Lookin’ out my back door…

I complain a lot in this blog about the limited space and growing conditions I have. It’s largely a reaction to having moved from a house with a yard into a condominium.

Of course, we’ve been here for 18 years, you’d think I’d be over it by now.

It could be worse. Our condo is a two-story unit that’s basically a townhouse. However, next door to us, the upstairs and downstairs are separate units. The woman in the upstairs condo has no access at all to the back yard – not even a balcony. She might as well be living in an apartment. I have to remind myself that many people prefer living that way. They are attracted to condos because they don’t have to worry about building or yard maintenance.

Sitting on our patio, I have to admit that, despite its small size, it’s a very appealing space. The trees and bushes have been growing for a number of years and are lush and green. Despite the preceding three years of near-record drought, it looks cool and green back here, even in the increasing heat of our summer.


In the upper center of the photograph, you can see the trunk of a redbud tree, to the left is a redtip (photinia) that is taller than the redbud. Together, these two are the immediate causes of the lack of sunlight in the yard. I say ‘immediate’ because beyond them is the row of condos parallel to ours. If the trees were not there, we would only get another hour of sunlight before the shadow of the building cut it off. (BTW, if you look closely at the picture, you can see a chipmunk climbing the pole to get at the bird feeders. I suppose I should do something about him, but he’s so darn cute!)

Below the redbud and redtip, there is a retaining wall made of railroad ties that stands about shoulder high and acts as a rustic backdrop to the yard. In front of the wall are azaleas flanking our hydrangea. Out of the frame to the left is a bed of siberian irises (in serious need of dividing, my wife reminds me).

To the right is a nice vista of grass and trees as the land slopes downhill between the rows of units.

Even with all my complaining, even with the limited space and growing conditions, I have to admit that it is a beautiful place.

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