Thinking about spring

We were iced in on Friday and snowed in today. Not nearly as much ice as last January, but six inches or so of snow on top of a sheet of ice. Enough that work and school were closed, but not so much that the internet was permanently closed. Naturally, my thoughts turned to spring. We have a cinder block wall between us and our neighbors to the north. When they built it, our neighbors intended to stucco and paint it yellow (like their house). Instead, they put their house on the market, leaving us a cinder block wall along our driveway.

Pecan tree and cinder block wall Neighbor's yellow stucco front

I don’t have a ‘good’ picture of the wall (or the neighbors’ house) since it is not photogenic and I am snowed in at the top of the Hill. And I haven’t replaced my broken camera card. The wall photo is from January a year ago, after the ice storm. It’s a monolithic wall, maybe a foot off our driveway at the nearest point. The neighbors’ house is from Fall 2007. It’s really a picture of our house, but theirs snuck in. The yellow would be brighter except that it’s picked up some dirt over time.

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Last spring, Mother and I took a landscape design class from Renee Reed. She came out to look at my yard, and suggested that I could pick up an orange or similar color from the limestone foundation to paint the cinder block wall. (Since the house is built on a hill, a good bit of that side’s foundation is exposed.) It hadn’t occurred to me that we could paint the wall, but it is on our side of the property line and facing our house. At the time, orange seemed a bit extreme, but I’ve been getting used to the idea.

I should probably start with a base coat, and deal with dressing it up later. There’s a auto shop down on School Street that has a pinkish-reddish stucco that is close to the color I have in mind. I have a handful of paint chips that I’ll try matching sometime when I have a minute in daylight. I plan to plant fig trees to take advantage of the southern exposure, and am thinking about stenciling a view between or behind them.

I have been collecting pictures to help me remember what I want.

Terra Cotta GardenWeb Wall Painted Concrete Block Wall Mural

I can’t get previews from this site, but I like the garden view through a stone wall and the lion fountain. The sandstone wall might be a good match for our foundation. Or I could splurge and get the courtyard mural. Which I might never finish. Or hate. Not even sure if stencil paints will work outside. Maybe with a good sealer.

Here’s a stone wall stencil with foliage. With the right colors, it could look like our other foundation rock. (Another picture that I happened to have in inventory. This one was mostly to convey graphically all the electric meters we had.) I should probably stick with the sandstone wall stencil that you can’t see without clicking through. As you can almost see, our foundation is typically less random than this stencil.

Stone Wall Stencil Limestone foundation (also old electric mess)

I could stencil a French window with a view like this onto the wall, although Don seems to think this might be the snowstorm talking. Or I could make a lattice arch with a view since I am thinking about espaliering my figs. (Some other fence and gate options, including bamboo and twig.)

French Window with a View Lattice Arch

I could even put in some tropical plants while waiting for my real ones to grow. Or this lion fountain while waiting for a real fountain to grow.

Chinese Parlor Lemon Tree lion-fountain2

I guess I’ll wait until the snow melts, the ice thaws, and we get moved into the house before deciding.

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