We Have a New Patio! Plus Some Tree News
For the last seven years or so, we have not had a patio. The old patio disappeared when we rebuilt an expanded back porch.
Since then, we’ve been keeping our limited collection of outdoor furniture on the grass. This had several disadvantages.
- First, heavier members of our family (I mention no names) would find themselves suddenly sinking towards the ground with one or more chair legs if the soil was nice and soft after a rain.
- Certain other members of our family who are more easily spooked by insects would frequently be bothered by the sensation of something crawling up from the grass onto her leg.
- I had to rotate the position of the table or the grass underneath would die.
So we hired a contractor to put in a circular patio made of brick-like pavers. I considered trying to build it myself, but I realized I had neither the time, the tools, nor necessarily the know-how. So we went with a contractor, despite the damage to my DIY cred.
This past week the contractor showed up and got the job done in one day. And it’s pretty nice. We’re quite pleased with it.
As a bonus, the flower bed needs to be brought out to the southeast edge of the patio. Which means I can get more plants!
Plus, the patio provides a context within which buying some White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) does not seem extravagant. White Trillium costs about $12 each if you buy four or more from Prairie Nursery. Without the proper context, this seems like too much. However, if I consider the Trillium as part of the cost of the patio, it seems like a much less significant expense.
On a completely different front, the Evanston forestry crew has taken down the dying Maple (species unknown) in the parkway in front of the Left Bank. I knew this was going to happen, as this tree sported just a handful of leaves and was dropping branches. Still, I was taken aback to arrive home one day and find it gone.
I was talking to the new neighbors who live west of us, and we all agreed we wouldn’t mind if the City refrained from replacing this tree. First of all, it’s really too close to a street lamp, and blocks much of the lamplight during the warmer seasons.
Also, without a replacement tree this part of the parkway would be quite sunny and a good spot for a garden. I can imagine it full of Prairie Smoke (Geum trifolium), Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata).
Maybe I’ll write the Evanston Forestry Department and let them know we don’t want a replacement tree. (The parkway belongs to the City, and the City plants the parkway trees.) Their hands are full anyway coping with all the dying Ash trees. At this point there’s up to a two-year delay for new parkway trees.
What would you do?