Wednesday, October 21, 2009

OOoo, I want this. OOoo, I want that. (Round Two)

So, here's another case of having loved a house before I knew who lived in it. My friend, Emily, lives in this adorable house. The color is just the best. It's this soft, modern, pale lime kind of color that looks sooo fabulous with a native yard. And it's got a purple door, to boot! I mean, you just know someone cool is gonna live in a house with a purple door. I think it should be law that front doors have to be painted some wild and fabulous color. I was so happy when we drove up to find out she lived in this house that I've looked at a million times. There's so much to look at in this yard, I just don't know where to begin. The house, the cool fence, the colors, the eyes were literally feasting.

She made this little fountain first thing when they got the house and it is beautiful. I am not the best photographer (ahem, to say the least) so I wasn't able to capture how great this really looks. It's small and it's nestled right into that liriope (I think) and surrounded by thyme and mulch. She had the cutest little thyme in there called Elfin Thyme. Have you ever seen it? It really does immediately conjure up thoughts of fairies and elves. Pretty, pretty.

Here's one of her beautiful vegetable beds. Everything in her yard is made so well and looks so clean and neat (unlike someone we know). Everyone oood and ahhd over these veggie trellises. She told the story of how she had coveted them for so long at Natural Gardener, but kept telling herself she didn't need to spend the money 'cuz she could easily just make some. You know that story, don't you? Well, she did make some, but the real things still haunted her every time she went out there. She finally came to her senses and realized she just really wanted the damn things and bought them. They were worth it, for sure.

Now, I just thought this was so cool. Right by her grill she has some cracks in the cement and this Thai basil reseeded and nestled itself right in them. They look so great there. That beautiful soft green and purple next to the cold stainless of the grill - tres Wabi-Sabi. Her herb bed is over to the right of this photo and I'm tellin' ya, that is just the best idea ever. They just reach over and grab herbs right there while they're cooking. Unfortunately, our grill sits in the deadzoneinwhichnothingwillgrownotevenBermudagrass. We could reach over and pick hackberry leaves.

Here is the Alamo vine I was telling you about! It. is. gorgeous. I mean it is a show-stopper of the highest order. Huge magenta blooms with lush green vines. This is one of those plants that looks almost fake it's so magnificent. Well, I've been informed that I was misinformed. Again. Kat says that the fuchsia flowers are October hibiscus and not Alamo vine. OK, well, just read everything I said and apply it to them instead. I got seeds, I got seeds, I got seeds. I'll give you some once mine gets going. (From the Alamo vine, not the hibiscus, dammit.)

Here's looking up from the other end towards the herb bed. The grill is now on the right. Look at the juxtaposition of the black wrought iron with the gorgeous purple...yowza! It's a caterpillar nirvana in there. We must have seen 10 of them munching on the parsley and dill. This is such a lovely and peaceful yard with so many interesting touches. I can't wait to get an invitation to hang out there. Hint, hint.

And now....drum roll, please. Do you have a house that you covet? The house that you'll go out of your way to drive by? The house that makes you feel both joyful and depressed (because its not yours) at the same time? This is that house for me. I've always loved this yard. It's a double lot with lots of shade which is right up my alley. Then, in 2005, they did a remodel that blew my mind. Well, it blew everyone's mind. The whole neighborhood was in a tizzy. This is actually Beverly's childhood home. Could you die? Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? They kept the original home, of course, but added a gorgeous, tasteful, modern addition to the back and spiffed up the old house to match. Again, that pale greenish color that I adore with parts of the house painted a perfectly coordinating sky blue kinda grey color. There are tons of windows and metal and wood and the gardens...oh, my friends, the gardens. It's wild, but in a very, very intentional way. There are olive trees and citrus and morning glories out the yin-yang and passion vines and ponds and old metal signs and old European bathtub fountains and old NYC street signs and metal tubs and statues and bird feeders and mulch paths and acacia trees and big, wispy grasses and colorful pots and Buddhas and, and,, you look.

I mean...I WANT IT and I WANT IT NOW. I want to live there. I want to HAVE IT. I'm gonna. I swear I am. When my big dogs you-know-what I'm gonna get one older one in a manageable size and I'm gonna have that yard. When FinnigantheCurious is older and no longer wants to tromp through the yard playing pirate (sniff), I'm gonna have that yard. I am. I'm gonna volunteer to pull weeds and sweep decks over there just so I can absorb all that perfectness and learn how to do it for myself. This yard is the epitome of Wabi-Sabi. You could get a 300-year-old Japanese tea master over there and his first words would be, "Mmmm, Wabi-Sabi." I felt like a teenager in love with a rock star for the first time. I kept following Martha (the one who does the gardening) around with stars in my eyes trying to ingratiate myself to her in a rather obvious way. In my own defense, I was not the only one. We were all googly-eyed. She and Beverly were just beyond nice and friendly and welcoming. Of course, you could tell they were good folks just by seeing the house. It's warm and interesting and different and really, really, really cool - just like them. I even had Jackdaddy drooling over all the "stuff," and you know how Jackdaddy is about "stuff." Course, all her stuff is placed perfectly within these outdoor "rooms," not shoved in a big crap pile in the corner of the yard. But, hey, I'll get there. And I didn't even take pictures of the right-of-way in which she dug out all the Bermuda by hand and created a full sun garden that looks like something out of Dwell. Hell, not even Dwell has stuff this cool. It's unbelievable, really. Next time I'm stalking them walking by, I'll get some pictures of that too. I'm off to dream and plan.


  1. Small correction on that Alamo Vine Michele. The Alamo vine is at the top of the fence, and has white flowers. You, Prentiss and I were picking the seed pods. The fushia blooms you see are the October Hibiscus on long stalks growing up from the ground and bending over. I have some of those seeds too if you want some...they're full sun though. kat

  2. REALLY? I'm confused, needless to say. I was sure she said the purple blooms were the vine. Dangit. Well, I gotta edit then.

  3. I remember we drove by this house several times and we both just drooled. Well, YOU drooled and I said it was wonderful and now, lo and behold, you got to see and be a part of it.
    No such thing as coincidence, isn't that right?

  4. We also LOVE that last house! When we first moved to the 'hood we went for a walk and Ryan and I both stopped and went OOOOOOOOh that yyyyyardddd, and the house is great, too! Double whammy of covet!

    I definitely crane my neck to peep when we walk. ;)

  5. Oh oh AND, you asked if we covet a specific house and I totally do. It's on Allegria and Arroyo, I think? Beautiful black and white tiled front porch, nice trees, great lot, and it's so untouched looking. There are things I would change about it, but it's mostly all there for me. So awesomely unique, KIND OF LIKE YOUR HOUSE. :D

  6. Hils, ooo, I'm gonna check that house out. I THINK I know which one you're talking about. I love knowing others fave houses in the hood. You KNOW I love you for saying my house is unique. It's really getting there...yours too!

  7. Part of the fun of gardening/ landscaping is in the process. I'm sure you'll have the yard you want so badly someday, and then others will be driving/walking by YOUR house saying, "Oh, look at that yard...Wow! And that house! It's terrific! Those people are so lucky." It's also nice to hear about others who aren't afraid to use a little color on their house instead of the common muted tans and light grays. Laura

  8. Oh, yes, Laura, I hope so! That house makes me so happy and inspires me so much. I'd love for someone to feel that way about my digs.

  9. Really neat gardens! I am totally stealing Emily's fountain idea.

  10. I love it! This is one of my favorite games too. I have a long list of "must haves/and must have THAT house." Thanks to adding to my list. . .

    Also, that looks like a butterfly iris (dietes) against that cute little fountain.

  11. Your neighborhood is just chock-full of wonderful gardens and generous gardeners, it seems. Lucky you!

  12. I loved my tour of the gardens. I love you for doing this blog. Your neighborhood feels like home.


All the action is here in the comments. You want some action, don't you?