Thursday, February 2, 2012

My Secret Garden Oasis

I am missing my home and garden. I have been away since Dec. 18th, so I thought I would revisit my garden oasis and link with Kathy's Home and Garden Thursday at http://blissfulrhythm.blogspot.com/. I a also linking with Sarah's Homemaking Link Up Weekend at http://bloggingwhilewaiting.blogspot.com/ and Chari's Sunday Favorites at http://happytodesign.blogspot.com/ . You should go visit them for some inspiration.
I can't wait to start working in the garden again. I hope you don't mind me reposting this. This was originally published in the spring of 2011.
*****************

Last Wed. was probably the busiest day of my life. I don't think I've ever worked so hard in my whole life. At the end of the day when I finally was ready to rest, I sat down in front of my computer (it's my way of relaxing) and I started trembling from exhaustion. I could not even get up to take a shower. I sat there for a long while until I was a little rested and then I was back to my normal activities.
Let me enumerate everything I did. I got up in the morning and as usual, made my coffee and just grabbed a muffin and sat out on the pool deck just enjoying the surrounding and the peace and quiet.
After a while, I got my mom up, fixed her oatmeal and hot chocolate and sat her by the pool to eat. She likes her oatmeal with lots of milk and I usually sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon, since I read that it lowers Triglycerides.

Then I refilled the bird feeders around the gazebo. I don't know why those birds are always hungry. They always empty the feeders so fast when I feed them all the time!

Then I took a garden walk. The grapes are growing well. No chance on the strawberries though. The chipmunks eat them before they could get big.



Then, the delivery came for the arbor. If you follow my blog, you might have seen when I posted about it. I wasn't sure yet that we would buy it then cause I did not know if I had room for it in the garden. But I figured out a place for it if I moved some garden structures around. So I called the owner and had it delivered and here it is being set up. There was an iron swing there that I asked the delivery people to move for me. You will see it in the lower photos

These are the "Before" pictures.

I moved the table to the left side to make room for the delivery people to place the swing where I wanted it moved. And I actually liked how the table and chairs look there so I decided to leave them there.
I originally planned to put it on the other side of the yard (see picture at the bottom of the mosaic below) in the corner next to the fence and move the bench to the left. But that did not happen.
I painted the candelier that we bought from the same garden shop where we bought the arbor.


There's the arbor, all set up. I still have to lay more bricks under the benches.


I laid brick flooring under the bar height table and 2 stools but we ran out of bricks so had to buy more.


See those grassy edgers? I dug out a lot of them and moved them to other places. They were just over growing and over crowding that area.
We also bought this angel. I like how she is looking up praying. Since this area is low and the deck is way up, it's nice to see her looking at you when you are up there.
Do you see her by the tree on the left?

This is where the swing was moved to. The cushion was very dirty and is a little longer than the seat so I took it apart, bought a water proof material from Walmart, cut the padding to size and sewed the cover.
I also moved the other iron bench to the left of the swing and the glass tables to create a little grouping.

This is what you see if you are sitting down there.




See the cushion on the swing now? It is clean and sized to fit. I planted the hydrangea to the right of the stone bunny rocker.

I laid more bricks under and around the table.
Those bricks are heavy. John would lay them on the deck and I had to climb up and down and carry them 4 at a time and then lay them on the ground.

I hang the candelier. I could not find any cushions to fit the 2 benches. I went to several stores with no luck so when I saw 2 cushions for chairs at a good price ($14 each) in a discounted store, Fred's, I bought 2 of them. I stayed up till 2:30 AM ripping the cushions apart so I could cut them to size and then resewed them. They worked pretty well so even after needle pricks here and there, I was pretty happy.












I added throw pillows



I bought these stepping stones from the same garden shop in St. Francisville. I think I will stain them a terracotta color eventually. For now, I am going to rest.



How do you like my dragonfly tea light candle holder?




Now that my secret garden metamorphosis is all done, it's time to party! John invited a few couples for an outdoor barbecue on Saturday (today) and I am getting the tables ready.
Thanks a lot for viewing my many pictures. Whew! I am just so glad that project is done and I am loving the outcome. John and I would go to the end of the deck and just stare down where the secret garden is and admire it.


I have worked so hard on this project that I just want to have some fun now, so I am going to join a lot of parties and be a party animal, lol.


Thanks for hosting, Kathy, Sarah and Chari!

95 comments:

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Oh Christine, your yard is fabulous. I love your secret garden and all of your special little places to sit. It is really lovely. You did do a lot of work and it really shows. Have fun and rest and party. Hugs, Marty

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Dang ! No wonder you are tired!! :D It all looks so pretty, but that is a LOT of work ! Hope your BBQ went well today and you and John had a great time.

Traci said...

It looks great! I love the fabric that you chose for the benches. The angel is really pretty too. Have fun at the BBQ!

Debra said...

Christine, your garden is just beautiful. I feel a sense of calmness just having looked at the pictures!

Pat said...

Lots of hard work, Christine, with gorgeous results! I love all these wonderful areas of your gardens!

♥ helen said...

Your place by the pool is a beautiful place to rest, and your garden is AMAZING :)

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

It's so gorgeous Christine! Your hard work really shows... I would love to be sitting in your secret garden!
Now don't overdo it girl, you deserve some rest and fun!
Hugs,
Cindy

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

It sure does look like a lot of work Christine, but your yard is beautiful! Hopefully you can just enjoy it for the rest of the summer now-have fun:@)

mississippi artist said...

Geepers,if I did all that I wouldn't be tired I would be dead! I have a group coming Thursday for a garden tour and we have been about to kill ourselves too. It is amazing what you get used to seeing, but to stop and try to look at it through someone elses eyes, you know you need to fix a lot of stuff!

Char said...

Oh Christine you garden and your yard are gorgeous. You have so much green!! We live in the desert, so it's a beautiful sight for the eyes to see all the vegetation.
Your benchs and outside seating are perfect for any occasion. I love what you did with the Chandy and the color is spot on. It appears to be a shabby blue and I love it.
Have lots and lots of fun outside this year. I would like to see more. I am off to follow, I don't know what took me so long, Char

Char said...

Gesh, I see that I am already, yippee!! Char

Sarah said...

Wow, that is amazing! You are so blessed with such a beautiful place to relax outdoors! Hope your BBQ went great last night!

HaPpY pInK sAtUrDaY!
Sarah

Dolores said...

You have totally exhausted me! You have more energy than several men.....

Your secret garden is GORGEOUS!!! The area looks like a beautiful park ....I love the different seating areas.
Beautiful - beautiful!!!

Helen said...

I'm with Dolores, Exhausted after just reading what you accomplished. Your jungle paradise is amazing, as are you.

Atelier de Charo said...

Oh yes! This is the Paradise! Love it!

BonjourRomance said...

Everything looks fabulous, no wonder you couldn't move. Now you can enjoy it all! Well done!
Thank you for your visit, this is always an exciting time for me.
Have a wonderful week ahead,
Mimi

Rettabug said...

Well, no wonder you were pooped!! Holy Crimoli...you accomplished in one day what would take me a month to complete. Of course, you ARE younger~~tee-hee~

It all looks so beautiful & I like all the little corners to sit & enjoy the fruits of your hard labors. BRAVO! Now go REST!!

Hugs,
Rett

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Whew! Yes, you had a very busy day! But goodness...what lovely results...each area is a pretty oasis.

Blessings & Aloha!
Christine, thank you my friend for stopping by. I truly appreciate your visits and love to find your sweet comments. Have a blessed week! Rest and enjoy the fruits of your labor :o)

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Can't believe all that you did. I think that would take me months to do. It all looks so beautiful. I just want to sit in your yard forever. It's perfect!

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Oh, Christine, what a wonderful oasis. You have made the ost inviting area - a real vacation just in the back yard! Beautiful! Linda

Pam - diy Design Fanatic said...

Wow! I know how much time it takes to keep a beautiful yard, well, beautiful! But, it is so worth it when it's all finished! Love the chandelier! I hope you have a big air mattress for the pool. That's where I'd be taking a nap after all that work!

Kay L. Davies said...

Absolutely wonderful! I hope your party turned out to be as successful as all the work you put into the garden. I'd want to have visitors, too, if I had a garden like that!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Tomarie said...

It all looks beautiful Cx! Well worth all your hard work! :-). Love how there's so much to look at and yet very peaceful looking too. Great job!
Laura

Greyscale Territory said...

Such a gorgeous sanctuary! All that hard work has created a place with lasting beauty! Love all the greenery around too!

Kim, USA said...

Christine, I am impress of how your garden look like now. I've been following your blog and I knew your the one clearing and putting those bricks! Your a super worker!!! No wonder you are so tired you work so hard and I didn't read you have eaten anything except the muffin lol!!! Enjoy!!
MYM

Designs By Pinky said...

OH my goodness, Christine, you worked too hard!!!! But it all looks Beautiful! I love the pool area, so calming and pretty and the "secret garden" is gorgeous, so serene!!! You ahve done such a great job! I love all your sitting areas and bricks. XO, Pinky

Genie said...

I know you were shaking by the end of the day, but looking at all of your beautiful photos, it was worth the effort. It turned out stunningly. I tell you, you cannot keep a good woman down. Love everything you did. It is lovely, and I know you are going to enjoy it in the day and weeks to come. Hope you have a quiet and a bit easier week.

Carrie @ Dittle Dattle said...

Your garden is just so beautiful and I can't get over all the work you did!! My favorite has to be your new addition "the arbor" and the chandelier!! Now please try to get some rest :D

⚜ ↁℯℬℬᴵℰ⚜ said...

wheww...I could see why you would be trembling as you sat down. Gosh you worked hard, but it sure looks gorgeous Christine. You gave me some much needed garden inspiration.

FABBY'S LIVING said...

My dear this is an ENCHANTING OASIS! My God, I'm totally impressed with your work, it was worth your strenious work that it made you tremble! The secret garden looks stunning, like ALL you put your hands on! I love the arbor and the chandelier! How wonderful to enjoy been there, in such a gorgeus place and rest with a cup of tea...or some wine!
Have a restul and great week!
FABBY

podso said...

That 's an incredible amount of work--it would take me a long time to recover after that! It all looks wonderful.

Dianne said...

you have a beautiful home and you clearly enjoy it

chubskulit said...

Hi Christine, first, thanks for replying to my question about your nationality. Pasensya na for me being so makulit hehehe (do you understand tagalog pa ba?)

I really love your big backyard, it must be very nice there especially during summer time, lots of fun things to do.

Mellow Yellow at my page, have a great week!

Joyful said...

Some wonderful photos here. Even your oatmeal looks delicious ;-) I see you've done so much work on the garden and it looks great!

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

Christine, your backyard is a paradise! I'd never want to come inside! I love all the different "rooms" you've created...especially the secret garden. So much work but so worth it...just beautiful!

Liza said...

Wow, your garden looks great.

Have a fabulous week!

Liz @ MLC

Mary Ellen said...

My garden wants to look like your garden when it grows up!! It is just lovely!

bee blessed
mary

Cafe au lait said...

You have a lovely garden

My Blue Monday.

agnicy said...

It looks great !! Have a nice week- Ag

Becca said...

Beautiful, beautiful garden! So many areas to sit and "dwell" ... your backyard is truly an oasis, as well. Thanks for sharing your hard work ... we're all envious !! *Becca*

www.adventuresindecorating1.blogspot.com

SmilingSally said...

What a hard worker you are! Thanks for sharing your blues.

Happy Blue Monday, Christine.

Mami Made It said...

Your garden is amazing!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Christine,

Oh, everything is so beautiful. I can see why you were exhausted! Thank you so much for blessing us with the photography of your work.

Happy Blue Monday,

Kathy M.

Kim, USA said...

Hi Christine, yes it's the same talbos nang camote that we eat for salad. And only the top and a few on the next leaf, as long as the leaf is not big. Happy week days ahead!!

Entertaining Women said...

Your secret garden will get lots of use this summer, I'm sure! Lovely. No wonder you were exhausted. I might have been found sleeping on the bench...I would have never made it as far as the computer. Thanks for sharing your wonderful project. Cherry Kay

Fishtail Cottage said...

oh, how i would love to walk through your garden! everything is just so charming! i host a garden party on thursdays & would love to have you share your post! xoxo, tracie

Marlis said...

Christine, the transformation is worth a million! It's so lovely in your secret garden. I love the new bench and love how you rearranged everything! So magical! I bet you were exhausted and rightfully so, but the end result is gorgeous!

Honey at 2805 said...

What a wonderful secret garden you have, Christine. A splendid place to retreat sit and enjoy!

Gail said...

Your garden was lush and lovely before, but now... you've taken it to a whole new level of gorgeous.

lvroftiques said...

Christine my first thought was "no wonder she's tired!" Followed by "I love that new arbor" And then..."She needs to have a party!"....And you are!! LOL! Great job girlfriend! Vanna

Shelia said...

HI Christine! Oh, my goodness I just love your beautiful yard and your secret garden is darling! You have so much space and you've decorated it all so wonderfully. I'm sure your guest were amazed at the beauty of your yard. Now, Dear One, you need to rest! :)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

A Hint of Home said...

Your garden is fabulous! What a wonderful retreat!
I can see why you were so exhausted! that is a lot of hard work and you did a great job on the cushions, positioning all the furniture, etc.
I'm sure your guests loved the party!
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Hugs!

Lynns Lovelies said...

Oh Christine your garden is a magical paradise! So beautiful and I totally understand why you are so tired. Enjoy it now!!
Happy Blue Monday~
Hugs,
Lynn♥

Tammy@Beatrice Banks said...

You definitely have an oasis right in your backyard! That hard work paid off. I hope you get to relax now and just enjoy it!

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Your backyard looks fabulous! I know you have put a lot of work into it and it shows. Sit down and enjoy the rewards of your labor!
Happy Blue Monday!

Heaven's Walk said...

Wow! You were one busy bee! What an amazing yard and garden you have! Loved seeing the photos and inspiration! :)

xoxo laurie

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Wow Christine, you have created quite the garden oasis. What a ton of work you've done. I love, love, love the chandelier. Would love to find one for under the porch area at the shop door. Definetly on the list of things to get. lol You've done a lot of sewing for this project, each and everyone of them turned out great. Thanks for taking us along on your projects. Sit back enjoy.... I know your guests are going to. hugs ~lynne~ p.s. and I thought I did a lot today getting some mulch down and the shrubs trimmed and the debris hauled off... hmmmm not so much. lol

Pat said...

Your yard is just stunning. I know what a lot of work went into that look. Just beautiful. You should give tours and tea! No.... don't.... everyone would just trample your secret garden!

Pat

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

Oh My Christine! I'm exhausted just READING about your adventures! To start the day, I'm with your Mom, I LOVE Oatmeal!!! Your arbor is gorgeous! I have a VERY similar one BUT it's an arch, I bought two AND a gazebo that kind of matches them... I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE yours and it's roof! That is SO GORGEOUS! and you can do so many things with it. Your yard is SO Beautiful. The layout looks like rooms and You've decorated them so nicely! Your guests must have been SO Impressed!!!
Have a wonderful week, AND relax a little...
Hugs,
Donna

Diann said...

Oh Christine! Everything looks beautiful! all yor hard work has really paid off! Now, just sit back and enjoy all this beauty. I would love to visit for a garden party! Of course, living in Michigan, it may take me some time to get there! LOL Really beautiful job on your secret garden makeover. Since you are being a party animal, I would love for you to link up this post to my "Thrifty Things Friday" party (link up on thursday evening). After all, you made your cushions and even tore cushions apart to make them fit! Have a great day!

Richard Cottrell said...

Your garden is a dream land. It would be hard not to stay out there 24-7. Thanks for sharing. Richard at My Old Historic House,

Marites said...

wow! all that hard work paid off! you have such a beautiful garden..i'm envious! love the photos. My outdoor wednesday entry is here.

Sarah said...

Christine, now you can sit back and enjoy that beautiful space. It's obviously that you've worked hard to create this wonderful retreat. Enjoy! ~ Sarah

Sares said...

My goodness, no wonder you were tired. Yard work is the hardest. It must have something to do with physical labor and fresh air. Your efforts paid off, your transformation looks beautiful. Everything looks so serene but with fun pops of color to add some cheer. Your Mom's breakfast looked yummy too! Hope you are having a wonderful week Christine!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

HI Christine,
Sorry I am late about checking that e-mail.
I just did and read FB of course. Very excited!You are one amazing woman! I can't believe how much you get done in a week!
Hugs,
Cindy

Clarissa said...

You had a very busy day but look at the result!Very fabulous yard!I envy you!

http://ties-bonding.blogspot.com/2011/05/bandai-azuma-roadway-fukushima-trip.html

AB HOME Interiors said...

Love the pool area! I'm jealous of the secret garden too!

xo,
amanda

once in a blue moon said...

i always love to visit a cozy garden~

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

Oh Wow Christine, your garden looks so peaceful and tranquil. I just want to come over and sit and visit. Very lovely.

Jocelyn @
http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com

Babs said...

You really have a large, beautiful yard and your own personal "secret garden".The candelier is stunning...love the color.
I'm sure you and your family get many hours of enjoyment from all the special settings you've created.
Babs

Queen of The Desert said...

I would like to have a stroll through your lovely garden. It's just so wonderful.

Suffia

Darla said...

Dadgumit you should be tired. It looks beautiful.

Dragonfly Treasure said...

I'm so jealous! I adore your Secret Garden and pool area!
I think I stared at your photos for over 30 mins. I absolutley love the woodsy feel of your garden. And all the seating areas are so cute.
Enjoy all your hard work!
*hugs*deb
I need to go clean the drool from my keyboard ;)

Jacqueline said...

It is absolutely fabulous! You did do a lot of work!!! Then you entertained - wow! I adore the color you painted the chandelier! That goes so well with your cushions. Your Secret Garden sign is wonderful too. Enjoy, enjoy!

Diann said...

Hi Christine. Thank you for joining TTF. Looking at this post again, I was able to see more pretty things in your yard. And I really love those blue cushion. The design is great but, the color of the blue is wonderful! I hope you have a great weekend!

Nanniepannie said...

It looks ever so lovely, I wish I could see it in person. Enjoy your space.

Karie's Chic Creations said...

What a beautiful yard. Wow! Lots of work, but you have a beautiful outdoor space. I love it. Wish I could come visit and enjoy the beauty. Thanks for sharing, Karie

Kaye - SandwichINK for the Sandwich Generation said...

GORGEOUS! What a treat for you, your husband and your senior mom. And I can certainly see why all that gardening left you so tired! But so happy as well and certainly well-deserved. I especially loved your butterfly garden decor as my senior mom is working to create a mini-butterfly garden. Thank you for such a lovely visit.

Fishtail Cottage said...

Truly you've created an Oasis to enjoy! Thanks so much for linking up to Cottage Flora Thursday's xoxo, tracie

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

Christine,
Your gardens are just spectacular!! I love all the wonderful garden features from statues to arbors, to sitting areas and plants of course!! Just stunning , Christine!!

Hugs,
Debbie

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hi Christine~ What a gorgeous yard you have!! So many wonderful spaces to enjoy! Love the arbor area - it is wonderful! Enjoy your beautiful space! Thanks for sharing this at FNF this week :) Have a great weekend!

Sherry said...

Christine,
Your secret garden is gorgeous! I love the addition of that arbor and chandelier. You did a wonderful job on the cushions. I know what you mean about trembling, I laid some brick around an herb border yesterday and I felt like crap later on. Thanks for linking this up!
Sherry

Barbara Rosenzweig said...

Fabulous! What wonderful garden spaces you've created!! A terrific oasis!
Barb

Southwest Cottage Designs said...

What a beautiful secret garden! I love the little tealight candle holder. It's all so very pretty and inviting.

SavannahGranny said...

Christine, you garden is so beautiful. I can see all the hard work you have done. You must be exhausted but you should be proud. I know what you mean about going to look and admire a project well done. You deserve to rest but I bet you will not. I love the arbor. I remember when you saw it and wondered about buying it. It is so beautiful you made the right decision. I do hope you got that badly needed rest. i am too old to go like that. My mind is willing but my body can't keep up. Love you girl, Ginger

maica said...

..It looks fabulous! The Angel is really pretty and I like the fabric that you chose for the benches.
..i love your blog!

*_* maica *_*
Buy and Sell

By Nela said...

He descubierto tu blog y me ha encantado su contenido, si lo deseas te in vito a visitar mi blog y si es de tu agrado me gustaria tenerte como seguidora de mi blog y asi poder seguir en contacto. Un saludo muy cordial. Manoli

FABBY'S LIVING said...

Oh honey, sorry I didn't show up before, I was busy with my sick mother lately. Your garden is enchanted, it is just stunning and so beautiful to be there. I hope you are rested by now, having to come home after a month, I can imagine all the job you had to do and entertaining too. How was your saturday BBQ? I love the benches area and that beautiful angel...really everything! Your header looks wonderful with all the little Pink additions! Adorable.
FABBY

Jacqueline said...

I remember this one! It was so beautiful and it is so lovely to revisit again especially as it is bitter cold and the snow is coming down tonight.

mississippi artist said...

I bet you can't wait to get home! It has been such wonderful weather here-except for the rain. I am itching to get gardening. I have been busy pruning and raking though between showers.

Amy said...

I really love your garden. It's just beautiful and peaceful there. What a best way to enjoy an outdoor breakfast or afternoon tea! Of course I don't mind to see your lovely garden post again. :)

Kim, USA said...

Hi Christine, I always like your garden.I saw the transformation last year and how you make it really really beautiful!! I only wish I could make at least 1/8 of what you did in your garden hehe. Thanks for the visit!

Kathy said...

Hello Christine! Perfect spot for your new arbor! I just love the two facing seats - what a wonderful time you and your family will have underneath the arbor! Your garden is a beautiful, secret garden - I know that degree of tired feeling - because you just keep going and going - garden work is such a rewarding work! Thank you for sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,
God Bless,
Kathy

Arani @ Add that Xtra in the Ordinary said...

What a refreshing, post this is especially with spring around.Your hardwork has reaped well-earned accolades from all corners..... am your newest follower.Thanks for your lovely comment at my space,would look foward to your visits more.

Lisa Montsion said...

It's so beautiful I'm speechless.

lisa

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