A blog about the restoration, remodel and renovation of a 1929 Chicago-style brick bungalow

Summer Growth

Well, I wish I could say that we’ve been away on a fabulous vacation, but alas, no such luck. I’ve just been too busy with work to post anything. That, and we haven’t done all that much around the bungalow.

I do have some new things to report, however, so I’ll get to those as soon as I can.

Now we’re already past Labor Day and summer will soon be fading, so I thought I would take a look back at where we started on Memorial Day and see how things have changed in our garden.

Remember these two sticks? These are the Smooth Sumac trees we bought in early May to give our patio a little privacy.


Similar view as of yesterday. What a difference three months have made!


It’s a little frightening to see how quickly they’ve grown. They are both shooting up new suckers, which will add to the thicket effect that I was trying to achieve. These smooth sumacs will reach a mature height of 12 feet, as opposed to the 30-foot height of Staghorn sumac, so I still think we made a good choice with these.

Moving to the back of the house, the first things we planted were the Arbs and Dogs, and the Elderberry in front of the garage.


It looks like the Arborvitae have only grown a few inches, but the dogwood have definitely grown quickly. The elderberry is the most dramatic of all, and is covering up the expanse of vinyl siding quite nicely, both in width and height. It should grow up to 12-feet tall and 12-feet wide.


With the addition of the Adirondack chairs, a Father’s Day present for Pete, and our Giant Bubbling Urn, this area has been a very peaceful area for reading and relaxing.

Finally, our patio as it looked in late April.

And as of yesterday. What a huge transformation this has been for our yard as well as our style of living! We have gotten a ton of use out of it — from breakfast to dinner and for entertaining — and we plan to use it well into fall with our fire pagoda to help keep us warm.


Of course, the best impulse purchase of the season was the solar lights, which Pete could not stop giving me shit about buying — that is until they saved the day when we lost power.


We’ve done very little work outdoors over the past month, however I finally sowed some seed a couple weeks ago in one part of the prairie garden. No sign of growth yet despite frequent watering. If they don’t sprout, I still have plenty of seed — there’s always next spring. A few of the seeds I purchased are supposed to be planted in the fall, so over the next month when the temperatures have started to drop I’ll plant those.

Hopefully I’ll have some time over the next few days to catch you up on other happenings around the house. Thanks for checking in!


  1. Bonnie on September 4, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    What a nice recap! You did a lot in a short time. Congratulations, it looks great.

  2. Renate on November 29, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Looking forward to being invited to try out the fire pagoda sometime. 🙂

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