Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…….

Kitchen Garden 1 2014-3-5March 5, 2014

How does your garden grow? Well, it’s coming. Here is our side yard outside the kitchen window when we purchased our new home. I wish I’d taken a picture before we cleaned all the trash out of this area. But I can assure you, it was a mess.

Kitchen Garden 1A 2014-7-4July 4, 2014

There were bricks and rocks strewn all over the property. One of the first things was to gather the bricks and make a platform for the garbage cans. You can see this better if you’ll click on the picture to enlarge it. Then flower beds were established with flexible edging. This allowed us to go ahead and get some plants in before the worst of the summer heat descended.

2014-9-11 Kitchen garden walkway 3 closeupSeptember 11, 2014

Had to get a new fence, the old one was more holes than boards! Our kitties are much safer now. We realized after the first rain that the soil here is thick with clay. The mud was a mess. The original plan was to make the walkway with Pavestones but it was going to be a while before that would happen. So Jack came up with a brilliant idea. Why not use the same mulch that was in the flower beds in the walkway? Just use the Pavestones for the steps. Then when it rains we could walk without getting our shoes caked with sticky muck. The rocks along the wall were collected off the property. The larger stones lining the walk are Rumble Stones, purchased at Home Depot.

2014-10-3 Kitchen Garden steps in progress 1October 3, 2014

Our plants are thriving. We brought cactus pads with us from our previous home. They are loving the hot, southern exposure. A Vitex Tree, Pride of Barbados, Jerusalem Sage, Salvia Greggi, Mexican Bush Sage and Zinnias are filling out. All of these are low water plants. Work continues on the walls of the walk. Each step has to be leveled out, then backfilled with mulch.

2014-10-6 Kitchen Garden with MollyOctober 6, 2014

Got the upper set of steps completed. I think they meet with Molly’s approval! She is sitting at the base of our Rose Arbor.

2014-10-8 kitchen garden 1October 8, 2014

Here’s a full picture of the arbor. It’s made of a 16 foot long Livestock Panel that we arched over and attached to steel fence posts. By next year it will be totally covered with Roses. The courtyard is leveled out and I’ve begun laying the Pavestones. Once all the prep work is done this part goes pretty quickly.

2014-10-9 kitchen garden 3October 9, 2014

This is the really fun part. We had a metal cutout made years ago to hang on our front door in Arizona. It’s been a part of our decor in every home we’ve lived in since. We thought it would be fun to incorporate into our kitchen garden.

2014-10-9 kitchen garden 4October 9, 2014

So……what do you think?

2014-10-14 Kitchen garden from window 1October 14, 2014

Our Jack and Mikki Garden from the kitchen window.

2014-10-21 Jack and Mikki courtyard 2October 21, 2014

The sitting area is complete. The Rumblestones are held together with construction glue applied with a caulking gun. I place them first to make sure I like the way they look, letting them sit a few days before gluing them in place permanently. I’ve been known to make changes after I get everything in and study it for a while 🙂

2014-10-21 Kitchen Garden from window with Sissie 1October 21, 2014

Sissie, our other rescue kitty, sure likes the view from the kitchen. I have a feeling the major draw is the bird feeder!

2014-10-27 Kitchen Garden 1October 27, 2014

Now for the lower section of steps and the walls bordering them.

2014-11-2 Kitchen garden 3

Talk about amazing timing. Our AC/Heating Unit went out just I was starting to complete the wall under the kitchen window. You can see the old unit in the previous picture. We had a wonderful company installing the equipment, Peter suggested moving the outside unit further away from the kitchen window so I’d have more room for the garden. Wasn’t that neat? So I incorporated a servicing area beside the unit into the design. AND…..Drum Roll. WE’RE DONE!

2014-11-2 Kitchen garden 1

View from the AC unit. The gate to the front yard is partially open.

2014-11-2 Kitchen garden 6

Looking into the gate from the front yard. The garbage cans reside immediately to the left.

2015-4-10 Kitchen Garden through gate

You want to see how it looks now? C’mon, follow me!

2015-4-10 Kitchen Garden 2

Everything is really coming together, don’t you think?

2015-4-20 Jerusalem sage

This was taken from our kitchen window. We’re loving our new home/studio. Thanks for being on our Team and following along. Hugs,

Mikki Senkarik signature JPEG


14 Responses to “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary…….”

  1. joannecali Says:

    wow, what lovely paving and gardening.

  2. nanseesart Says:

    What a great way to landscape a small space. It really looks inviting. I”m sure you will enjoy the birdies coming by for a visit! You own little nature preserve!

  3. delmus Says:

    I really love seeing other creative folks gardens. Wow, you’ve inspired me once again!

  4. Gmail Says:

    Hi Mikki, Just wanted to tell you and Jack what a wonderful job you did on your side yard. I can tell it was a big job, but you did a excellent job. I’m so happy for you.

    Hugs to you too, Erika Schmidt

    Sent from Erika’s iPad


  5. Mary Says:

    This is wonderful.

  6. Patrice Kelly Says:

    I Love it !!! Great Job!! Beautiful!! >

  7. Alison Granny Duke Says:

    I am loving watching the progress of your side yard Mikki and Jack. It is like watching you create a painting. What a lovely sight when you look out the kitchen window. It gives me hope for my patch here in South Australia. God’s Blessings Alison

  8. Sherry Says:

    Mikki and Jack: Your new garden is absolutely gorgeous!!! What a blessing!!! I love it…and may God continue to bless you both with good health and your heart’s desire!!!

  9. Cheryl Smith-Bell Says:

    Love this! You can tell your artistic eye/s designed this beautiful space. I am working to get the inside of my house in better shape, but when I get to the outside, I want a “catio” for my cats. Some day I will have a safe area like this that will have an inward leaning 2′ fenceed wire at the top to keep them in! and maybe a water fountain for them to play in! God bless you both with good health and long lives! Love following your posts!

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      Cheryl, Thank you! Love your “Catio” idea. Molly is an escape artist but fortunately we’re on a cul-de-sac and our neighborhood is really quiet. Sissie is thrilled to have her own safe space. I really appreciate your kind words and following my blog. Hugs, Mikki

  10. wafaa Says:

    What a wonderful job! I love it very much. You are really a great designer! God bless you and congratulations for both of you !

  11. Ranju Ahluwalia Says:

    Hi , thank u very much. All of your paintings are lovely. I like all of them. Just want to know what colors do you mix for the shadows? Like the shadow of the flowers. thanks, much appreciated.

    • Mikki Senkarik Says:

      The mixtures for the shadows depend on the basic color of the flower. It’s difficult to give just one formula because there are such a wide variety of flowers. I frequently give the recipes for the color mixes in my blogs. You can go back through the archives and probably find what you need. If there is a specific flower you’d like to know how to paint please do ask. Thank you for following my blog. Mikki

  12. Jan Vowell Says:

    Beautiful!! I know how much work it was. Your design of the small space is gorgeous. Hugs to you and Jack.

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