Today I drove down the street to find a mess of tree trimmer’s trucks and a giant wood chipper in my front.. The neighbors decided to remove most of the trees in their yard, or what is left of them after building a huge home that takes up most of their lot!
Those chipper machines always give me anxiety. I hate the horrible noise, the extreme dust in the air and every animal in my house was cowering under something..Poor guys. Also some pretty trees that we can see and give some shade are now gone. Hmmm. I have no say in this, but trees are one of those things I really love and hate seeing removed…
A view from my garden gate…
This house is about 45 years old and the yard was landscaped about 20+ years ago.
We have a funky pool that has a lap pool attached that wraps around the yard.
It was originally built for a family that also had two boys and they played water polo and swam.
When we bought this home 5 years ago the right half of the backyard was all shaded by a huge Monterey Pine. The tree was the neighbor’s behind us and 2 years ago it too was taken out because it was dying.
That changed up the whole yard environment as there were many shade loving ferns and others who went into shock… Many have come back, but some still haven’t.
It’s been challenge to find the right plants! I am my own landscaper for now as we are on the start-up budget, so I have been using the hit and miss method, coupled with child labor.
Try it friends! It’s good for them too. 😀
Teenage boys can be pretty competent diggers if you pay them..
You may need to micro-manage a bit.
This back area behind the pool was allowed to die when the past owners moved up to their newly remodeled home Los Altos and put this on the market. They didn’t know the drip was off. To fix it up to sell, I believe they replaced the back area with agapanthus.
To me that is a business park flower. It’s pretty generic. The flowers come up once a year for a couple weeks. That’s it. Taking them out is like removing a huge underground octopus- not easy.
Slowly I’ve been replacing them with French and English lavender, rosemary, and California perennials that looks pretty and tolerate hot and dry, like sage and yarrow.
I would eventually love to have the whole pool have lavender hanging over it with a combination of some trailing vines and creeping fig along the fence.
There are some lovely old roses that still survive along the back too.
Want to see a backyard to die for? Check out my friend Elizabeth’s roses and yard in Orinda on her blog the Vintage Henhouse. She recreated her yard into an Italian villa’s garden!
I love this very old Cecil Brunner that covers our garden gate.
My dad kindly came by to help get my garden beds turned over and he planted tomatoes and cucumbers and green beans for me..
There is nothing better than green beans from the garden or a home grown tomato!
Already they are doing well thanks to the warm weather and good soil he added.
The time spent tending the backyard is so relaxing. Here ‘s my neighborhood buddy, Luke the cat who hangs with me.
I love how he shimmies under the garden gate like a little rabbit to come in..
This is him grabbing some rays while I water. The guy can nap anywhere.
He especially digs the pool lounge chairs! He knows a good thing.
I’m excited for all the lovely tomatoes and the caprese we will make.
Last year I got tomatoes until November. Crazy!
Currently the garden is covered in dust. Grr those blowers. The tree people have blown it all neatly about to other corners of the world..i.e. my place. Our town is about to possibly enact an ordinance against blowers and I hope it passes. It seems there is no day morning or night that they are not going around here. The air pollution is also terrible from them and they blow heavy metals from the ground into the air as well. Okay sorry done ranting.
I got a new table and chairs for alfresco dinners.
I am hoping this will motivate me to entertain more often.
I love these chairs from Pier 1.
So comfy. light, stackable and I can use inside as well if I need to.
Here it is set for Mother’s Day Dinner.
My eldest found a way to string the cute battery operated twinkle lights I bought at Restoration Hardware at Christmas around the umbrella pole and along the top.
I love it and the lights have timers.
I just wanted to make it a little more fun and funky out here.
The table was a great steal as well for a $179 dollars.
Looks like neither is on the website anymore, but stores may still have the table and chairs.
I am so inspired by my friend the sweet Tamera Beardsley, and all of her gorgeous home, but especially so this post with her succulents and outdoor areas.
I tried to step it up a bit this season and make my outdoor area as pretty.
I like these dark urns I found at Home Depot. I wanted stone, but they are quite pricey..
These looked better than the light colored faux stone.
A little more dramatic I thought for a mix of succulents.
I think they came out pretty cute.
Trader Joes has good prices on these little guys and so does Home Depot.
I snatch up a few each time I’m out.
Gosh I am loving succulents more and more.
They are beautiful for inside as well and so easy to keep alive!!
I was thrilled when this former strawberry pot flourished as a succulent apartment.
Some of these cuttings I just snipped off and stuck in the soil here.
They are super to tuck into pots in the corners as well, like I did here with some begonias.
This olive tree from my friend Jen is at least 6 years old! Love it so much.
My other favorites that grow well here are hydrangeas.
Jasmine I adore and also star jasmine we have on another fence.
My husband hates the smell of these.
I would love to add some of those outdoor striped curtains around these French doors. I think they would be so cute and cabana like.
With a pool, the one thing I am loving is this row of hooks from Pottery Barn that my friend Wendy gave me last summer. They have been brilliant for out here and we hang a ton of wet towels, goggles and swimsuits on it.
It’s still looking great after a year of sun and salt water.
The little blue bucket was a find from a little antique shop in Soquel.
They had bought a mass of these old blue enamel milk pails found in Belgium.
For $20 it’s cute for the rest of the pool toys, flip-flops and diving toys.
It could be useful filled with ice to hold wine, champagne, or soda pops for outdoor parties too.
Please share with me your yard loves/ideas for summer!
I’m trying to get mine more inviting, so I can use it as another room during the summer.
I leave you with this last pic from the yard.
We held my grandmas’s 96th birthday party here last weekend and it was a lot of fun.
Love this goofy little pic with my dad and the boys.
My grandma’s face is the best.
She’s such a cutie.
Enjoy June everyone!
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I’m a native Northern Californian who lives for travel, books, fashion, and design. Exploring the joys of a greener life and showing the natural beauty of Northern California and it’s fabulous destinations are a few of my passions.