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.


  1. What a great idea! Your yard is going to be lovely and how lucky to have a lime tree.


  2. That back yard is going to be a stunning oasis! Its already so much better- that rose bush is going to love being trimmed up and probably will bloom tons because of it! Good to see you posting again!

  3. Thats one big yard to do Jayne, you have your work cut out but Im sure it will be fantastic once youve got there! Have fun!

  4. Your garden is going to be amazing! I really think you've made a good choice investing your time more in one thing at a time. Have fun and please post more pictures of the lovely garden :)

  5. Jayne, you've really worked hard clearing the Garden and now laying the Stone. You could plant some Thymes between the Stones, to give you the effect of Grass or even Calamine. Really need to sort out our Garden, the Ponies have eaten all my plants...xxxx

  6. wow Jayne- that is going to look amazing! You are going to have some muscles when you are done redoing that garden!

  7. Hi Victoria....I hope it will be lovely :-) The lime tree in fruit was a lovely find...I love limes...just doubt I'll eat hundreds of them lol

  8. Hi Chris...an oasis...I like it :-)

    yeah with luck that bush will appreciate the trimming and I can keep on top of it now :-)

  9. Hi Kate...the yard isn't actually that big....unless oyu are clearing it lol. It is as wide as the house but not very deep. Can't say I find this fun but it has to be done ...I'll love it when it is over lol

  10. Lirael...thanks...I will be posting more pics as I go along :-)

  11. Hi Debbie...creeping thyme was what I had in mind. I'd love moss but not dark or damp enough here. I need to check out calamine as well now though.

    Oooh naughty ponies lol..nothing like that here...well we have wild donkeys but they can't get in :-)

  12. Yes indeed Kim...might shift a few pounds with all this work as well lol Wish you were nearer to help me :-(

  13. Jayne, I think your garden will be fabulous. Use loads of Indian lamps for outdoor dinner :).

    I love reading about your makeover progress so give us more !

  14. Your garden transformation looked like very physical hard work! It is paying off already and soon you may have the garden of your dreams! You have found some gems in the there!

    At home in the UK we'd probably call your paving crazy paving made from old paving slabs, only your's isn't recycled paving...yours is more upmarket. :o))

    You have been so busy! I'm behind on my blog reading and commenting and even more behind on my emails. You are not forgotten about. :o))

    Michelle xxx

  15. Hi Susan...oh yes there will be lots of Indian lamps. I also have my eye on a very large stone Buddha but it is pricey :-(

    If I don't talk about what I am doing in the house I have nothing to say so there'll be more lol

  16. Hey Michelle. Yes it is back breaking work even with help...will build me some muscle though...just need to remember the sun block this weekend lol

    You know I told everyone here this was called crazy paving and they all think I am the crazy one lol.

    I actually planned on making my own stones from slabs but would have had to have bought them new and that was actually more expensive than buying this Arizona rock. Guess it is because there is so much rock around the Southwest.

    I also thought about molding my own but would have been here years lol.

  17. Your Garden is looking Lovely! I can SOOOO relate! I have been slowly building my back yard garden.... paving with brick pavers and planting too many plants! But the results are So worth it! I look forward to seeing pictures of the fully tamed space!

  18. Hi! Just popping in to say thanks for that great comment of yours on my sculpture. It really made my day:)


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