Sunday, January 04, 2009

Beauty is where you Make it

You've heard the saying "Beauty is where you find it?" Well, sometimes its no where to be found. In that case, it's where you make it, or in my case, where I had it made. Check out the first few photos below. They show a progression of the back of my yard.

I don't have a "back yard" per se, instead, its more of a "side yard," but bit by bit, I've made it somewhat beautiful. Look at the pics showing the current state of the back side of my side yard and you be the judge.

I posted this pic before. It shows the beginning stages of my porch. Notice the dusty muddy dirt. It definitely wasn't someplace you'd want to hang out. In a word, "Yuck."
That's Eddy pointing instructions to his boys on what to do next. That little building behind them at the time was a utility room used for storage, washing clothes, food preparation and other such unsightly (or smelly) household chores. Now, that building is my bedroom, the room in which I now type this post.
This spot is completely unrecognizable from the way it looks now. Where he's squatting is now covered by a large rock garden. Most of that dusty grassless area is now covered in growing things.

This shot shows the completed porch and nearly completed tower. Notice the little banana tree against the far fence. It was there only temporarily until I could transplant it directly in the middle of the tower base. This was taken only about 6 months ago; the banana tree is now about 4 or 5 times the size it is in this photo.
Here's the same banana today. Every ten days or so, a giant new leaf seems to spring out of no where. I love the sight of it. There's something about a banana tree that makes one think "tropical paradise," and that's exactly what I've created in my yard.

That's another shot of the banana looking down from the second level of the tower into the corner of the yard. On this spot I manufactured a natural looking landscape feature that I call my "sunken rock garden."

Here's the sunken garden from almost the same aspect as the photo above. Doesn't look at all like the same spot.

The sunken rock garden a few days after we finished it.

A close up of the sunken feature. Also shown above are the walking step stones that allow access to the top side. The idea is to make it look as "natural" as possible. Once all the plants and vines grew out, natural is pretty much what I got.

My sweety sitting in front of the sunken garden enjoying the shade, the restful peace and quiet, and especially the view. Of course, when she sits there she becomes part of the view, a special part for me. grin.

I like this shot because it shows the backside of the yard just before we began the rock garden landscaping.

This shows almost the same scene as above, only after the landscaping has completely changed it. For the better don't you think?

Now, its a place where we can just hang out, enjoy the view, and simply relax.
This was taken from the bench against the back wall and the sunken garden.

Another shot from the bench, only looking forward toward the street. Notice how the raised rock features and matured foliage now provide a "green screen" from people who might try to look into the yard. From the bench, you can see them but they cannot see you.

We added the step stones to give us a place to walk while we water our precious "beauties"growing amongst the rocks. My nephew got all these rocks from the nearby Abacan River bed in his trusty trike. He was able to get 15 or 20 good sized rocks per trip. He ended up making 5 or 6 trips before we had enough to finish what you see here.

See the little banana tree in the foreground? It came up as a secondary shoot from its mama, the one we planted in the center of the tower base.
I think I mostly accomplished my original goal with this ongoing project, to be able to see natural beauty no matter where one's gaze settles. So far so good, but there's always something else that comes to mind to make it that much better. I think I got that side of me from my old man. He also never stopped having ideas for new improvement projects up his sleeve.


Anonymous said...

Is that bromeliad and ginger, too?

Phil, that is just gorgeous. You created so much more living space for yourself out of dirt and rock.


Just phenomenal.

going to bed.


Amadeo said...


I typically would call this your Fortress of Solitude.

Remember Superman?

And you are lucky to have one. A place away from the madding crowd.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Pretty much. My motto is "the crowd is not allowed."

Ed said...

Outstanding work Phil! Your yard is a thing of beauty.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Thanks... and as I said, its ongoing. The aviary is next!