Santa Barbara Garden Design

 Wow somehow the summer just got the best of me and the days zipped on by.  I realize I have pretty much been off the blogging grid for a few months but I needed a breather...
and honestly my creativity seemed to be on vacation ; ))

Blogging is time consuming and while it is a wonderful way to express yourself and share ideas
it can become really hard to squeeze it all in.
I realize I'm "preaching to the choir" here...!

I do share photos (randomly) on Instagram
just in case you like stuff about pretty much anything

We did get a few things done....the garden is about 75% with a few large projects left for after the holidays

Just to refresh, here is a quick before shot from around February 
 The lot is pie shaped and a little odd so we started off by creating a series
of landings and green garden rooms
The plantings will be drought tolerant and meadow like, with scented geraniums, lavender, grasses
and small dry creeks with succulents
 There will be a  large stone water feature in the center of the old lawn...this is a "no grass" garden
but still very green
We did our best to incorporate large rocks and existing hedges into the plan as well

throughout the property there are a series of small gated areas unified with white stucco, Monticeto and Santa Barbara stone, gravel and aged redwood

 The kitchen garden is at the very East end and gets lots of sun and heat.
We used stone quarried  here on the property to build the new raised beds,
it's a beautiful pale beige stone full of character

little veggies just getting started....this was a while ago

The garden doors are very simple redwood
and with rusted iron hardware
This is the new fountain and garden path. The walks are bordered because I like a clean break between the beds and the gravel.  The pathways are first graded and tamped and then a layer of filter fabric is stapled down to keep out weeds and finally topped with gravel

I planted tomatoes just in time 
at the very end of May
This is a bamboo staking method which I really liked and it looks interesting too
For the climbers and veggies that need support I used willow trellis structures. I took them apart and created a new supports with the addition of bare willow stakes and jute lashing

the supports are tied at the top with the rustic jute 

this little vegetable garden has tons of potential and I can't wait to add pots 
and some other interesting containers back here

Geraniums are a favorite in this climate and they look so pretty in these old concrete pots
The garden is full of bright pink and yellow with splashes of blue

I purchased some huge French Gresale pots and they are filled with flowers and succulents.
The dry creeks run throughout the garden randomly and were created free form with existing large boulders, rocks, beach pebbles and gravel

 succulents and flowers  tucked into the little cracks and spaces

This is the beginning of layout for new plants and you can see we have the fountain up and running and the pea gravel pathways finished.  I wanted some citrus 
so we have 4 lemon at each corner of the pathway
There is a nice little redwood deck which will eventually be surrounded by tall grasses and will "float" in the center of the plantings

I like the natural look of this garden and the maintenance will be really easy for the most part

This garden post is a bit odd for this time of year when we are all consumed with
Holiday shopping and decorating 
but oh well
there is always time to garden and winter is a wonderful time to be outside
bundled up with a big sweater and a favorite pair of jeans

We are slowly getting started on the inside of this old house, lots of projects, planning and creating.

but for now
take time to enjoy each day...especially the little things

xo kelley

They're back...those little red guys

This post title reads (oddly) those little red guys are back
like I was having a serious break out or perhaps a case of poison ivy
but fear reality I finally have tomato plants in my yard (again).  
Whew...tomato panic over : )

 Not sure what it is,  but a kitchen garden just isn't complete without these little red guys.....
the lowly and much maligned tomato plant.
The tomato plant can either be your crowning glory or the agony 
of your forever present brown thumb

which are you?

I often hesitate (even today) to purchase the little buggers at the grocery store. 
I'm spoiled. I've tasted tomato heaven...nirvana in a red suit. 
Yes my gardening gurus...we are equally appalled
and overjoyed by the often scary quantity of offspring 
a single plant will give and....
we are in love with all things tomato..ey

We sauce them and caprese salad them
We creatively arrange them on little toasts with basil fronds 

 And lets not forget the joy of knowing that their own them
you grew them 
and now you may eat them (all 4000 little cherries?)
 any which way you choose.

I had many, five to be exact,bumper crop tomato summers 
while we were living in Ojai
I've grown the best heirlooms, 
Cherokee, Black Krim, Green zebra
Yep... San Marzano, little yellow pears, 
The Mortage Lifter, Super Sauce, Sweet 1000, 
Early Girl and late Harvert.... the list goes on and on

 I've picked them green, gold, peach, red, orange,
 broken, split, oozing, buggy and just plain ugly
 and I have love and enjoyed each and every one.
Eating a tomato off the vine, mid summer, hot from the sun is one of 
God's great gifts.

The juice flows and the sweet taste is like none other. 

The serious gardener and the "wanna be" beginner and urbanite 
all rejoice in their first ripe tomato.
You've earned it kids!
 Eat your work!
 It will slay you

The tomato is a rite of gardening passage 

 Camera in hand I photographed them on the vine,
 in a bowl, on a pizza, in a basket, on the grass, 
in a  salad, on the porch....yes everywhere but in the bedroom

 They gave me the inspiration
 for some of the best dinners I've ever eaten
 Will you deny that they are not beautiful?
Yes they are and we love them

I have so missed the vegetable garden and my little red buddies 
and I finally have a nice spot in our new house.
 It's small and not perfect but...
I vowed I would get at least one tomato plant in the ground by June 1st 
and I actually got to plant 4!!!

wish me luck
eat your tomato's 

their good for you

carry on tomato gardeners