Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Spring is HERE!

The past five days have been gloriously beautiful! Until last Friday, it was still freezing and raining every day.  I don't think we had seen the sun in a few weeks.  I had mentally prepared myself for a long winter until at least April, so when the sun came out at the end of last week and the temperatures rose to nearly 60 degrees F, it was the best surprise!

I think the entire city has spent every minute of daylight outside, including us, just soaking up the sunlight and warmth. The ice cream shops which are on every corner (sometimes 2 per corner!) have all opened and the cafes have filled the sidewalks and plazas with tables.  It's lovely.

Brandtley found this spot on our front patio railing in direct sunlight

The kids and I took advantage of the weather this weekend with a picnic on Saturday along with a long afternoon at the playground then a walk along the Rhine. Sunday was spent wandering through an outdoor antique/flea market then they rode scooters around the park-like area in front of our house while I watched from a bench.

Picnicking with chocolate mousse

The playgrounds were packed

People grilling out in the green spaces in front of the university, overlooking the Rhine (behind me)

We found this little biergarten overlooking the Rhine and there's a gravel/dirt yard for playing a game that looked similar to bocce ball. You may not be able to see the silver balls on the ground in this picture, but there were at least 4 games being held on Saturday, one of which Brandtley excitedly ruined when he ran into their game to pick up a ball!

On our walk along the Rhine

 Metal swords at the flea market. These did not come home with us!

Yesterday, we went to OBI (the German equivalent of Home Depot) and purchased some window boxes to hang on our balcony and scoped out some patio furniture.  I also may have impulse-purchased two citrus fruit trees....with my brown thumb and the fact that we live in northern Europe, I'm not optimistic that they will live until next year, but we can enjoy kumquats and lemons from our backyard for the next few weeks at least!  Can citrus trees survive in Germany???

Our little balcony off of the kitchen. I plan to put a few chairs & a cafe table out here soon. And the kumquat tree will be moved to a sunnier area of the yard.

Now I need to figure out what to do with the rest of the yard...It definitely needs a little TLC but I've found that someone previously planted a number of great plants including rosemary, sage, several other herbs and a number of flowering plants. I might put a larger table down there too for outdoor dining.  
Our backyard. Everything here except the swing was left by the prior tenants. 

It might also be nice to have some sort of seating in the front garden too.  Our landlord mentioned that it's ours to do with what we want, and that we could put a table out front if we wanted, but I'm not sure yet what we will put there.

Our front loggia overlooking the front garden. Also known as Brandtley's spot in the sun. 
 I feel like it might look weird to leave chairs out here, but it would be a really nice place to sit in the evenings with a view of the green space in front of the house where kids & dogs play in the afternoons.

Our front garden. The vines over the front gate are roses and are just starting to turn green. Do I need to prune these????

Also the front garden, where we could put a table. Our front loggia is on the left and the bikes are usually stored underneath.

Please tell me what to do with this space! If this is my responsibility to keep up with, then it might be overgrown within a few months... 

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