The New homestead


Back in November of 2012, I was finally able to purchase my own home. No small task for a museum professional living in San Diego. Coming from Buffalo, NY I’ve always been amazed at the real estate prices here in Southern California. After living out here for 14 years, I was able to put a down payment on this lovely little bungalow/ranch style home.

A New House_0001

Cute right? When I was looking at homes, I had a few criteria in mind. It had to have a big 2 car garage for one. I wanted to have a nice workshop area as well as a home for my Tbird. But more importantly, it needed to have a huge backyard. I’d been living in cement laden apartments for too long and I was unwilling to compromise despite my realtors efforts to get me into a condo. Condo’s make no sense to someone with a hunger for growing and getting their hands into some dirt. I also wanted a house that had an East/West placement. I wanted the sunset over the ocean (now 7 miles away) to be my view while lounging in the back yard. Not that I ever do lounge back there. The last two years have been a maelstrom of activity and landscaping (but we’ll get to that later). Regardless, I found exactly what I was looking for with this house.


Before and After_004

Before and After_003

Here’s my dream garage and the rear of the house. You can sort of make out the fence at the back of the garage. That cut the yard in half and I can only assume that the previous owner didn’t want to deal with the expanse behind it so she put up this fence.  Understandable, she was handling this huge lot herself and was up there in age. I decided that this fence needed to go so the flow of the yard would be more harmonious. I’ll post that fun project soon. But first, let’s continue our tour…

This harmonious flow is one of the most important factors when it comes to landscape design. I will discuss this often. It takes a great deal of meditation and the ability to see your landscape as it will be once the plants reach a mature size. An exercise in patience.

Before and After_001

Before and After_002

These two shots are of the back yard. Both are taken with my back against the fence from both sides. As you can see, very little was done to the very back of the lot. A perfect blank canvas for those with creative minds and strong backs. I had my work cut out for me, but I couldn’t wait to start and I haven’t slowed down yet. You and I , dear reader, will have to play a bit of catch up in this story of mine. I’m really itching to show you what it looks like now, but we need to make the journey together a little to cover the past two years.

Sounds annoying and time consuming doesn’t it? Tell you what I’ll do. Here’s a sneak peek at how the changes have been going. Just to keep you interested. Bear in mind that the following shot was from this last spring and there have been even more changes since then. I just want to throw you a little bone here.

Before and After_002

     November 2012

Before and After_002b

 April 2013


Okay, no more cheating! My next post will feature my first major project which was repurposing that old wooden fence. A common theme that you’ll see on this blog is me reusing everything on this lot. Every stone, every twig and every brick I find while digging gets a new home and purpose. That old fence was no exception. Until then, keep your hands calloused and mind your dirt!


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