I am a lover of horticulture, gardening and the environment. At age 8, I sent away for a package of Zinnia seeds for 10 cents and I've been hooked ever since. After 25 years of being self-employed, I retired. That only lasted 4 years and I now work in a water conservation program: I buy grass from homeowners who are willing to convert to desert landscaping and lose that thirsty green stuff. I pursue what interests me and you can blame my sister for getting me into this blogging thing.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I love a project

Nothing makes me happier than having a project. As if I can't think up enough on my own, I now have HGTV. It's very addicting. Everyday my husband says Oh no, not that again. But I love Curb Appeal, Designed to Sell, Designing for the Sexes, Designers you see a pattern here? I've been designing gardens for many years, I love my private space. Other people seem to like what I do and it's easy to get sucked into a project for someone else. I once worked on a guys yard for two years, my grandchildren call it the job that never ends. It was great fun, no budget and I got to do whatever I wanted.

Here are a couple of projects I did in my front yard, I had a seating wall and arched stone gateway built. Then I hired a couple of kids to help me. We put in a flagstone patio and path, lighting and lots of plants. My husband helped me build the trellis. It's redwood that I ripped on my table saw and screwed together with coated deck screws. I have a grape vine and a passion vine planted on it. When I landscaped the front, I wanted it to look like the edge of the desert. I had recently completed a botany class called Plants of the Southwest Deserts. I was in love with all the native species. Not many desert gardens looked good. Unfortunately, a lot of people plant a tree, spread gravel and drop a boulder on the yard and think they have a desert landscape. As a photographer, I notice things. I think Mother Nature is the best gardener. When I'm hiking, I will photograph natural settings that I think can be translated to the home landscape. I created rolling elevations and buried the boulders in my yard making them look as if they're erupting from the soil. Nearby plantings of native grasses or other plants give them a more natural look. My biggest turnoff is the alien boulders that dropped from outer space. I also like to create a transition from the public space to the private space. It only has to be a visual barrier, not a wall. Small plants planted in masses can create a big impact.

I never had any training in landscape design but I've bought a lot of books along the way and I guess you could say I'm self taught. The results look pretty good if I do say so myself. A lot of people stop to ask questions when I'm working in the yard. But it's all in the planning and the execution. Maintenance is a drag but part of the game. Make no mistake, a desert landscape is low water use but not low maintenance. The big payoff is the satisfaction I get when the plants mature and I see my vision become reality.


Blogger Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Your landscaping is beautiful and looks so natural. You have a very beautiful home...I like the arched entrance or gate in the first looks very private on this side of the doorway.

Your wall & stone walkway just add the right touch to your home. Upkeep is a problem with most gardens... those pesky weeds or overgrowing plants that take over. My main problem is that everything looks great at once, but I don't have anything to follow. Every year I tell myself that I have to plant more flowers to follow the first flowers but I don't. Around my fish pond (very tiny) I have just planted follage and it's fine. It's the blooming flowers that give me a problem.

I plant a few flowers, but I'm definately not what you would call a gardener and don't claim to be...But I do like to create private places in my yard. A favorite place to read a book quietly & another place to picnic. It was so easy to create these places when I lived in the woods...but now we are surrounded by neighbors and it's more difficult. But I try.

Your pictures were lovely and I enjoyed reading your post and thanks for sharing.

BTW there was another engineering joke before the birthday message. I sometimes post 2 or 3 things a day, if it's raining or cold out.

Thanks for leaving such nice comments on my posts. We bloggers do love our comments.

March 03, 2006 12:52 AM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

Wow, your house and garden look wonderful. Thanks for showing us these photos.

Thanks also for your support in your recent comment to my blog :)

March 03, 2006 4:33 AM  
Blogger Alipurr said...

You started talking about all the shows on HGTV, and I thought, Hey, we must be related! :). Oh, yeah, we are related. I am just getting started on my yard, and I agree that good landscaping requires lots of maintenance. Right now, with small children, I call my shady yard "naturalized," and I smile and laugh when I see what blooms each year, in spite of me.

March 03, 2006 4:51 AM  
Blogger Motherkitty said...

Yes, your yard looks great. But, folks, do you think a big enough bribe can be amassed to talk sister into coming to my house to help with my yard? I haven't been successful yet. Maybe one of these days when sister decides she is going to retire and comes see me.

March 03, 2006 6:08 AM  
Blogger bornfool said...

Very beautiful. It's so peaceful looking and serene. I see how you get your blog name.

March 03, 2006 6:27 AM  
Blogger Lillee said...

Wow. I love this blog. Great pictures!
I try to garden....somehow vision and reality don't always mesh!

March 04, 2006 1:38 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Absolutely beautiful! You have done a lovely job.

I love flowers and gardening and all that stuff!

March 04, 2006 4:31 PM  

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