• Design

    House of many colors

    by  • November 9, 2013 • Design, Home Building

    House of many colors

    In 2000, we moved from the city to the country of California in the Sierra foothills near Bass Lake.  For five years,  I planned the decoration of my dream, a casual camp-style ranch house on a pretty steep slope. In February 2004, the building began and that August we moved into our trailer to wait...

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    When every leaf is a flower

    by  • November 13, 2012 • Design, Fall, Garden

    One evening near dark, I lost myself as I wandered, looking for turning leaves around the place. “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”  Albert Camus French “the quicker you are in attaching verbal or mental labels to things, people, or situations, the more shallow and lifeless your reality becomes,...

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    Thinking plant combinations in a California foothill garden

    by  • February 26, 2012 • Design, Garden, Plant Profiles

    Have you ever noticed a striking color combination when planting flowers together by chance?  You suddenly see that the hot pink rockrose bloom looks stunning with lime and burgundy euphorbia.  Or you see that an orange Monkey flower contrasts wonderfully with an iridescent lavender-blue Cleveland sage ‘Pozo’.  I recently became aware of this particular...

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    Then and Now-The back slope

    by  • February 12, 2012 • Design, Garden

    In a series of Then and Now photos, it’s satisfying to look back nostalgically to see how far we have come.  Bought in 2000, and in a completely natural area, we’ve tried to preserve the beauty of our 7 acres near the Sierra foothills of California, as we make a place for ourselves in...

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    Rain gardens for the Sierra foothills

    by  • February 11, 2012 • Design, Garden, Winter

    What is a rain garden? It’s a garden specifically designed to take advantage of where water naturally collects. In dry climates, this extra water allows a wider variety of plants to be grown. Rain gardens can also be planned just to direct water away from certain areas, like home foundations or low spots that...

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    Decorating with Winter Berries

    by  • January 2, 2012 • Design, How to, Projects, Winter

    Decorating with natural elements for a fresh New Year! After the holidays, I like to decorate my house in a fresh new way sometimes.  I bring out my favorite cobalt blue and aqua glass combination and if it’s snowy and cold, I lay the furry sheepskin over the back of the couch. This year I’m...

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    Your new life and its keywords

    by  • August 24, 2011 • Design, Home Building

    House place, mountain, barn wood, waterfalls, these words describe the place we found in the mountains near Yosemite and Bass Lake. When we made the momentous decision to buy property in our favorite vacation spot, it started a whole series of changes, of mind, of lifestyle, of financial decisions and really, the meaning of...

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    A Garden Philosophy

    by  • August 20, 2011 • Design, Garden

    “I have found, through the years of practice, that people garden in order to make something grow; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal, to honor the earth, to leave a mark. Through gardening, we feel whole as we make our personal work of art upon our land.” ~Julie Moir...

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    Building benches and paths of desire

    by  • June 23, 2011 • Design, How to, Projects

    Places to sit in the garden?  You’ve got to have them. Especially when the place is affectionately called ‘Rancho Relaxo.’ First the paths… We took our time to figure out where to lay out paths and the words “paths of desire,” I’d read about stuck in my head. Paths of desire are where you...

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    Garden orb of modest materials

    by  • June 10, 2011 • Design, Projects, Something different, Spring

    Everyone has seen these garden spheres in the garden, but recently after finding a bowling ball at Oakhurst’s “Clutter Clearance” I decided to try decorating one. I was inspired by an example found online on Google images, bought some bags of ‘gems’ used for filling vases to hold stems straight. Start with a clean and...

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    Seeing beauty in numbers

    by  • June 6, 2011 • Design, Garden art

    ‘We are guided by nature in composition’ Bartók Down from the top where he goes to get the paper, my husband brought me a thistle flower. Very pretty, I love it! …I’m afraid it’s a bull thistle, not the lovely California native Cobweb thistle, Cirsium occidentale, written up by Town Mouse, here. The thistle...

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