Thursday, September 1, 2011

Finished! ... er, all but the plants, that is

After what seems like an eternity, Longview Ranch's makeover is finally complete: new patio poured, new patio roof structure built, roof torn off and new roof applied, and new paint everywhere.

I get happier with the results every day.

Remember the gorgeous aqua (below) I wanted to paint the house?

Well, we finally compromised on a color that is a teeny bit greener and a little bit grayer, but still satisfies my need for that 1956 retro vibe. It's our own custom color, dubbed "Perfect Green" by the skilled mixer who helped us at Sherwin Williams. It's surprisingly difficult to capture the nuance of this color with my camera,  but trust me, it's great, and it plays well with the roman brick around the house.

The new white fascia boards provide much better contrast and all that bright, white paint everywhere looks clean and fresh.

Potted plants and furniture have found their way back onto the deck but the patio area was the last finished and it's still waiting for new furniture and more pots.

The triple columns (replacing an awkward, ugly steel pole) and the reworked lightwell with skylights are beautiful improvements.

Because of the anticipated work on the house we held off major re-planting of the vulnerable new back yard beds, and just a few plants now grace the patio.

As the rains return, I'll be gradually adding the plants that have been patiently waiting in the wings for their turn, many since this past spring.

After all our agonizing over color, I have to conclude that "Perfect Green" may not be the optimum background color for many of our plants. We have a lot of bright green and yellow-green leaves and I'll like it as a background color better when it's also backing deep green leaves like those of Podocarpus salignus, or Podocarpus macrophylla, my new must-have species for the protected patio.

For now, adding the final touch of 50s perfection to the front garden is a trio of new flamingos. As described by Loree in a recent blog post on danger garden, they're now in honor of Dulcy Mahar, Portland's late, beloved garden columnist and defender of their delightfully tacky whimsey.

And that's great company to be in.