I’m sitting here in my new favorite place to work. (Work… well.. you know.)  (Hang out.) And I’m looking at a drippy, wet, very overgrown backyard. It’s pretty lovely, overgrowth notwithstanding.


I like this view of my work space, too… because Phil Gross’s painting just fit right in and made itself at home.


Regarding the yard: as of yesterday, we’ve taken the first steps on landscaping (if you don’t count the near-year it took to work with Claudia to design it…).  Ruben spent six hours in the front pulling, grinding, cutting, hacking.. basically removing everything except the 1) sycamore, 2) magnolia, 3) Japanese maple, and 4) two crape myrtles. He has a little ways to go yet, then will shift to the back yard and do the same.  There, we have a substantial amount of hauling to do, as that’s where remnants from the remodel ended up, now a great habitat for black widows and other creepy stuff, no doubt. Ruben will rototill, grade, re-lay irrigation lines… and then we’ll see where we are. The plans are ready to go… but we’re going to take it piece by piece. A little hardscape here, a little planting there… someday it’ll be done.

In the meantime, the view — if you don’t look too carefully — is lovely enough!

Speaking of lovely. Here’s a collection of pics from my last couple trips around the arb… Saturday and yesterday walks. While some of these shots seem redundant to photos I’ve posted before, the blooms are actually different, as this place just seems to change by the day. It is so very thoughtfully designed; there is always something in season, popping out and adding a new splash of color or texture where there wasn’t any the week before.





( ^ Neat, huh?)

And the motilija poppies are in their full bloom right now. Speaking of which… it was this very stand of giant white poppies that inspired me to plant a motilija in our front yard. People warned me, I ignored them. These things, while dramatic and gorgeous, are also relentless spreaders and are very woody and hearty and thick… and during the non blooming season are not much to look at. So Ruben removed them! A tiny bit sorry to see them go, but they do take over everything.





Caught this fellow busy at work…on whatever these are.