It is the winter of 2013
Christmas has come and gone.
Deep snow covers my Kansas City garden.
I have sustained some injuries and am to use a walker for 6 more weeks. I have worn a groove in the floor between the bed and the recliner.
I NEED a project to cheer me up. I have always loved leafing through gardening books this time of year and gathering ideas for my garden. I decide that this year will be no exception. I have wanted to redesign my Carmel garden for some time now. Many of my “go to” plants for Kansas fail miserably in temperate Carmel.
We have friends in Marina who recommend Kathleen Coss (www.kathleencosslandscapedesign.com/)
so I give her a call and we chat. We are kindred spirits and start exchanging e-mails, questionnaires, plant likes and dislikes
and finally plans.
I “cut and paste” like crazy
trying to visualize the garden and we make more changes.
By April we are ready to start and I am well enough to make a trip out.
We already have a gardener and handy man that we love and he submits a bid along with others. We take his bid and are on our way with Luis Cardenas and Kathleen Coss.
We mark the plants that can stay.
Then Luis and his crew start the “heavy lifting”.
Plants come down revealing the front of our cottage for the first time in many years.
The patio beds empty out.
And debris is hauled away by the truckload.
Soil improvement comes next.
My front yard resembles a sandbox.
The City grants permission for a new fence and arbor.
Kathleen and I go shopping! We both love Griggs Nursery ( www.griggsnursery.com/ ) where they bend over backward to help us. The choices are staggering.
Then we visit the Drought Resistant Nursery in Carmel Valley.
We buy a Gopher cage for every plant we plant. Yes, every plant! Now I know why all my flowers died before. The gophers eat the roots of the plants in Carmel.
Plants start arriving.
And being placed.
May 13th we make giant strides. The stones are placed for the path and some plants have temporary homes. But I am so exposed to view now. I wave at passersby while I eat my breakfast.
Then my hedging plants arrive. We are using Pittosporum tenuifolium which Luis will tightly shear.
Kathleen is conducting the arrival and placement. She is a small package of dynamite energy.
The post goes up for my bird house.
It is looking good.
This corner is my feng shui power spot. From here I survey both my front and patio gardens and both gates. With the new changes, I don’t have a backdrop to cozy into. Maybe later.
The last touch is a gate between our garage and house to hide meters and gadgets.
Next week, I will show you some of the plants we chose.
Over the past 20 years we have made many changes to our little bungalow but none have pleased me more than the changes made in the garden.
This is the front before. The fence and gate were rickety even then but ivy covered it and we lived with it until May 2013.
What an improvement
and I adore my new arbor and gate.
Our front porch improved a bit at at time.
We planted along the straight concrete walk.
Now the path curves around a planting bed and is made of boxwood lined stones.
I like sitting in the rocker in the evening and listening to the ocean murmur.
The sellers sodded the front yard to clean it up and I tried to maintain grass over the years. It was a losing battle.
I prefer my current look of a stone path winding through shrubs, flowers and ground cover.
I have only this one photo looking toward the gate. Not much to see.
The back gate leads to this patio which was cracked concrete for many years.
Now pavers replace the concrete and form a raised planting bed
filled with colorful blooms.
The front NE corner of the garden went from this
to this. SIGH!