Thursday, September 30, 2010

Inspired Gardening

I joke that my back yard is a desert. Actually, until recently that wasn't true. It was a field of weeds.

I've mentioned I want to plant a tree. I aspire to planting ground cover one day. But a garden, lush with native plants, populated with objets d'art and a shady pergola, that's--that's--well, I haven't thought that far ahead.

Last weekend I was visiting Kat Likkel, the owner of the fantasy garden pictured above, when the Pacific Horticultural Society tour came through (yes, they were expected). They came for ideas, learning and inspiration.

Mayita Dinos, the designer behind Kat's space and Pasadena's beloved Arlington Garden, spoke to the group about the garden's creation and told them (modestly, yet truthfully) that she didn't do it alone. She had the help of Horticulturist Shayne Naudi as well as that of Marco Barrantes of La Loma Development, who did the fountains and stone work. And of course Kat and her husband have added personal touches throughout the grounds. It's a group effort, a collaboration, an ensemble piece in which even the home's previous owner participates through the things he left behind.

Here's Kat (facing us), answering questions. (You've met Kat over at Pasadena, 91105 and Beyond.) That's Shayne Naudi on the right. Hats were necessary. The sun was on a rampage that day.

Kat says, "Sometimes I pinch myself because I think it can't be real that I stumbled into such a nest of super-talented people, and have ended up with the garden of my dreams. They've not only been the people who helped create the garden, they've become really good friends..."

The other day I finished weeding the back yard. There's nothing out there now but dirt. It's a blank canvas.

I am inspired.

24 comments:

Dina said...

Good job, Petrea! Now, carpe diem.
After lots of work with secateurs, pickaxe, and turia (big hoe), I once reached the stage where you are at. But then I put off the planting, and the yard reverted to desert/jungle.
Good luck!

Shell Sherree said...

Dina's suggestion is a sage one. I'm blessed to live in a magic garden where fully mature trees that are chopped down grow back again. Seriously. I wish I could send some of its fairy dust to you.

pasadenapio said...

Very nice. I visit Kat's photo blog daily. Her jar of cocktail cherries is my very favorite ever!

Petrea said...

I favor the lemon drop, PIO, but there are so many it's hard to choose.

Thanks, Dina! I'll remember what you said. The weeding took a lot of work and I don't want it to go to waste.

Shell, I've got a couple of busy fruit trees and a grapevine. I don't think I need fairy dust, just some determination and the right plants.

Bellis said...

Kat's garden is lovely! But landscapers charge serious money - mine cost $10,000 and looking back, all they did was 3 borders before the money ran out. I wanted an arroyo stream and pond but that would have been another $10,000. With your artistic eye, a helpful gardening friend, and some strong men to dig, I think you'll do a very good job yourself. You're so lucky to start with a blank canvas.

ben wideman said...

Love the garden AND the Pasadena blogger crossover. Very cool post!

Petrea said...

Thanks, Ben. This one was fun.

Bellis, I think a good landscaper is worth their pay! And Mayita certainly worked hard and hands-on, creating a wonderful garden in every way. We can't all afford this kind of help, so I'll need all the extra input I can get.

Jean Spitzer said...

That's wonderful! With the help of nature, this should be fabulous.

wv: adiging

what you'll be doing

Pasadena Adjacent said...

ahhh...Lovely Lovely.

My gardening advise is to believe the label. If that one gallon container holds a plant described as having the potential to be 10' x 10' believe it. If you don't, you'll find yourself in my place; in a jungle wielding an ax and chain-saw

36 bougainvillea vines can be ill tempered


(OK, now I get your reference klever Kat)

Pascal Jim said...

Early Pasadenans really dug deep, postcards from the those days show lush flower gardens. One is thrilled to see gardens blooming again.
Petrea, help is on the way.

Arlington Gardens symbolizes what all of Pasadena Public Gardens once had. Pasadena had a Parks Department dedicated to beautifying public gardens. Windsor (where the tanks reside) was a plant nursery.
Driving on La Loma one catches glimpses of the goings on inside.
Congratulations to all involved.

This poster is proud to report receiving not one, but two "Pasadena Beautiful" garden awards over the years.

Petrea said...

So far Jean wins for today's most appropriate WV.

I wouldn't mind a jungle of bougainvillea, PA. It's one of my favorite plants.

Pascal Jim, that's something to be proud of. Did you keep your yellow arrows?

Pascal Jim said...

Yes, but the signs are too large to put on a necklace and wear.....

Margaret said...

I want a purty garden too.

Petrea said...

Jim, you have two. Earrings. Think!

Margaret, I'll be your support group.

Greg Sweet said...

Rich Man/Poor Man correlation #1: upholstered furniture in the yard.

Petrea said...

Middle class: those wooden chairs they sell off the backs of trucks. Or molded plastic? So hard to choose.

Kat said...

Petrea thanks so much for putting the garden on the blog, and talking about Mayita, Shayne and Marco, and the Arlington Gardens! They are such great people and passionate about sharing their ideas for sustainable gardening that everyone can enjoy.

And it was so awesome to have you come by and take a look and take pictures. Knowing you've got your own blank slate right now, I thought it would be fun to share, and I'm flattered that you felt it blog-worthy!

Now I need to go and get that $50 compost bin the City of Pasadena is offering, that you blogged about! How did I miss that!!

Petrea said...

It was a pleasure to be at your Eden, Kat. Thanks. I can't wait to implement my inspiration.

Get a compost bin! Spread the excitement!

Diana said...

Speaking of wanting to plant a tree, I have a young fig tree in a pot, maybe 2.5 - 3 feet tall, which needs a home if you'd like to have it? God only knows what variety it is!

Petrea said...

Diana, I don't see your email address on your profile or I'd email you. Could you please email me? Let's talk about that fig.

Susan Campisi said...

What a gorgeous yard! I can see why you're inspired. Good luck creating the garden of your dreams, as Kat calls hers. I'm sure it will be beautiful.

Amy said...

I am quite enamored with her backyard. Wow.

Petrea said...

Thanks, Susan.

Yup, Amy.

Baby steps are leetle!

Tash said...

Kat is a gem.