Monthly Archive for February, 2008

East Side Fence Project Completion – or close enough

East Side Fence View - #2I never posted the final look at the fence we installed on the east side of our property.  So here it is.

We finished installing all the custom pieces finally in late September.  Cutting down the panels wasn’t as hard as I thought.  The most difficult piece was putting together the blind post to support the last panel at the end of the run.  The back fence of our property was replaced fairly recently.  Due to that I didn’t want to mess that fence up trying to attach this new section.  So I had to put together a post for the middle of one section of that fence.

I cut down a 4×4 pressure treated post into three sections.  I had to fit them into the bottom (partially below grade), middle, and top.  After I had those fit into place, I then used another full length pressure treated 2×4 to tie it all together and shim out to where the new fence panel would stop.  All said I think it turned out OK and made for a solid structure, though not optimal.  Chris helped me attached the panel and get it level and such and then we were done, except for the gate. 

 As I had posted previously we want a special garden gate to make it more than just a utility entrance to our garden.   Well we didn’t have time to build that prior to going to the Craftsman Weekend and wanted the fence to be complete and secure the property for our trip.  So we built a temporary that’s turning into a more than temporary.  However I have bought the select wood (at $400 – ouch) for the gate.  Perhaps with rainy weekends we’re having now I’ll work in the garage to get it built.  More to come on that.

So we were able to go down to So-Cal and enjoy a few days mingling and getting to know other Craftsman enthusiasts without much thought to having security issues back home thanks to the fence and the new uber-security alarm.

When we got back from the Craftsman Weekend we stained the fence using Penofin.  We used the same stain on the deck to bring the two together, called Transparent Redwood.  In staining the fence we also applied stain to the pressure treated posts as well.  This dulled the typical green color and made them more rosy.

After the fence had cured we went to Mid-City Nursery in American Canyon and bought the landscaping plants.   Julie helped us pick out a great selection of plans that were hardy, low water usage, and low maintenance.  We chose Pyrocathia, maroon grass, and a small bush with red leaves.

The next fence project was the west side of the property.  Post coming on that soon.

 Here’s some pics:

East Side Fence - Picture #3 – Japanese Magnolia

East Side Fence - Pic 1 – Closeup of fence with gate and landscaping.

Interesting Essay in SF Chronicle

Casa De Kitty from Inspection DocYesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle Home and Garden section had a great essay (article? editorial? ) about what happens after a neighbor dies and life goes on for the neighboring families left behind.   In the essay, the writer, Lesley Quinn, really brought the reader to the house where “Lilly” used to live. 

In reading the article, I see where Chris and I are in the shoes of the new family moving into Lilly’s house and starting our own life together.  We happen to know that prior to the event that brought the house into our possession, an English lady named Lilly used to live in our house.   From talking with neighbors, we know she died of cancer sometime before the house was sold. 

The parallels to the “Lilly” in the essay aren’t dead-on, but close.   Our Lilly used to love to work with the roses in the garden and all the neighbors have commented on how beautiful they looked when she was alive.  View of Casa De Kitty from the web before we bought it.While pruning and weeding the roses in the front yard this past weekend, many neighbors stopped by and said hello and commented on how nice things were looking.  They also said they hoped to see the roses come back to their former glory.   So do I.

To the right and above are some photos taken of CDK prior to our obtaining it that show some of the more than 50 rose bushes on the grounds. 

Here’s a link to the essay –

Happy Thursday

Japanese Magnolia Blooms

I realize it’s been a while, but here’s a post for a breath of spring. . . .

The grand 70+ year old Japanese Magnolia tree here at Casa de Kitty has blossomed. In Vallejo, I’ve seen a few of the trees, but none as large. The tree is a real beauty, and one of the biggest I’ve ever seen. I didn’t get pics of it when they were the only thing on the tree, but here’s a few.

CDK Japanese Magnolia Tree Blooming
CDK Japanese Magnolia

Here’s a view of the tree in full leave during the summer. As you can see it’s a pretty big tree, and takes up over 1/2 the side of the house.
  Japanese Magnolia in Full Leaf  

Japanese Magnolias In Bloom

Japanese Magnolias
  in Bloom

2/22/2008 – Just a note to say that I’ve placed the magnolia photo above and some others on my ShutterFly site for purchase – see link below.