Note the banana tree. It was potted in the livingroom until February. It looked rather sickly so I planted it outside and told it to "buck up". It certainly did. Now we are on the lookout for bananas !

It took 32 yards of dirt to create this flower bed by garage.
John installed 4 ft tall fencing to protect the garden from the dogs.
This is a side view of retaining wall, stairs and fencing that John built.
The Trellis covered in whisteria.
Side Garden
Geraniums are great on Pender with the summer drought.
Gardens by retaining wall.
Flowers by the garage.
The pathway leads to the stairs down to the lower level of the yard.
The Banana Tree.
Hanging Baskets.
These photos show some of our hanging baskets and potted plants. They were started late this year since we didn't return from our visit to Michigan until almost June. We came home with Swine Flu and it slowed us down a few weeks until we regained our strength to get back to work. Getting old can be a bummer ! In July our good friends, Wendy and Ken Percival came from Sarnia, Ontario for a visit. Ken had a difficult time learning to relax on Pender time and encouraged John to get back to work on the house. The guys had fun as they shovelled gravel, built the deck stairs and railings. They also installed wire over the 3 outside dog pens. We left Ken and Wendy on their own for a few days on Pender island while we left for Seattle to pick up our newest famly addition, Robbie, alias Joy-A-Len's Majestic Robbins. Robbie was only 8 weeks old when he flew in from Michigan. The local eagles and osprey looked upon him as an appetizer. We had an issue with the raptors on the wire. They flew down and attempted to abscond with Robbie. The wire which Ken and John had placed over the dog pen was rearranged when we arrived home one day. The newest neighbours complained that our dogs barked...go figure ! You would likely bark too if birds were pulling at your dog kennel. The surveyors also arrived a week early that same day. A second survey is required by BC CRD when the house is complete to prove that the house wasn't moved from the original house plans submitted to them....ya right ! Why would we move the house onto property lines ?
We had enough to do, believe me.
Potted Plants
These poppies strang up on their own.
Ken came to Pender for a vacation... but ended up helping John with the deck railing.
John and Ken working in the garage.
The wire over the dog kennels.
Joy-A-Len's Majestic Robbins

These photos show what the front yard looked like as we began to fill the cement retaining walls that Wally Kolwaski built in February. Topsoil is very expensive here on Pender Island because it is non existant. Topsoil must be transported from Vancouver Island. On the side yard we brought many loads over in our Toyota Tacoma, a half yard at a time, from Sidney when we went to shop or get building materials for the house. However, we soon realized that it would take years to complete the rest of the flower beds. So we ordered dirt to be hauled over in a large dump truck. John helped me shovel dirt and the job was accomplished much quicker. John has laid PVC Pipes through the retaining walls to collect rainwater from the roof for the gardens so it made hiring a backhoe for the heavy work impossible. Dirt isn't as heavy as gravel so we considered ourselves lucky it was only dirt. There's lots more gravel to move in the future so this can be considered "training". All dirt moving had to come to a hault after 24 yards was delivered because we are now waiting for Wally to come back to build forms for the front deck leading to the front and garage doors. We had considered mixing the cement ourselves as we did for the step under the deck stairs (52 bags), and the water well surround (48 bags) but decided that our bodies needed a break. Wally is a very busy contractor and well worth the wait.

Cement retaining walls in the front of the house.
We are still living in a consturction zone.
The front door entrance way.
Walkway up to the deck.
Things are starting to grow along the front of the house.
Robbie eating Kelp.
Keep on shoveling !!!!

These photos show a few changes within the house. When we were passing through Arizona on our travels east this spring, we found a copper pair of running quarterhorses for over the fireplace. We used to have quarterhorses on our farm in Michigan and it was a little nostalgic when we saw them. We also found a new cage for Polly, the parrot. She loves it, although when she is outside her cage she feels the need to keep the hanging plants neatly trimmed in the solarium. We discovered that when you live on an island, you make many, many friends. This resulted in the purchase of a larger diningroom table to accommodate entertaining. The view from the dining room is fantastic. We watch the tide go in and out over the oyster beds, raptors hunting, sailboat races, whale watching boats, crab boats collecting their traps, kayakers, speeders, Navy ships, RCMP boats and the occasional boat attempting to skirt the buoy marker. This week there were whales jumping out of the water by Saturna Island. John was able to complete the metal stair railing. It took many months to find the right rails to match our deck rails but they look and work great. In the living room, I placed one of my masterpieces on the wall. I'm experimenting with acrylics and enjoying it.

Thanks for enjoying our home with us.
Judith Allen

The large copper horses fit perfectly over the fire place.
Polly's new home.
The Dinning Room.
The Living Room

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