After lusting for years over rustic garden sheds and barns, adorable outbuildings turned into vintage havens, I decided it was time to create my own rustic retreat in my suburban garage.
As a collector of the rustic and rundown, I had plenty of stuff.  I realized I could bring it all together, in this corner of the garage and create my own vintage spot.
And, yes, there is a place for the tools and fertilizers and all the supplies necessary to keep a garden looking beautiful.  Function is a must!

In fact, it’s the ideal place to get my creative juices flowing and everything I need is close at hand.

 Here the collectible and “frivolous” mingles with the indispensable and reliable.
It’s kind of the perfect balance.

This area is my little slice of country in the city.  I sit here and plan my garden, make lists of what needs to be done (unending) and look at what has been accomplished thus far.

This space is a luxury, a place to dream and to design, with all my favorite things around me.

After a while I don’t notice the cinder block walls.  I am in my own
rustic shed.

When Tom can’t find me in the house he knows I am probably out in my garden “shed”, planning next year’s garden.
I hope you are finding some cool relief during these hot days!


Am I the only person who will go out of my way to look at a pretty garden? I often detour to see what’s going on in the garden of one particular house in my neighborhood. I guess you could say I am a garden stalker.
 The house sits on a corner lot and the owners have used every inch to enhance their cottage style home.  After years of almost causing an accident as I cruised past I decided the time had come to take some pictures. 

The driveway forms a Y shape just in front of the steps.
Below are the plantings that keep you from noticing the house next door, on the right side of the driveway.
The chartreuse color of the Japanese  grass is a wonderful contrast to the hydrangeas.

The border below is on the left side of the house and provides privacy from the street.  The house is about a block or so away from a busy commercial area.  Their mailbox is nestled amongst the lilies and crepe myrtle.
Silvery Artemisia is so pretty as contrast in the border.
The arbor below, leads into the side yard.  I long to be invited in to tour those areas that I cannot see from the street!

This garden has such a nice organic feel.  The plantings are suited perfectly to the property.  And I like that the owners have established privacy by diverting your eye to the lovely garden, not by building a wall of hedges.

A beautiful garden is such a pleasure.  I almost feel that I should write them a thank you note!

So do you have houses or gardens you drive by to get inspiration and ideas?


Our garage had reached the point where it caused me stress every time I went in there.  The disorder, dirt and cobwebs, not to mention not being able to find anything, made me want to scream.
The previous owners of our home used old kitchen cabinets and the puniest shelves for their storage needs.  I have been gradually getting rid of both for years.  They made the garage look even more rundown and they weren’t functional for any of our stuff.
This past weekend I managed to cajole Tom into helping me get started on this project that has been nagging at me for years.

We have cinderblock walls in our garage, so mounting any wall systems or hooks is challenging.  The walls were old and stained and covered with cobwebs and dust.  Yuk!

We painted half of the garage.  And put up two shelving units that we bought at The Container Store.  Just painting made the space seem so much fresher and cleaner. And we also bought a few tubs for camping equipment and sports equipment.  It’s so nice having everything organized and stored and off the floor.

Those clean, freshly painted walls make me so happy.  We used paint we had left over from a renovation project, so no cost!

Still to come is the workbench area (I use the term loosely; we are not workbench people).  And more painting.  And more disposing of stuff.

But looking at the part that is done is very motivating.  Onward.

Open House

Around the corner from our house is a street of beautiful old homes with large, gracious yards.  Sometimes I go on a walk past these houses and admire the landscaping perfection.
A month ago I noticed that one of my favorite houses was up for sale and an open house was scheduled for the following weekend.
Tom and I went over to see if it was as beautiful on the inside as the outside.

This sunroom was my favorite room.  The furnishings fit the space perfectly.

 The dining room sits opposite the sitting room and it, too, is a narrow space.  Again, the furniture was exactly right for such a space.

 All of the rooms were uncluttered.  I have heard that realtors tell their clients to radically de-clutter before putting their house on the market.
And it works well. 
I like the rustic coffee table below.
The bathrooms were nicely renovated. (The house was built in 1920.)

Luckily the house is far too big for us, with 4 bedrooms and two floors.  It is selling for over $2 million!  We are happy with our rancher.
But I came home ready to declutter.  The simplicity of the rooms was soothing and peaceful.
And I got a few ideas for a bathroom renovation that I am planning.
Do you go to open houses to get ideas?