Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Busy in the garden of life

Sorry I have not been about as much as I'd like to be but life is keeping me very busy at the moment.

You may remember we bought a house about 18 months ago. At the time I was super busy with my miniatures and didn't have time to do much of the work that was needed.

The beginning of this year I decided I had to concentrate on one thing or another as trying to do both just wasn't working out.

I have been making some minis but have kept it to commissions only and  where people were in no rush. As it turns out I am making a lot of minis that will be presents for next Christmas so I can't even show any photos lest I ruin the surprise for the recipient...many of whom are blog readers.

So, rather than vanish completely I thought I'd share my current project...the garden. This isn't something that will be finished quickly but it has come a long way already in the last week or so.

We have a large area  at the back that I wasn't sure what to do with. Living in California I am very careful about wasting water ....even though the City isn't grrr. So I didn't want grass like most of the neighbors. We have no kids or animals that might want to play on grass and with the water it takes to maintain I just couldn't justify it. But I didn't know what to do..... until I saw these photos.

That was it...I now knew what I wanted. All I had to do was find the right stone. After many, many trips to stone merchants I found it. This was actually really fun. I love rock and could happily spend a day in one of these places just admiring the rock. And it seemed so reasonable...I started looking at some that was about 70c a lb. Until I realized I needed 16,000 lb of it lol.

So the garden was cleared...boy was it a mess but it got sorted. This is what we started with.....

And this is how we were looking after the jungle was cleared.

And look what amazing treasures were buried amongst this lot....

Yup those are grapes and limes....lots of limes actually lol. And teeny rosebushes pushing up from the ground. And gorgeous circles or roses.

This plant I believe is a Lady Banks rose. It has white flowers and no thorns.  Amazingly all of this plant comes from one small trunk ! I cut it right back and attached to to the fence...hopefully form here on I can train it better to cover the fence.

Then the rock came....all 5 pallets of it lol. And we got started on laying it. This isn't that easy. Aside from it being physically hard, and it was 88 degrees out,  it is like a huge jigsaw with 5 pallets of pieces. I'd put one down then find a better one. Then decide to remove another and replace it. This is as far as 3 of us ...2 of them professionals...got on Saturday.

I have the help of a wonderful gardener but I am not the kind of person who will stand by and just supervise because I am paying them. Nope not me...makes me feel far too guilty and I have to help.

So this is where we are at currently. We'll attack it again this weekend. Aside from laying the rest of the stone, there will be a pond built just in front of the shed and to the side of the shed will be some kind of arbor with a gate. Something to trail roses over and kind of make a secret garden effect.

Then I have to think about plants....that is the hard part lol. I will be trying to recreate an English style cottage garden in California...hmmm.

And, if that wasn't enough to do I started tackling the room that will become a library yesterday and removed all the chair rail ....now to learn how  to plaster lol.