Getting Started

Buying a house generally involves incredible amounts of indecipherable paperwork,
 inspectors crawling around attic spaces mumbling things like "hum, wow, oh man what is that?, 
a few sleepless nights saying to yourself "what are we thinking?" 
and the usual long weekend of cleaning gross looking stuff in corners 
and behind toilets that you wish/hope/pray 
you won't ever have to look at again
Large boxes of "stuff" that you forgot to label magically appear and then multiply as you search in vain for a spot to put them 
and if your like me, you wonder why you have 5!  yes 5..... 50 foot extension cords 
and enough half empty cans of WD 40 to lubricate a battleship
 but the reality is really about just getting started....taking a deep yoga breath and reminding yourself it's all good 
and all you need is a few days to get re-focused

So I planted a pot with geraniums (the lazy gardener stuff which I happen to love)
and then I got started getting started...cause you have to start somewhere right?!

There are very few plants that we want to salvage here, so the first order of business is removing old spent shrubs, double digging, adding amendments and trying to figure out why 
every sprinkler head in the yard is either broken 
or manages to miss the planters and water the rocks.

After two days of digging I still haven't seen an earthworm..... not one!  Even the bluejays seem a little pissed off by the lack of worms.  
The jays are eating overripe berries and squawking like tired hungry children at a theme park so I'm hopeful that we can entice some worms into these planters STAT
Anyway...the sun is out and the thought of getting a blister on my hand sounds pretty darn wonderful after not setting foot in a garden for two months
 The grass is pretty much spent...a victim of bad soil and watering problems.  
Some areas are covered with moss and others are like the bottom of a dry lake bed.  
But I really like so many of the elements in this yard especially the tall hedges and stone terraces
 "the plan" is still in question but I think we want 
a small vegetable garden 
a spot for a pretty water feature
and definitely flowers

If you have water, flowers and trees
you will eventually have the rest of mother nature's friends
birds, worms and insects 
and the occasional skunk 
 I also want to focus the garden plan on the old stone foundation walls,
keeping the plantings simple and the color palate bright

 The white walls of the old stucco 
are the perfect backdrop for roses, bougainvillea and lavenders and some of my favorite low growning little guys like catmint, thyme and lambs ear

  I'm thinking of using long low white walls and garden rooms 
with gates and arches 
to divide the yard into various areas 
with different uses 

 the grass will probably be nonexistent
 but I really do like a little patch of grass 
and so does my dog...when she's not napping!

 We actually traded our huge Honda mower for a manual lawn mower that requires no gas.  
In fact all of the new tools we have purchased are powered by lithium batteries or 
just plain old un-modern sweat and muscles

 Speaking of garden tools...many of mine are rather unconventional and I usually buy them based on my size and how well they will work for a particular job.
I have a few favorites and find a lot of them here...
including the steel edger above made in Holland by a company called Sneeboer
and another really handy tool called a spork

I'm sure I have mentioned the bright tub trugs too (below)
which you can find everywhere now and have a million and one uses
and are an essential item, at least for me, in the garden

 the sun is setting so time to call it quits...just for now!
  thanks so much for stopping by...and please remember:


  1. It was so fun to see your outdoor areas! There are many lovely spots in your yard. It looks like you will be working off a few calories out there ;)

    1. hi Susan yes thank you! lots of work but it helps with the ice cream ; 0)

  2. Looking good already, Kelley! Love your energy and spunk. So excited you have a new project! :)

  3. Looks like your yard has some great bones. We're getting ready to start completely over, filling in an old, cracked pool that takes our entire backyard up so I sure wish we had a few stone walls or lush green hedges. oh well, like you said. Yoga breath. And one day at a time.

    1. wow you have it all going on! xo and great thoughts on your project K

  4. Oh Kelly, thank you for the tour of the beautiful property. Love all your ideas and I can't wait to watch the garden grow!
    Hint, use the WD40 to clean your stainless steel appliances! I've tried everything and stumbled upon that suggestion. I keep a can in my cleaning basket!

  5. Looking forward to seeing your garden grow! And will you keep us posted on what I am sure will be a fantastic indoors as well? Love your creativity, and inspirational projects. Have a good day.

  6. Your new home is so enchanting and once given some outdoor beauty by your capable hand, will be wonderful!
    Have fun.

  7. That garden has great bones! You will have it looking fabulous in no time!
    As far as tools- I told my husband I wanted a hori hori for Valentine's day, and he said that he was not buying a (gardening) knife for his wife for Valentine's Day. Ha Ha. Obviously he is not a gardener. I did get a gift certificate, however, and promptly bought 3 David Austin roses.
    Enjoy digging in the dirt!

  8. Excited to watch your journey in your new home. It has such character and I know it will be nothing short of amazing when you complete your renovating. Thanks for sharing. ~ Peggy

  9. I'm so happy to go along with you on another house and garden renovation. This will be exciting.

  10. I'm so curious as to what area of SB your darling house is in.

  11. Gorgeous - love following this!

  12. You are just the person to bring the best out of pretty already. That sky!

  13. I can picture the finished result in my mind--the warm colors of bougainvillea draped over the old stucco walls, the water feature splashing quietly in the corner, waking to birdsong each morning. Lovely!

  14. I'm so looking forward to watching you redo this home since it is of similar age of my own home. The first thing I would have done was plant a pot of geraniums too. I can't wait to see what color you go with instead of that super bright blue around the windows.

  15. Oh boy! Sounds like there is going to be a lot of soil amending going on!! I love all of your ideas and love those walls! Can't wait to see the progress!!


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