The Great Outdoors

I thought I would show a few pictures about the way the plants in our central courtyard have taken off since everything was planted on February 25. Two and a half months!

The new plantings back in February:

And here is a similar shot now:

The elephant ears are going crazy. The leaves are around 20 inches across!

The backyard has started its transformation, too. Here's a picture from before we moved in - overgrown hibiscus and bougainvilla. The yard seemed narrow because the hibiscus and bougainvilla jutted out half way across and you had to stoop to get under them to sweep up their mess!

So we had the landscaping cleaned up, new plants in a few places, and the walls painted. Now we can see what we have! Sorry about the pasted together photo, the yard is long and thin. The picture enlarges if you click it.

Bamboo is now planted against the left wall. The hibiscus is now stumps, but they have lots of new growth. The bougainvilla is doing great and we're happy with how it is more architectural with the swooping trunks. The palm has been cleaned up beautifully.

We knew we wanted to live with it for a while once the plants were cleaned up so we could really get a feel for the space and how we might use it. The dogs need a place to "do their business" occasionally and we will use a barbeque once in a while. Do we want a pool? Hot (or cold) tub? We are trying to figure it out. We are thinking about gravel for part of it, anyway.

I cut this page out of a magazine a long time ago - but it might be a great way to get some shade out there. The cloth runs on wire so you can slide it up or down depending on your mood.

We are having fun thinking about all the potential here - and are hoping that some of our readers have ideas for us, too.


Jonna said...

I love how well your new plantings are doing. The elephant ears is amazing.

Here's some things I thought of when looking at the picture of the back.

-gravel and dog poop are a very bad combination, I've been there.

-I love the shade cloth on wires, that is a really good idea.

- does it really get cold enough in Maz to use a hot tub? Maybe, I don't know.

-what about a plunge pool, lots of those here in Merida. They can be fairly small (no lap swimming) with underwater seats or a hammock over them, usually a waterfall as well so they function as a fountain/water feature that you can sit around in when it is hot. Built with pockets around them for flowering plants they are really gorgeous.

- I'm not going to have much open dirt for planting so I've been looking a lot at how you can create 'rooms' outside using large potted plants in groups as dividers and to create more interest in a large space.

Anyway, I'm sure it will turn out beautiful as I'm so impressed with what you've done with the house.

Beth said...

You guys are so fortunate! Everytime I see pictures of your place I feel envious all over!

I loved the idea of having shades on wires - that's an ingenious way of not only adding some decorative touches, but beating the sun as well.

I can't wait to see what you decide on!

p.s. I agree about the gravel and dog poop.. not a good mix. :)

Brenda said...

Looks great. I too, agree on the gravel poop thing.
The shade canopy on wires looks like a good idea, there when you want it in the summer, gone when you don't in the wintertime.
Jonnas plunge pool idea sounds ideal.

heatherinparadise said...

That canopy/wire/grommet thing is genius, and I've filed it for the distant time I'll ever have a home of my own.

The Elephant Ears plants, well, they're gorgeous, as are all the others against that yellow wall.

Your home looks so inviting, it must feel so good to live there.

Gary Denness said...

I want to call you a rude name! 2 and a half months? I've been trying to grow a couple of bourgainvilla in my little yard for 2 and a half years, and it's going at no more than 6 inches a year. For the good plant. The other has shrunk... :(

1st Mate said...

I'm going to have to show the Capt your shade idea. Having gravel in front of my house, and two dogs, I can attest to the fact they aren't a good combination. And my guess is that unless you have a way to keep a pool cool, during the hottest months the water may be like getting into a tepid hot tub anyway, even under the shadecloth. Not very refreshing.