I have been posting my blog for three years now and I thought it was time to jump in and be on the blog myself.
Several months ago I began digging up all my plants in the areas surrounding my cottage with the idea that I might finally do a little planning and incorporate my mosaic garden art into my gardens. Now it seems completed, but of course it never is. Over the last couple of years I have been replacing my plants with succulents because of the water shortage that California frequently experiences. What I have now are plants that I gathered mostly from friends cuttings. Many will be replaced as I find something more exotic. The gardens are looking pretty puny in places and I’m anxious for the plants to ‘fill in’. I’ll post and update in a year when the plants have matured and filled the empty spaces. Some do their growing in the winter months and some in the summer months, so it will take a full cycle to see what I have.
Below is a picture of the garage in front of my cottage. As you can see by the sign in the photo, the cottage was built in 1880. I’m assuming this was where the carriage was stored. Since the cottage is behind a large main house which fronts on another street, I am also assuming this was built as housing for the servants.
The stars on the front of the garage were picked up in Pennsylvania from an Amish man, who made them from the tin roof of his hay barn when it blew off in a storm.
The succulent baskets are on the wall to the right of the poppy door. They were planted with cuttings a year ago, and even though they don’t receive any sun where they are, they have filled in nicely.
Before we get to the gardens, I’ll give you a peek at the inside of the cottage. There have been many changes made to the home over the years and now it is quite comfortable. The original home had a tiny living room, a tiny bedroom, and an area that was used for preparing food. When indoor plumbing was available, a shed on the side of the cottage was converted to a kitchen. It’s large enough for a table and chairs for six.
I like to decorate my kitchen cabinets. I find the blank space boring.
The area formally used as a kitchen became a nice sized bath room. It must have been an exciting day when they could finally remove the outhouse.
Just prior to my moving here twenty years ago, the wall between the original tiny 9′ x 12′ living room and 9′ x 12′ bedroom was removed, and now the living room measures 12′ by 18′ and the ceiling height is 10′ . This view shows that I was able to put my bed in the living room, and use the actual bedroom for my studio. The second photo shows the living room towards the studio.
This photo shows the living room towards the kitchen. The second photo shows some of the many treasures given to my by my artist friends. I have very little table space so wall dolls are a treat.
This is my studio and it is important because this is where a dozen of my artist friends meet twice a month to work on our crafts. Ten years ago, when we began our meetings here, we were all doll makers. Now most of us have added other crafts to our doll making, and we have thoroughly enjoyed expanding, sharing, and encouraging each other with our new artistic adventures.
The picture on the right is my homage to Frida Kahlo and Mexico, a country I am very fond of.
Now on to the gardens.
These are the areas on either side of the entrance walkway. The ceramics on the left are either from my collection of fruit and vegetable pottery, or a thrift store. I made them by filling large cans with cement and placing a piece of rebar in them. Next I buried the cans in the dirt. I spray painted a plastic pipe and placed it over the rebar. A saucer is glued onto the pipe with Gorilla Glue, and the ceramic piece is attached to the saucer with the same waterproof glue.
I also spray painted every other paver on the walkway black.
The little garden with the bird bath runs along the right side of the walkway.
This garden is behind the garage and to the left of the front door. The second picture is the extension of that garden as it leads to the side yard…and my potting area.
These are little pocket gardens along the path to the back yard. I found the wooden goose at the Oakland museum’s white elephant sale.
These are the gardens to the left and right of the back stairs. The donkey tails were planted about ten years ago. The one on the left gets mostly shade, and the one on the right gets mostly sun. I found the goose at a roadside shop in Pennsylvania. I thought a cottage named Goose Cottage should have a goose in the yard.
This is my family of mosaic pots. The red lady is a tribute to the artist Frida Kahlo.
Here we have a work in progress and I think it’s a nice spot for my blue lady. I have two feral cats that live in my yard and they rearrange this garden daily. They like to dig up a plant or two and bat them around the yard for their exercise.
These are mosaics that I have placed around the yard.
While doing all of this heavy gardening, I forgot that I am 83 years old. I had a battle with a root I was trying to dig up in the garden and I landed face down in the dirt and cracked my skull. I also received the blackist black eye I’ve ever seen. Everything is perfect now and I am a lot wiser. The next time I’ll wait for my son to do the digging.