Skip to content
July 21, 2014 / Linda Hartong



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  (


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.

cos arbor and fence

cos Plan 1

I “cut and paste” like crazy  

cos front yard plan

 trying to visualize the garden and we make more changes.

Color Palatte in the Garden

Possible new look from curb

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 ( ) 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.


front (1)

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.



Leave a Comment
  1. Robert Condry / Jul 21 2014 11:21 pm

    Am so sorry to hear you hurt yourself, Linda! Sure hope you are just fine now!

    Best, Mary

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Betty / Jul 22 2014 12:07 am

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful and informative journey of building your new garden. So good to see the before photos.
    It’s interesting to see the varieties of plants chosen for your climate as it is similar to ours in that our summers are hot and we need to conserve water.
    Looking forward to your next post as you show us more about the plants in this gorgeous garden.
    Glad to know that you are feeling much better now Linda.

  3. Marcia Shortt / Jul 22 2014 12:14 am

    Nice beginning. I too am sidelined with a foot operation and 8 weeks of not walking on it. Going a bit nuts but thankfully, I’m a project person and a painter so I’m painting, ironing and cleaning out file cabinets. Hard to sit still and soon I’ll be walking again.

    Going back out to Carmel in late August for three weeks and can’t wait.

    Nice job, miss your blogg but this is just what I needed to see today.

    Thanks, Marcia Shortt

    Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 20:52:08 +0000 To:

  4. Linda Hartong / Jul 22 2014 12:18 am

    I know how you feel. Get well soon.

  5. The Enchanted Bath / Jul 22 2014 12:52 am

    I really enjoy your blog. You have a fantastic garden. Just beautiful. I have a very small garden here in West Virginia and I just love working in it. I only wish I had more time to spend in it. I work full time and also make soap as a side job, so time is precious.

    I hope you’ll stop by my Facebook page and/or my blog sometime. I’m also on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. I’ll have to look for you on those sites as well. Glad you are doing better 🙂

    Huntington, West Virginia

    My blog:

  6. Sandra Geiselman / Jul 22 2014 2:37 am

    You did such a beautiful job. Miss your blogs so much. I return to Carmel in October for a month. Cannot wait. Sandra

  7. Joyce / Jul 22 2014 2:21 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your injuries. Hopefully you are fully recovered and can continue your rambling around Carmel and enjoy life in general. The gardens is very ambitious and inspiring.

  8. lynn momboisse / Jul 22 2014 5:45 pm

    Thank you for sharing, your garden is so beautiful – someday I hope to make some improvements on ours – Lynn

  9. jeanette sclar / Jul 23 2014 1:45 am

    So sorry to hear you’ve been on the Injured Reserve list…no fun at all, but the garden plan worked wonders!

  10. Michael Smith / Jul 24 2014 12:57 pm

    Cool remedy for gophers! Linda, I really like your
    Arbor, it hints oriental! It’s good to get your posts again! JMS

  11. nina zeleny / Jul 25 2014 1:27 pm

    Looks like it will be lovely Linda. Am looking forward to your next post

  12. leilani / Sep 20 2014 3:30 am

    Hmmm. Did I somehow miss the follow-up post to this one about the plants?

    Can you tell I am missing this blog terribly?


    Hope you are as good as new by now, Linda, and that your lovely new garden is thriving!

    • Linda Hartong / Sep 20 2014 5:54 pm

      No. I did not post it. Still recovering. Thanks for thinking of me.

  13. Fran / Nov 7 2014 5:34 pm

    So sorry to hear about your injury and wish you a very fast recovery. Your garden is so beautiful!Really do miss your blog, Carmel is my most favorite place in the world. Fran

  14. Miranda St John / Jan 6 2015 10:52 pm

    Hi Linda, I hope you are doing well. I have missed your wonderful postings. Wishing you a marvelous 2015. Sincerely, Miranda

    • Linda Hartong / Jan 8 2015 5:56 pm

      Hi Miranda,
      Thanks for the nice note. I am doing very well and enjoying doing the Life Journals for Hospice. I wish you a happy and healthy New Year.

  15. leilani / Jul 27 2015 11:51 pm

    Hi Linda, hope you’re enjoying staying busy with your work for Hospice.

    I don’t know if you still get notified when there are new comments here, but I just learned that one of my all-time favorite houses that you photographed for this blog, Murphy’s Hasenyger house, is for sale through Alain Pinel. Actually it’s been for sale for about two months but I thought I’d leave a link for you in case you missed seeing it because there are a lot of interior shots:

    They came down on the asking price a week or so ago & now it’s just a mere four and a half million. [OUCH!] That pretty well punctures that daydream for me, so you can have second dibs on getting it if you like. 😉

    For any visitors who might be reading this, Linda’s original post about the house was in 2011 and can be found here:

    Hope you and both your gardens are thriving, I sure do miss your photos!

  16. leilani / Jul 28 2015 12:55 am

    Oops. I pasted in the wrong link. Here’s the Hasenyger house at Alain Pinel:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: