Thursday, June 25, 2020

An Unplanned Project

Last week we had a big messy tree cut down.

We had no idea that cutting down the tree would lead to such a big project and a fun change.

June 16 our tree man took down the big tree, but we asked him to leave the schefflera tree.

The schefflera tree (I planted a little 3" plant 20 years ago) didn't look so good without the big tree so on January 17 Steve borrowed a chain saw and took it down himself.

Once I saw that space with just soil, I remembered photos I had saved, but never really dreamed of doing anything like them at our house.

June 18 I laid out a border and planted a few flowers.

The next few days we were busy digging up rocks and tossing them into the fire pit, weeding the area and laying down weed fabric before we spread  9 bags of pea gravel.

On June 22, 7 days after the tree came down, we were finished laying 12 more bags of pea gravel and I set out chairs, but there was just too much blue.

I have always liked vintage chairs like this one I found on the side of the road (it finally fell apart), but a favorite shop downtown, B on Main, sells reproduction versions.

I called the shop and they brought the chairs out the back door to me - surprisingly, I passed on a red chair and chose yellow and aqua.

 Monday afternoon, this little corner of the garden was ready for me to "decorate".

The bicycle got a basket of lavender, the frame was brought down from the attic and I made a wire heart with air plants, but it blends in with the fence.

I want to find a different table, but this will do for now.

While we were working, we kept saying, "we're too old to be doing this", but we are proud of ourselves for tackling the project on our own.

The pea gravel section is 10' x 12' and that's prime real estate in our limited amount of space.

After the messy tree, we can't get over how clean the area stays.

For now there are petunias sitting in the fire pit, but with no tree hanging over the pit, we will be out there many nights enjoying a fire.

The jungle was colorful, but we are so happy to have another nice place to sit in the garden.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I've joined the party at Shabby Art Boutique


  1. It looks great and so relaxing. I know you will enjoy many good times there.

  2. And a whole summer before you to enjoy it!! Looks great!!

  3. CAROL! You and I have a very similar story here! I don't know if you came to my latest blog post, and really, it's not explaining what we have been doing, but like you and Steve, Ruben and I found ourselves doing what we didn't think we'd be doing at 65 and 62 years of age: pulling out at least 20 dead boxwood hedges.

    First of all, let me compliment you on the GORGEOUS, OUTRAGEOUSLY perfect space you have created! Trees are great, but once a few of them have lost their youth and purpose, I have no trouble getting rid of them. Your new space out back is the perfect sun spot for enjoying coastal, sunny living. Your chairs are the best choice, ever. Isn't it nice to have a nice new clean spot?

    So now back to what we did. In very early June, we both went out there to dig up and haul out the boxwoods. What caused the trouble was a tree that Ruben planted in the middle of my formal garden about 18 years ago. We had the tree cut down two years ago but had to leave the stump because a large stump grinder could not be brought into the yard. So he had the stump "killed" by an herbicide. Well, it killed the boxwoods too! So what we have left now is a stump but it has lost its bark and now we just have a bleached and quite lovely stump. Around that woodland theme, we have planted oxeye daisies, compliments of my sweet neighbor who offered me a huge clump of them. From there, I built, out of sticks, some stakes. Now our garden is taking on a European, ch√Ęteau-like garden. It's perfection, for the moment. I also planted a dahlia so for now, I am enjoying a clean new space.

    Enjoy the sun, the company of your beloved and the happiness of the Ventura breeze.

  4. Carol, how great that looks. Isn't it funny how I can look at that and see how clean and beautiful it is, yet I have nothing but trees over hanging our "secret garden" and they are so messy and hard to keep up with, but yet I can't make myself want to cut them down. I guess it takes all kinds..Your's does look so pretty and easy to care for..Stay well..xxoJudy

  5. Carok, this is gorgeous and I lov pea gravel. Taking tge tree down gave you so much space. More garden for me to swoon over.

    Enjoy your hard work!


  6. Gorgeous Carol!! I'm so impressed with the space you've created. It's very charming!

  7. I love the pea gravel and would love to replace mulch with that here. It looks so much cleaner and will probably weather better here too. Maybe next year! Love the new chairs and the colors. Very beachy and pretty. Have a great weekend.

  8. What a fun project! Lots of hard work and a beautiful result. Have a wonderful weekend enjoying your petunia fire!

  9. Wow, Carol! Am I one of the few who get excited when scraggly and dangerous trees get cut down?! It looks amazing, and what a fun project! I know that was a lot of hard work with setting the gravel, but how very satisfying the results. It was a really cool and special garden space before, but now it's extra special! Kudos.

  10. What a beautiful area you have made. Enjoy it. Have a blessed day and a wonderful weekend. Madeline

  11. Looks great, Carol! If you got one of those big free-standing umbrellas to put over the chairs, could you sit out there during the day? Or, do you just want to use this spot at night?

  12. It all looks so good Carol. Where do you get all of your energy girl! You amaze me! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  13. I love your new sitting area, and the chairs are fantastic. Brava!

  14. It was so much work Carol, that is a lot of bags of pea gravel to put out! But it does look so nice, fresh and inviting! I love the wire frame, with the bouquet, that is just darling! And those vintage chairs add the perfect touch! I'm sure you looking forward to evening bonfires now! Many blessings to you :)

  15. It looks darling!I love those chairs - I used to live in Thousand Oaks and my sister lives in Newbury Park. I Love your Ventura garden♥

  16. What a fun project. You created a nice and inviting space.

  17. Wow! You both did a beautiful job with the yard! I love the new chairs and I like the table too. Have a fun time in the yard.

  18. Love those bright chairs. David is wanting to get some one. That corner looks very inviting. Love all the rocks and flowers. Great job.