I live for summer. If you know me and/or follow me on Instagram you know how true this is, as each day when the weather is decent I would head outside (on weekdays at about 6:30 am) and put out all the cushions outside, feed the birds, squirrels and chipmunks, get my cats and I settled in the greenhouse and I’d work out there all day, then go inside, make dinner, then hang out outside until the darkness settled in. I’m not sure who loved this routine more – me or the cats. Especially Lucky, the cat in the photo below. He was always at the door asking to go out in the backyard, which was cat-proofed so they could not leave the property. It melted my heart seeing how much he loved it out there. And when we had to let Lucky go on October 21st (the third of our cats we’ve said goodbye to since the pandemic) I was just so grateful he had the best summer of his life out there.
Since it’s been a while since I shared my backyard oasis I grabbed a bunch of my favourite photos from this past summer I had on my phone for an updated post, and as a tribute to Lucky. It won’t be the same back there without him 🙁
The greenhouse was the best project and investment we’ve made with this house. I’ve had to work from home since the first day of the pandemic and I spend all summer working out in the greenhouse. It also was the perfect spot to hang out on a rainy day, perfect in the evenings if it was a bit too cool to hang out outside, perfect if the mosquitos or wasps were relentless (it’s all screened in so no bugs get in) and a couple of times we even watched movies out there on a projector. The cats would sit at the greenhouse door asking to go in, and would nap in there for hours on the weekend while we puttered around the yard.
The yard was constantly crawling with critters. There were always at least 2 of our cats out there. The bird feeder was always jammed with a flock of about 25 house sparrows, Cardi B and Reginald – female and male cardinals – visited daily, near the end of summer I had 3 blue jays regularly show up and squawk at me to throw them peanuts, the bird bath was always jammed with birds drinking and bathing. Then there was Sherman, my sweet grey squirrel who visited for her third summer and loved to be hand fed, but unfortunately got sick or injured and passed away. There was a chipmunk named Scarface who would climb all over me looking for peanuts, and about 4 regularly visiting black squirrels one of whom now takes peanuts from my hand. It was truly a magical space and was essentially my own private zoo (there are some videos in this IG highlight of my interactions with them).
My husband had a great idea for our little pond as the fountain spout we had bought on Amazon was always clogging up. We had some leftover copper pipe from some plumbing work we had done in the basement so he made an L shape and drilled a bunch of holes in it. This really helps drown out city-living noise.
My handy husband also built me a modular sofa, which turned into Lucky’s favourite spot to lounge, and it even included steps for him to climb up easily (all of our cats who were allowed out in the backyard were geriatric age so we always made sure they had steps). After dinner that was where you would always find Lucky and I lounging.
I also completed a bunch of projects, like painting the ugly white garage (that husband built new doors for), the newly re-built front porch, and the back porch (the colour I used everywhere is Peppery by Behr), and finally landscaped the front yard which we had started completely redoing in the fall of 2019, and hopefully next spring the final touch of porch railings will happen.
And some remaining photos from around the backyard. Boy this is going to be a LONG winter!