Tuesday, May 11, 2010

a new house and garden 4 us

believe it or not.........
I am a voracious reader and voyeur of homes and gardens.....If it's about homes, building, decorating, or cleaning...........

if it's about growing organically, flowers, fruits, vegetables...about living outside...I'm all over it.........birds, bees and chickens....
I don't care if it is a mainstream publication...I don't care what genre of design it is.....shelter and playing with dirt...is simply a basic human desire and pleasure.
Long before Martha Stewart revived the idea in mainstream American culture that ...home is important...I just never let go of the idea that there is no more fun and happy way to spend one's life other than homemaking

Oh sure...I ain't talkin' 'bout....the mindless drudgery of a Suzy Homemaker......it's all about love and creativity and making home the center of one's life.
Nothing dumpy and dowdy about that.

other than my family and making stuff, there is nothing else that comes close to how I spend my precious time......

since a home is very important to a human beeeen, and a garden provides both physical and emotional sustenance.......this will not be a surprise....

to wit.....I now present the befores....
and here is the first list of things to do.......

I still have a couple of weeks of moving things in...but lets get this Design and Growing Party started !!

Firstly...I am choosing a color for this wall where the couch is nicely situated. Right now, it's down to a shade between Chocolate Truffle and Cloak and Dagger. A nice dark brown, not too dark, not too light, and without orange, & with a touch of gray.The rest of the walls are an nice oatmeal, and I like that...I'll repaint all the trim white again.

Yes, if you are on the toilet, and the front door ^^^^^ is open (que silly!) and the bathroom door is open......you could see someone dropping the kids off at the pool.....
wth. :-0

Nope, tiny 1943 home has no foyer...or even a front porch. How impractical and unfriendly!

I'm devising a solution for the view.....which is straight into the bathroom right from the front door.
So, I hung a wicker chain curtain at this hallway arch...and that obscures the view from the entry.......of which there is none. You open the door to come in.....and blam! there you are.
Well, a front porch awning of some type will be built and installed and one for the side door also.

The yard.
Grass. Fence. Grass. Fence. Grass.
did I mention ..there is Grass?
Because this is a rental, I can't do anything grandoise......
but I shall however, reduce the amount of grass.

All the borders and flower beds I install must contain shrubs, flowers and whatev'...that has to pass this test:
Can Live On Its Own.

That means ......
living nicely without pruning and trimming,
able to live without much watering, and,
flower and vegetable beds have to be contained within an edging to make mowing and weedwacking simple enough for a 10 year old to do without supervision.

the yard already has 2 lilacs, 3 huge locust trees, and a bright cheery golden and green leaved Euonymus Fortunei shrub, so I'll plant some purple shrubs and flowers for a great snappy color combo. This Euonymus is real tough, and can take a lot of neglect, and after established, can live on rainfall, but would look better with a bi-weekly deep soaking.

Some choices I've made already...
Several of these....purple-leaved barberries including 'Royal Cloak', Rose Glow', 'Concorde', 'Royal Burgundy' and 'Gold Ring'<<< easy care shrubs with red and purple leaves.

Sunflowers, cosmos, nasturtiums, daisies of all types, and wildflowers like bachelor buttons, calendula and larkspur.
Lavender, russian sage, and rugosa roses.
Natives like ferns, sword, lady and more for the shady areas. Today ..in goes my clumping bamboo, and purple dahlias and purple iris.

Here's a classic blend of purples....Yep, purple!


Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Beautiful! Congratulations on the new home. I love your solution to the bathroom view (!!!), and the yard looks wonderful. I wish I had a green thumb.

propriatress said...

thanks Karen! it's all so daunting...I have boxes x 100000 still to move of things to list over the next 11 years...you may be able to relate to that.... ;-)
I was feeling a bit...TMI, with the door/bathroom comment, but I've noticed over my long years of being in millions of homes that all too often, the bathroom is far too close to the most public area of the home! The Front Door, for crying out loud!

Then I felt better about myself, when I read that Audi http://geekthreads.blogspot.com/2010/04/by-request-apartment-tour.html
had the same dilemma in her little apartment in SF...I think she just ignored it all and concentrated on really Cute Shoes!

I've never had to design a garden that Must be tough and independent...so this will be a fun challenge...