Thursday, April 16, 2015

Our New Itty-Bitty Eden

For the first time since we sold our beach condo many years ago, I've been missing our little patio container garden that my hubby and I lovingly created together there, mostly using pots and decorative items I found at thrift and antique stores.   I've longed lately for another smells-so-good lemon tree like the one I had at our beach condo.  (My hubs installed the crisp white lattice lining the inside of our former patio fence, which enabled us to have festive yet private dinners for friends on our little "secret garden" patio.  He also installed this fountain for me, which I had my heart set on, the minute I laid eyes on it.)

Oh be still my incurably romantic heart; I've long had a thing for charming enclosed secret/private gardens, like this amazing example.  And I love this adorable  hotel terrace garden too, don't you?!   And feast your eyes (pun intended) on this charmingly-elegant little enclosed garden; WOW!  I'm on a plane to London and you're invited to join me!

Well anyway, life changes for myriad reasons and so here we are, in real life, today in 2015, and so to cure my recent garden-hankering for my very own itty-bitty Eden ...

My hubs and I went on an outing to the wonderful San Diego/Pacific Beach Green Gardens Nursery, and ...

we're now up to some simple springtime ...

garden fun!

Huge thanks to Green Gardens Nursery staff member Michelle!  I took a binder of photos and ideas along that I had researched online so I could show her my vision for my new dream space and once she saw it, as a professional landscape designer, (with a degree),  she was SO helpful and cheerful in guiding me to the perfect pots, plants, and pretties to make my new "itty bitty Eden" come alive. Michelle suggested the white ceramic pots above when I showed her photos of our home's interior decor and my petite terrace, and I chose the big brown urn as my center "anchor/pop!" piece. Michelle also suggested a lemon tree with lemons that are pink inside!  Love that.  Pink lemonade, anyone?!

BTW, Green Gardens is a wonderful little nursery and garden decor store if you live in (or ever visit) San Diego.  Everyone on their staff is helpful, and they have the cutest little side cottage with decorative elements for sale to make your garden even more charming.  I had not been to Green Gardens since we sold our condo in 2008, but I remembered them all these years later and went back!

I'll share the final results of our new spring garden-love for our current tiny terrace as soon as I finish the project tweaks over the next few weeks.

UPDATE SINCE I STARTED WRITING THIS POST:   Our terrace garden project is a bit delayed to blog about because coming home from my husband's wonderful beach birthday celebration on April 7, while we were stopped at a red light waiting for the light to change green, minding our own business, a motorcylist split lanes and hit our car and two other cars, causing this damage all along the side of my car, so we are in the midst of insurance coordination, accident reports, and auto body shops.  (One driver's new-to-her car didn't even have her new license plates yet!)  

Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, as far as we know anyway.  And the two other car drivers were very kind.  But, it sure did shake me up!  The loud sound was awful and the cyclist was thrown off the cycle and onto the road, which I found very traumatic to witness.  (Trust me, I need an Eden-esque escape after this little situation.)  My husband, however, was calm and level-headed as ever, and even on his own birthday, took charge and helped all involved, huge-hearted man that he is. (I'm admittedly not the best go-to person in this kind of crisis, but as I told one friend, I think I perhaps excel at bringing a homecooked comfort meal, kind card, and pretty gift to anyone in need AFTER a crisis.   Ha!  Well, we all have our strengths in life, don't we?!  And thank God for level-headed husbands!)    :) 

Those are dents along with those black scratches.  All along my car, back to front, including ...

A ripped-off mirror.

Well anyway, let's go back to focusing on the beauty and blessings in life, shall we?  I've learned that in the widsom of my middle-aged years ... get back to the positive and the pretty as soon as possible after a crisis!

And so ...

Here's a little sneak peek of what else we're up to for our new terrace garden-y update.

More later!

Celebrating the art of simple, charming, elegant living!

Kathryn :) 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Where's Your Modern-Day Garden of Eden?

Where's your favorite garden?  And what has it taught you?

Mine is my San Diego neighborhood, which feels like a modern-day Garden of Eden to me.

A few life lessons our neighborhood gardens and nature have taught me ...

Don't always worry about taking your umbrella because pretty soon the sun will shine through the clouds!

Mankind will always seek to create beauty, just like nature does.

Lovely architecture combined with vibrant flora can make your heart literally go pitty-pat.

Flowers are God's poetry ...

A flower's only job is to be beautiful.

Rugged and refined can co-exist in harmony.

In spite of any hard life circumstances, after awhile the sun will always shine.

Fountains are magical!

A garden with a swimming pool in the middle of it is even more fun!

It's called a "Bird of Paradise" plant for a reason!

Surrounding ourselves with beauty isn't a luxury; it's a necessity in order to live your best life.

A mallard duck's head is the prettiest shade of shimmery-green in the world.

Don't be afraid to stand out in a crowd!

Elegant + charming can beautifully co-exist.

It's okay to have your head in the clouds once awhile because that's where all the creative ideas are!

And to bloom right where you are planted.

All ladies are lovely in their own unique way so be sure to be yourself.

Pink is an amazingly happy color.

In some things in life you'll have to go it alone, but that's okay.

If life gets you down, be sure to look up.

Green leaves can look like beautiful flowers too if you look closely enough.

Sitting in the garden for a bit just to ponder about life isn't a waste of time; it's good for your soul.

Always make your privacy walls and fences beautiful.

God's light will always always peek through.

Van Gogh wasn't kidding when he quipped, "Yellow is capable of charming God."

May you find, or create, your own modern-day Garden of Eden!

More pix and post links  about my neighborhood modern-day Eden.

Celebrating the art of simple, charming, elegant living!

Kathryn :) 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fee, Fi, Faux ... Italy!

My hubby and I were serendipitously surprised on a recent Sunday outing to San Diego's downtown Little Italy district when we happened upon the delightful Mimmo's Italian Village Restaurant.

Oh my; it was like taking a quick (faux) trip to Italy!

You'll see what I mean if you follow along here ....

Mimmo's has been there since 1973 and that in itself is amazing considering how many restaurants quickly come and go in San Diego.

It's HUGE, with multiple rooms that seamlessly connect, creating one big charming space.

What a creative vision of the owners to create an entire little "village" restaurant!

Most of the walls are faux paintings and are just lovely in person.

And there are several rooms to dine privately with your group, yet still be amidst the festive bustle of the overall bigger restaurant.

Obviously, my hubs enjoyed Mimmo's too!

My wonderful salad was the only diet food on the menu, I'm afraid.

My Eggplant Parmesan was to die for and they can do gluten-free noodles for those of you who need that.  Or they will put the Eggplant Parmesan on top of other veggies for you too if you prefer.  Nice.

My hubs loved his pasta too.

And their prices are very reasonable, which made it an extra nice treat.

We were there on a sunny Sunday afternoon and I think at night it must be oh-so-romantic!

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of San Diego's Mimmo's "faux Italy!"

Do you have an Italian neighborhood or eatery in your city that you absolutely love?!

Celebrating the art of simple, charming, elegant living!

Kathryn :)