Eight Pretty Ideas for Small Gardens

We live on small property lots on Lido Isle in Newport Beach, California 
so we try to make the most of our little gardens.

 1.  Vintage Cement Pots (for a French Provençal look)
I collect aged cement pots and fill them with succulents 
and herbs.  They are placed on pea gravel below a Meyer lemon tree.
Uh oh.  Rocky is hitting the bottle.  Let's take him for a walk for more garden ideas.

2. Espalier vines with different designs
This is an apple tree in one of my favorite gardens.

Diamond and criss-cross patterns.

3. Porch Open Air Window
A peek through the window reveals an interesting bird cage...
Below the window is closed (they must have seen us peeking).
Lido Isle is traversed with small sidewalks called stradas in the backs of the houses.
Originally, entrances to the homes were intended to be on the stradas
but today, people generally use the street where their garages are.

4. Using varying shades of green
This terracotta pot looks great tucked in the roses.

5.  Bird Baths

I like the simplicity and antique feel of these.
6. Pops of Color
The pink really adds life to the landscape.
7. Charming Gates

Below is the entrance to our last house on Lido (Rocky remembers it).
8.  Garden spheres
and other ornaments like statues and signs add interest.
Almost home.

Hope you enjoyed our walk as much as we did!
Thank you SO much for coming along.

Best Wishes,
Mary Ann


Classic Kitchen Remodel in California Citrus Country

My cousin, Janice collaborated with designer,
  K.C. McCook on the recent 
remodel of her kitchen in their 1930's Redlands, California home.
While I was visiting, my cousin, Billy made a healthier version of
Chasen's Chili using ground turkey instead of beef.
 Elizabeth Taylor once went to the extravagance of having it flown
to Romeon the movie set of "Cleopatra."  
Billy added Kahlua to the chili at the end as a secret ingredient (really secret as 
I could not find any mention of it in the internet recipes).  
Below,  Janice installed a cast iron fireplace backplate similar to these surrounded by 
Walker Zanger crackled sage-white subway tiles.
The arch in the doorway is mimicked throughout the entrance to the stairs and on
 the double doored pantry.

This unused space has built-ins to store Janice's table linens.

 Hanging in the kitchen is this beautiful lemon still life that Janice painted.

Best wishes,
Mary Ann

PS.  We froze the rest of the chili (which is supposed to make it even better) 
so I am hoping to be invited back for another great dinner.

Also, Remodelaholic is featuring our New Office Loft Space.  


What? No Graduation Party?

Last night, we had a graduation party at Susie and Bob's house.

Earlier in the week..."Oh come on.  Really, Tommy?  No party for you and your friends?  You only graduate from high school once?" 
"It's too late.  Todd's mom bought out the Dollar Store's 
decorations and Jake's mom is making ice cream. It will be 
super casual and we will try not to embarrass you."

I'm making Festive High School Grad cocktails:
2/3 Sprite
1/3 Perrier
dash of Grenadine
fruit spear with maraschino cherries
Uncle Joe likes them.

Perhaps I lied about the not embarrassing you part.

We did it, Susie!  The chicks are almost out of the nest!
Unfortunately, they will be on opposite coasts!  But they will be back.

Happy Father's Day!

Best Wishes,

Mary Ann


Outdoor Space Mini-Makeover

Our patio needed a little freshening up for summer.
This turquoise garden stool from Roger's Gardens* was the color inspiration.  
Surrounding our zinc topped iron table, we added these inexpensive
 turquoise seat cushions from Home Goods.
 As well as, custom cushions using Kravet outdoor fabric.
 Notice the small piping in turquoise blue that I used on this bolster.

Fresh potted plants from Home Depot.
Sea shells mixed with gravel...if you dig into the earth here on Lido Isle, 
you will find  sand and sea shells.

Information on the French trough fountain is here.
Set for a party...

Speaking of parties...
Look I at the fruit salad my friend, Susie made recently.
How about that scalloped edge!?  She traced a circle around the edge and
used a pumpkin carving knife.
What updates have you done lately to your outdoor space?

Best Wishes,
Mary Ann
Flowers from the garden

Lynette from Lynette's Photo Art is the lucky winner of the set of sea urchin vases!
*Read more about Roger's Garden's Ciao Newport Beach.

Participating in Inspiration Friday