Saturday, July 26, 2014

The view from here

One of the things that I have loved here in Oregon is my yard.  I had lots of reasons to be really worried about my yard--we had a nice big lot in NC that provided us with lots of green and lots of privacy and I liked both of those things.  As we looked at houses here we realized that while most houses had a lot of green, few houses actually had privacy.  In fact we were horrified to hear that new homes in our part of Oregon are being built with 14-15 homes/acre!

But back to our yard.  Most of the homes that we had looked at had other homes right behind them.  One home had the high school right behind it...I was not sure that was a good trade off.  But our house is in a relatively unusual setting.  It has a much older home behind it, one that sits on 1.1 acres instead of the 1/5-1/6 acre that is the norm for our neighborhood.  Not only does this property have tons of trees that are right behind our fence, but the house itself is on the other side of our neighbor's house!

The north side of our backyard borders another piece of property for 15 or so feet and we can see that house from our yard, especially when the leaves are off of the deciduous trees in the winter.  We are hoping that operation bamboo will address this issue in coming years, because I really like the feeling of not having anything/anyone back there.  Russ and I love to sit out on the deck and read or chat and enjoy the hummingbirds and flowers and feel like we're almost alone in the world.

PS--we changed out the sprinkler heads in the back of the yard so that they would spray in a whole circle instead of just getting the grass.  This will make it possible for us to grow more flowers back there which is of course my plan.  Flowers, flowers, flowers.  But one thing we didn't expect is that now we have a permanent watermark on the fence.  It's not too attractive, but I tell myself that as the clematis grow they will cover much of it, and hopefully we will have other tallish flowers that will cover the rest.  It's certainly worth it to keep those flowers alive!


  1. 15 homes per acre...breathing into a paper bag...

    1. Erin that was TOTALLY my reaction when I heard that. There are valid reasons for this. The Portland metro area has 2.2 million people, and I'd bet that the 1.7 of those that are on the Oregon side of the river are living in a much more condensed geographical area than 1.7 million would in most other places. The benefit of this is that everyone is closer to the wild and there are still farm all around us instead of the kind of urban sprawl you see somewhere like Salt Lake Valley/Utah Valley.

      That being said, when someone told me "I could never live that way" I wanted to slap them. Because sometimes you don't have a choice. Which is when this backyard feels like a miracle, you know?

  2. The phrase "I could never..." irritates the fire out of me anyway. I want to tell people, yes, you could if you had to, and it would be up to you whether you'd enjoy it. What you really mean is, I WOULD never, but that sounds harsh to say to somebody's face, so you make it sound like sort of veiled praise. So, because I could never, it must mean that you're stronger/smarter/more able than me, and that's a compliment, right? Nope. It really just sounds like what it is, which is saying, wow, strange life choice, strange person. We sure don't agree on THAT point.

    Can you tell I've heard that phrase a time or two? :)

  3. And the backyard is wonderful. I love the picture of all the trees. Trees make all the difference, I'm discovering.