Category Archives: secret gardens

Enclosed Cliffside Patio- before & after

Here’s some fun before & afters to look at. I won’t bore you with words- as they say, ” A picture’s worth…”

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Filed under jobs, Montara, secret gardens

Building a Dry Stack Stone Wall

Here’s proof that I don’t make others do all the labor! I actually really love building small walls, paths, patios, etc. myself. This was a fun project for an intimate courtyard right off a master bedroom. I had fun tucking tiny Sedums into the nooks. One side of the fence surrounding this garden is glass, allowing for a breathtaking view of the ocean.

Once the plants grow in, I think this will look quite nice!

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Annual Garden Party- 2010

Every late May/early June I have a garden party to share with my friends and family the abundance of blooms in my garden. It’s so floriferous at that time of year that if would be just plain selfish of me not to share! I recently came across some pictures from last year’s bash- where we served the best mint juleps ever!- and thought I would belatedly share with y’all.

Here’s the delightful Josie, sniffing the Italian parsley:

Judy and Leslie enjoy a chat amongst the heady blooms of Rosas ‘Buff Beauty’, ‘Lilian Austin’ and ‘Tamora’:

Taking a break from the crowd,

Emily and John find a seat with Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’

in the midst of clouds of Nicotiana mutabilis and Penstemon ‘Garnet’ (among others!).

If they sit still enough, a hummingbird is bound to come by!

Peeking out from the bed of roses is Rosa ‘Fantin Latour’,

bordered by peppermint scented geranium (Pelargonium tomentosa), already-bloomed Bearded Iris and Nepeta fasanii ‘Six Hills Giant’.

They look like they’re enjoying the aromatherapy…

It was a perfect day

to wear a hat,

talk with friends,

sip a mint julep,

smell the flowers

and relax in the garden!

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Filed under food gardens, friends, me in the garden, personal, Roses, secret gardens

Finding Peace in your Garden

When you’re in your garden, do you feel peaceful? happy? at ease? inspired? possibly even invigorated? Or does being in, or thinking about, your garden bring up feelings of stress, anxiousness, guilt or avoidance for you?

These negative feelings can be caused by thinking that there’s so much to do that’s not getting done, or because you don’t like the way it looks- maybe it embarrasses you, or it simply doesn’t reflect your personality or sensibilities. I know at different times I’ve felt all of the above emotions in regard to my garden, though I’m lucky enough to have experienced the “good” emotions much more often because I’ve created an environment for myself that makes me happy on a very deep level.

Another reason I feel lucky is that I’ve had many opportunities to create such gratifying outdoor spaces for my clients. Since I only have one home (so far!) with a finite amount of garden, if my clients weren’t so accommodating, I would have to re-do my garden several times a year to be able to express this creative urge! So, because I’m one of the luckiest people in the world, I get to do what I LOVE- creating uniquely beautiful garden spaces for others- AND get paid for it! (Whoever thought of that was a genius.)

Getting some of these yummy good feelings from your own garden needn’t be a daunting task, if you don’t want it to be. Anything from reinventing your whole garden to carving out a small, secluded niche can deliver the goods. In fact, for many clients, I’ve drawn the garden of their dreams, to be ooh-ed and ahhh-ed and dreamed over until some future date when they could actually realize it. They’ve told me that even this- a drawing on a piece of paper- brought them a measure of peace and happiness.

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Filed under jobs, secret gardens, Uncategorized, woodside rd

Aaand Another…

See my last two posts to understand the title of this one. I’ll make it short, but I just wanted to show you what I did with all those gorgeous plants I bought in Moss Landing. The site has full ocean exposure (about a mile inland) and very windy. I mixed the succulents with other really tough plants like Juniper, Leucodendron, Carex, Mugo Pine and Phormium. All the pots have drip irrigation and should do quite well. *crosses fingers*

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Filed under jobs, potted gardens, secret gardens, succulents

Jeff’s Chair

When I got married last September, my new husband moved into our 800 sq. ft. cottage that was already bursting with the bodies, belongings and energy of three females. He’s managed to shoe horn some of his furniture, knick-knacks and all of his clothing into this home, but I think he still feels like he doesn’t have many places that are just HIS.

Except for one.

He selected and bought this sweet blue chair at the Alameda Antiques Fair and has placed it in the sunniest spot in the garden. I can often find him in the afternoon, sitting here- his feet up on a small bench- reading or snoozing.

Sunny Sitting Spot

Completely surrounding his chair, starting with right in front and moving clock-wise, are Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’, ‘Madame Hardy’, ‘Graham Thomas'(on the fence), ‘Tamora’, ‘William Shakespeare’ and ‘Pat Austen’. I fear that in a month or so he won’t be able to find his chair , let alone sit in it!

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Filed under me in the garden, Roses, secret gardens, Uncategorized

Filoli- Spring 2010

I took my daughters to visit the gardens at Filoli last week. The place never fails to inspire and uplift me. Even my 16 year old said, “We should come here more often. I love it here!”

Nothing says spring quite like these blushing apple blossoms!

It was my younger daughter, though, that wanted to be in all the pictures!

Looks like she likes Tulips!

I’ll leave you with these two last shots- one of some sweet pansies in a mossy antique pot:

…and this is a beautiful Camperdown Elm- just coming into bloom. 

Go to Filoli and see for yourself!

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Filed under garden tours, me in the garden, potted gardens, secret gardens, Uncategorized