Viewpoints in the Garden

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Mrs. Homegrown put a lot of hard work this past fall into some new plantings for the backyard. As a result there’s some nice viewpoints developing. I thought I’d take a few random pictures to highlight what’s working and what isn’t.

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I took a seat on the worm bin and discovered this nice vista. It’s the view from where I’m planning a new seating area.

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Of course photography is a kind of lie. Taking a picture is as much about what we frame out as what we include. Widen the previous shot and you see junk laying around on the ugly concrete slab in the foreground.

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Some other vistas in the garden just need some straightening up. I’ve been doing a lot of projects lately and don’t always put things back.

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Other areas need some more work. This area by the chicken coop could use some paving stones or a deck under the chairs and a better “hide the crap” fence to screen out the compost bins in the background.

Overall the main design lesson is in the first photo in this series–the use of foliage or trellis work to not allow the whole space to be viewed at once.  This makes a small space seem larger and lends a sense of mystery to what might be behind that avocado tree. A path that leads the eye into the background helps too.

More work to do . . .

Leave a comment


  1. That first photo is my favorite–gorgeous! And I must say, I’m jealous of your sunshine and greenery as I sit here in the midst of (yet another) noreaster.

  2. I’m shocked. You’re real people with real junk just like the rest of us. I always have this kind of clean up going on in winter (I don’t get snow) so it’s done when Spring comes around.

  3. You can leave squash lying around in the yard and it does not ruin? I love the look of food lying about.

    What is the deal with the columns and pink curtains? I like it whatever is happening there. Seating?

    Are the orange containers at the chicken coop for water.

    Your yard looks as though you work in it. None of the stuff is overgrown, looking like you abandoned it long ago.

    • Oh, those squash. I think it’s the last time I’m going to grow that variety. I got so sick of squash soup.

      Columns and pink curtains are a seating area near our adobe oven. I scavenged those columns from the house next door.

      The orange container is a nipple waterer for the hens. They prefer the regular waterer.

      As our front yard is a steep slope, the backyard is the only flat area I can use for building things. A small house and small yard does not leave much room for projects.

    • I wanted to answer more fully about the squash — the answer is no, you can’t just leave it lying about. It should be kept somewhere cool and dark, like a root cellar. If kept that way, it will keep a long time. However, ours have “lasted” amazingly long, all through this strange summer-winter we’ve have, in that they’ve not rotted into mush . But I suspect they are not so tasty inside anymore. As Erik says, we’re well sick of squash after eating two or three of those monsters–they’re not even particularly flavorful as squash. So we’ve been uninspired to do anything with them.

  4. Wow! No wonder you guys love your white saliva!

    I love your honesty about the way photography can be selective but then so can our eyes and our brains be. Concentrate on what’s beautiful and enjoy that you can be relaxed where you need to be.

    Re the screen around your storage area: it’s not bad at all. Can you position it so you can move around it and plant a vine on it to add color and screen out the less desirable visuals more effectively?

    Additional pavers could be very nice. Know anyone who’s trimming a tree with large branches? Cross sections would be lovely. The tree service I use out in the valley is Harold Brazee. He’s a genuine sweetheart and maybe if you spoke to him he could arrange to save you some for a reasonable fee. (He might even skip the fee if you could arrange to pick them up out in his neighborhood.) He always leaves me with a nice pile of chip pings for mulch and last year his guys diligently trimmed a tree without disturbing a nesting hummingbird. Not an inconsiderable indulgence if you consider how that mama hummer must have been strafing them!

    • I love the log cross section idea! I’ve tried to plant vines on that screen but I think the pecan tree’s allopathic qualities have prevented anything from growing.

  5. So- re: the screen and the pecan tree – put in a planter box, or even a few pots and position the trellis over that.

    I’m so glad to know that you have ‘working areas’ like I do around the yard. And you garden design makes me wonder if I should redo the whole back yard. That would be a fearsome undertaking and possible grounds for divorce, but your garden looks very pretty…

    • Would hate to be responsible for a divorce! And, yeah, might have to be pots or a planter box.

  6. ΤΗΑΝΚ YOU for posting ‘messy’ garden pics – ‘look at my garden’ posts always make me feel so inadequate, like everyone is living this fantastic clutter-free life and I’m a huge lazy snob, including the ‘mess’ in the frame was really revealing, i had an ‘a-ha’ moment and now i feel much better lol

  7. Hey guys, I just have one question for your garden: Didn’t you build a new chicken coop that all sorts of angles, and the one pictured is the old one?

    • The angled part is the run–it is an addition to the original coop that you can see in the background of one of the photos above. I need to get around to doing a video tour of the whole yard!

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