Posted by: Brenda Kula | March 24, 2009

Raining Softly


This morning it is raining, ever so softly. You can’t even hear it on the roof.


I sit in my garden room with the dogs fighting for equal lap space, the watering can fountain trickling behind me.

I am trying to decide just how I want to approach the east side yard. I am reasonably content with the back of it. But just outside the two walls of French doors, there still is no patio. And I can’t summon up exactly what it is I want there.

This part I am okay with.


It is these two areas below I am most concerned with. Obviously I have to do something about this spot especially. It is ugly. Plain old ugly. It has not received any beautification yet. Do I want flagstone where the gravel and weed fabric is? Do I want a wooden deck? A concrete patio? I sort of waver on this decision. I am wondering if I need someone who does overall yard design to help me out. To draw out a plan. And who to call for this if I continue to be stumped.



I don’t know what to do about these pathways. Which are slick when it rains. And weeds seem to grow through the boards.


I welcome all ideas!

I am pleased to see the leaves start to cover the tree branches. Thus I will know just where I have too much shade for planting and where I don’t. I inevitably plant too soon, before they are leafed out. And then realize I have planted in the wrong location. Because I get antsy and just want to plant.


I just want to see p-r-o-g-r-e-s-s in the garden so badly I can’t make myself wait for nature to guide me.

And I’d like to see the end of this yellow pollen that lies on every surface too.


Do you feel this incredible urge to plant before it is time? To populate your gardens with seeds and plants before you are sure just where you want what? Am I alone in this ever confusing predicament?

I do this every single year. Sigh…

I get anxious to get the gardens moving. To urge the season along.




  1. Looks like an oasis to me !!

  2. I love all the colored balls scattered throughout your garden!!Reminds me of the post I did with ~Chihuly’s ~ float boat at the DBG in Phoenix AZ!
    Perhaps you could place a small vessel filled with colored glass balls somewhere!! I am thinking about this idea myself!! Your garden is the lavender color in back!!

  3. I’m enjoying the gentle rain today, too, Brenda, though at times it has come down pretty hard.

    I’m not good at creating or planning. I tend to pattern after others’ designs that I like. Have you ever driven or walked by homes that have especially appealing landscaping? You might consider asking them if they had it done professionally, and if so, by whom.

  4. Poetic – that’s the word to describe the pictures you take!

    I don’t have good input about your side area. Is it covered in hard surfaces because nothing would grow there? I love to mix large flat stones with grass in between them. We try to limit the types of surfaces just to make it flow better. Does that make sense?

    Study some magazines and blogs.

  5. I didn’t remember that area having so many roots/stumps sticking up. You do need a surface of some kind for rainy days like today. Also, move that trellis that is along side the garage further back, maybe along the alley fence, or somewhere that it will get afternoon sun. I’ll send you hummingbird vines, and you can plant some hyacinth vines along it!

  6. we have tons of garden decisions to make. husband makes most of them. i issue orders and say what i’d like, in a broad sense. but he does all the digging.

    we have slug issues that you probably don’t have in texas. that affects everything we do in the garden. but what we’ve looked to do is create rooms, so we effectively extend our house. we have all of diarmuid gavin’s books–they’re extremely inspiring. i think the BBC has published most of them if you’re looking for him.

    anyway, everything looks so beautiful already in your garden, that i’m sure these are luxury problems. looking forward to see what you end up doing. 🙂


  7. Brenda,

    I might replace the wood with stones. Though the pats look GORGEOUS to me! LOve the first and third photos.

    About moms…I have no idea which is better, I think each of us bears our pain from the legacy of our mothers. I always appreciate your response to the stories I share of my childhood and life. THANK YOU!

  8. Hi Brenda, oooh, your photos are wonderful.. I love the first shot, and the ferns and green oak leaves. I am always doing things too soon in the garden. Like today planting out some of the seedlings in the ground even though it is several weeks before our last frost date. I can’t help it. We must have the same malady! 🙂 I would not put wood that tends to be slippery.

  9. Stunning, just stunning– your photography and your yard. I am drawn by the flagstone. Always have loved it, wanted it here but never got to it. And yes, I always want to plant well before time. We are to be in the 30s tonight.

  10. I’m not sure there is a perfect path surface. Weeds seem to find any little crack in any path — most of my time is spent pulling those pesky weeds from between brick and stones!

  11. Brenda, How about a brick path in a mosiac pattern with decomposed granite between the bricks. Cool looking and no slickness.

  12. I really like flagstone walkways Brenda. You can get the prettiest ground covers to plant between them. I love the look…kind of rustic.
    I always buy before I should in the spring. I just can’t resist! And, I buy in the heat of summer sometimes. I just go crazy in garden centers–I love flowers so much! 🙂

  13. I actually like your “problem areas” – they have a great amusement park feel to them. I can’t really describe it, but it’s very fun and eclectic. Slick isn’t good though, but weeds are easy enough – I just pour boiling water on them, especially in pathway areas.

  14. Brenda,
    I think your garden looks wonderful. I’m sure whatever you decide will be beautiful.

  15. Beautiful pictures! I’m ready for that rain to wash our pollen away too…it should start here tonight!

    I’m sure you will reach a decision about your area…I can see a wooden deck…but the other options would work too!

  16. I Love your yard(-: The wood adds so much character but I imagine it could become slippery in the rain! Stone would be rougher and less slippery. I am sure what ever you do it will be beautiful(-:

  17. Everything is looking great, Brenda! Take a few pictures of your ‘trouble areas’ with you next time you go to BMG and ask for suggestions – I did that last year and they were a lot of help!

  18. Your yard looks great already. I get the same feeling this time of year. I want to plant and it’s just too early here.

    I think you have great ideas and you don’t need a landscaper or maybe you do. Sometimes I think if I just took the time and money to have someone look at my yard, I would waste so much time and money. I probably would anyway.


  19. I think ‘antsy’ is the perfect way to describe most gardeners:)

  20. I love your garden! What if you replaced the wood with pinestraw…It adds another dimension and softens the hardscape. You could use it around the tree in the photo with the sweet puppy looking toward the globes! Wwhich are way cool) I like the stone paths…they are classy! One thing I am going to do is clean and stain my fence a rich brown. I think that will help pep up my garden! Would that be anything you are interested in ~~~to have the privacy fence any other color then gray? gail

  21. It is a lovely garden with so much lushness at this point. As for the side yard, the brick is nice and the flagstone beautiful and the decking also has an earthy component. You might consider replacing the wood with either the brick or the flagstone for continuity and, since the wood is slick anyway. I think many components make the eye jump around and keep a space from being serene. Just a thought. If you do nothing it is still a very beautiful place.

  22. It has been very, very gray here the past couple of days, but visiting these pages, so filled with color…I can actually feel my heart filling up; thanks! 🙂

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